Genre is Obsolete 5

by Adam Lehrer

It has been a long time since I last published this column (which I plan on doing again on a regular basis) — since February 19, to be exact — and in that short amount of time, much has changed in my life. I have just finished a manuscript, which is now in edits and rewrites and should be published by early Autumn. I have emerged as a figure of some notoriety, and am enjoying it (perhaps a bit too much). And of course, Covid has all but ended. My Covid experience was strange, but highly rewarding, oddly enough. I went into the pandemic as a struggling writer and artist who kept his head down, and have come out of it as a cultural antagonist of some renown. It is, in all honesty, utterly intoxicating to venture to art world parties and be lavished with praise and fandom. I have to constantly remind myself that these people aren’t my allies. I have to remind myself that I am not their problematic friend. I am their enemy. I might even be your enemy. My goal is to destroy the inculcated ideology of the contemporary arts. I will not be recuperated back into the machine that repulses me. That’s not for their lack of trying though.

And that brings me to noise. I realize now that this column’s thematic conceit — its “take” on noise — was developed upon the last vestiges of my lingering artistic idealism. Noise’s inherent formlessness, or, its “genrelessness,” will not save it from the predations of the liquid society. It would seem that the signifiers of the noise genre, however vague or hard to describe they might be, are just as suitable for distributing ideological discipline as any other art form. The North Dakota-based label Black Ring Rituals, for instance, has risen to prominence infinitely faster than other noise labels, and it’s hard not to see this as having something to do with the label’s easily branded and packaged political content: Support Unit’s Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, Incendiary Cult’s (a self-described “anarcho-power electronics” unit, disgusting) One Solution: Revolution, and more releases that read like pamphlets for student political action groups are amongst its discography. Noise, once a haven for art and ideologies that challenge a liberal hegemony, has emerged as a useful arm of that hegemony itself. If you can turn fringe weirdos into good little liberals, you can turn anyone into a good little liberal. If you can make noiseniks into abject conformists… You catch my drift.

This tendency has only been exacerbated during the pandemic, in which the only way to hear new noise was to stream it through Bandcamp or (god forbid) buy physical records. So much of the power and freedom of noise is in its live performance setting, in which volume disintegrates everything resembling ideological and social structures. At its best, noise can dissolve the self entirely. Noise, according to academic and writer David Novak in his excellent book on the Japanese noise underground Japanoise, is about “liveness and deadness.” “Live Noise performances can produce extraordinarily powerful embodiments of sound that help audiences imagine a community of Noise listeners.” Without a live setting, the communal aspect of noise has rotted from the inside out. In the absence of the live performance, ts practitioners have released countless records signaling their ideological commitments to “good causes” (and in our society those good causes are wholly managed and controlled by those with power). It’s truly vulgar to witness noise musicians signaling the same politics espoused by Pitchfork in desperate displays of trying to get their music heard. The feedback loop between “liveness” and “deadness” was temporarily cut off, and people’s listening habits were firmly cemented into their algorithmically orchestrated lives.

If noise is going to be “genreless,” it must reclaim the freedom of the live performance. It needs that space of infinite possibility to achieve the transcendence of the truly genre neutral zone. When I was going to noise shows in the mid-’00s, the diversity in thought of its artists was one of its primary pulls. There were so many weirdos who just couldn’t belong anywhere else (not even in arts and music): there were right wingers, there were nazi aesthetic fetishists, there were apolitical edgelords, and there were indeed some committed principled communists that had absolutely no resemblance to the crypto-democratic party loyalists who kayfabe as revolutionaries. And everyone was interested and fascinated in everyone else’s thing. There were no Antifa bourgeois foot soldiers banning people from record labels for posting Pepe memes, or whatever. Noise was a zone of contradiction and expansive possibility.

My new skepticism towards this very column has, interestingly enough, made this column easier to write. It has made the parameters of what constitutes “genrelessness” easier to detect, if not define. It’s easier beneath this disposition to simply reject that music that doesn’t qualify. “Genrelessness” is an aspiration that’s rarely achieved, of course, but it’s in the quest towards genrelessness that imbues noise with its enduring cosmic strength.

Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt Lucy & Aaron (Hanson)

2021 has been a difficult year for music for me. There, quite simply, hasn’t been a whole lot of it that I’m all that interested in. I’ve found that the records released this year I’ve re-listened to most endlessly are made by indie rock stars of the 1990s who have long stopped caring about artistic evolution: Chris Brokaw, Will Oldham, Lou Barlow. In a year that saw so little innovation (so far), there’s some joy in hardened musicians who just want to play beautiful songs. Likewise, there have been some records by extreme metal titans like Portal and Paysage D’Hiver that I’ve indeed enjoyed, if less so than I did their earlier, more formally radical material. To cap off this idea about stagnation, one of if not my absolute favorite album released this year is Alan Vega’s posthumous Mutator. That, indeed, was as strange and disorienting as any music of recent and its creator isn’t even alive.

But Lucy & Aaron, the first collaboration between Dilloway and Lucretia Dalt, has replaced it. Arguably my favorite new record of 2021, there is undeniable modernism at work here. It’s an album of ghastly horror that leans into absurdity enough to not take itself too seriously. A peculiar humor is at the heart of it all, which appeals to the senses in a world so dreadfully morose. The two artists have performed together for years, and have clearly found an artistic bond that makes this album sound less like a collaborative project than the object of a hive mind. Both Dilloway’s ectoplasmic grooves and Dalt’s vocal hypnosis and zest for mixing seem less like the composite parts of two different entities than the shared tools of a vast monolithic whole. Dilloway treats Dalt’s voice as raw material, and her voice bleeds in and out of the diverse array of sinister and suggestive sounds and effects. Dalt’s use of glossolalia and her (not to be reductive) connection to a particular South American mysticism provide a new way to listen to Dilloway’s signature murk. It’s almost shocking how well the thing comes together, every track is like a unique painting with its own language, image, and conceptual basis that nevertheless takes arms with those tracks around it.

What might be most surprising here is that for all the pandemonic experimental tracks, is how close some of the songs get to the heart of something almost recognizable as pop. Dilloway and Dalt harmonize vocals on “Niles Baroque,” with an undercurrent of a wah-wah throbbing bass that is equally disgusting and sexual. Another stand out is “Tense Cuts,” which has the effect of the sublime attempting to claw its way to the surface of a shallow grave, kicking and screaming. 

Jason Crumer Services Rendered (BPP)

Though still the proprietor of his still quite prolific label No Rent Records, Jason Crumer has put out his last couple solo full-lengths through Rusty Kelley’s Breathing Problems Productions. Services Rendered, like its self-titled predecessor, is adorned in a painting by New York-based artist (and friend of mine) Justine Neuberger. This one depicts a woman attempting to grasp the hand of a boy drowning in a body of water, with a landscape washed out in surreal shades of green. The scene evokes violence, mysticism, and a world between worlds. A fitting invitation to the album itself.

Kicking off “Conversation Over a Corpse,” the title of which seems to conclude the scene depicted on the cover, Crumer plumbs directly into brutality. Clanging noises are eviscerated by titanic forces of feedback and ferocious torrents of hiss. “Attempt,” however, quiets things down. While still operating in the aesthetic realm of dread, it waits through six minutes of sustained tones and drips of auditory weirdness before letting the noise elevate past control once more.

I think what makes Crumer enduringly fascinating in American noise, though, is that even now — from where he stands as nothing short of an icon of experimental sound — you can still detect his early love of good ol’ punk rock n’ roll in his sound. He was, afterall, brought up on the Germs and the Urinals and made his bones in the stoner punk band Facedowninshit. There’s an enthusiasm for rocking and for libidinal energy in his noise. Album closer “Miles of Anything,” with its implied narrative arch, has something heroic about it.

Ecclesiarch Through the Wrought Iron Jaws of Heaven (Bizarre Audio Arts)

The long-running noise label Bizarre Audio Arts, operated by the Ecuadorian noise musician Leonard Sabatto, has been a regular treat these past few months (I bought its entire massive digital discography on Bandcamp). It has not only released several decent to great newer recordings by today’s most sociopathic and maladjusted noise terrorists, but has also taken pains to archive almost all of its extensive back catalog. With records dating as far back as 1995, the label has made mind warping sounds by a number of icons of the scene available digitally: Macronympha, Richard Ramirez, Evil Moisture, KNURL, Incapacitants, and of course Armenia – Sabatto’s own project.

