Special Interest

GENERAL SOUND DISCUSSION => GENERAL SOUND DISCUSSION => Topic started by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 10, 2009, 08:31:09 PM



Title: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 10, 2009, 08:31:09 PM
G.R.O.S.S. - cassette era
Overview on this great Japanese labels cassette era. Reviews/comments for both, those that are not commented, and those who you dis-/agree with can be posted. I will include additions in this opening message and erase the unnecessary messages which content has been updated.

Three main cassette series existed:
- the G.R.O.S.S. series (GR): Each tape was packaged in a standard snap-case with printed labels and an elaborate j-card. This was packaged in a plastic sleeve sealed with a unique sticker for each release. These tapes were numbered, but not in an explicitly limited edition. The first 50 copies of each were on metal tape; the remaining ones were on chrome tape.

- the G.R.O.S.S. Envelope series (GRE): Each tape was packaged in a sealed black envelope with printed labels and inserts. Each was limited to 120 numbered copies.

- the G.R.O.S.S. Special series (GRS): Each tape in this series had special hand-made packaging and was limited & numbered.

GR-001 Aube Spindrift (Cass, C46) 1992
-My first exposure on Aube. Material is brilliant early style of Aube. I believe his project was born out of doing soundtrack for friends installation about sounds of water. In this tape, material is already very high quality, but so fresh and innovative, not routine job at all. Release that simply from beginning set the GROSS standards to what it was known for. (MA)

GR-002 Monde Bruits Purgatory (Cass) 1992
-One of the tapes that simply screams for re-issue. With the power of Japanese noise, it is still unique. With Portuguese Man Of War my favorites of Monde Bruits material, where his full length CD's could never reach.

GR-003 Roughage (2) Travel The Globe (Cass) 1992
GR-004 Dislocation Instill / On The Move (Cass, Album, C46) 1992

GR-005 Mortal Vision - Nacht Musik (Cass, C50) 1992
Guitar based psych noise. Basically sound can be broken down into delayed feedback drones and actual distorted guitar. Sound itself is so oversaturated and colored by effects which give the entire recording a somewhat dull sound. Best moments occur when sound of guitar itself is pushed quite hard in mix giving new depth as the back layered drones are forced to respond. I find the basic layered feedback drones and squeals the worst aspect of the tape surprisingly. (Chris Morrison)

GR-006 Aube Drip (Cass, C30) 1992

GR-007 Kapotte Muziek Murmel (Cass, C46) 1992
-I think KM has always been little hit & miss. That applies also for this tape. While you can appreciate the delicate electronic recycled sounds and repetetative loops, when about half of side a is simply one short loop what almost sounds like TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI, TAMP-POONI,..... with little delay effect applied, I find myself irritated. For those who didn't get it, this is like dadistic loops saying "tampon" in finnish for dozen of minutes. Female menstruation is fine we me. Nothing wrong with marinated pussy breakfast, but what comes to artistic merits, I find texture of sound to be dull, the length & treatment of loop less than average. Basically same idea is on other size. Extreme short spoken loop goes on on background, but luckily accompanied with sound with most of time. In half point track changes. New spoken word loop introduced. Very short loop I can't really make my mind what it is. It could be "current vibration is..", "current vibration is..", "current vibration is..", "current vibration is..", but I don't know what's wrong with my brain, but just like a-side, my mind malforms this into "cunt violation is..", "cunt violation is..","cunt violation is.." hah.......  But imagined sexual overtones don't save material from being pretty lousy example of tape loop music OR early days limitations of samplers.(MA)
 
GR-008 Allegory Chapel Ltd. Demimonde Voices (Cass) 1993

GR-009 Taint Strange Feeling, Shit Coming (Cass) 1993
-Dirty, grimy, lo-fi Taint.  One of the - if not the - first Taint recordings I ever heard.  This album defined American PE for me, at first.  I have two copies, so one's up for trade. (catharticprocess)

GR-010 Monde Bruits Psychosomatic Performance (Cass) 1993
Another my old favorites from GROSS. When I got this tape, it was actually the very first MB item I got. I listened it so much, that even still today (literally today) when I listened through the tape, I can remember even dramatic change of tape. The beginning of tape is simply so impressive. It has made permant memory mark in my brain, just perfect power-electro-drone in beginning what has feeling as if it's going to explode any second, which it does at some point. The fast swirling chaos of these live performances from 1991 and 1992 aren't bassy or crushing. Just quick harsh electronics. In droning slower material it is simply perfect, on fast material it makes it lack little bit of the "drive". I think that even for first 10 minutes of A-side, this is absolute must. And still amazing as a whole too. Just unique in it's sound. (MA)

GR-011 Aube Luminous (Cass, C46) 1993
I suspected that I had two copies of this tape, but not yet had time to check out if that is true. Tape was still sealed after so many years, so I assume I had to have other copy somewhere. Soundtrack for light installation, which consisted mostly flickering lights.
What you hear, starts with subtle sound of fluerescent light flickering. Fairly quiet sounds, and with Aube style of the early 90's, eventually looped and efx treated soundscapes will become massive noise wall, qualifying even harsh noise. Despite it is subtle and atmospheric for most of the time.

