Sunday 7 January 2018

Frequencies Deleted #1: Crowhurst - Snuff

This is a new feature/review series that I've tentatively called "Frequencies Deleted", featuring guest reviews from my friend Mikey Ortega. He's been a great supporter of my blog for a long time now and knowing that he's a fan of noise and power electronics, amongst other genres, I asked him if he would like to contribute his thoughts on releases new and old. Mikey's from California and has a noise-doom band called Diclonius. For his first review, Mikey's revisiting an album by Californian harsh noise act Crowhurst.

Label: Self-Released
Format: Digital
Release Date: 14 Feb 2014


1. Child
2. Immolate
3. Brick
4. Throat Rope
5. You Owned A Store
6. Cartel Warning Shot
7. Imagine John Lennon
8. Torture
9. Punishment Park
10. You Were A Person

Violence is something that everyone has some interest in. Whether it's in the news, on film, music, comics, or in the arts in general.  As humans, it is embedded in us. I know that's pretty much cliche, but watch a MMA fight, and you'll see the crowd get rowdy when someones face is busted open. Or go on Facebook, and see people post grisly images they found on the deep web. And of course, if you're in the metal scene, we see violence on album art and hear them in the lyrics. Most try to shock. And only a few try to make a statement about the World we live in.

Here enters "SNUFF" by Philly-turned-LA project, Crowhurst. If you read the description on the album's Bandcamp page, Crowhurst mastermind, Jay Gambit, talks about how the noise like to talk about violence over loops of feedback. As if to make themselves seem edgy. Well, Gambit ups it by having real audio of torture and murder, backed by a wave of Power Electronics.

The first track, Child pretty much made me take off my earbuds off. The sound of a woman crying and begging for mercy was just gut wrenching. If anything, that's the one that's gonna be a struggle to get through. The fact that the audio came from someones video camera, and not clip from a horror film, is just bone chilling. Brick gives you the feeling of being tied up in someones basement, while watching a love one getting dismembered by maniac. Cartel Warning Shot is another track that is very unsettling to listen. The crushing electronic noise makes everything hopeless. And then you hear that chainsaw, and it's just game over, man. When Punishment Park comes on, you just want to roll in a ball and hope these atrocities will just end.

If you heard of the movie August Underground, director Fred Vogel, talks about when he was teaching make-up/special effects, he was shocked how his students were glorifying serial killers. So he went out to make August Underground, in which the film's antagonist made you feel sick, and wasn't someone you root for like a Michael Myers. To me, "SNUFF" is to music, as August Underground is to film. Crowhurst doesn't glorify the violence on "SNUFF". It is presented as it should be; ugly, unsettling, and disturbing. Even though "SNUFF" is Jay Gambit's least favorite album, I believe "SNUFF" is a important release, in a time where it seems the young generation are desensitised to violence.

You can stream and download "SNUFF" below:-

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