Review: PAIN JERK-COURTIS – Pachinko Blast Anarchy

PAIN JERK-COURTIS - Pachinko Blast AnarchyThere is no buffer of air between me and Pachinko Blast Anarchy, and no illusionary stereo space for me to step into. The connection is direct, unmediated – a jack lead taped to a neuron, hardwiring the record onto my senses – and it’s as though I am merely part of the circuitry; a receptor or a light bulb perhaps, illuminating as the blizzard intensifies, my head filling up with static like a shook up snow globe, or trapped in tubes with slugs of wobbling sine wave. The sounds are blunt and wholly corporeal, explicit about their origin within tangled wires, synthesiser dials and binary blip, holding my imagination hostage by the harsh reality of voltage and electronic sound processing. There is nowhere for my mind to go – my powers of thought are hijacked and promptly suspended for the duration of my listening, re-purposed as a synaesthesic projector for the duo’s output.

And then something strange happens. I’m suddenly inside and outside a Japanese Pachinko machine (for those unaware, an arcade game similar to pinball), zapped by the internal wiring and submerged in the commotion of arcade activity: the yelps of game players, the tinny infiltration of absent-minded pop music. My vision falls under attack from blotches of computer language as I float within the overlapping discussions of people and surrounding arcade machines, caught in the awkward overlap of two states and spaces. For the final track, the ambiguity is rinsed – I return to my role as the duo’s direct stereo output, exposed to every ugly crackle of loose connection, shocked by every channel-hop from gusts of broken radio into interceptions of null signal white noise, shuddering as pressurised fizz spurts out like blood from a burst vein.