GR-012 Shlomo Artzi Orchestra - Ushinawareta Otoko (Cass, Album, C60) 1993
What is this? Don't know anything else but this release. Experimental noise, some ways so GROSS, that despite being unknown project to me, it seems like expected thing. Experimental noise. Somewhere between sound collages, sound improvisations, electronics, samples, loops... A-side is more abstract, while B-side gets more ongoing solid form. If you like Shida, Disclocation, Club Skull, Crawl Unit, etc etc.. this will most likely satisfy you. If you want Thirdorgan, Monde Bruits, Incapacitants, etc... look elsewhere. Very nice paper used for cover! Extremely thin and fragile, very very dark silver glittering paper with print on it. (MA)

GR-013 Club Skull The Origins Of ... (Cass, C40) 1993
-1993 release of one-off project with Hiroshi Hasgawa (cccc, astro), Akifumi Nakajima (aube), Fumio Kosakai (Incapacitants, cccc). What I like about G.R.O.S.S., is that while tapes may represent certain era in noise, all of them are very G.R.O.S.S. and most of them are timeless. When you see a tape, you know it's by this label. When you hear the sound, especially their Japanese releases, it's very logical why it is their release.
Club Skull is no exception. It is not harsh noise, but neither falls into ambient or typical drone music. It combines the very best elements of psychedelic electronics what these guys are known for. It's like CCCC becoming Aube. And Aube becoming CCCC. Hasegawa with his synthesizers and the other two with electronics, with heavily echoing, improvised soundscapes which are constantly moving. It keeps within certain range of sounds and atmosphere, but within that range, each member takes their own elements into new variations in volume, pitch, texture and tempo. One 20 minutes piece of 1st side is very good, but I'd say that 1st piece on the other side develop even further. 2nd shorter piece on b-side comes with most Aube'ish moments. Dynamics of the tape is more of the early noise style. From DAT to chrome tape allows pieces to have wide range of dynamics. From few lights blinking in quiet and calm moments, to full capacity of tape format in the louder parts. Not the all-in-maximum. Unlike many artists today, they don't rely on things like "heaviness". Warm and full bass levels are not the main focus at all. They are nearly non-existent.
It's kind of unfortunate that while especially Aube and Astro has produced some inferior items, what must be still far more known & distributed, some masterpiece like this remains forgotten obscurity. I guess one side of this item was on RRR's recycled best of GROSS box set?
For drone-noise-electronic fans, very recommended to hunt down. If someone would re-issue this someday, it probably wouldn't happen with the nice packaging. Simple tape box with J-card, but nice design toying with special transparent papers etc.(MA)

GR-014 The Black Museum "WAIL" (Cass, C46) 1993
Don't know anything of this except this one tape release. Contact is at CA, USA. c/o T.Duda. All information besides address says, is that it is recorded between 1991-1993. It is good tape. The title track is massive. WAIL simply slowly hisses and rumbles forward. It has certain quality of drone music, yet due age, perhaps aims to be something else than many drone bands aim today? Song has decent structure. It invokes deep bass rumbles nearly hidden below the static middle range drone. It ends into noisier high pitched hiss. Cult Heroes abuses heavy delay/reverb and reversed sounds. Perhaps little out-dated in times, when use of these effects & methods is so easy and without layering, it remains kind of show of the effects. But still some backwards vocals and nearly ghostly sounds create quite surreal and eerie atmosphere. Song isn't that long, so it works well as sort of "outro" for the a-side.
B-side presents 3 tracks. Abnormal Operation is the harshest piece. Simply massive straight forward metal junk assault. Metallic reverb, no overdubs. Occasionally heavy delay/echo is inserted and distorted noise gets more electronic wibe. Mother, is long piece created by strong slowly shifting delay loops. When old ones start fading, new ones inserted. 920.000/s sounds close to Aube in his more electronic sources. VCO for example?
All the tracks are based on very specific sounds and use of effects & electronic manipulations. It sounds more of studio work with perhaps expensive gear rather than full on noise abuse. Another perfect GROSS release. Despite being american, when you file this next to Aube, Monde Bruits, Club Skull, and basically the items on GROSS before this.. very logical choise to put out. (MA)
 
GR-015 Small Cruel Party - Unroof The House Of The Fishes (Cass, C46) 1993
Quite dynamic noise composed in most delicate of manners. Sound is quite large but nowhere close to being overdriven. Just complete control of various contact mic scrapping (?) and hum/buzz/etc of field recordings layered. Detail of sound is always so clear and crisp without coloring of effects and such. Just overall good example of artist relying more on manipulation and layering of composition. I remember hearing for some time now a SCP box upcoming. (chris Morrison)
 