I could write a book on this label’s cryptic but truly astonishing history as a purveyor of the realest, most intense, and most sadistic noise music out there. But alas, this is a column on not all genreless noise, but new genreless noise. So, let me stick to the script and discuss this record by Ecclesiarch – a solo experimental project by a South Carolina-based musician named Emery Sinclair Delaine.

This is not traditional blown out feedback noise (a style of sound production that like everything else is becoming played the fuck out and appropriated by cynical rich kid activists looking to steal the valor of our beloved transgressive art), but instead leans into the territory of the cosmic and the transcendental. There are droned out guitar riffs ala Sunn O))), there is exquisite guitar noise ala Solmania (my personal noise hero), and there is disorienting, spectral electronic soundscapes. Genre elusive, the project veers between harsh noise, death industrial, dark ambient, and the occasional allusion to something more resembling metal influence. The recent release by Kenoun (which I mentioned in the last column) is aesthetically similar, if a bit less reliant on the aesthetic trappings of a harsh noise release. I do have one critique for Mr. Delaine, however, that I think is worth stating: the trad black metal aesthetics around the project (like its cover designed by “dark artist” Tyler O’Berry) are both misleading AND limiting. There is an expansiveness to this sound that one can get lost in and drift through. Its strength is in that slippery quality. The metal aesthetics don’t do the sound justice, and I became distracted listening to the project trying to hear a quality (black metal or even blackened noise) that just isn’t there. Overall, however, I’m very excited about this project.

Territorial Gobbing vs. Derek Piotr Territorial Gobbing vs. Derek Piotr (TQN-aut)

In the past, I’ve been unimpressed with the Leeds-based experimental musician Theo Gowans and his project Territorial Gobbing. It’s a bit too easy, for instance, to see where his influences are coming from. The glitchy, cut-up, dayglo affect of it all is clearly born of an interest in REPO-era Black Dice (for the record, I ADORE Black Dice) and the early work of Animal Collective (for the record, I HATE Animal Collective). There is also a total absence of quality control with the Territorial Gobbing releases, and there seems to be hundreds of pieces of music released by Gowans just in the last few years. OK, so that’s not exactly rare amongst noise-leaning musicians these days, but I don’t understand this impulse to release everything. I think art suffers when the artist doesn’t make efforts to understand what works and what doesn’t, and Territorial Gobbing is among the many experimental acts that could benefit greatly from a little inhibition. Truly.

But there’s something fascinating about this collaboration between Territorial Gobbing and the young Polish sound artist Derek Piotr. Apart, both of these artists represent a new tendency in experimental music that is innately offensive to my sensibilities: gimmicky, contrived, “hipster’d out,” and what have you. But together, there seems to be something truly generative here. Released by the Newcastle Upon Tyne-based zine turned label TQN-aut, the record vanquishes the sometimes vulgar kitsch of the two artists and manifests the hallucinatory and surreal darkness that sometimes lurks beneath the surface of the two artists’ music. On a track like the 14-minute closer “NOISE DADS,” the duo weaves a disorienting array of electronic texture that weave in and out of whispered vocal noises and manage to imbue the sound with a muted monstrosity absent the viciousness and volume of most harsh noise. A collision of ASMR and experimental sounds. The shorter tracks have charms, too. The ambient purrs of “Curatorial Garbling” dissolve the walls that line my subjectivity, opening me up to suggestion and hypnosis, and it rules. Considering the two producers recorded this album in lockdown through electronic sound exchange, the album is remarkably well-made, textured, and cohesive. The album shatters my previously held dismissals of the two musicians present, and has engaged me as a listener for future projects.

Commuter Inner SE Industrial (Phage Tapes)

I was just in San Francisco. Apprehensively, I love it there. I love the simulacra of its counter-cultural history that still holds on, even if condoned and supported by the tech billionaires who lord over the Bay Area like its kingdom. I love its permanent October climate, and find it tranquil in a way that I’m not used to. I love its natural beauty, which is extreme, and its architectural majesty, which is singular and inarguably stunning. But the city’s charms collapse beneath its own political economic contradictions. From one block to the next, you might end up walking from a nerd aristocrat paradise to a tent city full of human degradation so immense that I would not wish it upon my own worst enemy. A city that has more arbitrary environmental and social control measures than I could keep track of has the most offensive homeless crisis I’ve ever seen. It is a dystopia, from which the rich, liberal, tech class laughs at those that have suffered the most due to its excesses. San Francisco is proof that, while nothing short of a revolution would rectify these contradictions, we still must oppose the governance of the liberal, progressive technocracy. It is anti-human.

