Friday, May 29, 2009

Rice Corpse Review in Sound Projector

Australian Lucas Abela is a larger-than-life performer and entrepreneur who has gained notoriety over the years for his uncomfortable live shows and the ultra-bizarre record label which he runs. Performing under his Justice Yeldham alias in the group Rice Corpse, he improvises on the new CD Mrs Rice (DUAL PLOVER 666) by playing amplified sheets of glass, probably using his mouth and his hands in alarming and unexpected ways, alongside an impromptu rhythm section he happened to pick up in China during a recent tour in that country. What a musical find that turned out to be. Pianist Li Zenghui bashes the keys to generate a demented misinterpretation of the records of Cecil Taylor, or John Cale's piano work on the first Velvets LP, while drummer Yang Yang from local band Mafeisan shows us exactly why he's earned his reputation as the "craziest exponent" of percussion in the Beijing area. A thrilling record results. With this added accompaniment, I feel that Abela's inchoate and formless noise has finally found a framework that gives it some real body and resonant presence, increasing its impact one-hundredfold. Needless to say with all that glass around, the sense of implied violence and bloodshed is never far away. - Ed Pinsent, the sound projector.

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