GR-016 Aube Flash-Point (Cass, C46) 1993
-Probably my favorite Aube that I own.  Actually, one of my favorite cassettes I've ever owned.  This is one of his shining moments.  Perfectly packaged, perfect sounds.  If you get a chance to snag this, it's essential. (catharticprocess)

GR-017 Trance / Macronympha Audio Image Assault (Cass) 1993
 GR-018 Thirdorgan Cyclotron (Cass, C46) 1993
 GR-019 Roughage (2) Soft Pore Corn (Cass) 1993


GR-020 Hands To Turn Back The Sun (Cass, Album, C46) 1993
-One could say possibly typical of Hands To "regular" recordings. Meaning simply long pieces of rough quality analogue recordings done while on trip to canyon. Occasionally it sounds like someone just took a day trip outdoors with walkman or boombox with recording on. But he did assemble it little on 4-track. I underline little. It is really just organic field recordings with magical touch of not intending sound to be hifi or neat in any way.(MA)

GR-021 Aube Submerged Tension Remix (Cass, Album, C46) 1993
 GR-022 Princess Dragon-Mom The Real Folk Blues (Cass) 1993
 GR-023 Maeror Tri Archaic States (Cass, Album, C60) 1993


GR-024 Shida    File 1: Mr. Chinhatto & Dedomen (Cass, Album, C46) 1993
When stuff starts, it sounds as if it would be live show? But I think it's not. At least cover says nothing about live show. But once in a while you hear japanese crowd talking. In beginning and in middle of compositions. But I assume this is field recordings from city? Simply because the style how sounds blend in, is very strange. There is often this quality of "distance", which gives you impression of ampfiliciation, and that being captured from distance. But then again, you have very "close" dry concrete sounds, mixed in. Heavily excperimental mix of tape manipulations, electronics, cut-ups, noises, voices, field recordings. It is more to electro-acoustic thing, but somehow the "attitude" seems more into noise approach, than academic. It is possible that this is live, but it would be strange that so much of audience would talk and it would be released like this. And no clapping or such in end of sides. This is project of one of members of DISCLOCATION, so imagine Dislocation without sax, just with experimental electronics and field recordings and you are not very far of the image. I actually do find this more inspiring than the free music sax oriented Discolocation, even if it belongs to some of my favorites on that field. B-side of the tape is darker and more solid with heavy pulses and drones being below the more abstract cut up noise, electronics etc. It is very strange when you have this distant heavy drone, reminding almost like "PE" or "death industrial", but suddenly there is sound of people just walking in small rocks and talking casually like bar enviroment. Utterly bizarre. (MA)

GR-025 Red Gnein Sextet Hätrasene (Cass) 1993  GR-026 Aube Frequency For Collapse (Cass, C46) 1994

GR-027 Speculum Fight Glass Giant (Cass, C46) 1994
-Now looking at Discogs, these two seems go in the opposite order but what the heck. Anyway, there is something like in the SF titles ("White Elephant" etc.) and aural matter on this tape is exactly what I enjoy in SF - distorted, pulsing deep noisy mass moving in 3D. Nuff said.

GR-028 DMDN Agonistes 1 & 2 (Cass) 1994
-This goes in the earlier "normal" series. Didn't have any idea about the artist when bought it, and it was laying in the drawer for a while before it got played. And it went on twice right away. Pretty much what might be called as wall-of-noise but probably too rich for that. Very enjoyable stuff. Ordered his two CD's immediately I heard this (and recommend those also, they are cheap). (Tommi Keränen)

GR-029 Daniel Menche Furnace Fucker (Cass) 1994

GR-030 Dead Voices On Air "Abrader" (Cass, C40) 1994
Canadian project of Mark Spybey, formed in 1992, and this is possibly the first release? And curiously, it is only thing I ever heard, even if the project has huge discography and seems to be active again from 2007 onwards (at least releases)?
One song on A-side and 2 on B-side, basically follows the similar patterns of creation: layers over layers of organic loops. Infact, what I think, this could be what I used around same time with Alchemy of the 20th Century early material. It wasn't really loops, but actually long delay, with almost 100% volume in the echo. It gives impression of loop, but sound actually is fading & decaying slowly, and new sounds can be inserted, which allows it to naturally shift and grow from one thing to another. Even without overdubs or any real mixing. This is what DVOA sounds like. It is noisy, but not harsh. It is nearly meditative and heavily repetative, but slowly mutates into new things. 1st track of b-side is the fastest of all. Changes happen quicker, but the tempo and overall atmosphere remains the same through whole tape. Think of noisy "industrial" sounds, drones, junks, but in ways suitable for G.R.O.S.S. Always with experimental and nice sound, no lo-fi or brutal fierce all-in-the-red rumble. (MA)

