Dusted Reviews

Porest - Mood Noose

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Porest

Album: Mood Noose

Label: Resipiscent

Review date: Jan. 10, 2006

A few hand-drumming buskers in New York City have discovered the aural effects of extra-long subway tunnels. Low and fuzzy around the edges, their reverberations envelop passers-by, transforming the slog to the train into an otherworldly immersion in percussive sound. The latest Porest release, Mood Noose, features decaying-cassette drum samples that mimic this subway echo chamber. The record collapses the distinction between sounds that are far away in space and those that are far away in time, and suspends us in the overlap. We dangle there, nowhere and everywhere at once.

Porest is the solo moniker of Negativland/Sun City Girls co-conspirator Mark Gergis, who has generated several Sublime Frequencies compilations, most recently Choubi-Choubi: Folk and Pop Sounds of Iraq. He also performs in Oakland collective Mono Pause/Neung Phak (the latter incarnation plays Southeast Asian Psych Fusion, influenced by his participation in Sublime Frequencies’ Molam: Thai Country Groove from Isan). As if that weren’t enough, he also makes films. The medium and mood of the Porest project retain the spirit of Gergis’ "anthro-apologist" explorations – most sounds on the album are borrowed from the street or old recordings – but the musical style diverges.

The record opens with "Mother of All Mistakes," a galloping mash-up of blown-out Middle Eastern drums, trumpet, and a loop of someone out of breath. There is a growling wild animal or broken-down piece of machinery in there too: sinister! This goofy apocalypse spawns "Lady Surinam," a dirty limerick recited by a robot over a wash of static and low-fi glitch. Most tracks thereafter follow one of these veins, and we reach the apex of gloom-and-doom kitsch on "Tom and his Wife," when Tom's robot-wife intones, "I have 3 children I'd like to put in a Hefty bag and dump in the river/ They are the lecherous spawn of my husband Tom." It's a bizarro-world after-school special on domestic violence.

Mood Noose’s children and chirping birds truly frighten, because of their perceived distance. We hear them, but we can't get there in time to save them from the robot killer mothers, crunching footsteps, or 2001: A Space Odyssey outer-space hum. The sounds of doomed childish play imbue some of Porest's pieces with real melancholy rather than the cartoonish violence of tracks like "Tom and his Wife." Like the pixelated photo of purple germs that graces the back of the CD, the juxtaposition of serious and mock fear demonstrates that moods, pictures, and sounds can all shape-shift when copied and pasted out of context enough times.

By Josie Clowney

Read More

View all articles by Josie Clowney

Find out more about Resipiscent

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.