Otto Von Schirach
When he reviewed a Throbbing Gristle gig in 1979, Melody Maker's Chris Bohn described the "in joke" that was the group's nihilistic stage presence. "They can smile smugly if you stay, snigger derisively if you leave. Either way it's a hollow, depressing victory," he wrote. Otto Von Schirach, whose music sounds like the abortion resulting from an affair between TG and Aphex Twin, has the same effect. By eschewing melody for his own intimidating design of hyper-sliced rhythms and breakneck breaks, the Miami-based laptopper is out to test his audience's tolerance.
But Global Speaker Fisting, Von Schirach's third proper album, is consistently absorbing because of his flair for nonsense and bile-colored humor. "La Sangre Del Dedo Intelecto," for example, breathlessly mashes up accordions, Spanish-language melodrama, and metallic guitar riffs. In "Goat Sperm," Von Schirach dons a Gwar-like voice to threaten a woman with the titular fluid as animals bleat and beats rush by so fast they flutter. Like many of his peers, Von Schirach can seem clinical when he's churning out interchangeable rhythm tracks such as "Spine Yogurt" and "Fractal Nut Vinigerette." But his personality, which resembles Kid 606 with a Lucio Fulci fixation, rarely stops lurking. As with TG, Von Schirach's most flamboyant moments, especially the hilarious gangsta rap flirtation "The Kotex Necro" and his Miami bass demon, "G4 Scramblin'," don't distinguish between "depressing victory" and genius.
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