-ctrl_vlv_056_-_ Vasectomy Party_-_ The Truth is Illusive-
Full album download here: www.controlvalve.net
Bio/statement: “Vasectomy Party is the noise project of Hal Harmon (b.1976). Based out of Palmetto, FL, Vasectomy Party was formed out of pure boredom and isolation in the early days of 2012. The project was initially formed for private sound experimentation, but through the countless inspiration and encouragement of others, has had a steady stream of releases and live performances over the years. The project is grounded in the harsh noise idiom, but with forays into wall-noise, drone, glitch, tape manipulation, and electro-acoustic noise. In addition to Vasectomy Party, Harmon also records wall-noise under G’Mork and The Man With Icy Eyes, collaborates with Zachary Short in Nexus Monkey and Ry Sikora in Zone Tripper, runs Forever Escaping Boredom Records (est. 1997), and publishes Dialtone Aggressor zine.
The Truth is Illusive is loosely inspired by a conversation about the tension between seeking individual (subjective) truths, within the context of being part of some greater universal (objective) truth that connects us all as humans. No answers were found….no
conclusions were made. I had a vague series of tracks running through my head at the time and this conversation managed to imprint itself onto the sounds presented on this album. A tenuous connective thread perhaps, but enough to inspire me to see these tracks through completion (rather than just junking them, which is often the case). My good friend, I hope you find the answers you seek in this life….or the next.
For the sounds I had in mind to do 3 tracks: a long piece based on a thick layer of white noise with various sounds working their way underneath, a shorter harsh noise track with cut-up dynamics, and a long synth-driven piece with some glitch and dial tones.
For track 1 “The Truth is Illusive” I wanted to record a piece that I had performed live recently. I wanted to capture a dense, billowing exhaust sound with a variety of sounds working their way through the backdrop. Those sounds include: a scratched record, slowed down samples, electro acoustic sounds (broken cymbal, broken glass, heavy chain, scouring pad), and minimal synth pulse. Some equipment used include: Rogue analog delay, Behringer digital delay/reverb, Mantic Conceptual Density Hulk, Numark portable turntable, Arturia MicroBrute, and a Noise Generator by Sisto Rossi.
Track 2 “Objective, Subjective, and the Connective Thread” is a harsh noise piece I constructed using some of the following equipment/electronics: Noise Swash, DOD Death Metal, DOD Grunge, Crank Surgeon Silo Jack, copper scouring pad, Behringer digital delay/reverb, and a Noise Generator by Sisto Rossi.
For my final piece “Searching for Commonality,” I wanted to do something more synth driven, while incorporating some glitch elements and a phone dial tone (one of my favorite sounds). For this track I primarily used a Luna Lab Analog Synthesizer, a Micro Blackdeath Synth, and a loop of a phone ringing.
Recorded and mixed by Hal Harmon in Palmetto, FL in the death throes of 2014.
Photo is a screen grab from a video of Vasectomy Party live by R. Moebius”
Review from Acts of Silence:
Sometimes when I look at this world, I end up thinking we should all join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, yeah, it’s a thing. Binging Vasectomy Party for this review is one of these times. I was all set to write something like, “I have seen a lot of weird names in the netlabel scene, but Vasectomy Party is one of the weirdest.” Sadly, I don’t get to lead with that sentence. Instead I saw that vasectomy parties are a real thing – a real fucking thing. You can even get ideas for a vasectomy party on Pinterest. This all leads to quite a serious question: At a vasectomy party, does the man go into the bathroom to masturbate into a cup while everyone stands in the living room drinking boxed Pinot Griogio and asking each other if they saw that funny cat video on Facebook?
This Vasectomy Party, the good fucking kind of vasectomy party, is a noise project out of Florida by Hal Harmon. He’s done a lot of other noise under the names of such as G’Mork, Nature Boy, The, and others. He’s been in a couple of bands as well. Vasectomy Party’s The Truth is Illusive was released on Control Valve, the best experimental netlabel you have never heard of. Harmon writes that Vasectomy Party “is grounded in the harsh noise idiom, but with forays into wall-noise, drone, glitch, tape manipulation, and electro-acoustic noise.” If I ever said “Booya”, this would be the time to say it.
Vasectomy Party opens the album with “The Truth is Illusive” which begins with a low rumbling as if a thunderstorm approaches. The eponymous track might be the most low-key of all the tracks on the album as it is filled with drones, slight noises and glitches, and rhythms. Based on a live performance Harmon writes, “I wanted to capture a dense, billowing exhaust sound with a variety of sounds working their way through the backdrop.” By the way, the liner notes on this release are perhaps the most complete I have ever read.
Even though “The Truth is Illusive” brings some sort peace, “Objective, Subjective, and the Connective Thread” snaps the listener right out of that. Harmon writes that this Vasectomy Party album was based on a conversation on our views versus the universal truths and what connects us all. The second track which is the shortest of the three tracks is filled with cut-up harsh noise. This is the music your mother feared you would listen to.
“Searching for Commonality” wraps up Vasectomy Party’s wonderful The Truth is Illusive. For a noise record, it is odd that so much of this album might be accessible to those who do not like noise. Filled with glitch, noise, and phone noises in looped in the background, Harmon demonstrates the difficulty that individuals have in connecting with the greater society. Harmon writes, “A tenuous connective thread perhaps, but enough to inspire me to see these tracks through completion (rather than just junking them, which is often the case).”