Monday, 12 March 2012

Prurient - Bermuda Drain (2012)

Dominick Fernow has been recording as Prurient since 1995, he is also a member of the band Cold Cave. Fernow is one of the leading lights on the US harsh noise / power electronics scene coming out of New York.

I never really got on that well with Prurient to be honest, I always turned to Merzbow when I fancied some pure noise. It was probably to do with the fact that Fernow made almost all his earlier tracks with coruscating sheets of manipulated ultra high frequency feedback which is valid in itself but I felt that some changes in texture wouldn't have gone amiss. Prurient always seemed to me more about endurance than listening pleasure.

But that was before I heard Bermuda Drain. I'd read a few articles about the album and was struck by how most of the reviewers mentioned Fernow's apparent change in direction. So intrigued was I that within a few minutes I had a copy of the album on my hard drive ready to go.

For the first ten seconds of 'Many Jewels Surround the Crown' nothing seems to have changed - a blood curdling scream and a blast of distortion - but then in come the Carpenter-esque synths and spoken word vocal. The title track is an ambient style drift, littered with electronic pulses and sonic debris whilst more spoken word lyrics are delivered. 'Watch Silently' serves up a more typical Prurient sound with a deluge of pure high frequency noise and strained, guttural vocals.

I can't suggest seeking out anything else by Prurient as I'm not familiar enough with any of his previous albums - maybe someone can suggest some essential material - but this release comes with a huge recommendation.

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