Mental Anguish — Desire, Tethered, Strapped
recorded sometime in the dog days of August.
Gear: Surge & Lokomotive vst analog synths controlled by M-Audio Oxygen 8 & MicroBrute analog synthesizer, Behringer mixer, using Behringer controller, heavily effected with delay, reverb, & compressor
Inspired by way too many old artists from all over the world back in the day & my EC comrades in arms, also my grandbaby Little Man - Cameron Fleetwood McNamee
Thanks to Hal McGee, Hal Harmon, Jerry Kranitz, Carl (Cuz) Howard, Doug Walker, Jeff Central & all the members of Electronic Cottage
Vasectomy Party — Models of Misdirection I, II, and III
Inspired by time spent recently in the Smoky Mountains. Environmental decay and detritus channelled through sound. Meditation through drone, loops, and glitch.
Recorded in the waning days of August 2020.
Gear used (as much as I can recall):
Ibanez 7 string guitar
Chain Mail Glove
Copper Scouring Pad
Crank Sturgeon Plug Ugly Contact Mic
Field Recording kayaking in Lake Junaluska, NC
Korg Kaoss Pad
Thanks to Chris Phinney, Hal McGee, and the Electronic Cottage Community.
Review by author Jerry Kranitz:
EC Split 6 features EC group members Mental Anguish (aka Chris Phinney) and Vasectomy Party (aka Hal Harmon).
I have heard a lot of current Mental Anguish music and much of it is characterized by an ambience that I can only describe as ‘glacial’. It’s a piercing effect that injects an eerie feel to the soundscapes Chris sculpts. Opening track ‘Desire’ creates the sensation of being alone on some dark, frigid, extraterrestrial tundra. The sense of isolation in a freezing windswept environment is stark. And howling effects suggest that wherever we are is haunted by unfriendlies! ‘Tethered’ is like the next chapter in whatever tale has already begun to unfold. But the intensity level is higher, with the glacial effects starting to get eardrum piercing, and the wind rushing at a deadly gale force. I pity the poor sap who is battling both the elements and alien demons. But there may be a happy ending because ‘Strapped’, while clearly in the same setting, adds a lightly flowing, hypnotically cosmic melody that seems to offer sanctuary from the threat. I love the competing moods and emotions on this track. Can you tell this is seriously image inducing?!! Great soundtrack to inspire the fun stuff that my brain conjures up!
Chris and Hal prove to be great candidates to share a split because Vasectomy Party’s tracks create a world that is complimentary yet different from Mental Anguish. Far from the isolation of the Mental Anguish world, across three tracks Vasectomy Party slings hordes of alien life streaming across his sonic canvas. There might be a war going on during ‘Models Of Misdirection I’, with all the aggressive rumbling, the clash of harsh electronic swords, and what at times sounds like a space-rock power-electronics assault. During relatively quieter moments we hear bubbling and gurgling that feels like water flowing through a cave, yet there’s still loads of activity with the alien effects flying. ‘Models Of Misdirection II’ consists of a quieter yet menacing atmosphere, with layers of drones and rumbling soundscapes, and chattering robot insects bleeping and buzzing about. ‘Models Of Misdirection III’ includes some of the busily quietest moments of the Vasectomy Party set, yet nonetheless zig-zags between deep space violence and Frankenstein lab going force alien electronic. Hal has the same flair that Chris does for world creation and stimulating my imagination to visualize what he’s pumping into my brain!