As with any sort of noise project, trying to define Magicicada and explain what’s going on in Wrack With Ruin is quite difficult. At times the album is glitchy, at others it’s melodic, and at others it’s just plain confusing. There are harrowing vocal samples and sounds that couldn’t possibly have been orchestrated; here, mastermind Chris White proves himself to be a master of the printer sound. One thing is certain: Wrack With Ruin is heavy and dark in a way that makes it difficult to listen to fully. It’s really good, but just like Death Grip’s LP No Love Deep Web, it’s so hard-hitting that it might be tough to go from start to finish. However, the farther in you get, the easier it is to take in.
The 15 tracks on the record are all so different, it’s impossible to just sum the album up with a few of them. “Glancing Off The Edges” seems to take inspiration from sci-fi alarm sound clips. “Pardon You” features an almost laugh-inducing accordion. The strings on “Homeopathic Processor” and “Livewater” give me the mental image of a giant many-legged organism playing a bunch of poorly tuned violins. “Blossoming Snares Of The Earth” is a spaceship banging on drums. If that doesn’t convey what’s going on, literally nothing can.
Projects like Magicicada are what truly reveal genius. For a lot of people, defining this as “music” would be difficult, but there’s something really challenging about making music out of sounds like what are present here that conventional composers lack. I don’t mean to make writing music sound easy, but the world is full of people who can sit down with a piano or a guitar and bang out a song, but I’m not sure if they could take all these zany bangs and blips and make them into something that’s listenable. A tip of my hat to people who can, like Chris White.