Boomkat Product Review:
The construction of this latest opus from C. Spencer Yeh's Burning Star Core comes from the collaging of sixty-six live recordings, captured over the course of an eleven year-period. The editing time for this monstrous undertaking was fairly substantial too, taking up two further years of on-and-off assembly. In addition to Yeh himself, the list of contributors takes in an expansive cast of notable noise and improv artists, including Hair Police's Mike Connelly, Trevor Tremaine and Robert Beatty, plus Mike Shiflet and Lambsbread among others. You could hardly think of this as being a live album given the intense levels of workmanship that have gone into re-composing the music as a studio album, but the rawness of the source material certainly does harness the BXC at its most untethered and ferocious. Certain sequences in Parts I and II of this record border on skronking scuzz-metal, and Yeh's trademark violin sounds are drowned in the overwhelming frenzy of biting distortion and mushed up drums; given the fairly advanced vintage of some of the recordings, the album's tendency towards lo-fi is predictable enough, but that doesn't interfere with the impressively tight construction of the record, which is arguably at its best on 'Part III', whose cassette-cutting tendencies are at their most abstract and heavily pronounced. Here the music is less like aggressive American noise-mulch and more akin to an old-fashioned exercise in tape-bound slicing and splicing. If this is your first contact with the mighty Burning Star Core you might want to look in the direction of something along the lines of Challenger, but for seasoned followers of C. Spencer Yeh's dark arts, this is an involving alternative account of his searingly intense live work.