Jack Lewis David – Fire… Run Away from It

Jack Lewis David
Fire… Run Away from It

Value your childhood? Leave. Turn away, now. Cherish your memories and do not listen to this recording.

Fire… Run Away from It exploits a bevy of puerile gadgets – tools through which children were taught numbers and the alphabet, Barbie paraphernalia, an electronic music box once used to lull infants off to sleep – in a manner which avoids encapsulation and cultivates intrigue in one fell, hour long excursion. Having utilizing a process deemed circuit bending – essentially, the short circuiting of electronics in order to create new, unforeseen sounds – to strip the contraptions of their original cheer, academic ambitions, and ability to assuage, the group has fabricated a bizarre and, at times, downright frightening slab of aural amalgamation.

Toys of this nature were not meant to sound menacing. Neither were they intended to induce discomfort or advocate sonic nihilism. Jack Lewis David (whose name I can only assume is a half-assed play off of painter Jacques Louis David) pen a disquieting narrative in which innocence is but a frail memory and the refuse of sound is allowed to ferment, its remnants manipulated to further a cause which, as it appears, is wholly against the concept of music itself.

The eponymous track which occupies the whole of the album commences with the greeting of a synthetic voice, imploring its subject to select a scholastic activity; within seconds, the ephemeral, pseudo-human voice is banished from the piece. From here, the soundscape devolves into a miasma of dissonant electronic tones, undulating uncomfortably through a range of abrasive squeals and blips whose imprecision and vitality imply a sense of organic involvement yet whose innate being defies all things living. The various utterances of the suffering “instruments,” rather than facilely mesh in an act of consonance, labor arduously against one another, each one battling for the rights to be heard, as if each unnatural vocalization were to be the last.

Occasionally, apertures evolve from in between the squalor of electronic debauchery, and the group is hasty is patching these holes with whatever ramshackle instrumentation might be at hand. The sounds of clanking metal and plastic contaminate in the form of bastardized percussive pieces, awkwardly snaking their way around the idea of rhythm, but only in order to bring a false sense of comfort to the work. It seems that if at any time the slightest trace of accord begins to form, that glimmer is obliterated and its decrepit corpse is tossed into the mix like garbage in an infinitely expanding landfill.

To attempt to pin the recording as “good,” “bad,” or any other similar terms would serve as a disservice not only to the group but to one’s own time spent indulging in the noise. Unconventional music cannot be spoken of in conventional terms. Do the musicians, if you’d go as far to call them that at all, demonstrate any sort of technical proficiency? It’s difficult to discern through Fire‘s boisterous haze. If the answer to this question is no, does the intense experimental nature of the recording provide salvation from an inevitable barrage of derisive comments? One question I do feel I can adequately answer at this time, however: tired of “music?” Try Jack Lewis David.