Monday, 28 May 2012

Psywarfare - Process of Elimination 7"

Where do I begin with Psywarfare? In the mid 90's Dwid from Integrity fame decided to start a side-project involving harsh noise. That is the best way to describe what this music is really, harsh. Harsh right from the start of "Preparation (Your Only Salvation)" through to the end of "Process of Elimination". Listening to it literally almost makes my ears want to bleed. Whats more is that from the beginning to the end, this record can literally take as long as want (I'll get to that later) to be over. 

Anyway, onto vinyl stuff. The colour this was pressed on is literally fantastic, a gorgeous light green/teal. 

If you could really make out the grooves from this picture, you'd be able to understand what I meant when I said this'll play for as long as (or little) as you like. Instead of the usual concentric circles seen in regular records, this is filled with several lock grooves. Below is about the best diagram I could find to explain it to those who don't know what I mean. (courtesy of Basically the needle becomes stuck in the loop playing the same small section repeatedly. I've included a stream of the EP below, check out the various "Signals" to see what I mean. I'm usually into gimmicks such as this, I find them unique and interesting. However I've got one of those automatic armed turntables, which inevitably can be rather temperamental. Having to change through all these lock grooves is just too much of a chore.
As per usual, there are several variants of this floating around. There are versions with clear teal vinyl, as well as a somewhat deluxe version in an embossed cover with a massive 24-page booklet written by the elusive Jacob Abernathy, titled "Release the Fiend". These were released 16 years ago now, so the chances of picking one of those up are slim to none. Instead I've got the more regular version on solid teal with the normal cover. These are still quite hard to come by at a reasonable price though. The cover really does complement the music very well, it disturbs me just as much visually as the tracks do audibly. 
One insert was included along with this record. It's actually quite a bit greener than it appears on the photo, my camera seems to distort colours quite a lot sometimes. Anyway, you can see the same cover picture as on the front, behind the track listings. There seems a lot of tracks for a mere 7", but bear in mind all the lock grooved tracks. Some of these are really only seconds long.
I bought this on Ebay, and as such didn't personally know who (or what) I'd be buying it from. It turns out it was the guy who runs Hemlock Thirteen, who was nice enough to write me a wee note inside the sleeve. If you happen to read this, I do dig it. Thanks.
I've used words like harsh and disturbing to describe this record and in all honesty I can't stand listening to it for too long. So you may be wondering why I bought this? In fact I've briefly wondered that myself. But then I remember that's what I like about music, and why I'm into such music in the first place. It makes you feel something. It may be that you feel empowered, or even disturbed like in this case, but its something. It makes you appreciate the music for what it is, independent of "genre" and nonsense labels like that. Plus it's part of HT history, so it's always fun to collect right?

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