Late last year we had the honor of premiering a video for a song off an EP named The End Is The Beginning by the renowned NYC brass musician Mac Gollehon. It was a diversion from our usual musical interests at this site, but so fascinating that we couldn’t resist. And truth be told, in its spirit and atmosphere it really wasn’t all that far away from some of those interests after all. Both seductive and seditious, the EP created a surreal experience drawn from a midnight other-world.
In its conception and its recording, that EP was the result of a collaboration between Gollehon and David Brenner, who has a variety of accomplishments to his name, including his work in the unpredictable and confrontational audio-visual project called Gridfailure.
What we knew then, but hadn’t yet fully explored, was that Gollehon and Brenner had already engaged in an even deeper and more disorienting collaboration, creating an album named Dismemberment Cabaret that Nefarious Industries released in May 2021.
To quote from press materials for that album:
The uneasy combination presented on Dismemberment Cabaret acts as a suite, merging jazz and cinema influence of 1970s/1980s slasher/crime films with harsh sub-hardcore hostility and post-industrial tension. As if The Great Gatsby was re-scored by the outlanders in The Hills Have Eyes, GRIDFAILURE creator David Brenner weaves an environment of beats, bass, guitars, keys, field recordings, and unhinged vocal savagery, while MAC GOLLEHON’s explosive trumpet, trombone, cornet, and didgeridoo contributions slash through the carnage with filmic intensity.
Both before and after the release of Dismemberment Cabaret, Brenner has been releasing videos that he edited and directed for tracks from the album, and today we’re presenting another one. This one, “Pieces“, is a disturbing and dizzying visual experience, but no more so than the music itself — and what inspired it. To quote Brenner:
This song is lyrically written in direct homage to the 1982 slasher Pieces, and the video needed to be intense to match lyrics like: Untaught, unwrought, unwound. Vengeance, vengeance by the pound. The blade remains a favorite of mine. However, I’m not resigned To deviation from the design. Perhaps I’ll see things clearer Once I smash through every mirror. Pieces.”
And to share Mac Gollehon‘s thoughts: The horrors of triangulation torture and dismemberment… Pieces. Pieces of her? Pieces of him? Who would have known? Who could have known? Just pieces.”
Photo by Tyler Adams
As for the track itself, “Pieces” is a sonic hallucination, one that’s hellish but weirdly hypnotic. The throbbing and thudding electro-beats in the song, which come and go, reminded this writer of the warning that the oleaginous Dr. Chilton have Clarice before her first visit with Dr. Lecter in Silence of the Lambs:
I am going to show you why we insist on such precautions. On the evening of July 8th, 1981, he complained of chest pains and was taken to the dispensary. His mouthpiece and restraints were removed for an EKG. When the nurse leaned over him, he did this to her. [pulls out photo] The doctors managed to reset her jaw, more or less. Saved one of her eyes… his pulse never got above 85, even when he ate her tongue.
There’s something about the pulsations in the music (and about some of Gollehon‘s own contributions) that conveys a kind of cold and unflappable psychosis, in part because those sensations are surrounded by such sonic madness — by maniacal screams and hideous growls echoing from a torture chamber, by bursts of subterranean rumbling, by a mass of roiling and rising abrasion, and by the more deranged emanations from Gollehon‘s horn.
He causes the trumpet to scream and wail, sometimes drifting and reverberating in spine-tingling tones above audio convulsions, sometimes wandering, quivering, or blurting in fevers un-moored from sanity. It heightens the horror, and perversely it mesmerizes, and makes a very unsettling track very hard to forget.
The savage and demented “Pieces” video was created with footage from Tyler Adams (Wolfchild Productions) and both album artists, and it was directed and edited by David Brenner.
We also encourage you to check out three other previously released videos for other tracks off the album, all of which we’ve included below: “Roaming Blackouts,” “Crime Scene Designers,” and “Transient Fault”.
Created early in the 2020 quarantine, Dismemberment Cabaret was recorded and mixed by Brenner at The Compound in Rockland County, with Gollehon‘s material captured in stairwells of his building in Staten Island. The album was mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering (Kool Keith, Lost Dog Street Band, Thetan), with art, design, and visuals by Brenner.
Dismemberment Cabaret is available on limited Flamingo Meth cassette and through all digital providers with merch via Nefarious Industries. And by all means, if you haven’t heard Gollehon‘s The End Is The Beginning, you should definitely experience it – HERE.