Bonnie Baxter — AXIS (Oct. 11, 2019)
√→ Bonnie Baxterka propojuje svou rozvíjející se smysl pro hlasové experimentování s některými z jejích nejotevřenějších rytmických nápadů k dnešnímu dni, sochařskou kinetickou produkcí, která se odráží od kapajícího hlasu bubnu, rychlých vzorů hi~hatky a kousků obřích basových trosek. Odstupuje od své typické kompozice zaměřené na bicí nástroje a zkoumá produkci na iPadu. Tlačí systém AXIS do žánrových meldingových uspořádání plněných okamžitými stylovými přechody. V jádru její hudební praxe je možné cítit, že se Bonnie Baxter baví pohrávat si s konvencemi a vydávat hlas svým vnitřním nutkáním ve zvukových formách, které odpovídají její vlastní rozpustilé, uličnické a radostné energii. Navzdory často rozmarné, ale zkroucené vokální prezentaci, elektronika drží své vlastní a nikdy ne patové situace. Každičký zvuk v každé stopě je nyní zvukovým objevem, který přidává hloubce a složitosti albu jako celku i kompozici jako samostatné, inteligentní, nezávislé jednotce.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, NY
Genre: EXTREME / NOISE / COMPUTER MUSIC
Style: Experimental, Techno, Noise, Dark Ambient, Sound Collage, Sound Art, Industrial, IDM
Album release: Oct. 11, 2019
Record Label: Hausu Mountain
A1 Elf Owl 1:11
A2 Nocturnal Emissions 4:45
A3 Mirror Technique 2:22
A4 No Dicc 3:09
A5 Spirit Enema 5:42
B1 Jasper Rabbit 1:51
B2 Creeepy Carrots 0:28
B3 Glowng Trolls 1:04
B4 Glowng Hole 1:57
B5 Celestite 1:32
B6 Evol 1:08
B7 Skyrat 4:30
→ Bonnie Baxter, E. Daffin, Maxwell Allison — Artwork
→ Bonnie Baxter — Composed, Producer
→ David Little — Mastered
→ Nicos Kennedy — Mixed
Jack Davidson, October 19, 2019
√→ Most of the tapes released by Chicago imprint Hausu Mountain, from the garish, color~clashing 16~bit cover designs to the frenetic electronic hodgepodges of the music, can reliably be described as “overwhelming.” All three of uncompromising artist Bonnie Baxter’s solo albums (she also performs and records with fellow Brooklyn noisemakers Hisham Bharoocha and Nicos Kennedy as Kill Alters) have been put out on HM, and all three fit that description of “overwhelming,” but AXIS especially is unlike anything you — or at least I have heard before. The short release is structured around Baxter’s singular vocalizations, which pounce from animalistic chattering and gibbering (sounds which, as recurring elements in the strange, fluid current of “Nocturnal Emissions,” are strangely hypnotic) to angry, raving, eerily cut~up rejections of sexual advances (“No DICC”) faster than you can say “what the fuck is happening.” AXIS lurks behind many less grotesque guises throughout its modest duration — elastic and intricate EDM, plasticky synthpop, punishing power~noise — but at its heart is the bizarre energy that Baxter’s unhinged vocal performance introduces. Equal parts repulsive and mesmerizing, her nonsensical ad~libs and surreal ruminations help make AXIS a true “Spirit Enema.”
√→ “I need some fucking help with my asshole so please take me to the fucking doctor thank you very very much.”
by Colin Joyce, OCTOBER 22 2019. Score: 7.2
√→ The self~described “mutant” reps the New York underground at its freakiest on a fast~past, collage~heavy album of club rhythms, noise blasts, and unsettling humor.
√→ For the last couple of years, Bonnie Baxter has been calling herself a mutant. That’s the term that she and her bandmates in the noise trio Kill Alters have come to prefer for their small community of weirdos in the New York underground. The scene — per one of its most fervent supporters — is “historically psycho,” vibrating with heavy, hyperactive music from artists like Deli Girls, Dreamcrusher, Machine Girl, and Channel 63, among a host of other like~minded freaks. Most of the artists exist on the borders between punk, noise, techno, and rap, but few, if any, belong squarely to any one tradition.
√→ Baxter’s music, both under her name and with Kill Alters, is close to the spiritual center of this scene. Over the last half decade, she’s masterminded a handful of hard~to~categorize tapes and dozens of Bandcamp releases, and her prolific output runs the gamut of contemporary DIY experimental sounds. Generally, the Kill Alters material is oozy and psychedelic, while her solo tracks largely hew closer to the dancefloor, offering bruising beats that might sound like techno if she wasn’t consistently destroying them with static and noise.
√→ Even in that context, AXIS, Baxter’s second solo album for Hausu Mountain, is wonderfully bizarre. More than half of its 12 tracks are less than two minutes long, but it’s packed with more experiments and in~jokes than most records twice its length. Even in the shortest songs, like the minute~long “GLOWNG TROLLS,” she layers tons of overlapping synth lines and rhythmic interchanges. For a second, it sort of sounds like Hausu Mountain co~founder Mukqs’ underwater electro experiments before collapsing into horror~score ambience and unsettling vocals that suggest a possessed Speak & Spell — and that’s all in just over a minute.
√→ Most of the tracks are constructed in this fast~paced, collagist way. It can feel a bit like some of the more surreal electronic music from the late 1990s, like Kid606’s unsettling glitch work or Aphex Twin and µ~Ziq’s Mike & Rich record, but Baxter doesn’t ever let things get too frantic or overwhelming. “SPIRIT ENEMA” — the record’s longest track, at nearly six minutes — transitions from Rephlex~ian acid to stuttery sample torture before settling into a breakdown in which Baxter sings, barely holding in a laugh, “I need some fucking help with my asshole/So please take me to the fucking doctor, thank you very very very much.” Another track, “NO DICC” consists almost entirely of ping~ponging drums and the lyric “I don’t want your dick!” That’s how things largely go: She builds otherworldly, unpredictable tracks, then undercuts off the wildest passages with prankish experiments and goofy jokes.
√→ AXIS is a demanding record. Not only do listeners have to have a taste for Baxter’s delirious instrumentals, they also have to swallow her confrontational sense of humor, the combined effect of which can feel, at moments, like Wolf Eyes playing behind a Tim and Eric sketch. But even the most seemingly off~putting moments — like when she starts believably retching at the end of “NO DICC” — feel weirdly infectious. She has a giddy enthusiasm for always making the strangest possible decision for where a song can go next. Each mutation is more exciting than the last. — Pitchfork