That anti-humanity also exists in the liberal utopia/dystopia of Portland, Oregon, where harsh noise musician Commuter calls home. This record is his document of the political economic conditions that I described in San Francisco as he’s observed in his home city of Portland. Commuter walked through the tent cities at night, capturing the despair of the urban homeless. There are sounds of men as the body without organs howling into the night at the demons only they can see. There is the sound of the violence, of bodies being harmed. All the tracks imply the narrative of the circumstances that they were recorded under. “2 AM. A Man follows me from Alder Street to Madison.” “Piss Soaked Cardboard, Dirty Clothing in a Stairwell.” Like Wu Tang Clan, Commuter imbues a hallucinatory surrealism, or a theory-fictional mythology, into an otherwise socially realist practice. Sonically, it’s very heavy and punishing, with the field recordings buffered out by noise and sheet metal.

NH Meth KSV 534 Unknown Gen (Karl Schmidt Verlag)

NH Meth is To Live and Shave in LA leader and singer (and whose dictum “genre is obsolete” inspired the Ray Brassier essay that inspired this column) Tom Smith’s new band in a long while, and it is in many ways a lot different from both TLASILA as well as Tom’s work with Dave Phillips in Ohne. In 2019, Lurch X of the Leeds-based noise punk duo Guttersnipe joined Tom and Miami noise impresario Rat Bastard for a TLASILA European tour. Tom loved the way that Lurch played guitar, and they wanted to do a project together. Enlisting Paige Flash, who has played with American noise terrorists Cock ESP (as based as noise gets) and Cult of Youth (terrible, a kind of Pitchfork friendly appropriation of neofolk, but whatever), NH Meth was born. And, honestly, I really fucking love this record.

True to Tom’s catchphrase, there is no genre cohesion here. But, unlike TLASILA’s best albums (such as the masterpiece double album The Wigmaker in 18th Century Williamsburg) that tend to create a space of deconstruction that pulverizes genre signifiers beneath a miasma of chaos, noise, and delirious cuts and edits, NH Meth tends to approach different genres on different songs, to an extent, and experiment with a variety of genre signifiers. The opening track “Leper,” for instance, is an elegant and refined techno banger. It honestly doesn’t sound too far removed from Villalobos doing an approximation of punk, and as soon as I put it on my headphones I find myself dancing to it with reckless abandon. From there, however, the group fractures realities. By the second track, “Cupid’s Colossal,” the trio is doing phantasmatic gunk electronics, replete with squiggles of spasmodic synth sounds and Tom approximating a falsetto. The production is fascinating, as Lurch X’s vocals come in and seem to shriek and plead for mercy. It’s horror music, basically, and any dancing that it might yield will be of the kind that satanists engage in around a ritual sacrifice burning at a stake. There’s a lot of experimentation and freedom here. On “Dream of Pomo Chester,” the trio employs a tribal drum beat reminiscent of Test Dept that keeps it tight, while Lurch and Tom trade vocals – often processed, edited, and rendered unrecognizable. The final track, “Rough Against the Milk-Fed,” ties together the disparate threads of the album. There’s a pulsating techno throb, synth squeals, and Lurch and Tom conjuring devils through their vocal trade offs. At times, there seems to be connections here between NH Meth and the genre deconstructions of Shit and Shine – but where Craig Clouse is a marketer, Tom is a druid. This is…… weirder.

Dave Phillips Disappear (Total Black)

Now we have releases by both members of the 2000s noise project Ohne: Tom Smith and, now, Dave Phillips. Phillips is of course the Swiss sound artist who is perhaps best known for his work in legacy projects like Fear of God and Schimpfluch-Gruppe, but has released stunning experimental noise under his own name for just as long (since the 1980s). Phillips’ new release is Disappear and it’s more diverse sonically than 99 percent of what passes as noise these days. From the very first track on this album, “FFTTMFTO,” I was hooked. A pulsating techno drone bleeps in and then instantly vanishes, before splices of noise and sampled sounds cut in and out alongside a menacing vocal line before buzzing washes of white noise lurk beneath. It’s a fucking mesmerizing sound. “Hope (Without)” is an atmospheric beast with a narrative pull: a hushed whisper murmurs throughout: “We must not give into despair,” it says, as evil, hissing noise threatens to explode all while interjected with the sound of a clocktower, bounding the track in a temporal nightmare.

