Release Date: Jul 19, 2011
Record label: Hydra Head
Genre(s): Electronic, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Noise
This is not the plug-your-ears Prurient you've come to know and possibly love. In the world of 21st-century harsh noise, Dominick Fernow's one-man recordings have been among the harshest, the most physical, the least compromising. Earlier albums, like 2006's hellishly screeching Pleasure Ground, were overwhelming floods of feedback and heavy psychic ugliness.
On “Palm Tree Corpse,” Dominick Fernow states that, if he could, he would “take a tree branch and ram it inside you”; but the way he calmly intones the words makes the statement come off as rationalized rather than impulsive, as if such a violent act were completely acceptable. More so than just simply describing a gory act, such a line can be taken as a sort of manifesto. Fernow has been at the forefront of the noise scene for over a decade now, and through his music and record label-cum-store, Hospital Productions, he’s assaulted the world with the bleakest of feelings and the most brutal of sounds.
As Prurient, Dominick Fernow is one of the most widely respected and collaborated with artists in abrasive noise music. However, he may be getting as much attention in other circles for being a live synth player for darkwave scenesters Cold Cave (though Wikipedia suggests he’s only doing that because he lost a bet). Returning to his old noisy moniker, Madison, WI native Fernow is displaying a severely changed musical persona.
Earlier this year, I went to New York to interview Cold Cave's Wesley Eisold. Although Eisold is the key songwriter on Cold Cave's divisive, dense Cherish The Light Years, much of the four days in Manhattan was spend with him and his friend and collaborator, Prurient / Hospital Productions Dominick Fernow. The two men dress similarly - black leather jackets, very stylish shit-kicking boots - share a common dislike of Brooklyn, refuse to suffer fools gladly and have a sharp, dry, sense of humour.