Mouths is a project by Jon Mueller and Jim Schoenecker
using percussion, analogue synthesizer, shortwave radio,
and human voice. Their focus is on combining elements
to create a chorus of sorts, culminating in all ‘mouths’
emitting their voices together without negating one
another. This version of 1V2E, recorded live in concert
in Milwaukee in 2005, features the addition of Werner
Moebius on computer and devices.
Chicago-based Haptic is Steven Hess, Joseph Mills,
and Adam Sonderberg. For Danjon Scale, their second
published composition, the emphasis was on constructing
a larded unfurling of sonorous information.
Edition of 200 copies
Out of print
Mouths… I hear hypertensive rumbles, halfway through
an overcharged heartbeat pumping in the auricular
membranes and a mountain of pitch-transposed electric
razors working at the very same moment, while dampened
echoes of pneumatic drills come from the outside. The voices
from the radio creep under this mass of distorted radiation,
the essence of a rhythm revealing its incessant breath as
more and more convulsive, until the overwhelming power
of the percussive sources becomes the dominant rule in an
Organum-meets-tornado bellowing paranoia. Haptic conceived
a combination of materials, featuring a commanding mixture
of looping sub-basses and metallic caress, slowly evolving into
an isolationist riverside from which one can observe dispersed
detritus floating over dark currents. The sonic maze remains
impregnable all over the piece, hoards of bowed metals and
cymbals determining the ruin of the commonplace in harmonic
design, which is replaced by a riveting wash of resonance
that’s threatening but also peerlessly reinvigorating.
Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes
[The] trio’s piece Danjon Scale, on a split 12-inch with the
Milwaukee duo Mouths released by the British label Entr’acte,
is among the most striking displays of sustained texture in
recent memory. The sound they create together is hypnotic
Peter Margasak in the Chicago Reader
Two slices of prime Industrial-flavoured drone and drift.
The dark, resonant undertow of Haptic’s Danjon Scale is
reminiscent of the brooding horror-gamelan of 23 Skidoo’s
The Culling Is Coming. The group adopt a more forbidding
tone here. Mouths produce on 1V2E a dense, grimy dirge
from shortwave, synth and (it says here) voice. Mouths’
mission is to create a chorus in which vocal and machine
elements coalesce. While it’s a good piece, I think it’s fair
to say that the machines won.
Keith Moliné in The Wire
It’s not all snails and dewdrops in the vinyl world, though.
If you’ve been following developments on the British Entr'acte
label you’ll know that their releases come in austere vacuum-
sealed packaging with precious little information. That’s true
of the CDs anyway: the vinyl that recently came my way is
somewhat more forthcoming: it’s a split LP featuring two North
American EAI outfits, Mouths (Jon Mueller and Jim Schoenecker
on percussion, analogue synth, shortwaves and vocals, joined
on this track, 1V2E by Werner Moebius) and Haptic (Steven Hess,
Joseph Mills and Adam Sonderberg). The latter’s Danjon Scale
was assembled and mixed by Sonderberg from studio and live
recordings made last year, but you’re a better listener than
I am if you can see the join, as Eric Morecambe used to say.
Both pieces are class stuff, prime rib dark, rich drone music,
and the warm fuzz of vinyl once more adds to the effect.
Dan Warburton at Paris Transatlantic
Now, if Tarantino and Rodriguez were really cool, they’d have
used the music from this split LP for their split flick, Grindhouse.
But no, this marvelous set is relegated to a 200 copy printing,
to languish in obscurity until someone hits on it in 2036. In the
meantime, however, any of you folk out there with a turntable
should latch onto it pronto; it’s a fine, fine record. 1V2E is 15
or so minutes of intense, deep flutter, burrowing dronage and
waylaid radio folded into one helluva piece. It’s an accretive
work, simple enough in structure in that layers emerge
(sometimes added, sometimes just hoving into the foreground),
levels of detail multiply and volume increases. It’s unfailingly
interesting and gripping, the initial propeller-like thrum grabbing
a hold somewhere in your bowels and twisting. There’s a bunch
of percussion hidden back there as well, both scrapings and thuds,
that adds a crucial, grainy seasoning to the affair. Beautiful ending
as well, in a small flurry of quiet clicks and a rhythmic squeak.
Haptic’s Danjon Scale equally engaging, maybe a little subtler —
[a] quarter hour of roiling undertow, seemingly derived from
metal (cymbals, gongs) and electronics. The promo humourously
describes it as “a larded unfurling of sonorous information”.
Larded, eh? Well, it certainly has heft, but I detect no particular
greasiness. The thing broods, though, sits there and ruminates,
slowly uncoiling and re-clenching, maybe getting a little pissed off.
Though it gradually becomes massive, the payoff, for this listener,
is the final couple of minutes where the central drone dissipates
and you’re left with only the ashes and echoes, a wonderfully
chilly sense of desolation.
Brian Olewnick at Bagatellen