Kevin Drumm Diary

Dear Diary,

After eyeing this boy cautiously for some time at (Band) camp, I finally got up the courage to approach. After some quick sample interactions, I decided to purchase his full discography. I was initially euphoric, but then the reality of this relationship set in…how was I ever going to navigate the 113 items I just acquired? Taking a deep calming breath and consulting the “Tao Te Ching” it appeared there was only one answer: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So I just began listening in the order they appear in my Bandcamp queue, an order which seems to be what they refer to in the music business as “random.”

[Rating is an “m” based scale: 1 m = meh, 2 m = it’s OK, 3 m = good, 4 m = yes!, 5 m = wow!]

 #002

“Necro Acoustic 1 - Lights Out”

This is a four track album with absolutely no information on the Bandcamp page, but it sounds like all electronics. Wire Magazine put “Necro Acoustic” on its Top 50 releases list for 2010; turns out this was one of five albums included in a “Necro Acoustic” box set released that year. Apparently all five were released individually on Bandcamp at later dates, so I’ll be getting to the other four eventually (following my previously disclosed and patented “random” strategy).

After the endurance test of the “60 Minute Relief” I guessed this would be a walk in the park and, indeed, it turned out these tracks were less dense and abrasive. The first track starts out sounding like the din of nature out in the country somewhere, then a couple minutes in some stranger sounds like a helicopter and spaceship appear. There are also some high-pitched tones. Disclaimer: I have chronic tinnitus so it’s possible I was adding the tones to the mix. The second track starts very quiet and builds some gentle static, then adds some more tones and electronics (and maybe voices at the end) down in the mix. Both tracks had a bit of a creepy feel and are recommended. Track three is extremely quiet; in fact, I honestly don’t know if there’s anything there at all (did I mention my tinnitus?). The final long track is made up mostly of very subtle high and low pitched tones. It reminded me of my last hearing test with my audiologist, so the last two tracks might be more enjoyable if you have good hearing but they don’t do much for me.

Rating: Kevin Drumm

#001

“60 Minute Relief”

So it begins on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This one jumps right in with full on industrial noise that somewhat shocked me into alertness. The release notes indicate this was made with pulse generators, shortwave, and distortion, but it also sounds to me like it could also be some shred guitar at the beginning. This is harsh noise and I know many who would run the other direction after about 30 seconds. However, if you’re into this sort of thing, it’s a trip. After the heavy opening, the sound abruptly shifts at about the 9:40 mark and for the rest of the hour you’re pulled into a cacophony of noise that at times had me hearing (1) screams, although I couldn’t tell if they were of the terror variety or just my id letting off some steam, and (2) church organ and bells (but perhaps that was just some subliminal Sunday suggestion).  While I would in no way describe this one as “easy listening,” after I reached the abrupt end at the 59:05 running time of this, I felt a strange calm; maybe this will all work out.

Rating: Kevin Drummmm