Review: DunningWebsterUnderwood – Bleed

DunningWebsterUnderwood - BleedI’ve just entered a sauna the size of an elevator. Needless to say it’s stifling; tuba and sax drones press into eachother like sweaty stomachs, turntables shuffle in a futile bid to make room. Instantly, the significance of the record title becomes clear. Through a mixture of groggy heat and inward pressure, the three instruments force themselves into an instable hybrid – an ugly clump of farting brass flaps and grinding reed teeth, writhing in protest against the abusive, Frankenstein process that tries to bind bones and flesh. It clogs my head like tar, pooling between my ears.

On tracks like “pisstwentysift”, Webster’s sax and Underwood’s tuba grunt and whinge at eachother – a nasal snore in conversation with a flatulent armpit – while Dunning wraps like whole thing tightly in crackling cling film, restricting noise to staccato gasps and painful wheezes. I quickly realise that Dunning is a particularly prominent source of my discomfort. While Webster and Underwood bloat and squash into the cramped space, warping their instruments into all manner of compounds of saliva and lung and cheek, Dunning plugs the remaining gaps with sprinklers of static, blurred archival voices from old records, rumbles of the floor giving way. I hear my last ounce of oxygen disappear, swallowed up inside the crinkle of foil.