A horrible hack


Planetarisk Sudoku

Year Released: 2015
Format: Tape
Label: self released
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Aug 17, 2015
What does the evil mastermind behind PSUDOKU do in his spare time, I wonder? Does he exorcise all his hyperactivity and brainstorms on guitar, bass and drums, and then want nothing more than a spliff on the back porch? Or does he spin out of the studio like the Tasmanian Devil after finishing a track and wreak havoc on the rest of the world? "Planetarisk Sudoku" is a cartoonish, constantly mutating set of tracks that hotwires grindcore for a joyride through extraterrestrial soap opera.

Opener "BoLTZmanN BRaiN 2099" is a capricious listen that constantly switches registers and instrumentation, teasing with little bursts of guitar riffage which evaporate into twinkling pianos or gently strummed guitars: finally it hits the gas for real, careering round scattergunning powerchords all over the place like a particularly manic shoot-em-up, the whole garnished with saxophone wailing and squawking. Little oases of plinking keyboards appear only to be upstaged by menacing basslines garnished with sci-fi synths and then machinegunned to bits by guitar fuckery. The guitarwork itself is in a constant state of flux, refusing to settle into regular foot-tappable rhythm. You probably get the idea - intense sensory barrage.

"NeURONaMO" begins with some hyperactively twisty bass-playing which a guitar quickly joins in lockstep, what sounds like a theremin sinewaving over the top and barked, gnomic vocals echoing. Something resembling a verse-chorus payoff shows itself briefly before segueing into tightly focused chromatic riffing with bell-like tones pealing out. Thickets of abstract, choppy guitarwork dominate the song. PSUDOKU's style is immensely theatrical and playful, throwing in all the musical signifiers of evil and the supernatural into the grind soup, but with a huge campy raised eyebrow arching over the top of it. I'm sure they have an admiration for out-there prog like MAGMA - particularly audible in the ecstatic choirs that appear towards the end of closer "PsUDoPX.046245." PSUDOKU take that influence and blast it into rarely charted zones of speed and technicality. There are shared elements with projects like MR BUNGLE and NAKED CITY, but this has a more coherent aesthetic - less of the kind of smug pastiche and genre mashup I tend to find in those bands, impressive as some of their stuff is. The record ends with a brain-rinsing 14 minute stretch which ratchets up the tension with gradually ascending atonal chord sequences, like an alien Mariah Carey going for the 20th climactic key change of the song. This climaxes in a sort of major-key You Killed The Big Boss computer game pinging riff. Leaving me staggering down stairs for a hefty gin and a quiet sit down.

I'm reviewing the cassette version of this, which is housed in a beautiful fold-out card rendition of the LP sleeve artwork with weird rubbery tactile print on it. The whole package recalls the kind of future / past annihilation crash that the songs here are tuned right into the centre of.

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