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Posted on September 4th, 2015 (12:00 pm) by Matt LaBarbera

What is that little dog thinking? Floating there, untroubled over the misty landscape, the cynosophic mysteries are revealed: Everybody’s a fuckin expert. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? The notion that no matter what you do or say, someone else is going to chime in, give their opinion and criticize, for no real reason. Whether it’s Samson Agonistes or igneous petrology, everybody’s a fuckin expert. How do you silence these chirping pedantic trolls hovering over your shoulder every single time you open your mouth? You can’t really expect to reason with them, can you? No, the only way is to shout them down, silence those lesser demons by screaming in their ears. Well, that’s at least the method used on the new Shit and Shine record. Everybody’s a Fuckin Expert doesn’t care for purity, doesn’t care for being right. All it’s interested in is bludgeoning its way across DJ sets, regardless of the consequence.

Craig Clouse has had a bit of a busy year. He released Chakin’ on Astral Spirits—a cassette that came off as a Throbbing Gristle meets the high school’s jazz combo—and the enigmatically titled 54 Synth-Brass, 38 Metal Guitar, 65 Cathedral on Rocket Recordings. The former is essentially an avant-jazz/free improv label and the latter is a collection of krautrockin’ psychonauts. So what’s Clouse doing on Editions Mego with a bunch of experimental electronic musicians? Making no wave techno, of course! Shit and Shine has historically paid little allegiance to any genre labels, but the past few releases have seen a shift towards the electronic, bringing along the trademark snotty brutishness.

There’s nothing silent and there’s nothing subtle here. This is not even music to fist-pump to, unless of course that fist finds a face. “Workin on My Fitness” is a scrambling hardware cut bobbed along by a ferocious rubbery bassline. The chopped vocal sample of the woman working on her aforementioned fitness only serves to make confounding this already strange track. It’s playful and eerie and brutal, a difficult task to accomplish. Other than laugh nervously, what is a listener supposed to do during the hard drive crash of “Upside Down Cheeseburger?”

“Ass,” something of a single for the album, is a mess, but in the best ways possible. With complete disregard for any listener, it cuts through jungle territories while stopping and starting the whole length of the song, stuttering the title throughout all manner of electrostatic wash. This tendency to do whatever he wants is Clouse’s response to anyone who wants to drop in with an opinion. It’s a gleefully delivered middle finger, a “fuck you” with only the best of intentions.

Nobody’s an expert in this world. Everyone’s playing it by ear, throwing things together provisionally, scraping together a bricolage. This is techno from a guy who doesn’t care what techno is supposed to be like and maybe doesn’t even know that sometimes people try to dance to it. Things feel jumbled and heaped and deliriously messy. It’s perfect. The slow buffeting roll of “Rastplatz” is completely ridiculous when paired with all of the whirs and slurps that emerge. “Chop the Night” is just so brawny and overblown with a chopped vocal sample actually yelling out the title over clanging synths that threaten to dive into a real break, but never do. Someone familiar with Shit and Shine is only really familiar with the sense of the unexpected.

Everybody’s a Fuckin Expert is something of a masterclass. However, it’s up to the listener to define what exactly is being taught here. On the level of style, Clouse can ape and refashion the most aggressive and anodyne in the technosphere, but from a perspective of absurdity, those skills are transfigured into a sugar-rush of pure blasted, noise-driven fun. It’s a goofy record. Just look at that dog, levitating above the vale, striking some pose of meditation and serenity. This might not be a record for one of those know-it-all imps that cloud the album’s title, but for anyone who likes seeing someone at play—someone who tears down the building on the LEGO box and turns it into a rocketship — Shit and Shine delivers.

Track List:

  1. Signal Failure
  2. Upside Down Cheeseburger
  3. Bus Station
  4. Wespennest
  5. Hay Ride
  6. Chop The Night
  7. Workin On My Fitness
  8. Picnic Table
  9. Ass
  10. Rastplatz
  11. Stockwell
  12. Clapham North
Shit and Shine - Everybody's a Fuckin Expert Review
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Our Rating

84 / 100
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