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Love your Noise!

img  Tobias

Most music of these genres tend to rather than tell stories conjure up a setting in which one can explore the audible landscape that's been given to them. That being said let me say that this ep as soon as I slap on the headphones sends me to the run down old house in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original, not the god awful one made in 2003). With Salvia Inside the Broken Home one is likely to absorb a vast amount of mystery, unease, and at the same time possibly, despite the fullness of the noise and underlying ambient tones, a certain hollowness that seems to coincide with the title. This is a really nice ep bountiful in both noise and feeling.

Since I usually get curious about titles and meanings behind them, especially things like an album like Salvia Inside the Broken Home with the songs Moderation, Honesty, and Courage, I just had to ask the man that makes up better people, Doug Patterson, what was meaning of each title. He replied saying the following: "The general theme of better people is supposed to be this bleak, sterile atmosphere where nothing is there for the listener to relate to...this is anti-music...this is reflected in the black and white minimalism of the album art and into the music's supposed to be a fresh experience that moves you emotionally (be it good or bad)...although I make it a point to never suggest how one should feel or think while listening to my music (however I suggest the use of marijuana or other substances for a more ethereal experience)... the name of the album comes from something that happened to my brother, and the song names are based on the tapes that I used to create the songs with..."

Sounds a bit too intense to believe at first, but when listening to this ep, everything that better people says is right on the nail. Throughout every aspect of the ep he has, in my opinion, effectively and successfully conveyed musically the point he made in the statement above.

Making music with old 4-track tape machines and guitar pedals along with a bunch of self help tapes and tapes with people talking about different things, better people creates very gritty, metallic, echoing sounds that appear to be ever oscillating and looping with slight variations as with each song they get progressively harder. My favorite out of the three though has to be the second track, Honesty, simply for the sensation that envelopes my ear after the track has reached the three minute mark, and only my left ear seems to be affected weirdly enough. It might just be me, but still it's something worth checking out and experiencing. Don't get me wrong when I say this is my favorite, Moderation and Courage (courage required for first listening to Courage chaulk full of harshness) are really stunning themselves, but I just have a thing for Honesty. Actually I'd like to compliment Mr. Patterson on his usage of the suttle, flowing tones beneath the harsh dominate part of Courage which really seems to make it the good track that it is.

And while listening and possibly reading this review, one might wonder "Well I know the equipment he's using but what is he doing exactly that puts this all together so well?" I had to question better people about his technique. What he had to say was pretty interseting to hear, the method anyway. "I manipulate these tapes (bunch of tapes mentioned above) into certain sounds and I record these sounds onto another tape, and then I feed that into my computer and manipulate it more and mix it...but I don't have any machines or computer stuff making my's all analog and original..." A very awesome road to take when in the creative process I have to say, a road that is not taken very much. Thank god better people is on it.

Having gone through most of my questions about the album, one last question remained: What's the meaning behind the name better people and how did it come to be?  "In the summer of 2006 I sat down with my 4-track cassette recorder, a chaos pad and a couple of pedals and started experimenting with various textures, with the objective to create a sound-scape void of melody, rhythm or any other properties of conventional music...I knew what noise music was, but I had never listened to much of this was the most honest and original music I could create, as I had no knowledge of other artists to emulate... The result was white lighter, a 35 minute one track noise album that was released on the BLACK NOISE record label...after that I had a creative outburst that has lasted almost two years, with one full length, several e.p.s, splits and compilation contributions as my discography... I have not been as prolific lately, but I am planning for some new releases sometime in the spring... The name better people, for me, conjures up the concept of selective breeding in humans or eugenics or something like that...perhaps a company that genetically engineers perfect children...I got the name from a song a friend of mine's a name that feels very cold and ambiguous to me and it doesn't suggest anything about the music..." Great answer. Very great answer.

So to wrap this up, I highly advise you to purchase this or at least give it a shot. Salvia Inside the Broken Home is to bluntly put it, a noise album for noise/experimental lovers. So if you love your noise like I do, you'll be more than happy to add this beaut' in your collection.

By Joseph Jones of Exp/Am Review


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