"No synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, computers, musical instruments." Right in the liner notes for "Strange Gods," Philadelphia's David Harms has turned his methodology into an ideological stance. Using solely effects pedals and a mixer, Harms started Mincemeat Or Tenspeed as a recording project that became a live entity in 2006. An initial attempt to learn guitar lead to a deeper interest in effects pedals to the point that the instrument was shunted altogether. The sound of the pedals themselves took precedence and Harms began making rhythmic and melodic adjustments out of a feedback circuit. Labor-intensive trial and error lead to a compositional approach that some mistake for pure improvisation.
The essence of this music then is partly its means of production, though in a live setting its rhythmic throb has started plenty of moshpits. Having toured with modern music weirdos like Nero's Day At Disneyland, Social Junk, Foot Village, and Drums Like Machine Guns (with whom he shares a split 12") and shared stages with Black Dice, Parts and Labor, Extreme Animals, and USAISAMONSTER over the past three years, Harms imbues Mincemeat Or Tenspeed with a hardcore work ethic that's earned him a cult following (Dan Deacon is a supporter and has booked Harms at Whartscape three years running). "Strange Gods" is an evolution of sorts, letting the tones ride our more than previous efforts, a continuation of a process begun with records like the "All Critters" 12" (Deathbomb Arc), or this year's double CDR "Manifest Wizard." As the first "official" Mincemeat Or Tenspeed CD release, the seven (and a half) tracks here set the bar for "maximal minimalism", post-apocalyptic chirps and whirrs shifting and coalescing, cresting and searching for catharsis where none may be coming. Reminiscent of "a smart ass take on Steve Reich" (Z Gun) or even the synth-scuzz of Mr. Brinkman, Mincemeat Or Tenspeed is keeping it real whilst making experimental music uniquely accessible through the simplicity of its principles. A forthcoming collaboration with Dan Friel (Parts and Labor) is also in the works.
Album artwork by Mark Price, edition of 1000 CDs, full color jewel case.
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