Exploring Jezebel: Weltmeister (Hospital Productions)
Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient, Vatican Shadow, and countless others) explores the dark side of power-based sex with this odd noise project. He’s not the first noisehead to tackle the concept, with a series of artists preceding him including Master/Slave Relationship most obviously. But the execution is fascinating to me — it takes the sometimes corny roleplay of BD/SM and turns it on its side, not without a wink through long song titles like “Mistress Isn’t Sure She Likes The Idea Of Me Being At Home Thinking About Sex All Day While She’s Out Earning Money” and “A Woman Passes Speaking German (Maybe Dutch) With Her Companion About Diet Restrictions.” The music itself falls short of the concept, perhaps, but there’s something in its murkiness and obliqueness to the overt subject matter that I find really interesting if not the most pleasant everyday listening experience. It’s decidedly lo-fi, with lots of surface noise and modulation on the entire mix. As a result, voices become incoherent textures and sounds, often distorted beyond recognition, and the rest of the audio shimmies with tension and discomfort.