Another recent offering from the infamous UK electronics duo Sutcliffe Jugend to surface on Singapore noise/industrial label 4iB, Sans Palatine Uvula is an experiment in extreme sonic terror that sees the regarded noise duo producing a series of brutally abrasive soundscapes generated by guitar, autoharp, electronics and synthesizers, which becomes the backdrop to a vicious, blood-curdling vocal performance from Hijokaidan member Junko Hiroshige. Using her voice as an instrument, Junko splatters the recording with a non-stop volley of vicious screams, squeals and abstract screeching that is processed and manipulated into an abrasive sonic assault somewhat akin to the extreme reed abuse that legendary free-jazz trio Borbetomagus inflict on their saxophones.
The mysterious acoustic clank and crackle of opener "Mouth Ripping" erupts into a din of hysterical screaming and garbled electronic chaos, an ultra-violent sonic spasm like hearing a knife murder taking place within a massive malfunctioning mainframe computer. From there, the remaining tracks keep it extreme, from the bizarre gibberish and distorted synth rumble of "Throat Ripper", to the glitchy ambience and grinding cello-like drones of "Mouth Leak". Later tracks scrape through minefields of splintered electronic noise and blasts of heavily processed skronk that fall somewhere between violent improv sax screech and the bellowing of dying elephants; bursts of harmonium-like drone and nauseating electronic squiggle; cut-up screams and bubbling synth clicks re-arranged into a ghastly abstract nightmare. The track "Sans Larynx" has a similar off-kilter ambience as what Sutcliffe Jugend were doing on Blue Rabbit, a heaving, seasick dronescape of malformed orchestral sounds and ominous rumblings, but accompanied by Junko's high-pitched screams it becomes something far more disturbing. Ghostly moaning is draped across creepy, corroded soundscapes, and more of those cuisinarted screams are scattered over looped cello abuse and electronic glitch. Fragments of backwards melody surge around strange accordion-like wheezing and eerie pulsating tones.
The centerpiece of Sans Palatine is the nearly fifteen minute title track. It's also one of the more restrained tracks, relegating Junko's vocals to a point far off in the background, the music a swirling dark drift of softly scraped metal and crackling static, an eerie keyboard melody looping through the gloom, weird flatulent electronics and bleating horn-like noises swelling out of the deep. It's a striking piece of sinister abstract ambience that maintains a dark atmosphere through the entire track.
This is seriously extreme stuff that even power electronics purists might find too abrasive. At times, Sutcliffe Jugend and Junko produce a cacophony of sound more in the vein of Dave Phillips and Randy Yau's aktionist-inspired gut/throat noise experiments, and achieve a similar degree of sonic terror. Comes in a four-panel gatefold jacket with a full-color printed inner-sleeve and an eight page booklet with painted artwork from SJ's Tomkins, each copy hand-numbered in an edition of five hundred.