Oddfoot is a Melbourne one man project helmed by Tim Farrell, a former Newcastle resident and self-confessed “social retard” (see his MySpace). Farrell exhibits quite convincingly here that whatever form of relentlessly abrasive electronic noise terror he applies himself to he’ll come out on top. On top, not because Sequins / Cicatrix is especially compelling, but more so because Farrell always sounds like he’s at war with his instruments, using great force to obliterate whatever subtle pop sensibilities he may have. Synapse inducing beat-manipulation, unapologetically coarse textures and unlikely pop-culture samples abound here, all sounding like something that might let off sparks when performed.
The opening track ‘Vauzzav’ fits unambiguously into the ‘noise terror’ category: it sounds like Farrell is gleefully taking to his sequencer with an angle grinder, annihilating the whimsical loops he begins with. The same can be said for ‘The Fiery Flame of Desire’, where some form of Popcorn-esque diddly flails pathetically beneath (what sounds like) drills and (what could be) sandpaper rubbed on the receiver end of a megaphone.
These harsher moments are quite a lot of fun, mostly due to their eagerness to engulf the listener in chaos. Oddfoot apparently takes pleasure in offering up relatively pleasant sonic landscapes and then mowing them down with the reckless zeal of a warrior. Tracks like ‘Dave Battles The C Algebras’ and ‘Rokusaburo Michiba’ all showcase a few seconds of melodic and structural sensibility before they’re completely whitewashed in feral white noise pops and wheezes. Farrell builds them up in order to tear them to shreds in the most visceral way possible, though exceptions can be found during ‘I Love Enya’ (predictably utilizing Enya samples) and ‘Myki’s Faeces’, the latter of which – despite the title – is a surprisingly subtle, oppressive and atmospheric turn, almost like an Oddfoot piece sans destruction. It’s the best piece here.
The problem with Oddfoot though, is that it’s all just too funny. Sequins/Cicatrix is certainly engaging, but noise full of ironic gestures and inscrutably hilarious track titles seems bereft of any real purpose. The extremities are amusing but the chances of coming back for a second helping are slim, and if anything is really being subverted or challenged here I’m afraid James Kirby’s V/VM projects covered this territory many years ago. An appeal to a noise artist for more subtlety may be antithetical, but seriously, Oddfoot’s best stuff here is still breathing when it ends.
by Shaun Prescott