Sunday, February 7, 2016

MACHO BLUSH “Favorite Poems” (self-released)




We’ve evolved, right? From early hominids to the glorious creatures you see today. Humans are sophisticated, genteel, and graceful. We have left the past behind, now evident only in scientific observations of DNA, and have moved – make that continue to move into a future where we just keep on getting better and better. It’s in our nature. We will one day be perfect.

Which is why I find it odd that Gina Probst, the sole human being behind the Macho Blush project, has to look so intently in the rearview mirror of human progress. The Austin-based multi-instrumentalist has used guitar, piano, violin, and voice to craft the eight pieces that comprise Favorite Poems, and to call these compositions elegant or civil is the same as serving a five-course meal with only four spoons! You just don’t do it. Rather, these works revel in the base impulses that we should have left behind, or at least quashed into our subconscious, never to be realized in actual space or time.

I’m just playin’ with ya. I’m not some highbrow jackass with a bone to pick. In fact, Macho Blush is one of the most inventive noise(ish) music acts I’ve heard in a while. Probst plumbs the depths of her psyche and uses her voice in wildly exotic ways, blasting it as an instrument mostly instead of singing. When she does sing, she recalls one of my favorite electroacoustic voice artists, Derek Piotr. When she’s simply making noise with her mouth, it often sounds like a saxophone. In fact, I was eating breakfast as I listened to this, she sounded positively Stetson-esque through the chewing of my cereal. I really dug it that way.

Maybe Gina Probst has eschewed the path to human perfectionism and instead has tuned in to where we’re really headed. Could it be that a devolution is in the offing? A return to base instinct and survivalism? If that’s the case, Favorite Poems is a celebration of the id, a whirlwind of psychological experimentation and sonic maximalism, and an exercise in transcending limitations. And as such, I won’t feel the slightest bit of embarrassment when the giggling child in me laughs every time the cut-and-paste “shit/fucks” of “Skyscraper Dragnet” flit about above the lounge piano. It’s a fabulous moment.



--Ryan Masteller

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