After a five-year glass munching junket spanning four continents Justice Yeldham has finally put together 'Cicatrix' the first collection of his face on glass maunderings available on CD on Melbournian imprint Sweatlung. The disc is presented in four distinct parts. Part ONE: His first ever studio recordings Part TWO: Digitally
captured pieces taken Justices short lived glass to digital period THREE: Live - 4 live recordings from Zurich, Sydney, Sydney again! and Toronto. Part FOUR: Video - the video that Youtube rejected for inappropriate content! Comes complete with a 24 page booklets of photos of Justices bloody performances from around the world.
"Cicatrix is the first full length CD from Australian noisician Justice Yeldham, aka Lucas Abela. Abela's career in sonic terrorism began in the early 1990s – his violent sound effects on a local radio show were heard by Oren Ambarchi and Robbie Avernaim, and he's been gigging every since. This CD features his work with glass, which he first took up in 2003, for its peculiar resonances, the comic/disturbing effect of his face squished up against it, and, I guess, for its tendency to shatter during the performance. Contact mics and noise-effects pedals are connected to a large sheet of plate glass, and Abela smears KY jelly onto the surface and then vocalises – mostly, screams – into it.
The CD features studio recordings, soundchecks from a 2005 tour, live recordings from Zurich, Sydney & Toronto. As a "bonus file" we're a url for the video filmed in Bologna, Italy that youtube rejected for inappropriate content – "inappropriate" because Yeldham is likely to have blood streaming down his face by the end of a performance, from the shattered glass. The sets I saw in Melbourne and Durham were performance art – Abela toys with exhibitionist masochism, and his act has been called a freak show. But he maintains that "The sound is the primary concern," and the CD shows the possibilities of his bizarre medium. The soundchecks in particular have a more reflective, musical quality, but elsewhere Abela motormouths through squalls of feedback scuzz, bubbling and seething noise-terror and mayhem. Over the long haul this is a gruelling listen, but the integrity and obsessiveness with which Abela pursues his unlikely artistic vision can't be questioned." - ANDY HAMILTON - THE WIRE.
"What initially sounds like a super distorted overblown recording of Hendrix playing his wild "Star Spangled Banner", or a super grinding fuzz drenched synth noise psych rock blow out, or some insane ultra processed Japanese psychedelic solo guitar freakout, is in fact, a 40 something man, covered in blood, holding a huge piece of contact mic'ed broken glass in his mouth. Huh?
Such is the musical world of Mr. Justice Yeldham. We weren't sure what to expect actually, conceptually we were definitely intrigued. A guy who records himself smashing his face against panes of glass, moaning and humming into the glass resulting in all sorts of bizarre alien sounds, and often ending up with the glass shattering and much blood being shed. He had us at glass and blood. The cd sleeve is even a patchwork of bloodied band-aids (euwww).
But when we finally got the disc, the sounds were just as amazing, maybe even more so than the process, which is definitely a rare occurrence. How many records have we gotten, where the story of the recording was way more fascinating that the resulting music? Way too many. The thing with this Yeldham disc, is it's actually quite listenable as well. Ostensibly a noise record, the sounds here are anything but run of the mill noise, they range from strange fuzzy drones, wailing streaks of coruscating feedback, crumbling synth like blasts (parts of this almost sound like samples from the Justice record!), grinding gnarled squalls of super distorted buzz and every strange fuzzy buzzy stop in between. And every once in a while you have to remind yourself that THIS IS A GUY WITH HIS FACE PRESSED UP AGAINST A PIECE OF GLASS! A piece of glass that just may shatter at any second. And the more feverish and frenzied the sounds become, the more strain is placed on the glass, and the more imminent shatter and bloodshed becomes. So weird, and so goddamn awesome.
Comes in a cool velour lined cd sleeve, adorned with images of band-aids and blood, inside a full color booklet with tons of photos of Yeldham performing live, amazing and intense, some weird, some strangely beautiful, some super disturbing, most of them really bloody!!" - Aquarius.
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