The Escalation - s/t
NZ underground royalty Peter Wright and Bruce Russell are The Escalation, a combination seemingly so heavy it takes three labels to put out a record. It's not entirely clear from the press release, but i think this four track collection, originally recorded in 2014, provided the soundtrack for On An Unknown Beach, a documentary exploring psychogeography and addiction in post quake Christchurch. As you might expect from such subject matter and Bruce Russell's involvement, there's a fair bit of synapse frying going on here. Trading in that distinctly Dead C style of squalling noise-abyss guitar improv, The Escalation are an exercise in living static and negative space. Russell is the master of this approach - even in the maelstrom there's a whole lot of dead air. While i've yet to see the film (it's available to stream online for a small fee), feedback black holes and spontaneous bursts of noise feel like the perfect accompaniment to any kind of meditation on gentrification, urban regeneration, and relationships of dependency. Even removed from that context, it's the kind of mind-inverting guitar work that'll leave you a bloody, catatonic pulp, it's own kind of therapy.
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