Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records on Headache
Sharp as a migraine and twice as psychedelic. There is something about Trupa Trupa’s music that borders on an interface with pain – sometimes the vocals and guitar are all treble and daggers, for instance – but then there’s that anaesthetic cushion of organ and the rolling sighs of the rhythms and melodies. Trupa Trupa’s music teeters between a yawn and a shriek. It sways but does not stumble. There is something almost threatening about the way it affects to lose control at moments when you know full well that it never under any less but the most precise and steely control of its creators.
These four men from Gdansk make rock music that swells with a tension and release and tension so exquisitely executed that it wouldn’t be incorrect to think of it as symphonic, except you don’t want to say that – symphonic – because it conjures wrongheaded ideas of early 00s crescendo rock, and this is probably the opposite of whatever it is Sigur Ros were.
Rather, this is the noise you could imagine four 20th Century minimal composers making (Schoenburg? Stravinsky? Satie? Part?) if they had electric instruments instead of sheet music and a grudge instead of an audience.
Though they brandish words in these compositions that for the sake of a tedious argument we will call songs it is with the same economy and brutality that they deploy guitar, bass, drums and keys. Everything is sparse and happening at once. Those repetitive grids of words and tones are in agreement but offer no clues.
Whereas a lot of Blue Tapes music is acquainted with pain in that it sounds formulated to be a respite from it, Trupa Trupa’s music sounds like it has gorged on pain to the point of delirium. Why else would it float in such a numbed-out haze that only appears to obey its own internal logic? It is a sound that feels like it has pushed itself to the point of exhaustion, simply so that it can get off on the trippiness that transgression engenders.
This could be the most vicious music this label has ever released. At least one person has described it as sounding like Faust. The band themselves say their noise is inspired by Sonic Youth, Slint and Swans. It was recorded in a synagogue and an abandoned marine machinery plant.
Praise for Headache:
“Now, this LP from Gdansk’s Trupa Trupa is good. Really good… a sludgy growling rock sound that trundles around the outer wall of your consciousness, looking for the way in. It’s a real mix of sounds; an old Soft Machine bootleg, a Speed Glue & Shinki jam at half speed, Tarwater, American Music Club maybe; and a whole heap of zombiefied Gothic arcana.” – Incendiary Magazine