K.K. Null & Jim O'RourkeNew Kind Of Water

Label:Charnel Music – CHCD-06


3Live At Lounge Axe Pt 119:09
4Septic Moon8:11
5Neuro Geometry3:53
6Live At Lounge Axe Pt 26:56
7Operation DNA9:17

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Recorded January-February 1991 and June 1992.

Tracks 3 and 6 were recorded live at Lounge Axe, Chicago, August 8th, 1992.

All tracks are guitar duets.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout: DISQUE AMERIC YXA1<457>CHCD6
  • Rights Society: BMI



  • Erratum_Musical's avatar
    Abyss is a marvel, good enough to justify to get this record!
    • bonnicon's avatar
      This album pushes the concept of guitar music perhaps a few steps further - following in the footsteps of folk like GLENN BRANCA. NULL already has the reputation of being a supreme noisemaker on the old axe, while O'ROURKE has quickly built a big reputation over a short period of time. Together they combine here to push back the limits. The first track "Abyss" reminds me a lot of something I heard on the radio by BRANCA, although I cannot remember the title of it - it's an atmospheric piece with one guitar chiming as if playing like a dulcimer and the other fading in & out in effected washes, like a deeper, stranger tidal flow. "Gibakaze" starts off not unlike the intro to DOLL BY DOLL's "Palace Of Love", a strumming, rattling thing very metallic, and if guitars could be said to have bones, then skeletal, while the other guitar adds small white bursts in as punctuation. It has a curiously Middle Eastern Folk sound to it, despite it's roots lying clearly in the Modern World. "Live At Lounge Axe Pt 1" is an adventure through strange imagery & composition, the longest track here clocking up 19'09". To begin with it has a metallic watery sound, it's reflected sounds more akin to sitar than to actual guitar, twanging, sustaining wiry sounds all blended into a tense, quivery composition which seems to threaten to transmute into something else, less passive, more dangerous, and gradually it does build, assuming new, more intense fractal variations on it's roots sound, moving into a more discordant, dangerous territory. Tunes rise out of the chaos, images become obvious, then falling once more. The guitars are excited by effects, some, like pitch shifters, are obvious, while others are more obscure. The sum result is a bizarre mood music which seems alive with promise, much of which is fulfilled. "Septic Moon" opens to a sustained, tense sound which I can only assume is electronic effects, although it might just be FX'd bowed guitar. It dwells there like a thick electronic ground mist shifting slightly here & there, becoming a thicker, more intense sound as other FX join it. It crackles like fire, it bubbles like some witches cauldron and metal sounds appear like the flashing of blades in a campfire light. "Neuro Geometry" again uses the groundswell of tense guitar & subtle added noises to create a moody piece which could almost pass as a film soundtrack with a degree of C/W twang to it, a sort of more relaxed RY COODER moody atmospheric feel. Next comes "Live At Lounge Axe Pt.2", which again features a floor-spread of guitar sounds, fed through sustaining DDLs in gradually fading loops, allowing a combination of noisy guitar & voice to drift in weird, disquieting clouds while sharp shards of guitar rub & rattle in the foreground. It becomes a huge washing mass of distorted sound, a tsunami of noise which gradually fades into fragments. "Operation DNA" closes the album, again building it's sounds on a foundation of sustains, through which the guitars, via a variety of echoes & FX, build strange soundscapes & cluttered junk sculptures of metallic noise. It drones like a THROBBING GRISTLE track, yet is so different with it's metal fragments. Very much a mood album, being a trying ground for unusual approaches to guitar playing by both of these musicians. It's shimmering metal-work makes it an unusual & highly enjoyable experience.

      Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.


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