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Wednesday, Apr 5 2006
Inflammatory button-pushing at its finest, Tourrorists! is the third full-length from Porest, the longtime recording project of West Oaklander Mark Gergis. He's also a frequent contributor to guerrilla documentarian label Sublime Frequencies, and a key player in innovative local bands like Mono Pause and Diatric Puds. While the last two Porest CDs offered plenty of audio cut-up fun and perplexing goofiness, Tourrorists! is his pointedly political tour de farce. The album is sprinkled with catchy, vaguely Middle Eastern instrumentals — Gergis is credited with an odd shopping list of sound sources, including baglama saz (lute) and "Khmer MIDI failure" — but it's the textual content that stands out. On "Let's Roll," three synthesized voices hold an incendiary post-9/11 conversation, referring to things like the "Yankee Doodle Martyrs' Brigade" and Osama Bin Laden as a masturbatory fantasy figure. One line, "God bless the terrorists and their families," is even emblazoned on the CD liner notes. The track "INS Urgent" recontextualizes a barrage of invasive questions from what sounds like a citizenship interview, the best snippet being: "Have you ever been a prostitute of national importance under civilian direction?" Provocative stuff, but it's doubtful inveterate tongue-in-cheek prankster Gergis is serious about all the controversial "statements" on Tourrorists!, though he probably supports many. Rather, he's just trying to jar listeners into questioning the Orwellian slow-boil in which we're all currently immersed.

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Mike Rowell


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