Thud Is Good

By Andy Rantzen

Thud is the brainchild of the pseudonymous Edward Blake of Overload Media, who is best known in techno circles for his Cut Out releases (more material due soon on Ugly Funk) and collaborations with Tobias Schmidt on the mishmashy, splashy-crashy trash-hop they call ‘sludge’. Thud is not altogether divorced from techno concerns; there are traces of Bloody Fist style hardcore, some drill ‘n’ bass influences, and a supersizzley, highly involved production style that bespeaks a thousand digital plug-in effects and many nights alone in front of the PC drawing waveforms and chopping beats.

That aside, however, the overt intent of Thud is to be as dumb as possible. Lets-fry-our-brains-while-crapping-our-pants dumb. Two of the songs are about taking a shit. Another two are about one second long each, and if you can imagine what a rock band would sound like if it suddenly threw up, that’s what they sound like. Lyrics are Cookie Monstered over searingly distorted guitars and tin plate drums: it’s electronic garage regression-core rock. Now, as Overload regulars may already know, the gloss on Thud is that it’s the project of a retarded patient with poor bowel control, who, assisted by one nurse Brown, is engaged in some kind of kindergarten-level creative therapy in a mental institution. Within seconds of hearing the first track the gloss disappears in a puff of marijuana smoke: it’s clearly the work of a gifted, highly skilled, and, above all, sane, electronic producer who is deliberately dropping what he thinks he knows via the expedience of what Anton Ehrenzweig termed ‘anal scattering’: destroying, the better to create anew. The joke scatology which drives the project is most likely an inspired way of bypassing some constrictive writing habits, the better to come up with something, er, fresh.

The record provides additional confirmation that, in the psychic shadow of many a techno producer is a lover of the heaviest, deathiest, death metal. Thud‘s record doesn’t sound the least bit mentally retarded: it’s a fine line between stupid and clever.
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