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DeathTripping - Sadisterotika

Album: Sadiserotika
Label: EXST

Review: Jennifer Wallis

Image sleeve deathtripping sadisterotika

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In the current online climate, ‘recycling’ and sampling are recurring issues. The existence of sites like Fanedit.org – where users can upload their own re-edited versions of major films – vie with news stories that emphasise the apparently shocking effects of online piracy. The world of the fan edit isn’t so straightforward though – recently, the lead editor of American series Arrested Development expressed enthusiasm about seeing a fan’s re-edited version (into chronological order) of the show’s fourth season. One comment beneath the story on CNET – ‘Good job CNET promote piracy!’ – perfectly missed the point that Arrested Development’s editor hadn’t: that re-use of material can, when done in a particular way, be a homage instead of an affront. 

It’s a strategy that’s long been employed in the noise/industrial field, with film samples and synthesisers melded into one brilliant mess of ‘unpopular’ culture. One of my all-time favourite examples of this is Radiodrama’s Autopsy Number 9 – a side project of Propergol’s Jérôme Nougaillon that pulls together fragments of Day of the Dead, Stigmata, and Jeepers Creepers into some of the most beautifully harsh noise you’ll ever hear – so I was pretty excited to be presented with Deathtripping’s Sadisterotika.

Image deathtripping
Frame grabs from the DeathTripping video:
Exotic Specials

Deathtripping, formed in 2006, offer up a respectable catalogue of ‘recycled music from the gutters of the mind’ (their words). Sadisterotika – dedicated to porn star Jamie Gillis – includes much to please your average Propergol/Radiodrama fan, if in a slightly more muted (and somewhat sleazier) way. Many of the tracks are straightforward noise + samples, but there’s also some interesting guitar from time to time to break things up – on ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Where Were You?’ Were it not for the sampling, ‘Unabriged Agony’ could be placed in the ambient industrial bracket that Dead Factory are doing so well at the moment, whilst some tracks have a decidedly NIN sound to them. There’s even – dare I say it – a hint of Joy Division in second track ‘Exotic Specials’…

Image deathtripping

The tracks seem to cluster in their specific styles, so that the final few give you the slightly stereotypical noise-with-samples deal: dialogue from the notorious Snuff ending, spoken recollections against apparently emotive ‘chat show’ music with a decidedly Peter Sotos aesthetic, and heavy breathing… This is a bit of a disappointment after the high point of the album which is the three-track grouping of ‘Deep South Suite’. Here, an orchestral opening (which would have worked better tagged directly onto previous track ‘Flowers of Violence’, but hey…) is gradually drowned out by harsher industrial rumbling and the uncomfortable half-sung, half-whispered “Shake him down”, before the tempo briefly picks up then comes to an end. ‘Swamp Ghosts’, the second part of ‘Deep South Suite’, continues the unsettling, rather Hills Have Eyes aura, and Deathtripping could do a lot worse than develop the sounds of ‘Deep South Suite’ into a full album.

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  My only initial complaint with Sadisterotika was the sometimes too-intrusive sampling – I found myself really wanting to listen to the noise alone – then remembered that the sampling was the entire point. I’m sure it’s not unintentional that you find yourself listening to (another) noise album centred on pornography and find yourself wishing the repetitive voice of a woman would just shut the hell up already… Deathtripping have essentially produced an (imaginary) film soundtrack for what would be a completely over-the-top, screened-in-a-fleapit slice of exploitation sleaze. Like your best exploitation, there’s some typical tropes but there are also some brilliant gems (‘Deep South Suite’ particularly – can you tell how much I liked that yet?) that suggest Deathtripping have much more up their sleeves.
deathtripping  , jennifer wallis  , jamie gillis  , gathering of the tribe  ,
Rating star    

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