Somnambule - Writing About Music

Evil Moisture ~ Killer Nuts

(The joy of pathos-riddled ambiguity) With 24 tracks lasting a total of 22 minutes, Killer Nuts is Tom And Jerry for the malfunctioning Playstation generation. Think Carl Stalling’s soundtracks for the aforesaid cartoon or John Zorn’s thrash miniatures with Naked City. If such references are a little too last decade then fast forward to the more recent man of the moment, Akufen and his microsampling technique, except that Evil Moisture isn’t doing the neo-disco thing. He appears to be more interested in the Farmers Manual or V/VM end of the market.

(Blink and you missed it) Modern life undoubtedly flickers past at an ever accelerating speed. Killer Nuts may be, deliberately or otherwise, building upon the heritage of the Commercial Album (1980) which saw The Residents’ produce 40 one minute pop songs in smirking recognition of the disposability of popular culture. Evil Moisture crams in pop culture samples (exclamations, familiar chords, advert jingles, etc.) more tightly than the average sardine in a tin. Some of these snatches are lifted straight, some obliterated, some hang limply off the lip of the proverbial table as if they’ve given up the will to live.

(Doomation) A trawl of the web dredges up an Evil Moisture website called Doomation that looks like somebody’s proud web design work circa 1995. Its main purpose appears to be to show off the Frankenstein-like assemblages made from discarded toys and cheap sound tools. Very reminiscent of the unpleasant neighbour in Toy Story 1.

(Miscellaneous observations) The Microsoft Sound (Pentium 999) is a rather satisfying smear of white noise launched by an all too familiar system sound. ‘It’s All Wrong’: 57 seconds of the disco classic ‘Alright, All Night’ interspersed with clanks, bangs and roars.

(Finishing up) Killer Nuts isn’t astonishingly original, but it may be useful for cleansing the palate just before settling down to listen to your favourite Mozart opera. Maybe. And it’s a lot of fun in a cheap, tacky, ‘damn I thought I’d thrown that thing out years ago’ sort of a way.
Colin Buttimer
January 2005
Published by the BBC