Stella Research Committee


Stella Research Committee Killed Alive cassette

After a ten-year or so run, STELLA RESEARCH COMMITTEE treads on with what I am reading as the trio’s seventh and final release/onslaught. Which is very much the experience with Killed Alive…bombarding, repetitive spoken word to a backdrop of dark ambient noise and loops. This band has discovered power electronics and deploys the usual expectations of the genre within each DNA-influenced track. The result comes off like Mark E. Smith fronting an ATARI TEENAGE RIOT cover band. That might be good?   

Stella Research Committee A Proposed Method for Determining Sanding Fitness LP

File under difficult listening. Imagine the sardonic noise rock of CHERUBS with the wild No Wave of DNA with the destructo synth of THROBBING GRISTLE, all played at the same time. Let’s throw some free jazz drumming in the mix too, just for funsies. Never not interesting, these tracks feature stuttering drum machine patterns with syncopated live drums on top, atonal strumming, and an ever-present synth whine. The tracks occasionally fall all the way apart, like opener “Murdurd,” but in a seemingly intentional way. They could honestly be dropping their instruments over and over, and I wouldn’t know the difference, but that’s not a criticism at all. “Dustkop” surprises by beginning with Krautrock rhythms that move into techno in a way that works but shouldn’t. What could come across as self-indulgent, inaccessible skronk worship is enjoyable in a “what the hell are they doing, now?” kind of way. I thought I was going to hate this, but I respect these folks for fighting the good fight with this brand of anything-goes freakery. If you have open ears for the really weird, check it out. Play it for that friend who is always like “I listen to everything,” and see what they say.