This is what I want noise to be. A cohesion of unrecognizable sounds, not just torrents of feedback and guys screaming about finger banging their family members. Phillips has a remarkable understanding of texture, and knows how to exploit noise as a space for art. While noise should not be music, it should be art. If that makes any sense, then congratulations you’re smart and on the level.

Jacob Winans There’s Something in the Back Yard (No Rent)

Jacob Winans is a Massachusetts-based devotee of electronic noise. On his recent release for No Rent, the label operated by Jason Crumer, the artist conjures a “balls to the wall” harsh noise that is often interrupted and disoriented by glitches and myriad interjections of technological breakdown.

I have no idea who Winans is and can’t seem to find anything biographical online. So, I’m going to list a number of associations I had while listening to this album: Videodrome, early 2000s Merzbow, Gretchen Bender, cyberpunk, “the sky is the color of television, fixed to a dead channel,” Steven Shaviro before he was a leftard, Nihil Unbound, Pan Sonic live, Kenneth Anger, Richie Hawtin, Huysmans’ The Damned, ketamine, Xanax, contaminated lake, financial center in dystopia, The Shining.

Scathing Pale Forced Feeders (New Forces)

New Forces has been releasing a lot of great, vicious shit lately, but none warped my fucking brain to the extent that this record by Texan noiselord Scathing did. I’d say what separates Scathing, or Kenny Brieger, from the onslaught of “samo samo” (to use the Basquiat aphorism) noise is that despite its bone curdling intensity, the tracks are full of dynamics, movement, shift, and breaks. The album is mercifully short too. A quick blast of pure noise. Pure energy. A release that cuts to the heart of what is that makes this thing of ours tick.

Blood of Chhinnamastika Hali Dakshina Kalika (Shrouded Recordings)

A cut-up noise and power electronics project with an undercurrent of eastern mysticism and tantric libidinal drive, Blood of Chhinnamastika is something to watch out for. It’s a deeply physical sound, but also strangely interior, like when you’re orgasming during a good fuck and your mind drifts back into a dark abyss and you’re detached not just from who you’re fucking, but from yourself as well. At least, that’s how the first track on Dakshina Kalika sounds. By the second track on this tape, however, this gets a bit more recognizably power electronics and extreme. There are distorted screams and stop-start noise pulsations, that all eventually lead to a truly spasmodic climax of ferocious noise. People think it’s so corny that I love noise like this so much, but fuck them. What, am I supposed to do – be a good boy and eat the bugs and pretend that I’m excited to hear the new Elysia Crampton record? Sorry, no. I want to blow my eardrums out while writing Guyotat-style (right hand typing left hand jerking myself blind) to Blood of Chhinnamastika. This doesn’t make me special, it’s just my own spice of life.

Body Stress Black Hole America (Moral Defeat)

The Copenhagen-based producer Martin Schacke, best known as a pioneer in the field of 130 BPM techno, also puts out noise on his label Moral Defeat. It’s hard for me to get excited about this kind of thing. Schacke’s techno is both strange and supremely elegant, and as is often the case with techno bros doing noise, his new release under the name Body Stress feels a bit warmed over. It feels more like experimentation with a certain aesthetic than an aesthetic fully formed. All the techno guys seem to really love Macronympha too. I swear it always sounds like Macronympha but without the supreme levels of perversion and freedom. But who knows, maybe there’s some potential in this yet.

Cyrocene Exclave (New Forces)

Exclave is the debut by Cyrocene, a duo composed of Stefan Aune (Kjostad) and Matt Boettke (Scant). Released on Aune’s New York-based label New Forces, Exclave is a refreshing set of clanging, berserk, and volatile industrial music that alludes to the genre’s history without being too referential. The bass drones and distorted synths veer between brutality and serenity, and the record has the sense of blankness, coldness, and ice. I couldn’t help but view the album as a fitting soundtrack to writer Anna Kavan’s novel Ice in the menacingly vast blankness of it all. That novel is a metaphor for the frozen emotional state of opiate addiction, so one can read into that here, perhaps. Addiction, entrapment, alienation, and frozenness. The record seamlessly brings together the two aesthetics of both artists’ main projects: the icy ferocity of Scant and the meditative evil of Kjostad are one. And the same.

