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Pimmon: "Curse You, Evil Clown"

img  Tobias

Man, this guy is just one of a kind. The work of Pimmon alias Paul Gough is truly one of the major inspirational forces that drives experimental music these days – even though, if I’d be able to ask him about the truth of that statement, I’d bet my bottom dollar he would deny it. Based in Australia, Gough not only works as an audio engineer at Sydney’s ABC Radio National but also hosts two radio shows. Music, to him, is obviously something to please his artistic passions and needs, and since it doesn’t serve to put food on the table or pay the rent, it is truly free from any constraints and limitations.

That freedom has certainly left its glorious and yet somehow hard to explain imprint on his body of work. Pimmon lets it all out, so to speak, and before I  immerse myself into my probably futile attempt to put into words what his music has to say I'd like to strongly emphasise that only buying this record and listening to it can truly blast a hole into the great barrier of (mis)understanding. So this is what ‘Curse You, Evil Clown’ means to me:

The music seems to mirror a super slow-motion effect of events intertwined with the show of a clown. Titles include Stumbling, Stall and Burn, Dream Clown, Bottomless Trap Hole, Zero Gravity and G-Stains. Most of them could be still-lives by abstract painters translated into sound. The first track, ‘Stumbling’, features sounds of a harmonic and equally rhythmic nature, thus creating the effect of irony since we’ll see this harmony stumble in the end. Things deteriorate when the next part drags us into a shallow and depressive area, that has endless repetitions of threatening sounds, slowly varied and yet seemingly static. Clicking sounds that follow the same pattern are garnishing the dark backgrounds, then cascade into hints of high frequencies, working like an interfering transmitter. And yet, the clicking goes on.

Some of the music reminded me of the language scifi-authors might envision for alien life forms, only to see that theme vanish into the drunken exercises of a crazed heavy metal guitarist. It’s violent, forceful, borderless and excessive, a true quagmire of power.

Zero Gravity couldn’t  have been set any better to expound on that theme. A plain background of sounds swells up, never changing, ever present, perfectly adapted to space, emptiness and indeed, zero gravity. Strange sound formations are chiming in, suddenly moving in from  far away, and so are musical gamma rays and cosmic winds, ebbing away once in a while and yet drifting back, slightly altered and just present, indisputably "there", like the eternal pulse of the universe….

That theme, slightly rendered, keeps coming at us on the last track, this time disturbed by crackling electronic discharges, x-ray beams, a hazardous and dangerous environment, and however strange these noises may sound, they are seemingly well known to all of those who listen: Distant thunder can be heard, for example, just like blasts of energy, from far, far away. And finally suffocating silence is winning the battle… Crackling… sounds of nothing… and there it is… emptiness. Complete quiet.  Peace.

"Curse you, evil clown" exhibits a painfully accurate description of life. It sure is clownish. We all stumble, stall and fall into bottomless traps once in a while, getting burned in the process. And we sure know the feeling of being wounded and what it feels like hovering in emotional zero gravity. Not knowing where to go and fruitlessly searching for the logic of it all. Surely trying to dream and find hope in a world of fantasy yet knowing that it’s oh so untrue…

Even for those amongst us, and I may very well be one of them, who find it hard to pinpoint the original intention of the artist, nobody can take away what this work generates in each and everybody in terms of sensations, pictures and feelings. As mentioned above, words may not do justice to it. But Pimmon has managed to create music that conjures up a wildy unique experience in anyone lucky enough to listen to it.

By Fred M. Wheeler

Homepage: Pimmon
Homepage: Meupe Records

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