Majic on the Moonlight
Reviewed by Plutonium
Saturday, January 30 1999, 6:50 PM
Fab.44's new recording comes in three gauges of abrasive, like a sandpaper sampler from Handy Dan's Hardware store. I fancied that the picture of the industrial bandsaw gracing the black cardboard CD sleeve might actually be the star player of this noisy disc. A closer listen revealed a lot of industrial machine noise, plus a harsh spread of heavily affected guitar cacophony overlaid. Thank god there were no drums to be heard.
Majic on the Moonlight's sandpaper rub-down starts with a nice coarse grain, moving on to intermediate static-like noise and whine, to detail work requiring a finer grit. The third track sounds like RRRecords alumnus Phil Milstein's entire collection of source cassettes being fed through a coffee grinder before being shoved up psych-rock label mates ST-37's butt. The mechanical noise gives way to satellite telegraphy in places, but not before settling back into an unreassuring mix of mechanical servos and thuds combined with amplified and multi-tracked tape hiss.
Fab.44's noise is great, but in keeping with the rest of RRRecords' Pure series uniform packaging, the CD carton itself offers no clues about what else might be going on with the group. The who, what, when, and whys are left to the imagination, although one track was purported to have been recorded "Live at the Black Hole." But because of its sheer persistent grind and whine, I think this CD is destined for semi-greatness.
Majic on the Moonlight is available from RRRecords, 151 Paige Street, Lowell MA 01852