It's not Phil Minton; it's not Furious Pig; it's not Schwitters or Bob Cobbing. It's Rene Kita, the self-described "mad Hermit of Turku" scaling the Tower of Babel, de-constructing units of language down past the supposedly indivisible sememe, mining the edge of meaning with looped snorts, grunts, nose-shunts, fnrrts, phlegm-shifts, hemi-chuckles, throatnastics /// POST-SCAT almost-flows. Verbal-Non-verbal: I almost get what you mean, man. Almost. He custard-pies the Arbitrariness of Language in our faces, reminds us what our lungs n tongues can do; all those words... you really don't need 'em, see?
It's funny-strange-touching-jagged-silly-smooth... I almost get your meaning. Almost. The looped phrases build up into sequences, dialogues, laryngeal discourses, sound-tales, grunt-raps, gutteral chamber groups, barber-shop Neanderthals ... conversations / a small crowd / munchkins in the round...
Listening out in the garden on Walkman in fading early Spring light... slowly, unexpectedly find myself doing a Navajo shuffle non-dance across the shaggy lawn, tracking a saw-dust trail left by moving the rabbit-hutch day-by-day over several weeks, an Aztec corn-maize maze, a way back out of the Minotaur's labyrinth, sun low over the trees, a crow flies past at head-hight 10 feet in front of me, then seconds later a sea-gull thirty feet up cutting across diagonally and all I can hear is Rene's multitracked voice on, I think, "Ponderosities Far From Ponderosa" (didn't know the title when I was shuffle-listening (see, you can listen to a Walkman on Shuffle...)) past the rhubarb, the rabbit watching me with wary brown eyes, nose twitching ("What's that human doing...?") and...
And I realise I've no idea what Navajo music or chanting or dancing is really like - I'm pig-shit ignorant - my only exposure to the idea of 'navajo' is the bullshit cultural filter of a zillion 1950's c-movie westerns; yet, I'm thinking I'm shuffle dancing - thinking I'm a 'Navajo' doing 'Navajo' things ('cos that's how Hollywood has brain-trained me) - in a garden in Yeovil to improvised voice assemblies made by a man from Turku.
And then you get that, maybe, EVERYTHING IS MADE UP. Everything is arbitrary.
Everything 'learned', absorbed, self- or otherwise-taught, filtered by culture, etc.
And that - dude! - only throat-nose-cough-gurgle-scat noises from Turku can briefly liberate you from the punitive illusion of all that meaning that seems to be embedded in words, life, culture, whatevs, but isn't.
There's a wonderful moment on "Babbling Brooks One Interruption" where the sounds slowly start building up and up and they shift from, initially, another Faux-'Navajo' ritual and start ratcheting / phasing against one another, gradually becoming almost non-organic, something more than / other than human, something beyond the individual: a sort of... I dunno, arcane, unimaginable pump drawing water up from beneath an arid alien terrain.
Y'know, I was only going to write two or three sentences, but this is so bloody wonderful I just got carried away... so, not a nano-review, then.
Pass the Walkman.
If you've been good in a past life you can probably get a copy here. // Edit for correction: Ah, no, sorry, Jani Hirvonen has sold out of tapes, but Rene says you can snag an online version from The Free Music Archive.