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Discovering Music on Archive.Org with Kuzhali Manickavel

The much-loved author of weird fiction collections like ‘Things We Found During the Autopsy’ & ‘Insects Are Just Like You And Me Except Some Of Them Have Wings’ kicks of a new column on music

Feb 19, 2022
Rolling Stone India - Google News

Artwork for Anal Safyra's 'Anus of Satanus.'

I like to say that I listen to all kinds of music. Sometimes I say everyone should listen to all kinds of music, but mostly I just like to talk about myself. I like to describe my musical tastes using words like ‘eclectic’, ‘super-alternative’, ‘it’s not on the internet’ and ‘you probably haven’t heard of it’. I say all these things because I don’t listen to all kinds of music. I just like to say I do, which some people might call lying but whatever. I never listen to music recommendations. I avoid music in languages I don’t understand because life is hard enough as it is. When people mention obscure bands or songs, I respond with even more obscure bands and songs which, I’m not ashamed to admit, I generally make up on the spot. When I inadvertently hear something outside my limited musical scope, I say lol that’s weird as fuck and turn it off.

In this column, I am hoping to remedy all this by journeying through the extensive mountains of music that are nestled deep in the heart of archive.org. I will listen to music that is new to me and in different languages, even if it scares me because I don’t know what they are saying. I will listen with an open heart and mind, without judgement, and hopefully without being racist, even when I am listening to music by actual racists (which I hope I will!). Anyway, in an effort to begin things on an auspicious note, I would like to start with something I found called Anus of Satanus.

Why this?

Because it’s called Anus of Satanus and I’m flabbergasted you even had to ask.

What is it?

It’s an album by a band from Lithuania called Anal Safyra, who either really love or really hate bums. If you download the PDF, you will see that this was brought out by Fecal Nazi Shapeshifter Records. If you download the text file, you will see the words MAKE SHIT NOT MUSIC, as well as a request to print things out on BOTH sides of the paper. Descriptors for this album include ‘six string inferno and inhuman barking’, ‘old school noisecore hategrind’, ‘anal negalia’ and ‘shitcore noisecore up puke vomitcore debilas let’s go’. Also, one song is four seconds long. And there is a track called “Raped by Two Gays at Christmas Eve” when it obviously should have been called “Satan Shoves His Esoteric Knees Up Your Poopiehole”.

Assorted Notes Made While Listening

-Fam, the drummer is relentless YOU ARE VERY GOOD BRO

-Some of these songs are just a couple of seconds of the vocalist shouting the title, then frantic drums, then screaming, and that’s it.

-The vocalist is amazing, but it sometimes sounds like he is in real pain ARE YOU OK SIR

-There’s this one song that almost had a “normal” song structure. Almost.

-I kind of liked “Raped by Two Gays at Christmas Eve”, is that bad? Should I inform someone?

In Conclusion

Fam, this album felt like I was being repeatedly punched in the face by a very angry opera, and you know what, I didn’t hate it. There was some very sweet, chunky static and distortion, the drummer was excellent, and the vocalist was kind of amazing, considering how daintily he flitted from a death growl to a bouquet of screams which were frankly a little alarming. Intense brutal shots of noise, difficult to dance to, and I was here for it.

Filed Under

‘I am an Expert on Lithuanian Noisecore’, ‘Songs about Bums’ and ‘Artillery Fire in Music’

My next musical find is called Music by Ms. Fausta and Ms. Sonia Menezes

Why this?

I found it while rummaging through a collection called Cultural Resources of India and I thought it was there by mistake because why else would Western Music be in a collection of Indian cultural resources, right? Then I realised I was a racist fuck for thinking that. Then I felt bad for being a racist fuck. It was a journey you guys.

What is it?

I’m…not totally sure? It seems to be ripped from an audio cassette that was put out by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. I couldn’t find a date but given the song choices, I’m going to say sometime during the 1980s or what I like to refer to as India’s No Coca-Cola Period. Anyway, I am legit excited to listen to this so here we go.

Assorted Notes Made While Listening

-Is this live? It’s not live, right? omg it’s live.

-Hey, these guys are pretty good!

-Why are all the songs so long though?

-I think they are repeating some of the verses WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT THOUGH

– Wait is somebody talking through the song??

– Somebody in the audience is actually talking during the song and it has been recorded for all of us to hear in 2022 wtf you guys.

– Ok, I want to say these…Portuguese songs? I have no idea what language it is, but these songs are off the chain, and I am enjoying like anything.

In Conclusion

So, here’s the thing. The recording quality was awful, the editing felt like it was done by someone who didn’t care about life, and some of the audience thought it was cool to talk right in the middle of a song when we all know that even in India’s No Coca-Cola Period, that was not cool. Anyway, despite all that, these guys sounded pretty good. I felt the vocalists were strong, energetic, assured and the band matched them effortlessly. I liked their English songs but, in my opinion, the non-English songs were the best (Google translate says they were in Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, but what if Google is just making that up, I have no way of knowing). I tried to find out more about the band and vocalists, but my Google efforts were not successful. All I was left with was a handful of burning questions; What happened to this band and the singers? Did they ever record anything else? What was bothering the person who edited this? Are they ok now? Do the audience members who were talking through that song feel any shame? Does the Indian Council for Cultural Relations know where these musicians are? If so, why are they keeping it a secret? Fam, I fear we will never learn the answers to these questions. For what it’s worth, I would like to say to Ms. Fausta, Ms. Sonia Menezes and the band, wherever you may be, I enjoyed your performance very much, and I wish this audio recording had done you better justice.

Filed Under

‘Bop’, ‘The Mystery of Western Music in India’ and ‘Songs from India’s No Coca-Cola Period’

That’s about all we have time for this week! If you have nothing better to do, please join us for our next column where we will be listening to other things and sharing our feelings regarding the same.


Kuzhali Manickavel’s chapbooks and collections are available from Blaft Publications, Chennai. Her work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, The White Review, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review and DIAGRAM. More information can be found at www.kuzhalimanickavel.com.


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