GR-031 Aube - E-Power (Cass, C46) 1994
Simple source of One Voltage Controlled Oscillator. Side A is based more on manipulation of simple slow modulation. Sound becomes quite gritty and continues to progress until roughly 10:30 mark on first track where focus shifts and almost begins same pattern of building up track itself. Sound B is pushed quite harder for more dynamic results but unfortunately overall feel has been sacrificed in return of this. With Aube I can recommend far better works and source of one voltage controlled osc was never his most interesting in my opinion. (Chris Morrison)

GR-032 Sshe Retina Stimulants Kusa'i (Cass, C46) 1994
 GR-033 Telepherique Chaos Theory (Cass, Album, C46) 1994


GR-034 Near Earth Objects - Plate Tectonics (Cass) 1994
Who's this? Well, some Australian noise artists Alan Lee and.. Well, credits are to AJ & AK Lee. And what a great piece of forgotten jewels are these. I luckily have 1st edition metal tape version (#50 copies), so with such a good levels and high quality tape, once can fully appreciate the lo-fi tape mayhem and loud hiss! C-46 tapes surprisingly, as opposed to many side long pieces, has in total 13 tracks. Each track focuses on some very specific elements. Just mix things like AMK, GUM, Grey Wolves, John Duncan and mix it together until it sounds like none of them, and it might be N.E.O. Some tracks are simply destroyed noise. Some songs remind you almost like early days John Duncan or horror shows of Grey Wolves at their most primitive stages. Recorded between 1992-1993, and there seems to be very little information what other things they might have done. Cipher productions included their stuff to Underground Australia comp tape as late as 2003.. perhaps still around? (MA)


GRE200 Aube Huile Sur L'Eau (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1995
 GRE201 Hyware 2 Tracks (Cass, Ltd, C40) 1995


GRE202 Crawl Unit Terminal Absolution (Cass, Ltd) 1995
Very nice tape from CU. Concrete sounds and processed tapes, just listed as pt.1 on A, and pt.2 on B side. Instead of long tracks, there are some stops too. That it is more like beginning of new track once in a while. Compared to later days Crawl Unit, his sound was still very noisy. One could almost file it under harsh noise occasionally, but it has maybe too much of "industrial" / "experimental" wibe. Great contrasts, like fast chaotic high fuzzy noise going on top while heavy slow crushing reverbed junk collisions on the back. Analogue blend together very seamlessly, saturated into solid piece despite sounds being different from eachother. Short loops, humming sounds,... It's all like decayed and overdriven version what he was doing later. You can hear exceptional ideas of wanting something else than simple "harshness", but the level of noisiness and lack of quiet sounds and drastic dynamic changes reeks still the great putrid sound of tape noise. Definitely recommended! (MA)

GRE203 Sympathy Nervous Apple Head (Cass, Ltd) 1995

GRE204 Iugula-Thor Penetration Practice Pledge (Cass, Ltd) 1995
-Sick and simple power electronics from Italy. It is not so far from his works on Process tape/CD (bloodlust/jinx). Simple synth drone noise with strange vocals on top, never very aggressive, but the more just demented and strange.

GRE205 Quest - Quest 1 & 2 (Cass, Ltd) 1995
Another Dutch project on GROSS. This is possibly the least interesting. Or depends what you're looking for. C-46 tape, the usual envelope series packaging, two long pieces of synth music/ambient. Most of the recording is simply very standard synthesizer. From throbbing bass loops and basic high pitched "helicopter noise" to b-side when material is pretty much like experimental techno. Synth makes slow paced beats on the back and swirling high pitched delay enhanced sweeps of synth on top. This is definitely not noise. In one hand a-side is so "pre-set basic sounds" dominated, that I feel b-side is better with some additional effects, but the space muzak / techno atmopsphere gets old in my ears very quickly. (MA)

GRE206 Skin Crime Genital Modification (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1995
-It just keeps going... These five missing reviews feature some of my favorite tapes that I own.  This is no exception, and is in fact the standout from these five, for me.  As far as I'm concerned, if Skin Crime and Macro were the only harsh noise artists that ever existed, the world wouldn't be missing much.  This is a prime example of some of the greatest harsh noise ever made.  99% would have to improve itself a thousand-fold to be in the same ballpark. (cathartic process)


GRE207 Yellow Cab (2) 8-180695 (Cass, Ltd, C44) 1995
-Remember this being little disappointing when compared to his input on Come Again II. Mr. Vanilla Records solo of lo-fi electronics, often high pitched, improvised, long pieces. It could stand out now, but back then didn't think he could live up to expectations. (MA)

GRE208 Mariann Käfer Much Ado About Nothing (Cass, Ltd) 1995

GRE209 Diesel Guitar Maria (Cass, Ltd) 1995
-Simply best guitar drone recording for me. This is as simple as it gets. One guitar, strings barely touched. Eerie inhuman guitar drone in two c. 20 minutes pieces. Always going somewhere, but very slowly. But absulutely no free jamming. Just pure crystallic feedback drone. I remember talking to Akifumi about 5 years ago about possibility of re-issue, and he said he still has DAT master. But nothing happened. Someone should do it.

