EC Split 2 brings together poet and sound maker John M. Bennett and the man of a thousand sounds and instruments (not all of them recognizable) Bret Hart.
John’s contribution consists of him reading from his 2020 published book, OJIJETE. I love the combination of John’s wordsmithery and deliver, which make this more than a ‘reading’. John recites, often gymnastically, using a variety of voice and vocal mechanics to emphasize and color select words and phrases. English, Spanish and French dovetail and mesh, zig-zagging from one language to the other. Even English sounds like an array of dialects, and words often disintegrate into strange mid-transmission ‘vocalizations’. I enjoyed it as avant-garde poetry and vocal ‘music’ rolled into one.
Bret’s ‘side’ of the split features him utilizing ebow guitar, radio samples, bass and percussion to create a piece titled ‘Two-Thirds Dead Already’. It opens like the soundtrack to a spaced out, screechy Geisha tea ceremony. But the Oriental vibe quickly mutates into a psychedelically fractured yet pleasantly musical chorus of moaning and howling instrumental song. Voice samples, which sound backwards at times and slowed down at others, including demon baby cooing that turns out to be radio news at a sinister sounding slowed down pace, crop up to inject healthy doses of eerie sounds, making for a creepy collage of dissonant, psychedelic noise-folk jamming and varied voices, which later becomes more stumbling and out of sync acid rocking. But as eerie/creepy as it all sounds, Bret also adds hip-shaking cha-cha music, jazz horns, and plenty more into a psychotropic stew of valium voiced newscasters, mangled, peacefully shrieking strings, drones, radio dial surfing and static, and other free-wheeling music and sounds. LOTS going on here!