Track 3 from the CD "Sackcloth and Ashes" by Points of Friction. Released on CD by Anomalous Records in December 2001.
The last copies of the CD are available from www.ribexibalba.com/mailorder.html
Points of Friction scrapes together a mind-bending menagerie of sound from the panorama of objects and equipment they work with. Their process-oriented artistry invokes apparitions of the ear, with multi-dimensional sonic textures that span from quirky, seductive lullabies to revolting sensual assaults.
Points of Friction made contact in the extremely beige but earthquake famous San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles and home also to the infamous Manson Family. Tim Alexander and Kenny Ryman (Paper Bag) served together as psychedelic altar boys at the age of nine. Kenny was from a musical family, so he had developed a set of ears from an early age. Damian Bisciglia (Agog) and Tim became acquainted in Cub Scouts around eight years old. Becoming reacquainted among a few self-described social outcasts at Los Angeles Pierce College around 1980, they gravitated to the art department where they encountered a cast of characters. Among these were the profoundly talented Jeannie Cohen (Sprout Mountain) and the profusely bizarre Joseph Hammer (Dinosaurs with Horns, Swan Trove, Solid Eye). Relieved and excited to discover other freaks, they soon evolved an excuse for converging: making noise. Originally inclusive and spontaneous, their noise was extracted from everyday objects, and recorded with built-in condenser mics on primitive equipment. They soon adopted some recording gear and musical instruments but no musical training. When Kenny replaced Jeannie, POF was born. Inspired by free musics from Beefheart to Harmonia, they met in Joe's or Kenny's bedroom to exchange sound and interact in private naïve noise/rock ecstasy.
Originally released by the LAFMS offshoot label Solid Eye [who were also responsible for releases by Doo-Dooettes, The Romans, Tom Recchion, Dinosaurs with Horns, and Fredrick Nilsen] on cassette in 1984, Sackcloth and Ashes is the most electronic and perhaps most polished incarnation of this multimedia collective. The unorthodox exploration of keyboards, guitars, toy instruments, the assemblage of field recordings, noise improvisations, and tape loops tantalize the senses with arousing emotive power. The opus title track is a compendium of improvisational soundings and field recordings that include a chorus of squeaky swings, a cat's purring, snapping shrimp, a diseased lung, and cacophony on a yard sale card rack. Exquisitely abrasive and haunting tracks 1 through 6 yield to the perfumed machinery and melodious hypnosis of the remaining tracks. All were originally performed under cover of live film and slide projections with optical manipulations at alternative music venues in and around Los Angeles including Al's Bar, the Anti-club, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions(LACE), etc., and aboard the U.S.S. Cormerant ("Noise at Sea"), with bands such as the Minutemen, the Meat Puppets, Whitehouse, and the Monique Experience in the mid-1980's. Every piece on this album has such (currently archived) visual underscoring. Re-released on CD, the disc is lavishly packaged in beautiful silver and black in an eye-rattling multi-paneled silk-screened die-cut cover that undermines perception in the friction manner.
The low-key intensity of Points of Friction may affect heart rates and breathing patterns.
It is probably best listened to in a darkened room.