Smell & Quim and Onomatopoeia – “Fanny Batter” – [Cheeses International]

Louie Caliente   6/11/2018   A Library, CD


A fine collaboration between two UK absurdist noise champions. Smell & Quim hail from Leeds and have been making unsettling lo-fi performance farts since the late 80s. Here they join forces with Bournemouth native and Head Cheese of Cheeses International, Steve Fricker aka Onomatopoeia. Fricker claims to only collaborate by mail, mixing and remixing each other’s works to create the perfect abomination.

Unlike other Smell & Quim releases which rely heavily on smutty and/or violent vocal samples, the tracks here are more “traditional” noise: pulsating electronics with low-frew rumbles and grumbles and only the occasional hellish gurgle. Don’t expect a wall-of-noise, though. Fluctuating dynamics evolving rhythmic patterns permeate these two pieces.

Appeasing The Great Porn God (T-1) is fairly pulverizing. Disorienting and discomforting, with transient pounding rhythms and guttural groans.  Semi-subliminal themes of pornography, masturbation, and S&M.  Nothing too overt or overly-discernible, though, so it’s safe for daytime.

Symphony in Labia Minor is an act in three parts, each featuring sonic baths of piercing static. Part I (T-2) is the longest and the most aggressive, but blends into an almost ambient swirl, not unlike a dishwasher. Part II (T-3) is the shortest and most pleasant of the three. A nice palate-cleanser of sorts before painful shrieks signal the beginning of Part III (T-4). The final track is a return to the harsher sounds of Part I, but for the first time we get a whiff of *actual* instruments, like a guitar and some sort of drum. The drastic dynamics and binaural brain-beating are both on display in the final act, making it my favorite of the three.


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