Prurient – Troubled Sleep

Prurient’s ‘Troubled Sleep’ is released by the Providence, Rhode Island (US) label Truculent Records. Prurient is the noise project of Dominik Furnow. In fact, as far as noise acts go, Prurient is about as intense as it gets.

Upon first listen, what strikes first about this album is the severity of Prurient’s sound. The opening track “Bolt” is full of clipping and digital (sounding) distortion. Most of the tracks take on a dense, almost drone-like quality. Along with these noise-scapes, Furnow’s vocals are also a major part of ‘Troubled Sleep’. They tell some of the stories (poems) from Jean Feraca’s book Crossing the Great Divide. I’ll save the interpretation of these poems/lyrics for the reader, but what is obvious is that these aren’t nursery rhymes (add sexual content). A particularly raw verse comes from the track “Tarentella”, it reads: “Come, storm me, swarm my gate/ I’ll pitch you over the top/ even if you crack me like a cottonwood/ my sap will hiss and issue forth alive/ fresh, seething/ thriving on your filth/ I smear myself with you until I stink.”

Overall, ‘Troubled Sleep’ is a very difficult listen (except for the last track “Tarantella”, which is not quite as harsh). Throughout ‘Troubled Sleep’ there is quite a bit going though beneath all of the distortion though, both sonically and conceptually. This makes ‘Troubled Sleep’ a more than interesting album for fans of the most brutal brand of noise.

A young man is sitting in a car, contemplating. He has not shaven for a while and has probably had a troubled sleep. What has he done wrong? Does he feel sorry for himself or someone else? Is he thinking about the good times that will perhaps never return?
A somewhat older woman is staring into the open, her eyes suffering a bit from the bright sun. She is frowning a bit. She seems to think where this road is taking her to. Should she return? Or should she move further into unknown territories?
A young woman is walking on white sands, in the direction of the mountains. She is alone, but in the distance a few more people are walking. Does she prefer to remain solitary? Or does she wants to join the group?

With the images of these people I put on the melancholic cinematic music which accompanies the photos. The sounds will further stimulate my fantasies about the destinies of these characters. At least, that’s what I expect. But that’s not what Prurient offers us. No introspective minimal piano music or slowly evolving soundscapes. No, Prurient stands for noise. And when I say noise, I mean NOISE!

In the booklet poems can be found from Jean Feraca, taking from her book ‘Crossing the Great Divide’. Rather nightmarish, claustrophobic texts. Perhaps it deals with the troubles of the people portrayed on the cover. The music on this cd is not very poetic. Perhaps the noise music works as an catharsis, as an extreme way of letting off steam and relasing the demons.

Truculent Recordings has created somewhat of a reputation with harsh industrial noise and power electronics. This album “Troubled Sleep” presents a variety of distorted and dense noise and a few oppressive soundscape parts. All the elements of agood noise party are present: heavy distortion, painful feedback, manipulated machines, high frequencies, extreme sounds, destroyed classical elements, ultra distorted vocals… In short, just under half an hour of total torture! Certainly not something for delicate ears, but noise fetishists will be pleased.

artist: Prurient
label: Truculent Recordings
details: 8 tracks, 29 mins 2003 [2d08]