The Mammal Music Website
As we are all aware, the internet is a very large place indeed. Therefore, it is not surprising when one discovers something out of the ordinary or downright disturbing scattered among the endless pages. I know what you're thinking, surely nothing can be that strange or outrageously unnatural that it can shock someone to the core, especially on something as heavily monitored as the internet. You'd be wrong.
I'm a musician, and an experimental one at that, therefore I like trying to discover other experimental bands and experimental music. I have tendencies to look on Reddit and other forum pages to see what new, strange music is out there, and most of the time it's nothing too strange. At least, that's what I first thought.
While browsing on an Avant Garde/Experimental Music forum, I discovered a link on a small post entitled "Mammal Music". It was a rather small post, with no images, videos, audio clips or anything of that kind, which is strange for any music blog or forum. I decided to follow the link, where it led me to a very poorly made website entitled "mammalmusicvideo.com". From first glance, the website was nothing more than a white page, with an incredibly pixelated image of an amplifier and a small row of text.
The text read as follows:
- Hello, we welcome you to Mammal Music and we are glad that you have found us.
- This link will lead you to our magnum opus, our one and only piece of work.
- Once again, we thank you for visiting Mammal Music and remember,
- Music is eternal, music is internal.
I chuckled a little at that last sentence, seeing it no more as a vain and somewhat pretentious way for Mammal Music to make themselves appear more artsy than what I assumed they would be. Being curious, yet being ever so slightly put off by the lines of text, I decided to go ahead and follow the link that was shown below. In small, barely visible letters the link was entitled "PhoneticPalindrome", which I assumed was the name of the piece.
In the instant I clicked the small link, a small video file was downloaded onto my PC, where I was eager to see what I was to be presented with. I must warn you, who may be reading it, that this is where things begin to go down hill and things become a little strange. If you are sensitive to disturbing or just generally disgusting imagery, I strongly advise you stop reading.
The Phonetic Palindrome Video
Two long, drawn out minutes of nothing but a black screen with some incredibly distorted murmuring could be heard, it was clear this was shot on some poor quality VHS camera from the late '80s or something. I assumed that the video wasn't working at first, but then the video revealed that whoever was filming had left the lens cap on. At this point in time I found myself laughing, mostly because the only words I could make out were the camera operator saying "Oh shit!" after realising he had left the lens cap on.
Removing the lens cap from the camera, the video quality was equally as poor as the audio. I will try to describe the setting as best as I can. The whole video consisted of one still shot of a small room which was completely empty, which looked similar to that of what a teenager's room would look like from the late 1980s, with movie posters, a small bed and a record player. The fuzzy audio and the poor image quality continued for a while, with still nothing happening in the shot, until suddenly the shot cut to a different shot, showing a low angle of the door, but it showed the door violently slamming open against the wall and slamming shut on multiple occasions. I nearly jumped out of my seat: it was unexpected and the sound of the slamming overwhelmed the terrible microphone on the camera. The camera cut back to its original position, of being on some kind of table, this time with the door firmly closed.
I began to wonder, what has any of this got to do with music? My question was soon answered when the door jump-cut back open again, and the audio track began squealing and hissing like feedback. I considered the sound to be almost unbearable and was close to turning the video off; however, the sound ceased, and the audio track of the video was dead silent, not even the crackling static of the old VHS could be heard.
A man walked in through the door, I say walked, but his movements seemed very unnatural, almost robotic. Clearly some issue with the video quality made it seem as if the man were cutting frames like some old stop-motion film. The second thing which caught my eye about the man was the way he was dressed. He was wrapped in a white sheet of cotton, wearing a white gas mask which had cold, expressionless black circles where the eyes would be. I was unsettled at this point, as he stood in the middle of the room wrapped in his white cloth, staring down the lens of the camera, as if he were looking directly at me.
