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Naked City - Leng Tch'e CD (album) cover


Naked City



2.73 | 26 ratings

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1 stars A musical rendition of your worst nightmare

Do you consider yourself avant garde? Do you like anti music? Are you a masochist? Are you in touch with the darker aspects of the human mind? If so, then climb on board - because this album has got to be one of the most revolting and uncomfortable I have ever come across.

As Negoba points out in his review, this album is about the Chinese torture method Leng Tch'e - oh yes, that old thang where you place a thousand small cuts all over your involuntary patient´s poor body. Goody - you might say, if you´re into old splatter movies and you generally tend to listen to music, that nobody else listens to. Ahem - I have a few friends who enjoy their music discordant, impenetrable and grim, but I have, on quite the number of occasions, caught them listening to Marillion´s Fugazi or Phideaux´s Doomsday Afternoon with their eyes shut and their mouths open like a slutty carport...

I am not going to say, that nobody enjoys this particular record, but if they do, you´d better run like hell or hide somewhere safe, because what this album doesn´t have in beauty - it holds in spades of pure and unadulterated evil.

It starts out slow and sluggishly, and reminds me a bit of the doomy side of Neurosis - well if they had been into barbiturates and backwards coffee. Fred Frith on the bass plays like he is dragging a 500 pound rake on his back whilst thumping away. The other guys involved enhances this image, and apart from the free form flow of this start, that points towards Zorn ´s love for the wilder side of jazz, this sounds very much like a confused sleepwalker treading through a hazy fog.

Then the madness starts, and I am not talking about madness a la Area, Gentle Giant or Koenjihyakkei, but more in the form of: Alright, place your kitty cat on the kitchen table, and I ´ll start beating the mickey out of it with my trusty pink garden shovel. 15 minutes of screaming, that truly evokes the feeling of a torture victim, whose pain is so out there - so real, that any person with a small insight into normal human empathy, will cringe and quiver in the most terrifying and ugly way. Yamatsuka Eye is the vocal contributor to this scary piece of music, although music is not really the right wording here. Sonic exorcism? Nightmare performed by sheep at the slaughterhouse?

The only time I felt the need to play this outside my first listening, was when my upstairs neighbor played Hansi Hinterseer (German shlager at its worst) at 7 o clock in the morning on a Sunday. I hit the search button and jumped straight to the torture section, and consequentially the girl has never played Hansi again... Every other time I´ve heard this album has been an atrocious experience - bordering on sickening.

One could easily come to the conclusion, that John Zorn and his fellow black riders here has been successful in conveying the true sounds of the Chinese Leng Tch'e, but does that really mean anything at all? I once made a piece of music called Broken Bicycle, which was performed by yours truly hammering my elbows into a frightened piano, but does this make for an interesting musical venture, and moreover would you want to spend your hard earned cash on such a thing?

Guldbamsen | 1/5 |


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