steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

John Rifle

"Francas Nurture" CD

Rabbit Surgeon

Genres: sound collage, plunderphonics

Mar 3 - 9 2003

Some of our readers may be aware of a computer game that came out in the early nineties called "Sam N' Max Hit The Road".  It was based on the lives of a duo of private investigators, Sam, a dog, and Max, a rabbit.  Sam was the normal, more serious character, adding a sense of relative averageness that was a stark contrast to Max, who was wackier and more immature than Bugs Bunny could every hope to be.

As hinted by the little bunny rabbits pictured all over Francas Nurture's liner notes, John Rifle is a new breed of Max.  He takes dozens upon dozens of serious samples from all forms of media, and converts them into massive jumbles of crazy - and sometimes scary - sound collages.

A perfect example of Rifle's work is "Detective," a piece made up of two audio tracks (they're one after another on the disc).  Like The Bran Flakes, Rifle starts off with a beat and a melody, and then mixes in various interesting samples including a fictional television interview with him as the subject.  He then adds in excerpts of interviews and "Behind The Music" samples about famous bands and artists like Brian Wilson and The Doors.  Genius.

"Ghosts" is another neat track.  With a creepy background of little bells (reminiscent of the theme to those "Home Alone" movies), it runs through a panoply of horror movie samples and wind ambiance.  It's as frightenin' as all hell.

Fans of plunderphonic masters like People Like Us, Negativland, John Oswald, and The Bran Flakes may wish to give Rifle's new album a shot.  He may not be as well-known as the other artists on the scene, but his style is a fresh one that may really appeal to you.  It ain't too often that you come across an album this fuckin' crazy.


Fun Fact: John Rifle wins points for having one of the wickedest websites ever:

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 24 songs, distributed by Illegal Art, released 2002]