Comprehension is born through the marrying of words; one word alone offers little in the way of understanding, but take that word and add another, and it begins to take on a new shape; a new context; and ideas are spilled out of it like black ink from an uncorked glass bottle. Let’s marry some words:
Two short sentences, four words, and already your mind is forming connections. Perhaps you’re grossed out, but if you’re already here and reading this, probably not. Perhaps your mind has fixated upon kink, sodomy, or disease; and here you would not be as far off as you may think.
There’s nothing about this release that is fuzzy; at least not in a furry handcuffs-foreplay kind of way. Rectal Invaders is instead about cold, unrelenting harshness; pummeling the asshole of the mind over and over again; invading the ear-rectum of the listener in exactly the way it was designed to do.
This, is harsh noise.
Fecal Vomit is a noise project by Serbia’s Srdjan Eftimovski, who is also behind the noise project Nundata. Speaking of the difference between the two, Srdjan stated, “when I try new things or sometimes when I use some junk that I don’t know how it will work, it’s [Fecal Vomit]. When I have more control, it’s Nundata.”
I had the chance to speak briefly with Matt over at Nailbat Tapes, the label responsible for unleashing the physical version of Rectal Invaders upon the world, and he mentioned that the two tracks that make up the entirety of the release, simply titled Side A and Side B, were recorded live as part of a festival.
I discovered only one other review of this release, and the reviewer suggested that you not Google the words “Fecal Vomit” without also including “Rectal Invaders,” and while I echo this observation, I would go one step further and suggest not Googling any combination of these four words unless they are in precisely the correct order, lest you should stumble upon any number of sights that would perhaps be more fitting in Hellraiser XIII: The Prurient.
Rectal Invaders‘s cover was done by Serbian noise artist Raven in a collage style against a brown-toned background. The background features columns of sprites from the arcade game Space Invaders in a semi-diagonal orientation. The main cover image is of a girl with what appears to be an exposed heart and a black fluid or black hair flowing from her eye sockets. Or maybe, it’s just shit; shit flowing from her eye sockets. On her forehead is the Fecal Vomit logo. To this author, the obvious references are, well, obvious, so I won’t go into those. What I like here is just the visual interest in the collage and cover itself, as well as the use of colors that aren’t seen much in noise releases, or any releases at all. We have a diarrhea brown background with sky blue lettering, and a black and white main image with a bit of red and purple, and a greenish target shape behind her head. When viewed as a whole, the entire work is just a bit off-kilter, especially when paired with the neon green cassette case, or the more limited red one. I think the main idea here is for the artwork to be as disorienting as the soundscapes within.
Side A has a runtime of nearly 20 minutes, and opens with what sounds like a distorted lead guitar or synthesizer melody that has been panned hard left. Over the course of the first two minutes or so, this melody gradually increases in its harshness, while also being joined on channel right by another type of generator. I have an immense appreciation for the way that the artist uses the stereo panning on Side A as a compliment rather than a misuse. As each stereo track forms and blossoms, at no point does it feel like one overpowers the other, rather they shift and permeate; they break open so that the other may fester in the sunlight.
Around the five-minute mark, channel left has become a dirt-soaked screaming lead, while channel right is a sometimes popping, sometimes oscillating enigma that is sometimes reminiscent of Merzbow’s Cannibalism of Machine, the first track from his 1998 album Tauromachine. Side A continues on in this way for some time, not so much building, but rather twisting and morphing its way forward. There are occasional glitches and drop outs on each channel, and there is a swirling on channel right, possibly a phaser effect or a wet reverb.
At the halfway point, there is a shift in channel left from high-pitched melody to low-fi static rumble, and it’s not long until channel right also follows suit with its own change; one can hear a distorted, filtered voice shouting a fast-paced string of wobbly, unintelligible words punctuated by an echo. This latter half of the track has a clear, sonic shift from the former while still retaining a varied and transitional approach; in short, it’s a natural evolution; it feels like it fits.
As the track approaches the finish line, all of the parts become a cacophonous chorus; a dark, distortion-soaked choir singing as one; roaring to life long enough to impart an impact, until circling around at the end and fading out. In the final ten seconds of the track, a sample of music with a Latin flair randomly appears, and it’s not unlike something that one might hear in an American Mexican restaurant; perhaps this is some type of traditional Serbian music. It took me by surprise the first time I heard it, and it is a felicitous yet unexpected emphatic surprise. Side A is truly an experience.
With no gap, the listener is launched directly into Side B, which opens with a burst of feedback and a voice glitch that has been sampled and frozen into an endless repeat. Things to notice here at the onset include a much shorter runtime of about ten minutes, a mix that feels much less panned than its predecessor, and a machine gun blast of synthesized sound. Within the first couple of minutes, this changes quickly as the left and right channel separate, leaving channel left with a constant, AM radio-esque static, and channel right doing all of the heavy lifting with an ever-changing synthesized stream that sounds like it has been run through a ring-modulator and a bit crusher. At times, I hear the ghost-like wandering of voices, though it’s never clear exactly what it could be. The first half of Side B is composed in this way.
At around the six-minute mark, the left channel suddenly amplifies into a harsher wave of static, and the obvious explanation here is that Fecal Vomit just kicked on the dirt pedal. The right channel suddenly becomes full of low-end oomph and a voice begins speaking. Expert level panning ensues as the listener can hear how the left channel drops out ever so slightly as the right channel peaks; this almost feels sidechained. During the final minutes of the track, all hell breaks loose, and the two channels devolve into chaotic blasts of degraded noise before smoothing out ever so slightly, and in the final seconds it is as if Fecal Vomit simply pulls the plug.
Rectal Invaders leaves me exhausted but wanting more. The transitions, the chaos, the spurting blips and bursts, and the masterful panning all serve to make this an incredibly unique work amongst the many-faceted flavors of noise that are available in the ether. This is a technicolor dreamcoat of sonic destruction; and what’s even more impressive is that this was captured in a live setting. This release served as an inspiration for my own noise project Worm Monolith, and I look forward to more output from Serbian noise artists like Fecal Vomit.
Rectal Invaders is available both digitally and physically, but the physical cassette was limited to just twenty-five copies; twenty in green cases, and five in red. I’m still searching for a red one myself. At the time of this writing, Nailbat tapes only had one final copy of the physical cassette in stock, so if you can’t grab the tape, then grab the digital release, put on your headphones, press play, kick back, and allow yourself to be invaded by Fecal Vomit. Your ear-rectum will thank you.
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