RIYL: Wooden Shjips, Psychic Ills, White Manna, Mugstar

Label: Thrill Jockey

Something new from the White Hills is coming in May. The trailer video doesn’t give us much to ponder, but judging by the album title and the tracklist, I would assume this is a politically motivated one. Just looking at the Thrill Jockey press release, we can see as such:

Hard-line, gritty, and intellectually engaged, Stop Mute Defeat is a New York record through and through. With this in mind, White Hills drafted Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa) to mix. White Hills recorded with Bisi on two of their previous releases, Frying On This Rock in 2012 and its follow-up So You Are…So You’ll Be, however Stop Mute Defeat is the first time they worked with Martin “The Beast” Bisi in control of the mixing board. A native New Yorker who made his name in the city’s early hip-hop and no-wave scenes, Bisi was attracted to White Hills’ new material for its distinct early-80s Mudd Club feel. A dance hall, drug den, and bar, the Mudd Club was one of New York’s legendary haunts in the late 1970’s. As a center of a distinct art scene the club served as a major influence for White Hills and Stop Mute Defeat’s sound.

Following similar techniques to those propagated by William S. Burroughs (a regular at Mudd Club), Stop Mute Defeat sees White Hills break free from the guitar-driven structure of their earlier releases. Reassigning William Burroughs’ word “cut-up” technique to music, Dave W. and Ego Sensation deconstruct sound clips to create minimalist but rhythmically complex phrases. Title track ‘Stop Mute Defeat’ layers turbocharged bass loops with squalling guitar samples, to create a sound that calls to mind Xtrmntr-era Primal Scream. “If… 1… 2” goes even further down the rabbit hole, oscillating into the experimental electro-sound of early 80s Sheffield, UK band Cabaret Voltaire. Meanwhile the taut brawny grind of ‘Attack Mode’ industrially hardens White Hills’ rock boundaries to tribal densities.

Appalled by the rampant consumerism and the proliferation of ‘post-truth’ mythology, White Hills’ defiant lyricism is at their most philosophically scathing. Condemning doublespeak as “Subliminal seduction…a serenade with a grenade,” the song “Overlord” laments political and economic opportunism, where “In travesty, [there’s always] another dollar to be made.” On “Attack Mode” meanwhile, a clenched-jawed Dave W. channels the perverse cynicism of Throbbing Gristle, throwing scorn on “societies where misogyny leads and the objectification of young girls runs free.” Exposing Western vulgarity in bright light, Stop Mute Defeat is a fearless and necessary denunciation of the political and economic powers that be.

There is more, but I’ll let you to it on your own at Thrill Jockey.

You can also buy it for a dollar more on the bandcamp, linked below.

https://whitehills.bandcamp.com/

Tracklist:
1. Overlord
2. A Trick of the Mind
3. Importance 101
4. Attack Mode
5. If… 1… 2
6. Sugar Hill
7. Entertainer
8. Stop Mute Defeat

Stop Mute Defense - Trailer

The Details

Thrill Jockey
thrill 440 - 2017

LP pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged in a gatefold jacket with free download coupon. A very limited supply is pressed on blue vinyl.

Generally Thrill Jockey keeps their pressing amounts pretty hush hush.

Additional Images

Price $17

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