New Class of Necrophile New Class of Necrophile (Hostile 1 Tapes) 

Queens-based tape label Hostile 1 Tapes, specializing in the heavier and more disgusting end of experimental music with harsh noise, blackened noise, noisecore, and power electronics their specialties, describes this self-titled debut by New Class of Necrophile as “the soundtrack to fucking.” Perhaps that’s true, but you could say that for noise and power electronics releases that date back to the 1980s, no? My point is that these kinds of transgressive sentiments are so embedded into noise history that they have become as normative to the genre’s legacy as tales of gang violence have become to rap music’s. But another death industrial project referencing corpse fucking isn’t singular enough to make the sole marketing point of the music. But after taking some time to pause on this, I realize that perhaps there is a level of irony going on here that works so subtly that I didn’t even detect it at first. The text that accompanies this release is so laden with references to necrophilia that it takes on a level of absurdism that is clearly meant to invite the head-scratchings of the kind that I demonstrate above. This is, actually, quite hilarious. It’s taking having some fun with antiquated edgelordism as a stance, and for that, I am deeply appreciative.

Nevertheless, there’s some very interesting things happening sonically on this release. Clearly influenced by the inimitable Atrax Morgue, the dense slabs of venomous electronics form a perfect cyclone that the looped vocals of murderous confessions can move through. This is a very short release, and suitably so. It’s something to briefly turn on and indulge your most perverse egoic fantasies. Such murderous ideations are an important aspect of developing a creative subjectivity.

Satori Mansoul (Outsider Art)

Genreless? Not exactly. Doing it since 1984, Dave Kirby’s Satori project has been stretching the limits of industrial and power electronics consistently for 30 years now. With a new full-length on Outsider Art, Mansoul, Satori is still making better extreme electronic music than basically anyone that has risen to the fore in the last 10 years. This record rips. Oddly enough, it seems that Kirby is among the only artists of his generation to still be producing work of this high quality. While Ramleh has trade in power electronics for psych rock (usually excellent), and William Bennett has opted for the rhythmic voodoo influenced dance music of Cut Hands (also excellent), Satori still pushes industrial sound beyond its limitations. The grid gets wider, and more texture is slotted within it. Take a track like “Another Missing Girl,” which begins with a very industrial-esque drum machine pattern, before elevating walls of static feedback to the point where everything collapses into one another. The sound of a dental drill bleeds into hiss, synth scratches morph into wailing drones. There’s so much happening here that there’s almost nothing happening. It’s an annihilation of the senses, as noise should do. A 40 year veteran still puts most of the kids to shame.

And that’s my point. I started this column under the aegis that Ray Brassier was correct in his essay on TLASILA and Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock: due to its shunning of anything resembling musical form, noise remains stunningly averse to marketization. But I don’t think that’s true anymore. Millennial noise is almost as shockingly bad as all other art forms under present conditions are. You have groups like Machine Girl and producers like Lingua Ignota using noise branding to push what basically amounts to Pitchfork-approved pop music. The musicians that do still make noise that is consistent with its historic underground and avant-garde principles are often so stuck in the aesthetics of one dimensional transgression — rape, murder, mutilation — that the transgression itself is reduced to bland, hauntological, nostalgic fetishization. And worse of all, noise — once a space of true dissident ideological provocations — has been colonized entirely by the same cathedral ghoul activists that have ruined almost every other facet of the arts. There are entire labels peddling “antifa noise” and other vulgar nonsense, and even icons of the scene like Macronympha have backpedaled earlier transgressions to appease the political singularity. Thus, my thesis for this column has been disproven. Noise is just another arm of a propaganda machine.

With this in mind, it’s even more important to celebrate the artists that do attempt to fracture the real with sound. That attempt to collapse the walls of genre and yield a space of genrelessness. It’s time to start gatekeeping. There’s noise as a polluted, marketized genre. And there’s noise as a zone of unbridled, libidinal artistic freedom. The artists who work within that zone are the ones who will be highlighted in this column. So get out of here with this fake shit, and give me something fucking real