'Giant Squid' on 804Noise

Release number so many from Roger H. Smith, also known as Chefkirk and since a short while also as one half of Insects With Tits. This new one is the first one in which I detect a thematic approach. It says on the cover: 'stop killing, change your diet go VEGAN', so perhaps not just in sound but also in love of animals Chefkirk follows the example of Merzbow. Musicwise Chefkirk continues the small steps taken from noise and rhythm towards a more complete sound, in which there is also room for more silent/ambient sounds. The pieces here are a bit longer and it seems that Chefkirk starts to think about structure of his pieces and thus is tracks are better worked out - even when the info let us think we are dealing here with a live generated work (or perhaps Chefkirk is just better live?). Nice one, but in his vast body of work not the outstanding brilliant one. (FdW)
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Chefkirk - Giant Squid
Overall Rating: B+
Composition: B+
Sounds: B-
Production Quality: A-
Concept: C
Packaging: B
Chefkirk presents another offering of all-out harsh noise with his latest album released on Richmond's noise collective 804 Noise. The packaging here is high contrast with blue ink printed on red paper, it looks pretty fucking good and is very simple, similar to the noise within that sounds fucking good and is relatively simple as well. Chefkirk's main focus for this release seems to be focused on veganism and animal rights with a quote being supplied by Charles Darwin who (I could be wrong, but I do not believe he was a vegan) said: "The love of all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man." The track names I feel are less then creative but, like the noise are quite blunt and to the point. "Stop Killing" slams in with some searing white noise that is quickly bombarded with a huge stack of distortion, including a lot of low end. I don't have any qualms about the production here, everything has a wide spectra and is nicely panned with enough stereo imaging. Stop Killing moves enough to be effective but doesn't really do anything that stands out as being more then your run-of-the-mill harsh noise. "Change Your Diet" begins with some squirmy synths and for the first 4 minutes is generally mid-high frequency white noise with occaissonal blasts of low-end noise. The last part I find to be the most interesting and it perhaps hearkens back to Chefkirk's earlier works with some delayed glitchy textures and shuffling around. "Go Vegan" another not-so-subtle titled track starts off with an excellent low-end loop that eventually gets broken up by wisps of static breaking in at the edges. I like when Chefkirk does these slowly evolving changes. The first 5 minutes of the track build up with excellence and then degrade into experimental wankiness, but I use this as a good term, because Chefkirk does it right, it's not cheesy or annoying and because of the excellent noise that precedes it the noises are presented as being an contrast to the power electronic tinged noise that comes before it and not a gimmick. All of the sudden a jolting change occurs which at first feels awkward but as Chefkirk develops this second segment he ties it together with the first by including another delayed loop with blasts of changing noise on top and finally wraps it up with a few seconds of focused cut-up noise. The fourth and presumably untitled track is a tour-de-force of harsh electronics that evolves with clarity as well eventually even bringing in a subdued hip-hop beat and pulling it off because Mr. Smith also includes heavy blasts of feedback noise along with it, all before breaking into an in-your-face texture sounding much like a distorted version of Concret-PH by Iannis Xenakis. Track five is a huge build-up going from a thin noise texture to huge billowing torrents of noise pushing over rocks, palm trees and blowing the windows out of apartment complexes. It builds up to track 6 that immediately blasts off where five left off and features some very detailed cut-style noise which I thoroughly enjoy. Chefkirk is really stepping it up to the next level with this material and it has been a great trip going from some mediocre tracks in the beginning to more refined and focused material, an album that gets better over time. Chefkirk presents an album with works that range from solid to excellent and there are tracks that are starting to appear which show that Chefkirk is read for bigger and better things. Although the works of Chefkirk tend to be quite eclectic Roger Smith appears to be focusing on the harsher end of noise and each new release seems to be a small step in the right direction. Good work.
Blood Ties

When I got this disc I thought; "Cool, I've heard a lot about this guy and have never heard his material yet." So I put it in the stereo, set at my normal volume for noise, pressed play and nearly jumped out of my skin! It's 6 weeks into 2007 and I think I got my topper of the year so far. The volume on this disc was recorded very loud and I love getting surprises like this. Chefkirk provides six tracks of harsh ass noise that has some well done production in it. Even though the tracks are untitled their order is perfect. Track One starts us off with some great blasts of harsh walls mixed a couple higher notes here and there. But the movement is well done. A great short opener to whats coming. Track Two begins slowly with some hisses that play for a minute of less and then the track begins to build and build into a monster hiss and then slowly gives off again with a odd sounding loop that sounds like the end of a vinyl records skipping. In behind it we have some high tonal noise to give your ears some balance. Track Three starts with a slow fade in of a looped wall that builds and builds up speed and interlayered noise begins to come in. Glitchy scrapes and hisses swirl about your room and then the track gets into some awesome delay pedal work and is harsh as hell. Probably my favorite track on this disc. Track Four starts with some more delay works and loops of noise mixed with hisses of harsh blasts. I'm going hate to say this but this release reminds me a lot of Merzbow's early 90's material and that's saying a fucking lot because MA was in his prime then. At 9 minutes long, like the last track, you never feel like you sat through 9 minute because so much is going on and grabbing your attention. And that's what this release did for me right away, grabbed my attention. The ending of the track features some drum loop as well, which surprised me because it's the first time hearing any drum in this release at all. Track Five, is something to give your ears a rest. At 13 minutes long it take a while to develop into something loud. Pretty much takes about 7 minutes before it starts to pick up nicely. Begins with a soft static loop that slowly builds up level by level until the track ends. Lots of hisses. Track Six is a crashing, bashing, drum craze. Sounds like Mr. Smith went drum machine happy and delay crazy. I love it. The disc ends in some great loop patterns and harsh delay play and it's a great way to end this awesome disc. The artwork in something that surprised me. A simple red and blue cardboard paper sheet with an insert telling me to be Vegan. After looking at the Caustic Castle package I wondered for a second if this came from the same label. I don't hate it but I also think it suits the material on the disc so it's not all that bad. A good buy $5 ppd US!

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