Peopling: s/t EP

Sorry if it seems like I haven’t posted here much. If you want more, I share a lot of stuff on the Centipede Farm Facebook page. I’ve got a bunch of stuff that’s come my way this year that I’d like to write about before the year’s out, but then I was in the same position last year and didn’t manage to touch on near all of it. We’ll just let it come out as it can.

Peopling is R.Gonzales, who introduced himself to me over e-mail as a “noise-rock musician.” But don’t think noise-rock as in any of the followers of Sonic Youth or AmRep. This is closer to the stuff I’ve been digging into of late that’s filed under simply noise, but Peopling hammers that noise into rough rock shapes. This 6 track EP starts out upbeat with “Come Home Eccentric”, which opens with a loop of distorted outer-space radio-static noise that’s joined by a two-note synth bass line, loose punky drumming, and a heavily distorted taunting vocal. While it’s the most “rock” track of the bunch, the remainder of the disc follows much of the tone it sets. Hypersonic feedback, malformed power electronics, and heavily overloaded 4-track circuits swarm around sparse drums and electronic rhythms, loops of distorted metal-machine noise, some minimal distorted guitar, and even more heavily distorted vocals. Have I mentioned a lot of it is really distorted? It can be a disorienting assault, but also strangely mellow, almost folky in an optical illusion kind of way. A welcome respite from the noise comes with the acoustic guitar intro of “Summer Such And Such” before distorted elements begin creeping back in; there are also some melodies, of a sort, popping out at points.

Overall, Peopling comes off a little bit like a much harsher, yet somehow mellower, version of No Age — similarly oriented around stripped-down rock frameworks, but rhythmically laid-back, yet with many of the levels cranked to beyond the red. It’s a worthwhile concept taking the sonics of pure electro-noise and giving them a bare-bones level of rhythm and structure, a field ripe for further exploration and a possible remedy to the sometimes problematic tendency of noise music towards faceless interchangeability. Get it in digital form from Bandcamp or contact thepeopling at gmail to inquire about a CD copy.

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