a review of Mike's
solo CD from WTUL's
the VOX Magazine
Mike Freemont "Sounds Created When Two Branes Collide" (self-released)
"Have you ever thanked an ape for giving you everything you own? Have you ever thanked the moon for guiding you on your way home?" - (Mike Freemont - "Tuesday")
I haven't Mike, but it's way overdue. You know, New Orleans has an amazing musical
history and at times the current local landscape ignites. Then again, there
are occasions where my personal interest refuses to leave the fabulous terrain
'twixt John Sinclair, Potpie, Glyn Styler, Gas Tank
Orchestra, and of course some of WTUL. Well in 2004, Sinclair seems
permanently relocated to Amsterdam and whither The GTO ?
Better make room then for Mike Freemont. "Sounds Created When Two Branes Collide" sounds like some guy just made it all in his bedroom, and that's exactly what he did, with some software, on his PC, with added guitar etc. It also sounds like, in the spirit of John Cage drawing around rocks to make musical scores, that MF gunned down Daniel Johnston and Ariel Pink at the Outsider Music Salad Bar. Then he forced Syd Barrett and Noah 23 to drag their puny corpses back to his seedy bedroom and chop them up over scored paper before recording whatever the blood splashes dictated.
In other words, it sounds homemade, weird and grimy. (Sorry Mike but "his clean and tidy bedroom" just doesn't sound right).
Even though he can't spell for toffee, this Sun Valley Deth Trap member serves up a bloody messy pizza of a disc having first dropped it face down on the streets of Chalmette and made no real effort to wipe the dirt and gubbins off. Hence a schizophrenic soundscape that is a groovy smorgasbord of white-punks-on-rap beats and psychedelia ("Ella Mena's Plea"), loaded with vicious, sharp, sacreligious and sappy lyrics, and drizzled with paranoia, loungey jazz, street tough romanticism, futuristic space flic dialogue, threats, demented dub drugginess and hip hop high jinks. I find the low budget production merely adds to the charm. Just in time for the winter holidays, MF sticks it to the creationists and makes toilet tissue of holy books. He dresses the halls with demonic penguins, sandstorms, trepanation, duct tape, forcefields, test tube babies, junkies, out of body experiences, evil, shapeshifting, japanese pornographic animation, future water shortages, poisoned grits, acid, intergalactic travel, cybernetic prostitutes, serial killing fantasies and flesh eating cockroaches. Did I say it sounds schizophrenic? One minute he's licking vultures bones and the next it's lotus leaves. He loves you yeah, yeah, yeah! And with a love like that you know robitussin fuelled cannibalism just can't be bad...
Don't despair though, it's not all foul-mouth and psychosis, in fact the music has enough hook and melody to stand and swing alone and sometimes does. MF kicks up some beats ("Animatronic Jesus"), does some nice languid instumentals ("Aqua Brains") and neatly integrates fun samples (a Jefferson Airplane guitar riff - on "Black Hole" - is the only one he credits but I hear other recycling including something from Cinderella). I don't know how much of the credit for this disc belongs with MF (fitting initials me thinks) and how much is shared with the whole collective which includes Sun Valley Deth Trap. Several of the songs on here are on the SVDT disc too which might be just as good, or better. Either way, when someone gets around to making either of Jeff Noon's novels (Vurt or Pollen) into movies (and they will) there's a guy living down in Da Parish they should pay loads of money to provide the sound of weirdness and grime. Then Mike could build a big house in his neighborhood with the initials MF on it, like Fats Domino has, with FD on his. Perfect and ridiculous. - Dr. A. Messenger