developer/orgasmic response unit - split (factotum, 2013)
developer - mt97cs (monorail trespassing, 2013)
developer - oobr004 (out-of-body, 2012)
developer - if15 (imminent frequencies, 2011)
breached hull/developer/diaphragmatic - east coast mission (foxhole atheism, 2013)
admission: i'm a wee bit into developer and the folks from the dayton, ohio area harsh scene. i'll try to jot down a few remarks from limited knowledge. this stuff is brutal, trashy, fun, stripped down, diy, and unpretentious in a way that is not quite like anything else. it can be somewhat technical/fast without it being an end in and of itself, ditto for loud and harsh. unstated mission statement as far as i can discern: just be awesome and make it look easy. spun from this template, developer appears to be the primary proponent of cut-up noise from the batch; matthew reis' style could be described as jazzy/concrète/junk, perhaps. the effect of these contrasting/complimentary styles chopped together in varying amounts and at different speeds/energy levels creates a balance between the heady and the visceral. the building blocks of the music include somewhat comically generic bird/cricket style field recordings, cymbal/drum components, harsh contact mic noise/feedback, scrap metal abuse, and synthesizers. compared to other cut up noise acts such as sickness or purgist, developer seems to have a more lo-fi/"fuck it" approach, which isn't to say it's sloppy, only working in a different aesthetic, like painting in gravel and sand versus clean, geometric lines and strokes in ink. i liberally apply the adjective "organic" to music i like in the gravel/sand area, but i think developer qualifies. a raw form of musique concrète figures into developer's pre-recording of the source material; the final mixer performance is where the intensity and dynamics of the sound emerge--a live collage. also, particular to cut up in contrast to other styles of noise is that performers often explore very quiet dynamics for long stretches--chutzpah when it comes to this sort of thing. my favorite tape from what i've heard of developer is if15, which seems to lean towards the field recording element. it begins with a few out of tune guitar notes and ground hum buzz before moving into areas of field recordings of birds and what sounds like someone taking a shower, elements simultaneously relaxing and a bit amusing while building anticipation to the harsh parts, which are on the lo-fi side and mostly in the mid-frequency range but nonetheless satisfying. it sounds live and explorative. if15 also makes me wonder if there is some kind of bizarre environmental agenda to developer--the bird calls being obliterated by crushing bursts of static could be a crude approximation of heavy machinery rolling into an otherwise peaceful forest to erect fresh housing developments. man versus nature. i don't know, but it's funny to think about, and the ham-fisted-ness of this concept is very endearing in the unlikely event that it's the case. most likely, it's my imagination running wild trying to figure out how reis pulls off the bird/harsh noise combo. later developer tapes display heightened dexterity/"chops" and introduce an increasingly sundry array of sound sources and scuzz, including the aforementioned cymbals/percussion on mt97cs, lending a nice jazzy feel. oobr004 steps up the power and aggression and (my copy at least) has great low end--it's probably the most technical of the batch i've heard and is highly effective. the split with orgasmic response unit (a collaboration between diaphragmatic and being) is all-out most of the way and feels a bit less agile but no less energetic, with the brothers tandy on the front side laying it on dense and heavy with a slab of unrelenting sonic abuse. within the hurricane, there is some interplay; i like hearing the harsh noise emerging out of areas of junk metal and vice versa. overall, it's on the functional side, possibly because the collaboration appears to be parallel; it doesn't particularly sound like there's cross-processing going on but i may be wrong. developer's side is harsh with one long stretch of constaint noise 2/3 in. the first third's metallic textures of unknown origin are allowed to resonate before being gobbled up in an onslaught of mixer button smashing. great! lastly, the collaborative tape with diaphragmatic and split with breached hull: breached hull is song/track-oriented with lurching industrial/noise beats and is fun to see live. i admire their focus and commitment to "writing 'em out," though the tracks seem somewhat boxed in alongside the freeform developer/diaphragmatic style for my taste. not hard to see it's all good stuff though. vocals have a cathedral or two of reverb on them rendering them indistinguishable, nearly black metal. when the vocals drop out for the final track, leaving repeating static bursts and microphone feedback, i find myself sliding into the bleak atmosphere. the diaphragmatic/developer side features diaphragmatic's trash metal stylings tossed into developer's mixer as another sound source which cuts in and out but is still able to react and find enough breathing room of its own, though just barely. this is a fantastic cross process and it feels like the energy from a live sound source on hand comes through in developer's cuts. a word about nate tandy's (from diaphragmatic) foxhole atheism tapes, more of which i'll write a word about later: super great handmade trash packaging with any surface being a fair game for application of spraypaint--a nice contrast to the cleaner style of what i've seen from skeleton dust, luke tandy's (from being) label--both great. final analysis: cut-up noise always puts a smile on my face, and i feel like some of the more visercal tapes should probably be packaged with someone to punch me in the face while i'm listening. not advocating violence, though, just saying.
ps: orgasmic response unit is a great band name.