Distraxi - Escher’s Tsunami (Self-Released)

Distraxi – Escher’s Tsunami (Self-Released)

In recent months, and years for that matter, the UK noise/experimental scene is really starting get ridiculous. In all fairness it was pretty ridiculous before. When the likes of Lucy Adlington, Knifedoutofexistence, BLACKCLOUDSUMMONER, Pale World, Cremation Lily, Solomon Tump, Itching, Territorial Gobbing and a slew of others, are regularly putting out career defining releases, you know this is a golden age. Another name to add to that list is Bath’s Distraxi. Despite only starting the project in 2021, this experimental musician has already put out 12 releases that hint at a level of sophistication, and destruction, seldom heard. On their new EP Escher’s Tsunami things are ramped up to unprecedented levels of delight and delirium.

The EP opens with the title track. Vocals and deep drones are the order of the day. Under this the
sounds of paper being ripped; cutlery being rattled and what sounds like an old rotary phone being dialled all help create a very uncomfortable atmosphere. Around the halfway point all of the opening sounds have been lost to a vortex-like soundscape. This gives way to some proper noise. It’s ghastly at times, but there is a beauty to it. On ‘Your Hole’ the song opens with a sample of an American male saying that he picked up a beautiful woman one night and she gave him a blow job a few nights in a row. And it was great. While this was happening on the third night the American male found out the woman was really a man. Instead of getting angry he allowed the blow job to continue as it was a great blow job.

The sample concludes with the American male saying “I know I’m a man. It felt good. I’d let her suck my cock again. I have a natural affinity for the Trans community”. I’m not sure what Distraxi is trying to say here. Maybe it’s a comment on how if every homophobic person in the world received a blow job from a member of the Trans community it would solve a lot of problems. Maybe it’s just a cool sample that suited the music Distraxi was making. When the music starts it filled with bursts of static, deep bass rumbles and distorted vocals. Throughout, the noise dips so we can hear something at a lower, or higher, register in the mix. It’s brilliant. The way Distraxi layers everything, but doesn’t overload the different textures, is a masterstroke. ‘Your Hole’ could easily have ended up as just seven minutes of white noise, but it isn’t. Its something far more interesting.

And this is what Distraxi does. Time and again. Instead of blowing our heads off, Distraxi allows us to hear everything that’s going on. Escher’s Tsunami ends with ‘Fucked by Knives (pleasurable death)’. Searing sounds explode from the speakers before distorted vocals, similar to Gregorian chanting, overpower them. Under this there feels like some kind of deep melody that is being run through pedals to create something guttural. Like a religious ceremony in a vast submerged, echoey church. Over this, fizzing static flies around. Glitches begat glitches, which begat even more. Until it’s hard to work out what’s going on, but those vocals drone on unabated. The final third strips all this away and leaves us with feedback and drone. It’s a fitting way to end not just an incredible song, but EP.

Its safe to say that Escher’s Tsunami is the most cohesive thing that Distraxi has released to date. Granted the project only started in 2021, but with every new release Distraxi is slowly cementing a name for themselves and is working/playing live with some of the best the UK has to offer. There are rumours that there is more in the vault ready for release, and some are collaborations. Whether these are just noise rumours will remain to be seen. However, finding out will be incredibly exciting as long as the quality matches Escher’s Tsunami.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.