Imagine the annoying sound of a fly buzzing around your head, pinging past your ear, stopping for a second on your shoulder and then whirring off again in a super shrill, low-volume whine – that’s how Blarke Bayer opens up this split CD. The intensity of the buzz increases as layers of dissonant drone are delicately introduced to the spectrum, each of them vibrating at their own velocity to create a somewhat dizzying listening experience.
This is fucking good drone, and if you aren’t a fan of the genre I recommend allowing this bad boy to convert you to its meditative qualities. Blarke Bayer is the solo guise of My Disco guitarist Ben Andrews. My review of his ‘main’ project’s latest release got me thinking about how awesome this ultra low-key split CD is. And even though it proudly wears the same discordant colours as My Disco, it’s thrilling to hear Ben Andrews creating something so removed from his 9-5 gig. Too often solo efforts are an excuse for someone to release the tracks written by them but which didn’t make the final cut of their band’s record. But here Andrews demonstrates a delicate understanding of what makes noise, and in particular drone so powerful; the interplay of minute elements working together as an all consuming whole.
On other releases, Blarke Bayer has teamed up with Rob McManus of (the sadly defunct) Grey Daturas playing as Black Widow. This time he is joined by Bone Sheriff (fucking cool name!), which consists of another Grey Daturas member, Robert Mason along with Simon Taylor of Aussie Doom merchants Whitehorse. Their contribution is almost as thrilling, but a far less subtle, sonic ejaculate of guitar debris. It pulses, screams and pierces, and dips into moments of ambience for relief but doesn’t quite manage to match the heights of Blarke Bayer’s track.
This is a worthy investment that you can pick up from Australia’s very own Sweatlung records. I couldn’t for the life of me find out what year this was released, but in reality that shouldn’t stop you from putting in an order.