Sickness, Voyeurism (mp3.com, 2000)
[originally posted 27Mar2000]
All right. I’m going to put a motion on the table right now. I’m damned sick of these low-quality CD cases whose inner protrusions (you know, those little “fingers” that hold the CD in place) are so fragile that half, or more, break off in shipping. I usually find this type of damage in CDs I have shipped overseas, but man, this one came less than three hundred miles. The CD-RWs I bought not long ago came with cases whose center ring is reinforced, and let me tell you, I abused those cases in testing, and I have yet to find a single little piece of black plastic falling out of one of them. Hey mp3.com, wake up and buy better cases.
That said, don’t let it stop you from buying DAM CDs from mp3.com. Worst comes to worst, toss the case and buy a better quality one from Best Buy or somewhere; you can usually get ten-packs of jewel cases on sale. And if you happen to like your music chaotic, violent, and over the edge, you could hardly do better than to start with Sickness’ Voyeurism.
Utilizing much the same approach as Japanese physical-noise god M.A.S.O.N.N.A., Sickness seems to work on the idea that chaos is good, and thus more chaos is even better. There’s structure to this stuff, but it’s constantly shifting and deforming; if you can visualize the structure of a traditional piece of music as the steel frame of a building, then the structure of a Sickness track is the steel frame of a building trapped in an earthquake that’s 7.6 on the Richter scale. Forget any aspirations to subtlety, ominousness, atmosphere, any of it—the goal of Sickness is to be the harshest, most painful noise band on the planet, and Voyeurism is a document that will lay claim to his title in that regard for years to come.
It’s hard to describe the music of Sickness if you’re not familiar with noise, because it goes pretty far beyond the usual “feedback, static, and loops” description that I normally use. Sure, it’s got those things in spades, but it’s also got… chaos. It’s the second law of thermodynamics on a CD! Go check it out yourself. (http://www.last.fm/music/Sickness) [note: obviously, this link is broken, as every decent band left mp3.com by 2001.] You’ll probably regret it. Turn your speakers down. Trust me on this.
Me, I think it’s the disc of the year, so far. And in a year where the quality of output has been consistently high, that’s really saying something. *****
“She’s Laughing at Me [RRR Mix]”