GRE210 Mark Solotroff In The Mind Of A Monster (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1996
-Very typical for Mark. Just a synth noise. Simply no effects, fast helicopter sound electronics in long pieces. It is like instrumental Intrinsic Action. Or Like Super8Loop. Or Surgical Stainless Steel. Or Terre Blanche. Or early days Bloodyminded without vocals and longer tracks... It's ok tape, but with hundreds of releases in his discography, it's hard to justify in other way that this was done years before most of others. (MA)

GRS100 Various Density 100 (2xCass, Ltd, C50) 1993
Thirdorgan! Fuck! Many times I’ve been in the middle, whether project should be rated among one of the greats or not. There are plenty of so-and-so material. Especially later days laptop CDr’s. But when one listens this 1993 25 minute monsters, it simply is amazing. Thirdorgan has quite distinctive sound/style. In theory it could be lumped together with a lot of artists, but in other hand,.. not. This piece is unusually well “composed”. Not sure if it’s intentional, but intensity and energy simply grows in such manner, seems like he starts little bit restricted and in the end noise is fast moving layers of distorted electronics and feedback. In beginning one could say sounds are very distinctive. Something what always made me think of Putrefier, even if Thirdorgan was doing style before. Sounds are recycled through multiple pedals and signals are still pretty sharp and easy to follow the pedalworks. Later track is multilayered and intense, and even saturates closer to wall, although on todays standards never becomes one. Dynamic and fast modulated.
Mortal Vision is Hasegawa of CCCC/Astro, and at least it started as guitar noise project. I recall it went into synth later on, but this one is still guitar. Barely. At first there are just occasional hints that sounds emerge from strings, but mainly it is heavily processed effect drenched feedback. Later guitar starts to become more audible. Intense string abuse. Sounds like live piece, what basically operates in one layer. It is droning, but still noisy and relatively quick in the moves. Not really calm. Any day, I would still choose Mortal Vision over endless amount of “guitar drone”.
Monde Bruits is like studio version of Psychosomatic Performances material. In similar way it operates on high pitched electronic sweeps. With studio sound, it allows to hear better the details on bass department, where fast electronic filter lazerbeams suddenly raise the heavy boosted bass rumbles. In this material Monde Bruits works in very wide stereo sound, and layers from several pieces over eachother. Some are quiet compared to mail sound, which gives the strange feeling of having two pretty similar sounds what differ radically on volume. Silent noise? Monde Bruits is always easy to recognize. Nobody else does it like this. This is the unique approach to harsh noise what often lacks today. People may be afraid of “lazer noise” tag. It often seems that those who were into massive pedal tables and technology, went to lap top, and those who are primitive noise.. well, are such. Modern day equivalent for bands like Monde Bruits, Putrefier, Stimbox, Xome, Thirdorgan,… who knows if they exists? It is pleasure to return to sound of the masters which sounds so timeless anyways!
Aube side is oscillations of 1 VCO. If you have heard any of the VCO recordings of Aube, you know what to expect. At some point, I grew tired of the same source, but now years later, when you listen this, or some other VCO stuff, it is simply great. At most intensive stages, I would say there must be 5-10 leayers of various type of oscillations creating massive noise storm.
Another phenomenal GROSS release what would be great as double CD re-issue. 100 copies existing in world, seems just too little for material this good. (MA)

 GRS101 Deisel Guitars X Sian Double Minds String (Cass, Ltd, C40) 1994
 GRS102 THU20 Nancy / Het Archief (Cass, Ltd) 1994
 GRS103 Kinkakuji / Ginkakuji / Gokurakuji The Three Temples (3xCass, Ltd, C46) 1994
 GRS104 Loop Circuit Sound On Sound (Cass, Ltd) 1994


