Review Summary: Deposit Pedestrians Here
It’s subtlety that makes noise good for me. The ideas of texture and sensory assault and limit experience and all the conceptual wank that draws fart huffing degenerates like flies to a turd are all well and good, and quite a lot of fun in their own way, but I get far more interested in the spaces between those blasts of machine death and auditory trepanation than I do with monotonous walls of unabated aural turbulence.
Few understand the effectiveness of this space when applied to noise music like Pedestrian Deposit, who spent their first few years as a solo act before the addition of cellist/chainist/glassist Shannon Kennedy. The dynamic range on what could conceivably called their full-length debut is that of the barest echo, auditory decay extended to its fullest length ranging back up to the roar of the blast furnace you just realized you’re trapped in. And as tired of a cliché as it is when talking about noise, to neglect the variety of sonic textures, the warm, throbbing hums, the piercing squeals, oceanic roars collapsing and pulsing and coalescing into something resembling rhythm for the space of a few seconds until dispersing swarm-like into the seething, fecund roil of this auditory hurricane would be to ignore what essential to making a noise album such an experience
. Kogal Fascination is a prime example of this, from the howling blare, to the contact mic chaos that drops out for the space of maybe two seconds to turn into this bare, percussive soundtrack fragment that shifts into a 1-2-3 shuff of a broom across a shopfloor jumping between the headphone channels, it's a piling on of texture that is frankly intoxicating. Much of the album follows suit, the roar, the chaos giving way to instants of respite in the form of space and rhythm. That contact mic mastermind Jon Borges has the presence of mind to step back from all this textural rending and mashing and make the droning, bubbling whisper of Naomi (In and Out of Consciousness) the centerpiece of this experience speaks to an understanding of the power of contrast; there may be noisier artists in the scene, but there aren’t many who so well understand how to employ and contrast the sounds they are making as effectively.
Talent’s a difficult term to apply to a musical style so opposed to anything resembling order, to the point that calling someone a talented noise artist, or professing any affinity for this style at all, readily invites accusations of pretension. And really, who would be at fault for thinking so in a style with a threshold for acclaim that isn’t low so much as perpendicular? But talent is a label that I think fits handily on Pedestrian Deposit, not least because their aural plane crash recordings are tempered with not only an ear for texture and variety, but with an actual ear for musicality, for sound as organization, rather than an unabated sensory assault. And while their music has branched out from pure noise considerably since the addition of multi-instrumentalist Shannon Kennedy, the ear for motion and rest, the strength of expression that subtlety lends, and yes the importance of a timbre and mood that hearkens to rolling around naked in a field of broken glass have been a hallmark of Pedestrian Deposit since this, their first notable recording. While followup Fatale would in many ways refine the ideas presented here and expand upon them, Volatile makes for an excellent proper debut for those seeking an experience more squarely rooted in auditory violence.