††I don't remember exactly where it was that I first discovered Bagman's blackened fusion of misanthropic electronics and oppressive harsh noise (probably the Men Who Solicit Sex disc that came out on Murderabilia), but I know that it had instantly seeped into my brain, infecting me with an utterly malignant atmosphere. This one-man UK outfit has been producing this pitch-black noise since at least 2008, and has already amassed a pretty impressive list of releases since then, each one a sonic representation of abject horror, the residue remaining after one gazes unblinkingly into the bottomless abyss that is humanity's capacity for evil and cruelty. When I throw on one of the few Bagman releases I've been able to track down, it feels like every mote of light in the room is being slowly crushed, leaving behind a caput mortuum of dread and disgust. Bagman's recordings ooze with the unfiltered horror of the human mind, translated into a series of violent audio frequencies. This stuff ain't no fun, that's for sure. Carrying on the tradition of transgression found in the early UK power electronics scene but combining it with a much more brutal and suffocating sonic assault, Bagman's early recordings are rumbling, bestial noisescapes littered with the voices of hate-mongers and murderers, criminals and degenerates and scenes of sexual deviance all suffused into the crushing walls of black static filth, junk metal devastation and monstrous electronics. Previously out of print, three of Bagman's malevolent early CDR releases have now been reissued on limited-edition cassette through the Infernal Machines imprint with all new artwork, recommended only to enthusiasts of the most nihilistic strains of extreme electronic noise and rabid industrial horror.
††Bagman's 2008 EP For Kenneth McKenna is another portrait of boundless human cruelty, inspired by parts of Max Call's lurid 1985 serial killer tome Hand of Death: The Henry Lee Lucas Story and the bizarre online mythology surrounding Florida inmate Kenneth McKenna that began to appear subsequent to that book. A purported member of the "Hand of Death Cult", McKenna was a denizen of the Florida prison system who claimed to have been involved with all kinds of bizarre crimes, including the production of snuff films that featured the feeding of humans to alligators and anacondas. The five tracks featured here continue to explore the charred sonic wastes between harsh noise wall and power electronics, summoning visions of those bizarre satanic prison cults and reptilian snuff videos in the volcanic fog of Bagman's chaos. Some of this material is actually a little more atmospheric than his typical sonic onslaught, the tracks alternating between brutal walls of crumbling blackened static, punishing high-frequency feedback abuse, horrific power electronics assaults formed out of crushing bass frequencies splattered with those signature monstrous vocals, to more haunting, solemn noisescapes like "Hand Of Death" that layer muffled metallic noises and eerie half-formed synthesizer melodies over fields of smoldering low-end rumble. Clocking in at just over sixteen minutes, McKenna is one of my favorite of all of Bagman's releases, permeated with a sickening atmosphere of rot and decay that seeps from every second of this raw electronic filth.
†† Limited to two hundred copies on pro-manufactured cassette.