Cover art for 'Brutalist Nightclub' - pink text on a blue background

Album Review: V/A (Gimp Gash Records) – Brutalist Nightclub

Brutalist Nightclub is a mammoth 64 (!) track compilation of various artists released as a name your price Bandcamp release.

This incredibly generous compilation was compiled and curated by Gimp Gash. Gimp Gash is the alter ego of voice artist, sound artist and visual artist Cierra G.Rowe. Gimp Gash introduces the compilation with a heartfelt statement of intent:

Slow down and walk away from the many distractions that add to the many anxieties in a day, in a month or in a year. The world is teeming with sounds; hidden in nature, blurred in living, born out of being. I wanted this compilation to be a sapid brew of human — harvested aural crumbs of strangers’ existences. It has a pulse, so hear it — absorb this fusion of experimentality. It is meant to be fully enjoyed, so enjoy.

To all of the artists featured on this spontaneous compilation, thank you for making it special — for making it meaningful. All of your songs and your existences, which make your sounds possible, makes this compilation real, distinct and worthwhile. Thank you all so much.’

Each artist has provided information about the song and their work across the 64 tracks.

The following is a review of randomly selected tracks across this impressive musical tome.

Opener ‘Funland’ is by DJ Sid James and is an insanely catchy and bouncy, acid fused bass throb which is overdubbed with spoken word (police?) testimonies. DJ Sid James is a DJ, Producer and Musician from the United Kingdom.

‘freEnds’ by outerworld100 is a brilliant track from this Canadian artist who has mixed spoken word, samples and a laid-back rap delivery that is VERY infectious.

The track included by the curator is ‘Fuck Buddy’ by Gimp Gash. It is made up of abstract sounds, the artists voice combined with a computer-generated spoken word description of what appears to be a transcript from a porn film. Unsettling and intriguing in equal parts.

Artist and percussionist Thor Harris submits ‘Arts & Science’ to this collection. It is 3:07 of Kraftwerkesque minimalist electronica. Gorgeous in it’s simplicity. ‘Must Be a Pill’ by the ignorant savants is another really laid-back rap track with smooth delivery and jazz infused guitar. Great track.

Welsh band Lolfa Binc offer their 10:04 opus ‘Aeneid’ as the 45th track. This band mix live instrumentation, experimentation and the abstract cut up (Welsh language) lyrics delivered by megaphone wielding front man Rhys Trimble. Good stuff.

One of the harsh noise inclusions in this compilation is ‘Many Many’ by +DOG+. This track is unusual in its lack of ‘brutal’ noise favoured by lots of other harsh noise artists. This piece is surprisingly easy listening and would be a great introduction to anyone wanting to get into this genre of music. In complete sonic opposition to +DOG+, Rock Lior offers ‘Cure’. This relatively short track is straight up R&B with a smooth delivery and infectious jazz infused instrumentation.

Dogtablet (Martin King (Test Dept / Pigface) Roberto Soave (Associates/ Presence) Jared Louche (Chemlab / Prude) submit ‘Ashes’ and it’s a dark, brooding post punk track that has a brilliant drum and bass throb. This is a very catchy song which is very minimal in its construction and delivery, but boy is it effective. One of THE standout tracks of the compilation.

It’s a big undertaking to review every track on this immense compilation, but I hope I have been able to give a flavour of the range musical invention featured here. The range of music genres is sprawling, taking in Rap, Techno, Post Punk, R&B, Harsh Noise, Noise Rock, Dance, the list goes on and on.

Gimp Gash has collected an eclectic and far-reaching selection of artists that often transcends genres. This freedom of expression is enlightening and liberating, and I think this is why I love this compilation so much. There is something for everyone here, and each track transports the listener to a corner of sonic exploration that they perhaps wouldn’t usually have thought of traversing.

Something has to be said for the submitting artists too. This submission to a name your price Bandcamp release is incredibly generous and has to be acknowledged. You may end up finding your next favourite artist too. It’s good stuff!

I will leave the last words for Gimp Gash to re-iterate the point of this compilation “It has as a pulse, so hear it — absorb this fusion of experimentality. It is meant to be fully enjoyed, so enjoy”.

You can get the whole collection here as a name your price download

Compiled by Gimp Gash: / @cierra__artist

Cover art by Ade Rowe (Artwork title ”Say Cheese!” taken from the book COLLAGES by Ade Rowe (2020) Visual manipulation of cover art by Gimp Gash.

Review by @ioan_humphreys

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