Each Tuesday, FADER editor Matthew Schnipper highlights an underappreciated recent release he thinks we need to know about. This week it's Gasp's album Drome Triler of the Puzzle Zoo People, which you can buy used here. Listen to "Silk Orbita" from the record down below and read about it after the jump.
“It’s hard to sleep on hardcore. Either you like it or you don’t,” says our Online Editor. Fair enough. If you listen to Gasp’s Drome Triler of the Puzzle Zoo People and you don’t care for or know about hardcore music it will sound like the usual loud gook that it always sounds like. And if you like hardcore you will probably notice that this sounds like hardcore. A rock and a hard place, Gasp lives in and they tried to emerge from there with weed smoke, tape loops and confusing verbiage. As it is, this nine-year-old record is an uncredited forerunner to a lot of current en vogue loud music, Wolf Eyes or Afrirampo, the idea of melding gibberish hiss with heavy bass. “Silk Orbita,” begins with just under a minute of loose static, which fades into a throw back Sonic Youth meander of guitar and drums and then, yes, the song attacks itself for a minute or so, shredded vocal chords and drum chug. But listen, about two and a half minutes in, the guitar sounds like an update of Pink Floyd or even a loud Phil Specter-ish Wall of Sound wail and everything fades into a great wash. Ultimately for a four and a half minute piece of music, the harsh parts were not overpowering, both in force or in length. As a song, it is short story-like, an introduction of character and base setting, which leads to building, conflict and then a brief denouement of kind drone.
I am not here to argue on Gasp’s unclaimed place in the canon, surely this music is not one for one hardcore translation of Ligeti, but it comes from a strong desire to push further, as fragmented as they may have been. Reading about an artist whose work I felt conflicted about recently, the reviewer who, too was unsure, said he was boosted because he felt that the artist was unsure what she attempting to do. Gasp is like that, a globbing of ideas with an unspecific goal, only the idea to expand and try. Within such a narrow and often uninviting genre such as hardcore the desire to open influence and alliance was needed, and for that Gasp never received their due.