“Plays Wagner Volume 1” by Indignant Senility
The first part of a sprawling two-album jump into a world of melted hypnotic ambience.
Pat Maherr might not be a name familiar to a lot of music buyers, but those in the know will probably already be salivating at the promise of a new release. Under a plethora of names he has hand-crafted some of the most beguiling sounds we’ve heard in the last few years – chopped and screwed hip hop as DJ Yo-Yo Dieting, lo-fi noise as Sisprum Vish, sample-heavy musique concrete as Moms Who Chop and cask-strength industrial ambience as here, under the Indignant Senility moniker.
‘Plays Wagner’ appeared as a very limited cassette on Maherr’s own label last year, but as soon as it landed at the Type offices we knew it needed to reach more ears. Using a handful of dusty Wagner pieces (no doubt scored from one of Portland, Oregon’s many thrift stores), he has stretched and distorted the hallowed tones into something indescribably dark and beautiful. Like David Lynch’s peerless Eraserhead soundtrack before it, this is music that sounds as if you are being dragged through rusted pipes and hearing the distant swell of broken gramophones playing in unison. Maherr has created music that is at all times exquisite but deeply disturbing. Like Leyland Kirby or even William Basinski, there is a sense of harmony, nostalgia and restraint in the layers of hiss, grit and noise.
It is only very rarely you hear something as pure and enveloping as ‘Plays Wagner’, and we are proud to be able to bring this to the wider world. Having mastered this from cassette tape, we have retained all the decomposing grime experienced on the original version (which was dubbed to aging, heavily used C90 cassettes), but have beefed it up for public consumption. The best way to absorb an album like this is to place the needle and simply slip away into a deep, nightmarish slumber. Just keep your eye on the radiator, who knows what might happen.