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Bomis Prendin: The NWW List Gets Average

Back in the dark ages – better known as the days prior to the internet becoming a major part of everyone’s life – things like the Nurse with Wound list mattered a whole bunch more than today. The list was basically an obsessive compendium of listening habits cobbled together by the band who lent its name to the document. Everything from krautrock to weirdo jazz experiments were included. And at the time of its dissemination, the list was probably something of an important entry way into musics folks wouldn’t have ever come across otherwise.

Today, we can all just Google a band name and find out pretty much anything we want. And with the advent of the Free Music Archive, it seems that long forgotten groups not even resurrected by bloggers are finding a new audience. Enter Bomis Prendin.

Posting a few full length albums over there has allowed a buncha bearded freeqs to get an earful of the noise passing for Bomis Prendin. For some reason, the band’s referenced in relation to folk music in an odd way. And while this Washington D.C. based act takes in and spits out pretty much anything it sees fit, there’s not a whole buncha of chorded acoustic guitars.

Instead what adventurous listeners find on Bomis’ first long playing album, dating to the late seventies, are a spate of electronic manipulations. Test is only about twenty minutes long, each composition clocking in at around two minutes and not too much more.

“Umbral Vectors,” at almost four minutes, though, ranks as the longest and perhaps most abrasive run through electronics on this disc. It’s difficult to describe uninhibited noise, but the rolling textures seem to jump and stutter in an unruly fashion, refusing sensible structures from beginning to end.

Following that, “2%,” might count as an updated folk song. There’s just a guitar, voice and some electronic embellishments. Of course, taking this composition down to the Village during the sixties wouldn’t have gone over well. But it’s still and unexpected derivation of a few American forms.

Really, though, Bomis Prendin don’t have any proper – read, well known – compatriots. Cabaret Voltaire’s a stretch. And the Residents had too much of a hankering to construct proper songs for their approach to music to bear a resemblance to what’s on Test.

The disc might be a difficult listen for some – alright, most. But there’s a reward if one can pay attention to all the oscillating nonsense on here.