GRS105 Various Density 100 Part II (2xCass, Ltd, C50) 1994
Couple years ago, managed to get the ultra limited (10 copies!) "staff only" metal tape edition of this. Needless to say, elegant GROSS hand made packaging, best possible master tape quality metal tape dubs from DAT with line-up: YELLOW CAB, PAIN JERK, MSBR and HYPER VENTILATION.. what could go wrong?
Well, simply nothing!
Yellow Cab is not so far from the tape on GROSS. Kind of hits the similar spot as Thirdorgan and some Monde Bruits. It's noisy, with strong pedal effect & electronic feel, yet it is not as constantly BRUTAL as some could expect. Fast modulated electronic noise is restless, but occasional bassy rumbles give impression that it leaves plenty of frequencies without use. The crunchy bass isn't there. Neither extremely fierce distortion. Yellow Cab works very well as refreshing alternative. It makes noise differently, not delivering all the goods instantly.
Pain Jerk on the other side, however, is the artists that doesn't hold back anything. It is instant total noise. It moves quickly on every frquency, from crunchiest bottom rumble to high crispy distortion. All the sound at the same time melts into solid blocks of noise, but also avoids the dullness by allowing all the movement to be clearly heard. In this particular style of harsh noise, Pain Jerk remains unbeatable hero!
MSBR abuses loops, synths and effects for 25 minutes, delivering extremely intense and brutally heavy assault of electronic noise! File this together with his great achievements a'la Collapseland. When some inferior shitty bootlegs were made after Tano's death, like K2/MSBR LP, you wonder how come such a shit can be published by "fan"(?) as "tribute"(?), when old masterpieces like this, could be 10000 times more relevant to present for modern noise listener? Well.. who knows. But mr. Tano really shows his reputation was well earned not only by packaging, but simply by standards of extreme noise!
HYPER VENTILATION is side project of Aube. Together with Dub Murashita, Akifumi Nakajima. As opposite of Aube, this stands for pure harsh noise. Steady monolith of oscillations, distortion and wall-like noise-assault hides inside plenty of subtle details of electronic sounds. Unknown and hardly anywhere mentioned side project, yet guaranteed noise blast! (MA)

GRS106 Pain Jerk Exhibition Of Electro-Disease (Cass, Ltd) 1995
-Ah-hah! My 3rd favorite.  No one does the Jap-style harsh noise this well.  Masami's a close second to this genius.  I spent much money and time trying to complete my Pain Jerk collection many years ago, and was happy to snag this.  Though this is not among his best. (catharticprocess)

GRS107 Sudden Infant Holko 1 (Cass, Ltd) 1995

GRS108 Masonna The Passion Of Rubbers (2xCass, Ltd, C10) 1995
-Not among his best, either, but still great.  And, you gotta love the packaging.  Compositionally, it doesn't stack up to some of the CD releases, but I like the lo-fi quality of this - makes me wish the rest of his releases were GROSS tapes.  Not as sharp and simple.  This is more dense and walled out.  C10s are rarely a good format, but perhaps the best format for Masonna.  Amazing that this is limited to 144 copies when you hardly ever see these available.  Honestly, for the prices these fetch, I'm surprised.  In fact, I just may have to sell mine.... (catharticprocess)
-That Masonna tape, I remember being very disappointed by sound, but amazed by packaging. Sound seemed too flat, too one dimensional. There was also CD's like that. I think RRR/Pure disc was half like this, half good re-cut old works. I can appreciate release for reason that atleast he tried to do something little different, but I think Masonna reached it peak very early on, and started to repeat itself. Not long ago I gave listen to Noskl In Ana, which might remain my favorite? With few other old recordings. Maybe would require topic of its own, especially now when the two re-issues discs came out with golden oldies a'la Masonna vs. Bananarama .. (MA)

GRS109 Incapacitants El Shanbara Therminosis (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1995
 GRS110 Kohei Gomi / Masahiko Ohno / Toshiji Mikawa / Akifumi Nakajima The Four Shrines (4xCass, Ltd, C40) 1996
 GRS111 MSBR Spherical Nerve System (Cass, Ltd, C60) 1996
 GRS111M MSBR Spherical Nerve System (Cass, Ltd, Spe) 1996
 GRS112 Onomatopoeia Anal Almond (Cass, S/Sided, Ltd) 1996
 GRS113 Smegma Clitoridis / Praeputil (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1997
 GRYS01 Aube Healsonar (Cass, Ltd, C10) 1997
 GRYS02 Aube / Nagisanite* Aqua Syndrome In Ashiya (Cass, Ltd, C45) 1998
 GRYS03 Aube / Nagisanite* Metalmollification (Cass, Ltd, C45) 1999


Feel free to post more reviews/comments and I'll adjust them to correct places.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 10, 2009, 08:37:47 PM
I do have majority of the tapes, but some recollections are too vague to write review without giving them another spin. I have handful of GROSS stuff laying around waiting to be listened.  Sooner or later should be able to comment all regular tapes, most of envelopes. Special tapes I have only 30-50%.
GRYS02 Aube / Nagisanite was this series of not really Gross stuff, but stuff he did for exhibitions? I got some tapes what he did outside regular Gross catalogue. I wonder if I have any of his old catalogues at hand to scan...?


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Henrik III on December 10, 2009, 09:07:22 PM
Ok here we go then!

Naturally this label is known for the great packaging. Certainly the special editions are fabulous ("Three Temples", "Four Shrines", Masonna double etc.) but I like especially the earlier "normal" tapes with highly imaginative j-cards (if can say so). Also, the dubbing quality was usually very high. Totally in agreement with the need of  a "Purgatory" reissue (as well as "Portugese..."). Too bad the man himself is gone. I heard something about reissue plans sometime ago but perhaps just worthless rumors.

