Exposé Online banner

Various — A Bead to a Small Mouth
(Barooni BAR001, 1989/1997, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 1999-01-01

A Bead to a Small Mouth Cover art

Each track on this compilation integrates spoken text and sound manipulation, with results both mysterious and captivating. On "A New Dress" Nurse with Wound layers shifting, hypnotic metallic tones behind a crematorium worker's disturbing account of how he suffered at the hands of the Miami police as a result of his mentally disturbed wife's false accusations. Particularly unsettling is his description of highway patrolmen burning frogs with cigarettes. Graeme Revell (of SPK) and Anthony Mannix's eerie, cryptic "A Concise History of the Machine" and "The Skull" occupy a strange twilight territory suggestive of a Poe/Kafka collaboration recited by Robert Ashley during a sleep deprivation experiment. The poetic, dreamlike "A Concise History of the Machine" is particularly provocative in that its epigrammatic text inquires into the varieties of significance technology holds for humanity, while other industrial artists appropriate machine sounds and imagery in a less analytical fashion. "Chapter and Verse" by Mother Tongue does not rely on the literal meaning of its text (which is slight), but its echoing, percussive sculpted sound is not without interest. Zoviet-France's "White Dusk" eradicates any distinction between text and music, collaging verbal fragments in a jarring, arrhythmic fashion suggesting the patience-straining extremes of academic musique concrete. The Revell/Mannix tracks alone merit the price of admission; it's unfortunate that Revell's Hollywood soundtrack success has taken him from the arena of such fascinating experimentation.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 16, 1997 releases, 1989 recordings

Related artist(s): Nurse with Wound, Zoviet France

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paul Ellis - Silent Conversations – Ellis was a bit tired of doing all things alone each time, so for his fourth solo album, he looked for outside sources and found them in friends and acquaintances. In fact he was so enthusiastic about...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues