Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Derwooka's "God's Electric Testicle"

Our times call for multiple careers, and Mark Kitchens has got 'em. By day, he's an architect. By night, he kicks the traps in doom metal outfit Stone Machine Electric. But there's more. He's also an instrument builder, creating elegantly crafted cigarbox guitars, and he performs and records his own music under the curious rubric Derwooka. (He's also the newest member of Hentai Improvising Orchestra, in which capacity his sympathetic percussion and tasteful CBG have greatly enhanced our Improvised Silence evenings.) And oh yeah...he also does graphic art. The cover image from God's Electric Testicle was removed from a recent art show when the folks that ran the venue deemed it "not family-friendly." Perhaps, but the title could win a "Truth in Advertising" award.

God's Electric Testicle is all over the map stylistically, and in its modest way, it neatly encapsulates its creator's varied musical interests. Opener "The Colonial" is a snippet of feedback and radio chatter that made my sweetie think for a minute that the Martians had landed, but it quickly gives way to "Burning Box," a sort of rustic modal raga for CBG, bass, and clacking percussion that conjures a mood of Faheyesque contemplation. "Fymch" is a backwoods blues, sung by Kitchens as Chris Whitley or a demented redneck, that lasts about as long as it took me to type this sentence. "The Electric Drum" is a groovalicious slice of experimentalismo that kind of defines the term "electro-acoustic" (CBG meets the title instrument).

"A Partial Ode to the Dead Milkmen" and "7 Days" are hazy punk-folk. "Mt. Momomo" is a ruminative bass solo, as if Charlie Haden played in a doom band. "Bitches" is a curiosity: a wobbly live bass-and-drum loop with warbled vocals; for the life of me, I can't figure out what he's singing. "Frosted Penguins" is a fuzz-bass and drums riff-rocker that just needs some tonsil-tearing over the top. "Cacophony" wraps things up with a galloping percussion jam that makes you think you walked in on a Santana album that was skipping. I've never applied the word "droll" to experimental music before, but I think it fits here. Kitchens has multi-instrumental chops and conceptual smarts to match. A winnah!


Blogger wenger666 said...

Derwooka makes me dance naked. While driving.

4:02 AM  

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