"Low Flying Aircraft" 7" (Poutré Apparente PAPE-002)
Poutré Apparente, a French label, has quietly been releasing lost nuggets of the European underground. In 2007, they released two 7"s that would have otherwise been unavailable even to the most adventurous music fans: one by a UK duo known as Pulp Music and another by Ruth, from France. Let me say thank you to Poutré Apparente for doing us this service.
Performance artist Anne Bean and home-builder of instruments Paul Burwell are the two responsible for the monster known as Pulp Music, though that was actually the label’s name. Upon its initial release it was presented in a plain white packaging with the artists’ signatures and either Pulp or Pulp Music scrawled across the packaging. A propulsive, frenetic beat starts the track and a slight feedback ebbs and flows throughout. The feedback comes alive to the point that it behaves like a shadowy third player: you don’t know where the squeals originate. All you know is that there is a low-flying aircraft approaching. Bean warns you over and over, eating the microphone, producing guttural tones that sweep into screeches and squawks. The time spent with sound poets seems to have served Bean well. All the while that beat doesn’t stop, creating a palpable sense of tension, of possible impending doom, what with the low-flying aircraft and all. The theme continues, in variations, with “Something Just Behind My Back” and “So Low.” The drum sound is immediate and feels like it’s being played in the room where you’re sitting and can fall off the rails at any moment. This is rock and roll at its most minimal: two people, a beat, and a voice. And it’s the best thing you’ve never heard. Sadly, Burwell died some months before this reissue appeared, but Bean is still active as a performance artist.