Defeat - Teared Up

Defeat - Teared Up

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2xCDr
Label: Gut Form Records

 Like a fair whack of the material which lands on the adhuman door mat
I first became aware of the work of Defeat via Regional Bears, who
released ‘Ah, I See Pan’ under the artist’s presumably real name J.S.
Hogan. Where that was an ultra patient, granular level analysis of a
single dusty American basement, Teared Up offers a whistlestop visit
through an entire neighbourhood. If ‘Ah, I See Pan’ saw Hogan
exorcising demons of a fairly dyed in the wool electroacoustic
influence, you might say that ‘Teared Up’ is a gleeful rifle through
their entire tape collection, which we soon come to suspect is stored
in the hottest, most sun facing part of the homestead, such is the
degree of wooze at play throughout. I have no doubt that this bumper
set is largely a product of sketches, demos, experiments and trials
gathered into one place (often the best type of stuff, btw) and sure
enough this stuff covers a lot of ground - there is always a broad
methodology of tape hiss, electronics, field recordings and/or found
sound - but within this you get things that sound like melted Folkways
nature recordings or drunk, brain damaged hip-hop beat tapes rubbing
right up next to scratchy demos for whatever
synth/videogame/fusion/comedy/new age/acousmatic/techno record Defeat
has been meaning to get around to making one of these days. By the
way, don’t sweat it if any of those things would typically turn your
stomach. Such is the gritty, fly-by-night nature by which all these
vignettes have been put together that it all stops pleasingly short of
actually BEING any of those things, feeling rather more like a
surrealist impression of each style pieced together by prototypical
machines trained on vague printed out instructions. Due to some
thoughtful sequencing the pieces flow in a logical progressive way
that swerves the impression of jumping from one far out style to the
next without judgement. More a fully catalogued presentation of the
archive than an excitable rummage through the freshly discovered box.
The territory charted here is considerable and at 2 discs and 2 hours,
exhaustive, but you’ll not find yourself struggling through a tiring
listen. I found myself ready for more by the time this was finished
and quite happily jammed it throughout the day. Highly pragmatic
music. Finally, can we also give a shout out to some of the best track
titles we’ve seen in a while? Cuts like ‘Joshua the Navigator’, ‘I
Don’t Buy Any of This Shit’, East Calvin Edny’, ‘You Shitdamn Godhead’
and ‘900 Grandmothers’ give just a flavour of the lexicon.

-Duncan Harrison