Rhythm & Views

Dalek/Haze XXL

A Purge of Dissidents is the new book/DVD/CD collaboration between Chicago graffiti artist Dalek (James Marshall) and Minneapolis noise aficionado and Amphetamine Reptile Records founder Haze XXL (Tom Hazelmyer).

The project centers on Dalek's bright, two-dimensional animations, which recall those early and very crude Hanna-Barbera children's shows like Jonny Quest. Only instead of spies and robots, A Purge of Dissidents is a pure holocaust of bloody knives and mechanical warheads, all orchestrated by some kind of deranged, acid-damaged green mouse who seems more than happy being both the target and source of weird violence.

But it's Haze XXL's musical effort that really blows minds. He recruits quite a roster of underground superstars, from Buzz Osborne (the Melvins) and Grant Hart (Hüsker Dü) to David Yow (the Jesus Lizard) and Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion). It's a dream team of dark talents, and it results in a menacing epic-length manifesto of gleeful noise-rock.

Tracks less than two minutes long like "Chromed Smoke" burn so hot, they barely get a chance to explore a riff, much less a simple chord progression. Even when the song slows down to a doom-metal crawl, the sound of lasers, explosions and ghostly moans makes you wonder how long these guys can maintain their evil momentum. Well, they maintain it for darn near 30 short tracks, mulching everything in their path with punk, metal, noise and ambient ferocity. Think of it as cartoon music for grownups--or at least adults who prefer their animation to be scored by a peyote-soaked Satan.

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