It’s not a rarity for the hardcore punk kids to be reminding you their scene is not only about music, but for the passion, message, political and/or social position, their certain lifestyle. Believe it or not this is not a privilege only of this scene. Music in general is spanning over your whole lifestyle, no matter if you’re doing it for the passion or fashion, no matter if you’re abstaining from politics or are heavily involved in it, no matter the diet you’re following.
It wasn’t a random occasion that led me to this subject, however abstract it may sound. It was a rather direct and straight forward message I got in my mailbox few weeks ago.
Its author was Karl Whiting from Thejunkyardprocession—a small DIY label from the UK releasing weird spoken word / noise / experimental artists in limited editions. He’s also quite regularly putting shows in the same vein. The label evolved from a self-titled poetry zine, originally dedicated to people with mental health issues. Karl himself sharing the same kind of personal issues had to put this project on hold for some time while he was hospitalized, and now his activities are back and expanded to a music publisher as well. The artists Karl is promoting are barely fitting any genre, and the label output is currently still a bit under the radar even in the underground itself. This is not because it’s bad, it’s because we’re all too used to take people’s efforts for granted and we just don’t dig deeper.
Everything I have done, or I’m currently doing is still underground, it does not fit neatly into any genre. That’s why I think people misunderstand it… That’s not gonna stop me from doing it, even though the CDs are not selling and all my time and effort goes into this…
~ Karl Whiting, Thejunkyardprocession
We see a label and tend to judge it as rapidly as possible—by the look of its website, by the way its releases are packed, the music itself stays somewhere in the back, but even that we’re no longer giving enough time to grow to us. We no longer try to understand because we’re simply flooded, by music, arts, publishers.
But I wonder since then this freedom is a bad thing? Since then the freedom to reach out and find people who feel alike or totally the opposite is a burden? Easy daily access to years-worth of music requires a mindset transformation that we all have to undergo. At least partially as the thought you’d never be able to appreciate all arts is indeed a grim one. So next time you see a small label putting out limited editions pay attention, donate a buck or two, grab a modestly packaged CD even if the music is not even close to the things you enjoy. Back then people used to release an album once every three years in millions of copies, today musicians and artists are urged to produce 24/7, put out limited runs and hope they sell fast enough so they can pay the bills or the gear.
Now, when the millions are reduced to hundreds and an edition of thousands of records is merely a dream that buck I’m telling you about may be a turning point for somebody. That buck may be a stronger incentive than a million for somebody to keep pouring its last money or creative efforts in something that may change somebody else’s life, no matter you’ve just closed its page in your browser. So now I’ll spare you some efforts and lead you through the current Thejunkyardprocession output.
the finer points of sadism – The Finer Points of the Finer Points of Sadism
This was put in the end of May and is the kind of record it leaves you wondering why didn’t I come up with this. The finer points of sadism are an American duo of a husband and a wife and their music is placed somewhere / nowhere between noise, punk and poetry. It’s like those photo reports of troubled families that you see on the news, that in the same time look attractive and dangerous. It’s like that family that got married with Swans playing on the ceremony, the bachelor party was on a Merzbow gig and the Bridal shower involved a Throbbing Gristle marathon. While playing this album I feel like а voyeur, it’s making me uncomfortable that I’m taking a peak in those people’s “playground” but in the same time, damn it’s interesting and twisted.
Prolonged Version – All Watched over by Machines with Neurotic Disorders
I had the chance to play with James and Charly, the young fellows behind this project, in April and I was impressed by the intelligent and extremely mature and original approach they had to sound (despite their very young age, both are about 19 years old, I guess). And this believe is their first ever “official” recording. Its title says it all so expect nothing organic or humane here. Motor cycles are captured and are setting up the pulse of the pieces, vocal and tape loops intertwine with the mechanic breath of the record and at a some point spoken word is there to turn the atmosphere upside down and establish a strong and general sense of a pervert mechanical poetry. The album is severe, harsh and captivating, yet hard to endure. But seriously, when you were 19 years-old did your brain function that way? Mine surely wasn’t. Prolonged Version are the future, like it or not.
Robert M Francis – Broken Landscapes
I believe my favorite from the current discography of Thejunkyardprocession. Maybe cus I’ve been lately listening to a lot of Austria’s Weinberger music which is quite in the vein of this record, except for the sounds here are more dronier and not so electroacoustic, but in a weird way still quite indie-ish. Robert M. Francis is creating quite an obscure and vivid atmosphere, like a Burroughs – Bukowski intercourse (damn, I imagined this and looks really ugly). All about this record is trashy, sounds like done in a rush, for a sake of some kind of extreme creative outburst. I usually dislike this feeling but it serves the purpose here. Not sure if I’d have found myself discovering and playing it on my own but still worth the time, especially when you’re in the mood. For… well I did put enough references already.