Subtly orchestrated to lull you into a false sense of security through its opening bars, it doesn’t take long for Glice’s Fleisch to move into the macabre and grotesque. Plucked metallic objects vibrate out of sync with the rest of the stereo components while wheezing drones and the spray of feedback from delays push at the crest of the wave that will eventually make the whole composition fall into uncompromising noise, but never quite does. Unlike their Noise contemporaries, Glice’s music is not constructed from familiar (albeit eccentric) instrumentation, but rather from the mutation of some unknown electronic source – like the constant inescapable hum of an electric wire overhead. Ironically this gives the compositions more of an organic disposition, elucidating on the title of the album as the German word for meat perhaps.
On Fleisch, Glice appear to have adopted something of a new approach in their music that negates the subtler moments we’ve come to know from the group on their previous album LIX, in favour of something far more confrontational and aggressive. Glice approach noise in a very literal sense here, preferring perhaps an interpretation of the word from the dictionary as “a series or combination of loud, confused sounds”. Whereas Noise, the genre is more about chance encounters in the moment of improvisation, Glice focuses their efforts on creating more chaos than control through their music. Aside from the odd moment like Thyrsos or Perilaus, Glice’s textures are purposefully harsh and disruptive, where the transient effects of sustained noise doesn’t come into play and every moment on the album dominates the listening experience. Glice don’t leave much room for introspective thought, preferring rather to keep their audience on its toes. Even a track like Dionysia, which by all accounts appear much subtler, maintains that disruptive quality in the noise. The various parts that fill out the textures seem to be at constant odds with each other, each one vying for the spotlight and the moments they do comply are rare moments, shoe only effect is to make their next bout all that more impressive and aggressive. As a result there is this constant fear in the music, like some unknown assailant lurking behind you at all times, ready to pounce when you drop your guard. And it doesn’t make it all that much easier when the music appears to imitate a natural city soundscape like some latent artificial intelligence looking to assimilate into our society through some inanimate object like a siren, a train, a typewriter or bone saw.
Nothing is easy about this record, and just listening to it, you feel your whole body tense up like a contracted spring, where there’s an unsuspecting horrible surprise waiting for you around every corner. In fact, I’d go as far to say that is exactly what Glice intended for Fleisch, purposefully alienating and confronting the listener, to evoke any sort of reaction and in most cases, the reactions will be contrasting. There’s absolutely no ambiguity about this record, and it is going be one of those albums that you will either love or hate. But, whatever you do don’t turn your back on it, because even if you fall into the latter category, Glice’s Fleisch will be haunting your dreams until you give it the full attention it deserves and lay your own opinion to rest.