This whole time, my mouse cursor was over the closing tab, with my finger at the ready to close this somewhat disturbing video. The scene, once again, took another jump-cut which showed what seemed to be a small guitar amplifier on the bed. The man in the mask then spoke, and it was obvious from before that his muffled voice must have been caused by the gas mask. He began to list certain electrical and musical equipment in such a way as if he were reading some very specific shopping list, and after every time he would mention something, the camera would cut to black and cut back to him with the particular item in his hand, which consisted mostly of guitar leads, wires and even a corroded, rusting knife.
He went on to explain in an almost eerily poetic way about how your body is an instrument, using rhymes in each sentence which he pulled out of nowhere, yet somehow fit perfectly, creating an almost semi-scripted feel to this whole video. He sat cross-legged on the bedroom floor next to the amplifier which was now plugged in to the wall socket, with wires wrapped around the guitar lead with one end plugged into the amplifier. This is where things got a little sickening.
After he had used the rusty knife to cut out part of the speaker system in the amplifier, he rolled up his sleeve slowly, breathing heavily. At this moment, I dreaded that the worst was about to happen, and I was right. Taking the knife to his naked arm, he sliced one, long cut from his wrist up to where his forearm met the upper arm. The video soon began to flicker at this point, giving the man an even more robotic and jittering look as he began to whimper like a dog and slowly leaned over the amplifier. At this point, bizarre music began playing, sounding almost like it was in reverse; the camera wobbled at this point, which I believe meant there was someone else in the room who may have played the music and knocked the camera.
I leaned backward in my seat, tense and unnerved and sickened as blood began to pour from his freshly cut skin. The worst was yet to come as he switched on the amplifier and took a hold of the guitar lead: he played around with the amplifier's controls and began to slide the guitar lead into his skin, up his arm and into his flesh. The way he had wired the amplifier resulted in an extreme amount of noise distortion and feedback which was almost deafening as he continued to dig the lead into his ripe flesh. At this point my vision was blurry, and I felt weak as he continued to cause immense amount of bodily damage to himself.
Screaming, he began to fall unconscious, and my fears were true as I heard a second voice from behind the camera telling him to get up, and to continue the "performance" as he called it. I saw this as no performance, but some kind of bizarre artistic suicide. Sobbing in his mask, sweat began to drip from underneath as he struggled to breathe—the noise and distortion from the amplifier still ringing out. I continued to watch as he grabbed a microphone and plugged it into the secondary input on the amplifier, and placed the microphone hard against the speaker as he continued to flail in pain and cried for it to be over. As the microphone got closer to the speaker, the feedback only got worse and the man's crying became more of a laughter, as blood continued to drip onto the floor and across the several cables which he now began to wrap himself in. The scenes kept flickering to random shots of inanimate objects moving in a stop-motion like fashion as it kept cutting back to close ups of the man's wounds—the distortion and the laughter still reverberating as objects such as mannequins and glasses were animated to appear as if they were moving. At this point I questioned why the fuck I was still watching this disgusting mess, this sickening and savage tape which should never be seen by anyone. I regained my senses and went to close the video; however, suddenly the shot cut to black and all the tormenting, traumatizing imagery faded away.
The video wasn't yet over, as a handheld shot of a bloodied guitar amplifier with a gas mask on top of it appeared, with static text that was overlaying the shot which read:
Phonetic Palindrome: A sound which appears to be vaguely similar when reversed, whether it be music, noise or screaming . . .
Mammal Music, 1987
Finally, the video came to an abrupt, silent ending.
I quickly deleted the video afterwards, as never to wish to view it again, although the thought of it still remains. Who was that man? Why did he do this to himself? What does it mean? All of these questions I have never discovered, and shortly after attempting to look deeper into their website, I found the website was gone, along with any trace of the links. I still have screenshots of the video somewhere, but nothing that resembles the gruesome parts, which I may decide to share with you if I have the stomach to even open them again. As for now, the whereabouts of the website as well as the video remain unknown, but personally I feel this is for the best.
Written by SlickGR