Princess Dragonmom, “Unicorn Man” tape

January 29, 2013
By Paul Simpson

Since starting 20 years ago, Princess Dragonmom has released numerous tapes, CDs, CD-Rs, videos, and 7″s, and also has a spinoff project called Little Princess. Most importantly, they’ve organized Noise Camp, a noise festival which takes place every summer in Detroit, and has been going on since 1994. Michigan noise scene regulars such as Wolf Eyes and Andrew Coltrane have played noise camp several times, and PDM always headlines. PDM’s performances typically involve lots of colorful cardboard scenery and creatures, often featuring robots, wolves, haunted trees and bushes, and of course the lovable Electric Bear. The band will amplify anything and everything and make noise out of it. PDM’s live shows also end up somewhat messy and violent, with audience members being thrusted inside giant cardboard bushes and running around until the audience members destroy the cardboard costumes. Sometimes someone amplifies a watermelon, and then smashes it.

The group’s recordings can’t really compare to what they do live, but as far as noise tapes go, they’re still pretty entertaining. Their latest tape comes in a silver J-card with a unicorn horn glued onto it (the UFO Factory gallery is painted entirely silver), and is 60 minutes of PDM harsh noise. The first side is a pretty solid slab of crushing feedback, but there’s a little bit of a chugging pulse to it at times, and some alien frequencies peaking through towards the end of the side. Side B starts out harder than side A, with some really abrasive buzzsaw tones, and then it even settles into a groove that almost sounds like a gabber record. There’s no beat, of course, and it’s covered in fuzz, but there’s definitely a rhythm implied there. Of course, this rhythm goes haywire and is overrun with harsh buzzing feedback as usual. However, after a few minutes, the noise stops. There’s some quiet rumbling, which continues for the rest of the tape, but the straight-up harsh noise part is over. Instead there’s just decayed drifting, and more alien frequencies.

UFO Factory

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