Sewn Leather isn’t the sort of one-man musician you would ever refer to as a ‘producer’. If you did, he’d probably go “What?” and wander off to drink somewhere. The audio output of Griffin Pyn is punk, but punk of the non-uniform sort—here you’ll find cassette-tape loops, oozing analog synthesizers and touches of shattered hip-hop and dub reggae beats. His records are rather like combining every dirty, sweaty all-ages weirdo show you ever saw in a 50-person basement in some godforsaken part of Brooklyn at 3 a.m. and then condensing the audio (including the background noises) into one blown-out chunk. Now just imagine how amazing the live show is.
His latest release on Hundebiss, the Asbestos Attik Inzanity 7″, consists of two outtakes from his previous full-length Sikkknastafari Slash Crasstafari. “Illumiknotty Dread” is a barrage of laser-blast synth that sputter with Pyn’s indistinct vocals half-buried beneath, though at one point you can clearly make out, “Yeah, I don’t know how to end this new song here…”. It’s the sort of snotty, who-gives-a-shit attitude that could seem really put-on and obnoxious if you had no context for it, but having seen Pyn several times I can safely say that this is proper lifestyle stuff. Dude gives it his all, but he certainly gives no shits—garbled samples are thrown into the mix with little context themselves, and the entire song structure shifts several times apparently on a whim. “Space Sleng Police Teng” is a touched more focused (or as focused as we’re likely to get, anyway); a throbbing piece of industrial hatred that soon descends into sing-songy madness, possibly ad-libbed. It’s crudely brilliant realness that stands out in a time when the word “punk” feels cheaper than ever.
Admittedly, Pyn’s particular brand of phlegmy synth junk isn’t for everyone. At a recent karaoke event I was hosting, a friend and I did what we felt was a rather dead-on cover of “Monotone Killer“. The bartender came up halfway and rather sternly told us that, “there are people here still trying to enjoy their drinks”. But if you crave a scuzzier, punkier touch to your electronics, toss away the disinfectant wipes and pick this up instead. For some similar vibes, check out frequent collaborator DJ Dog Dick‘s new EP Identity as well.
Published February 18, 2013. Words by Daniel Jones.