I like to say that I listen to all kinds of music. Sometimes I say everyone should listen to all kinds of music, but most of all I like to talk about myself. I like to describe my taste in music using words like ‘eclectic’, ‘super-alternative’, ‘it’s not on the internet’ and ‘you probably haven’t heard of it’. I say all these things because I do not do listen to all kinds of music. I just like to say yes, which some people might call lying, but whatever. I never listen to music recommendations. I avoid music in languages I don’t understand because life is hard enough as it is. When people mention obscure bands or songs, I respond with even more obscure bands and songs that, I’m not ashamed to admit, I usually make up on the spot. When I inadvertently hear something outside of my limited musical range, I say lol that’s weird as shit and turn it off.
In this column, I hope to remedy all of that by traveling through the vast mountains of music that are nestled at the heart of archive.org. I will listen to music that is new to me and in different languages, even if it scares me because I don’t know what they are saying. I will listen with an open heart and mind, non-judgmental and hopefully non-racist, even when listening to music from real racists (which I hope!). Anyway, in an effort to start things off on an auspicious note, I’d like to start with something I’ve found called Anus of Satanus.
Because it’s called Anus of Satanus and I’m flabbergasted you even had to ask.
What is that?
It’s an album by a Lithuanian band called Anal Safyra, who really love or hate tramps. If you download the PDF you will see that it was released by Fecal Nazi Shapeshifter Records. If you download the text file, you will see the words MAKE SHIT NOT MUSIC, along with a request to print on BOTH sides of the paper. Descriptors for this album include “six string inferno and inhuman barking”, “old school noisecore hategrind”, “anal negalia”, and “shitcore noisecore up puke vomitcore debilas let’s go”. Also, a song is four seconds long. And there’s a track called “Raped by Two Gays at Christmas Eve” when it obviously should have been called “Satan Shoves His Esoteric Knees Up Your Poopiehole”.
Assorted notes made while listening
-Fam, the drummer is relentless YOU ARE VERY GOOD BRO
-Some of these songs are just seconds of the singer shouting the title, then frantic drumming, then screaming, and that’s it.
-The singer is amazing, but sometimes it looks like he’s really in pain ARE YOU OK SIR
-There’s this song that almost had a “normal” song structure. Almost.
-I liked “Raped by Two Gays at Christmas Eve”, is it bad? Should I inform someone?
Fam, this album felt like I was repeatedly punched in the face by a very angry opera, and you know what, I didn’t hate it. There was very smooth and thick static and distortion, the drummer was excellent and the vocalist was pretty amazing considering how delicately he went from a death growl to a bunch of screams that were frankly a little alarming. Intense and brutal noise hits, hard to dance to, and I was there for it.
‘I am a Lithuanian noisecore expert’, ‘Songs about Bums’ and ‘Artillery Fire in Music’
My next musical discovery is called Musique de Mme Fausta and Mme Sonia Menezes
I found it while rummaging through a collection called Cultural Resources of India and thought it was there by mistake, because otherwise why would western music be in a collection of Indian cultural resources, n ‘is this not ? Then I realized I was a fucking racist for thinking that. Then I felt bad for being a racist asshole. It was a trip you guys.
What is that?
I’m not quite sure? It appears to have been taken from an audio cassette released by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. I couldn’t find a date, but given the song choices, I’m going to say during the 1980s or what I like to call India’s coca-cola free period. Anyway, I’m legitimately excited to listen to this, so here we go.
Assorted notes made while listening
– Is it live? It’s not live, right? omg it’s live.
-Hey, those guys are pretty good!
-Why are all the songs so long?
-I think they repeat some of the verses WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS
– Wait, is someone speaking through the song??
– Someone in the audience speaks during the song and it was recorded for us all to hear in 2022, wtf you guys.
– Ok, I mean those… Portuguese songs? I have no idea what language this is, but these songs are coming off the channel, and I’m having fun like anything.
So here’s the thing. The quality of the recording was terrible, the editing looked like it was done by someone who didn’t care about life, and some of the audience thought it was cool to talk in the middle of a ‘a song when we all know that even in India, No Coca-Cola Period, it wasn’t cool. Anyway, despite all that, these guys sounded pretty good. I felt the singers were strong, energetic, confident and the band matched them effortlessly. I liked their English songs but in my opinion the non-English songs were the best (Google Translate says they were in Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, but what if Google makes that up , I have no way of knowing). I tried to find out more about the band and the singers, but my efforts on Google were unsuccessful. All I was left with were a handful of burning questions; What happened to this band and the singers? Have they ever recorded anything else? What was bothering the person who edited this? Are they okay now? Do the audience members who spoke through this song feel shame? Does the Indian Council for Cultural Relations know where these musicians are? If so, why are they keeping it a secret? Fam, I’m afraid we’ll never learn the answers to these questions. For what it’s worth, I would like to say to Ms. Fausta, Ms. Sonia Menezes, and the band, wherever you are, I enjoyed your performance very much, and I wish this audio recording did you more justice.
“Bop”, “The Mystery of Western Music in India” and “Songs from the Indian Period Without Coca-Cola”
That’s about all we have time for this week! If you don’t have anything better to do, join us for our next column where we’ll listen to some other stuff and share our feelings about it.
Kuzhali Manickavel’s compendiums and collections are available from Blast Publications, Chennai. His work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, The White Review, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review, and DIAGRAM. More information can be found at www.kuzhalimanickavel.com.