I'll try to get back on this but two G.R.O.S.S. tapes I especially like and which seem to be overlooked

EDIT: reviews updated into first message.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 10, 2009, 09:17:46 PM
DMDN was surely good project. His CD on Pure/RRR series is one of the finest of the "unknown names", that nobody ever seems to buy. Not long ago I gave it spin after many years.
He was also member in THU20, more of electro-acoustic thing. Other members of THU20: Frans de Waard (Korm Plastics, Kapotte Muziek), Jos Smolders (Vital mag), Peter Duimelinks (V2 label) seemed to be more known artists?


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Henrik III on December 11, 2009, 04:00:20 PM
I have an extra copy of Hyware 2 Tracks (GRE201). Will trade for any of the GRE tapes I don't have:

GRE210 Mark Solotroff In The Mind Of A Monster (Cass, Ltd, C46) 1996
Funny thing, not long ago I traded Solotroff (my only copy - it is a crap tape anyway) to other G.R.O.S.S. thing and not much longer ago I got a copy of Hyware (another good tape, BTW)...

Talking about tape biz, I'm looking for the Thirdorgan, MSBR and Skin Crime tapes. Nothing fancy to offer to trade at the moment though...


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: catharticprocess on December 12, 2009, 05:15:05 AM
Glad to see this thread. It's inspired me to listen to these tapes for the first time in ages.

EDIT: reviews updated into first message.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: trashritual on January 27, 2010, 04:27:17 PM
Talked about this with Henrik III some while ago and glad to see sort of label catalog with reviews here even if roughly a month passes with no updates? With vast amount of good names and top of the line unique packaging label is a bit more of reference point unfortunately in modern day context. Will have to drag out some of the others missing from the list here.

GR-005 Mortal Vision - Nacht Musik (Cass, C50) 1992
Guitar based psych noise. Basically sound can be broken down into delayed feedback drones and actual distorted guitar. Sound itself is so oversaturated and colored by effects which give the entire recording a somewhat dull sound. Best moments occur when sound of guitar itself is pushed quite hard in mix giving new depth as the back layered drones are forced to respond. I find the basic layered feedback drones and squeals the worst aspect of the tape surprisingly.

GR-015 Small Cruel Party - Unroof The House Of The Fishes (Cass, C46) 1993
Quite dynamic noise composed in most delicate of manners. Sound is quite large but nowhere close to being overdriven. Just complete control of various contact mic scrapping (?) and hum/buzz/etc of field recordings layered. Detail of sound is always so clear and crisp without coloring of effects and such. Just overall good example of artist relying more on manipulation and layering of composition. I remember hearing for some time now a SCP box upcoming.

GR-031 Aube - E-Power (Cass, C46) 1994
Simple source of One Voltage Controlled Oscillator. Side A is based more on manipulation of simple slow modulation. Sound becomes quite gritty and continues to progress until roughly 10:30 mark on first track where focus shifts and almost begins same pattern of building up track itself. Sound B is pushed quite harder for more dynamic results but unfortunately overall feel has been sacrificed in return of this. With Aube I can recommend far better works and source of one voltage controlled osc was never his most interesting in my opinion.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on January 30, 2010, 08:10:16 PM
Trash Ritual's reviews have been updated as part of the opening message.

SCP... wasn't there announced double CD compilation of all his old compilation / 7" tracks? I assume it is happening, just taking time to prepare.

Briefly talked off-line about GROSS and I was reminded than most often when people talk of label, it is about nice special packaging and very focused aesthetic idea Akifumi had for his design & label profile. One can still say that even with packaging different than this, label stands out also for musical qualities. Bands and the material they've chosen to put out. It would be great to see some re-issue program of best of GROSS material. As much as I adore tapes and the packaging, I think simply idea of getting the music in ears of new generations who don't want to pay 25-30€ for collectors item, but rather buy 2-3 CD's for the price to be listened and appreciated. In case of labels such as GROSS, I would believe DAT masters and artworks have been carefully preserved and task wouldn't be impossible for someone with resources to do so.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Zeno Marx on February 03, 2010, 12:06:51 AM
Did the Allegory Chapel Ltd. - Demimonde Voices C-46 come in one of those small, resealable plastic bags?  Or is it just a cassette with J-card?


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on February 03, 2010, 08:57:08 AM
re-sealable bag. But wasn't that on everything?
Only copies I've seen without, is 2nd hand copies, where it has been thrown out just like any shrinkwrap? The sticker on the bag often rips when you first open the release.

EDIT: hey, I just noticed I probably misunderstood original question. Tape is with J-card in stardard tape box. But over that, is the sealable plastic bag w/ sticker. But basically "regular packaging".


