Words from the label:
Australia is known to be the home of some of the deadliest spiders in the world & James Heighway is no exception. When not behind the drum kit in XWAVE James collects and modifies ancient electronics. These are The Spiders, a unique blend of broken, hacked, modified and recycled guitars, keyboards, effectors, mixers, etc all played simultaneously. Together the sound expressed conveys a feeling of the bush drenched in feedback.
James's intense live performances have him known as king of noise throughout the region. Others have dubbed him Merzbow of the Mountains. This LP collects hilights from limited edition cdrs and cassettes previously released on Moth Noize (James' own label) & a live performance at the 3rd Winter Tragic festival.
Limited edition of 300 on white vinyl with individually spray painted covers by the artist.
Format: 12" record. White coloured vinyl. Edition of 300 copies.
Year of release: 2008
Label: Pulled Out Records (PULLLP05)
The live performance sets out with a few seconds of stereo sound – two completely different crescendos building, one in each speaker, sounding like a mix of electric guitar and cymbals. A minute in and this spaciousness disappears, as the shift to mono heralds the lo-fi nature of the piece. There’s a sense of dynamic here, often lacking in ‘noise’ performances and, no matter how loud the sounds get, there’s always room for the playfulness of small clicks and melodic pulses. There’s a wide range of sounds from electronics to birdsong to straight white noise. It’s not always completely engaging and there’s a sense of missing some of the vital elements that would have been present in the actual performance. Nonetheless, at the very least it’s an interesting 15 minutes.
The ‘greatest hits’ side is where the action really takes place. The vignette approach here keeps ideas moving. There’s a greater spaciousness to the recordings which breathes more life into the performances (not to fear, though, there’s no chance of these being accused of anything other than diy lo-fi). While exploring similar sonic terrain to the live side – drones, breaking machines, gauzy noise – there’s greater purpose. Even within the confines of improvisation, there is a great deal to be said for editing, and this side of the disc is strong proof.
- Adrian Elmer, Cyclic Defrost