CD, Bugs Crawling Out Of People, 2008
Dan Barrett is the one man show behind Worms of the Earth and the driving force behind the Wounds of the Earth dark electronic webzine. “The Angels of Prostitution” is his first full length album after several appearances on compilations, EP’s, and splits over the last few years. The album features bleak atmospherics, aggressive walls of sound, and driving beats against a soundtrack fit for a post apocalyptic funhouse. The well orchestrated, richly layered tracks represent a masterful diversity which doesn’t always translate well in a recording. Instead of being off-putting, this noisy barrage comes together nicely.
Several tracks demand their own mention starting with Barrett’s collaboration with It-Clings in “Big Fucking Titties or a Fuckable Mouth (of the Succubus)”. It-Clings, otherwise known as Squid of the Bugs Crawling out of People label, has brought recent memorable spoken word contributions to the work of artists like Prospero, Autoclav1.1, Ad.ver.sary, and Pneumatic Detach. Within the context of this track, his creepy and fatalistic ranting about the desperation of want juxtaposed against the sounds of a distorted music box must truly be what the decent into madness must sound like. In “Famine Wears the Mask of Poverty”, Barrett surprises the listener with black metal style vocals in a guardedly metered style. There is something very old school about the synth lines in this track. “Dew Falling Over the Garden” is crunchy, noisy goodness akin to being eaten alive by heavy machinery (the more astute club dj’s should pick this one up for the fun of it). “Under the Bohdi Tree” is a sign of what Barrett is capable of when all of the elements of his sound and intention wind together into a blissful transcendence of genre categorization. It is clear that the artist takes inspiration from myriad sources and fuses several subgenres together into his signature sound. Barrett appears to be relatively well read in mythology, religion, and mysticism and fans of dark ambient will be well served by giving this track their undivided attention.
“The Angels of Prostitution” offers up three reinterpretations of “The Whore”. Dym and To Mega Therion go straight for the aggrotech jugular and offer up straightforward dance floor friendly versions while Dead Man’s Hill presents a more sophisticated, sweeping take. Embodi presents a remix of “The Serpents That Lick the Dust” which is a bit more subtle and drawn out than their usual remix efforts. Samples from “The Whore” are featured alongside operatic tones culminating in a grand interlude. Vicious Alliance’s remix of “Dreams Beyond The Northern Ocean” is a very solid, dance floor friendly mix, however, as a straightforward bouncer, it didn’t feel quite right following To Mega Therion’s take on “The Whore”.
Just two minor complaints detract only slightly from unhindered satisfaction. Firstly, the track order could use some tweaking. Eight new tracks and five robust remixes are presented, however the most moving of all of the tracks, “Under the Bohdi Tree”, is presented following one very assertive and very danceable Vicious Alliance remix of “Dreams Beyond the Northern Ocean”. The inclusion of one original track following remixes by several other artists is slightly unorthodox. Secondly, the creepy funhouse sound featured predominantly in songs like “The Whore” and “I Watched Them Hang” tends to become slightly annoying after prolonged exposure. Certainly there are those with a penchant for midi sequencing and videogame soundtracks, however, this reviewer prefers the assault of rhythmic noise kick in the pants any day. Fortunately, Barrett delivers in this department just prior to the onset of full tedium.
“The Angels of Prostitution” is an expression of what is still left to be explored within electronic music today and an imprint which should leave a notable reverberation within those that are paying attention. If this album is a harbinger of things to come for Worms of the Earth, I’m sticking around to find out what happens next.
— Shannon M.