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Boomkat Product Review:
Terrific haul this - a sprawling album of impish electronics, song-sketches and soundscapes home-recorded by Ariel Pink back in the late '90s when he was still plain ol' Ariel Rosenberg. Thrash & Burn was originally released in 2006 as a cassette box set by Human Ear Music, and the same label has remastered the audio for this important 2013 reissue. They make much of billing this album as "musique concrete", which is perhaps overstating their formality; these tracks are simply foreshadowings of the fractured pop experimentalism that blossomed on the early Haunted Graffiti albums. Hiss-laden post-punk miniatures, homespun industrial experiments, minimal synth doodles, anarchic vocal cut-ups - they're all here and they all sound remarkably fresh. Check the ersatz Joy Div vibe of 'White Rain Reprise' and the Call Back The Giants-style keyboard primitivism of 'Foul Play', or the agoraphobic cold wave drone-pop of 'Pleasure Spot 3' and more ambitious, longer sound-collages like the NWW-style 'Cry Yourself To Sleep'. The whole thing exudes that real-deal, basement-mildewed DIY quality we all crave; prone to flights of great imagination, weighed down by paranoia. And seriously, if this record came out today, everyone - not least us - would be falling over themselves to lavish it with praise; that it's some 15 years old reminds you of the extent to which Pink's arrival flipped the script in underground music, and how much catching up everyone else still has to do. Or, as the man himself says: "Thrash and Burn survives for me less as a finished piece of music in/itself or even a moment captured in time; more a catalog of lifetimes, each piece unique and unnamed, together they recall glimpses of forgotten future-pasts…The secret of our coming of age shall be preserved revealed and discovered yet once again…."