Portland’s Mississippi Records always yields some gems when I visit, and last week was no exception. The cover of Out In Worship’s 1998 release Sterilized is what initially piqued my interested in this record – it’s a hand cut/torn/glued collage of random clippings from newspapers, magazines, and books, and a little bit of online research suggests that the vinyl version is a limited edition of 500, each with a unique cover collage design. So that’s kind of interesting. It looked weird enough to take a chance on, and as always at Mississippi, the price was right, so into the pile it went.
Out In Worship was comprised of Doug Scharin (formerly of Codeine) and Joe Goldring, and the pair brought in various other musicians to help them out with this project. As near as I can tell Sterilized was their only release, available both on vinyl and CD. And given what they put together, it’s too bad there isn’t more Out In Worship out there. This is some strange stuff. The double record has one platter at 33 1/3, with each side consisting of one 15+ minute song, while the second record is at 45 rpm and has three total tracks.
Sterilized is hard to pin down. The rambling nearly 20 minute title track is ebbs and flows through various styles, from acid jazz to middle eastern to trance and back again, going around and around. It took me a couple of minutes to get into the groove, but once I did it was easy to let myself be carried away as the pace quickens then slows, never getting “fast” but instead moving like liquid, sometimes water, sometimes mercury. The flip side, the almost 16 minute “Navajos,” is more up tempo, lacking the middle eastern influence and giving a more trippy atmospheric electronica feel, though it does bring the funk at times as well, and even has some turntablism.
The second record opens with “Nut” which is, frankly, hard to describe, but continues with the overall electronic sound. “Shift” is just that, a pretty substantial shift, in that it adds female vocals right out of the gate, very echoey, with lots of reverb on the guitar parts. The other side consists of “Jam Jar Superstar,” which is pure electro-funk that would be right at home in a 1970s blaxploitation film.
Sterilized is a great groove record, pure and simple.