Prurient – Cocaine Death (Hospital) 2008


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I love when I buy an album by an artist that I’ve never heard before and that album just blows me away. This is how I feel about Prurient’s Cocaine Death. I’d always steered clear of Prurient’s records because after reading various reviews I thought he fell in to the  horror noise category a genre I’ve moved away from since discovering drone. How wrong I was not to hear him sooner. This is one of the best noise records I own. Prurient is basically the moniker used by New York based noise artist Dominick Fernow. He released a ton of records in 2008 and I’ve decided  that if any of them are as good as this, it would be a sensible move to buy as many as possible. Cocaine Death is a compilation of previous releases that are now out of print. I won’t list them here because if you’re a serious Prurient nut you’ll know all this already yet Cocaine Death doesn’t sound like a compilation. In fact had I not known I would have thought that all of these tracks were recorded at the same time. The other thing I’ve noticed since becoming interested in Prurient is that there seems to be a general consensus that his earlier stuff was a lot more uncompromising than his recent efforts. Many have gone so far to say that  he has embraced songs (gasp! horror!). Some of the reviews I read get a bit sniffy about it, kind of implying that he used to be better in the old days. Well I don’t know about that. This is my first experience with his music and I have to say you might be reading a lot more about him in noisenosienoise if his other records match the quality I found on Cocaine Death.

One of the things I like about Cocaine Death is that the tracks themselves are nice and short. In a genre where length is the norm, having a record that runs under 50 minutes and crams 10 tracks into that space is a novelty. Cocaine Death starts with an absolute ripper a beat filled, doomish, gothic vibe that is then infused with black metalish type vocals, yet the strange thing is that (despite the inclusion of  a lyric sheet) I can actually understand what he is singing. The vocal effect is pretty cool. It had me thinking of Davros from Dr Who fronting Wolves in the Throne Room. Huge amounts of fun. The rest of the tracks are just as great. This is obviously a dark ambient/noise record but it is like Wolf Eyes teamed up with Peter Rehberg and then  got their inner Goth on or maybe more like Xiu Xiu processed by KTL with a Whitehouse fixation. It’s all very hard to pin down . Take the third track. Fernow takes some vaguely Stars With Lid drone that evolves into something techno-esque, adds a dose of Dilloway’s crackle, adds further layers of hiss and malevolence and then alternates between screaming and spoken word. It’s hard to imagine a track that exhibits such beauty evolving into something so harrowing. Cocaine Death is well worth tracking down. Any guidance about where to head to next is would be greatly appreciated.

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2 Responses to “Prurient – Cocaine Death (Hospital) 2008”

  1. Excellent. After discovering his Rose Pillar record a few months back I’m totally obsessed with Prurient at the moment too. Check out his Pleasure Ground release on Load Records. It’s fucking awesome.

  2. x2 for Pleasure Ground. Great album. But the Prurient album I really love, though, is his 2008 release And Still, Wanting. Total harshness, very dense, yet with the synths and sense of musicality (there are actually melodies!) underpinning and complementing the noise that seems (going by reviews and opinions, that is, as I’m not familiar with his more recent output) to characterise his newer work. Not as TOTAL NOISSSSSSEEEE as his early works (like, for instance, The History of Aids) but not as “synths and mood” (for lack of a better description) The Black Post Society, which is the most recent Prurient I’ve listened to.

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