Various Artists
It's been nearly 30 years since the brothers Rupenus released Changez Les Blockeurs, complete with its cute typewritten Anti-Art manifesto, but there's obviously still something very seductive about the idea of Creators Who Destroy. Here's Kristian Olsson in a piece written for a collection of essays entitled Shocktilt, which was due out on Vinyl On Demand at the end of last year (if it has appeared, somebody let me know, I could do with a laugh): "TNB set the standards for generations to come and still today continue as undisputed masters of wrecking [sic] aural havoc. The Executioners of Tonality, the Assassins of Culture, the Murderers of the Past. The mutilated corpse of Tristan Tzara is left in the gutter for the vultures and maggots to feast upon. All 'isms' are nothing but a prison that holds you back from exploring the true potential of destructive force. The old Dada and Futurist manifestos are being used as toilet paper – taken notice of only in order to be avoided."
Ah yes, all the old teenage hardon buzzwords are there: executioners, assassins, murderers, mutilated corpses, maggots.. As Steve Martin once said, I remember my first beer too. You can also wipe your ass on a copy of the Blockaders' manifesto, Kristian. That said, the system is designed to deal with any response, positive or negative – if someone says your work is great, you can sneer at them, more fool you for considering it as Art, and if they say it's shit you can reply by saying of course it is, and was never meant to be anything else. Anti-Art is and always has been a total cop out.
Enough, already. After all, this isn't a Blockaders album, but a tribute – the third! – to the Rupenuses' pioneering, umm, attitude. It's a handsomely-produced double CD compilation mastered by Damion Romero complete with 16-page booklet with artwork by Richard Rupenus (nice to see Debussy and Stravinsky there – the man obviously has taste) and featuring contributions from all the usual suspects – Wolf Eyes, Daniel Menche, Z'EV, Emil Beaulieu, The Haters, Carlos Giffoni, Prurient, Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke, etc etc – and few surprise guests: interesting to see Jason Kahn and Michael Northam chipping in something noisy for a change. Personal favourites include Controlled Bleeding's "The Latest Hole in my Head", which (unless I'm confusing it for another track – am writing this from the A&E department of the local hospital where currently undergoing scans for a suspected brain tumour, and you bet your ass I'm going to sue Important Records) starts out all nice and twinkly and Oneohtrixy before putting the blade in in fine style, John Wiese's "Annul" (the adjective "funky" comes to mind, goodness knows why) and the Broken Penis Orchestra's "The Kill Lump", which is much more fun than the name of the band would have you think. For the rest, well, if you're a noise completist, you're either a) insane b) deaf c) penniless or d) all three, but you'll probably want to snag a copy anyway.–DW