The Weapon Gets Smaller, the Point Gets Sharper
Text: Arttu Tolonen
You know what’s stupid? I procrastinated like hell with this one. Or it got lost in the ambient noise of life. Or something. I wish I hadn’t, though, because when I started looking into who Grey Filastine actually is, it turns out I probably ran into him a bunch of times approximately 20 years ago.
Back then he was in a band with some people I knew. They were called ¡TCHKUNG! There was a moment there where I was supposed to try out as their bass player, but I was off playing with Drake Deknatel’s blues band on the Oregon coast or something, probably still high off the drugs for my wisdom teeth operation.
It’s one of the great what-ifs of my life.
I think Steven Miller ended up getting the gig that time.
It was really more of a riot and general strike than a band – deep ecology, temporary autonomous zones, equality, collective cooperation… In some ways very much ahead of its time. Many of the infected areas of society you read about in the news every day now could do with a soundtrack like this.
The sound is all fire, sparks, smoke and noise; especially live. Out of control, huge, sprawling and it really did have a tendency to start riots.
It’s interesting to listen to Grey Filastine’s music against this background, because it feels like everything has changed and nothing.
Still, like 20 years ago, you don’t scratch at the surface for very long to run into folk music. The tribal-industrial percussion of ¡TCHKUNG! has given way to rumbling synthesized bass, the artefacts of disintegrating digital sound and drum machines, but the same search for a people’s music for new world seems to be present.
The music Filastine makes with Nova feels like the most post-apocalyptic of his career. It’s just right for some rain-beaten metropolis in a future mongrel culture.
Where ¡TCHKUNG! was like a very heavy and blunt object, used for bludgeoning, Filastine & Nova feels like a scalpel.
The weapon gets smaller, but the point gets sharper.