VARIOUS ARTISTS  Testament I  VIDEOCASSETTE   (RRRecords)   10.98

I know that there's still a contingent out there like me that collects these old videocassette compilations, as they are still some of the best archives of full power noise jams from the golden era of American noise. None of the RRR videos have been released on DVD, so for any fans of brutal noise and American industrial, these are reason enough to pull out that dusty VCR.

The first installment in the Testament series of videocassette compilations from RRRecords features Smegma, Illusion Of Safety, Stan Brakhage, Entropy, John Duncan, Due Process, P. Children, Sleep Chamber, Psyclones, and Psy 231; this tape is a classic piece of underground avant-noise documentation from 1987 that'll be a timewarp for anyone who was following the American experimental noise scene at the time. The tape opens with an awesome music video for Illusion Of Safety's 'Katalavox', a montage of apocalyptic footage projected over the songs hammering industrial dirge. Heavy shit. Next is a short film from legendary experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage that features a quickly shifting field of smudged crayon-like colored textures accompanied by a crackling noise soundtrack. That's followed by another music video, this time for the group Entropy who combine eerie photo stills with a short blast of guitar orchestration a la Rhys Chatham or Glen Branca that actual

ly almost sounds like an interlude from one of the more Slint-influenced modern black metal outfits. I really wish Entropy's segemtn had been alot longer! John Duncan's video is a really disturbing mix of grating noise, slow motion footage of rockets falling to earth, and what sounds like a little girl crying in fear. Due Process merge low-fi video noise and slow motion footage of probed nipples, tracking shots of basement floors, scrambled Japanese cable porn signals, and creeping industrial drones to surreal, creepy effect. The rest of the compilation contains more of these noise/industrial/video art pieces of various length, bridging abstract, avant-garde underground film with harrowing electronic soundscapes.

The videocassette comes packaged in a hardshell plastic case with a xeroxed outer sleeve.