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,Â Stop Mute DefeatÂ is a New York record through and through. With this in mind, White Hills draftedÂ Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa) to mix. White Hills recorded with Bisi on two of their previous releases,Â Frying On This RockÂ in 2012 and its follow-upÂ So You AreâŚSo Youâll Be, howeverÂ Stop Mute DefeatÂ is the first time they worked with Martin âThe Beastâ Bisi in control of the mixing board. A native New Yorker who made his name in the cityâs early hip-hop and no-wave scenes, Bisi was attracted to White Hillsâ new material for its distinct early-80s Mudd Club feel. A dance hall, drug den, and bar, theÂ Mudd ClubÂ was one of New Yorkâs legendary haunts in the late 1970âs. As a center of a distinct art scene the club served as a major influence for White Hills andÂ Stop Mute DefeatâsÂ sound.
Following similar techniques to those propagated byÂ William S. BurroughsÂ (a regular at Mudd Club),Â Stop Mute DefeatÂ sees White Hills break free from the guitar-driven structure of their earlier releases. Reassigning William Burroughsâ word âcut-upâ technique to music, Dave W. and Ego Sensation deconstruct sound clips to create minimalist but rhythmically complex phrases. Title track âStop Mute Defeatâ layers turbocharged bass loops with squalling guitar samples, to create a sound that calls to mind Xtrmntr-eraÂ Primal Scream. âIfâŚ 1âŚ 2â goes even further down the rabbit hole, oscillating into the experimental electro-sound of early 80s Sheffield, UK bandÂ Cabaret Voltaire. Meanwhile the taut brawny grind of âAttack Modeâ industrially hardens White Hillsâ rock boundaries to tribal densities.
Appalled by the rampant consumerism and the proliferation of âpost-truthâ mythology, White Hillsâ defiant lyricism is at their most philosophically scathing. Condemning doublespeak as âSubliminal seductionâŚa serenade with a grenade,â the song âOverlordâ laments political and economic opportunism, where âIn travesty, [thereâs always] another dollar to be made.â On âAttack Modeâ meanwhile, a clenched-jawed Dave W. channels the perverse cynicism ofÂ Throbbing Gristle, throwing scorn on âsocieties where misogyny leads and the objectification of young girls runs free.â Exposing Western vulgarity in bright light,Â Stop Mute DefeatÂ 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.
2. A Trick of the Mind
3. Importance 101
4. Attack Mode
5. IfâŚ 1âŚ 2
6. Sugar Hill
8. Stop Mute Defeat
Stop Mute Defense - Trailer
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.
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive