~ Building Worlds With 2 Dads 2 Sons Emoji ~

There are various schools of drone that exist in the underbelly of bedroom-style noise music these days, each with their own idiosyncratic attributes and accolades. However, for the sake of the ensuing album review, I want to temporarily zoom out and separate them all into two categories: 

  1. The ones who insert a home-made tape loop into a tape player, press play, and then hit record on their favorite DAW.  
  2. The ones who insert a home-made tape loop into a tape player, connect the player to a chain of (normally cheesy) guitar effects, and then humbly proceed to build worlds with sound and texture. 

Frotting by 2 Dads 2 Sons Emoji (also known to friends and family and coworkers as Marsha Fisher) falls into — you guessed it — the latter category. 

Marsha Fisher is possibly one of the most amibitious and accomodating underground artists in Lincoln, Nebraska — even though he would never admit it. Yes, the humble multi-instrumenatlist (aside from being a synth/tape-loop wizard, he’s also a proficient percussionist and guitarist) releases music under several monikers, operates a small cassette label called Gay Hippe Vampire Records, and curates shows at the long-running house venue Meat Planet (formerly known as The Tree House).

Frotting showed up at my house stuffed into a large USPS flat rate box alongside a few other GHVR releases and a creepy children’s doll that I assume Fisher found at a Goodwill store. You, of course, can see it in the headline picture above. 

Frotting, for those of you who don’t know, means rubbing up against another person -without their consent – for sexual gratification. I might even go as far as to venture that Fisher possilby chose this term to metaphorically represent the feeling some everyday Aerosmith-loving folks might experience when subjected to quality noise music. 

Yes, though noise music is not for everyone, it cannot be denied that Frotting is an impressive experimental drone album —- especially considering the minimal amount of hardware used to produce its sometimes complicated textures.  

“Assigned Cop At Birth” — the first track on side A — begins with crunchy chromatic steps that eventually (artfully) devolve into a static chaos that not surprisingly reminds me of certain Merzbow moments or even possibly certain segments of Swans’ droniest passages. “Doors In Space” on the other hand— the second track on side A — remains subdued, the tape loop the song is built around consisting of an eery field recording (I think) that makes one feel simultaneously alone and not alone (lost in a haunted freight ship in space?). “Bleach Water Biosphere” — the final and only track on side B — reminds one of what it must feel like inside the synthetic head of a sleeping robotic sentry waiting patiently to fulfill a singular purpose that may take centuries to finally come to fruition, its pseudo-consciousness pulsating like a heart in hibernation.

I want to say more, but do not want to presume that you will hear and feel the same things as me when you eventually allow Frotting to have its way with you. Much the same as this singular spinning sphere of matter we all call home, I believe the album will prove to be a vastly differing experience to each individual who dares to listen. 

World building indeed. 

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