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 05, 2010, 03:49:46 PM
GR-030 Dead Voices On Air "Abrader" (Cass, C40) 1994
Canadian project of Mark Spybey, formed in 1992, and this is possibly the first release? And curiously, it is only thing I ever heard, even if the project has huge discography and seems to be active again from 2007 onwards (at least releases)?
One song on A-side and 2 on B-side, basically follows the similar patterns of creation: layers over layers of organic loops. Infact, what I think, this could be what I used around same time with Alchemy of the 20th Century early material. It wasn't really loops, but actually long delay, with almost 100% volume in the echo. It gives impression of loop, but sound actually is fading & decaying slowly, and new sounds can be inserted, which allows it to naturally shift and grow from one thing to another. Even without overdubs or any real mixing. This is what DVOA sounds like. It is noisy, but not harsh. It is nearly meditative and heavily repetative, but slowly mutates into new things. 1st track of b-side is the fastest of all. Changes happen quicker, but the tempo and overall atmosphere remains the same through whole tape. Think of noisy "industrial" sounds, drones, junks, but in ways suitable for G.R.O.S.S. Always with experimental and nice sound, no lo-fi or brutal fierce all-in-the-red rumble. (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 05, 2010, 04:37:12 PM
GR-014 The Black Museum "WAIL" (Cass, C46) 1993
Don't know anything of this except this one tape release. Contact is at CA, USA. c/o T.Duda. All information besides address says, is that it is recorded between 1991-1993. It is good tape. The title track is massive. WAIL simply slowly hisses and rumbles forward. It has certain quality of drone music, yet due age, perhaps aims to be something else than many drone bands aim today? Song has decent structure. It invokes deep bass rumbles nearly hidden below the static middle range drone. It ends into noisier high pitched hiss. Cult Heroes abuses heavy delay/reverb and reversed sounds. Perhaps little out-dated in times, when use of these effects & methods is so easy and without layering, it remains kind of show of the effects. But still some backwards vocals and nearly ghostly sounds create quite surreal and eerie atmosphere. Song isn't that long, so it works well as sort of "outro" for the a-side.
B-side presents 3 tracks. Abnormal Operation is the harshest piece. Simply massive straight forward metal junk assault. Metallic reverb, no overdubs. Occasionally heavy delay/echo is inserted and distorted noise gets more electronic wibe. Mother, is long piece created by strong slowly shifting delay loops. When old ones start fading, new ones inserted. 920.000/s sounds close to Aube in his more electronic sources. VCO for example?
All the tracks are based on very specific sounds and use of effects & electronic manipulations. It sounds more of studio work with perhaps expensive gear rather than full on noise abuse. Another perfect GROSS release. Despite being american, when you file this next to Aube, Monde Bruits, Club Skull, and basically the items on GROSS before this.. very logical choise to put out. (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 05, 2010, 07:18:12 PM
GRS100 Various Density 100 (2xCass, Ltd, C50) 1993
Couple years ago, managed to get the ultra limited (10 copies!) "staff only" metal tape edition of this. Needless to say, elegant GROSS hand made packaging, best possible master tape quality metal tape dubs from DAT with line-up: YELLOW CAB, PAIN JERK, MSBR and HYPER VENTILATION.. what could go wrong?
Well, simply nothing!
Yellow Cab is not so far from the tape on GROSS. Kind of hits the similar spot as Thirdorgan and some Monde Bruits. It's noisy, with strong pedal effect & electronic feel, yet it is not as constantly BRUTAL as some could expect. Fast modulated electronic noise is restless, but occasional bassy rumbles give impression that it leaves plenty of frequencies without use. The crunchy bass isn't there. Neither extremely fierce distortion. Yellow Cab works very well as refreshing alternative. It makes noise differently, not delivering all the goods instantly.
Pain Jerk on the other side, however, is the artists that doesn't hold back anything. It is instant total noise. It moves quickly on every frquency, from crunchiest bottom rumble to high crispy distortion. All the sound at the same time melts into solid blocks of noise, but also avoids the dullness by allowing all the movement to be clearly heard. In this particular style of harsh noise, Pain Jerk remains unbeatable hero!
MSBR abuses loops, synths and effects for 25 minutes, delivering extremely intense and brutally heavy assault of electronic noise! File this together with his great achievements a'la Collapseland. When some inferior shitty bootlegs were made after Tano's death, like K2/MSBR LP, you wonder how come such a shit can be published by "fan"(?) as "tribute"(?), when old masterpieces like this, could be 10000 times more relevant to present for modern noise listener? Well.. who knows. But mr. Tano really shows his reputation was well earned not only by packaging, but simply by standards of extreme noise!
HYPER VENTILATION is side project of Aube. Together with Dub Murashita, Akifumi Nakajima. As opposite of Aube, this stands for pure harsh noise. Steady monolith of oscillations, distortion and wall-like noise-assault hides inside plenty of subtle details of electronic sounds. Unknown and hardly anywhere mentioned side project, yet guaranteed noise blast! (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: icepick method on August 06, 2010, 12:58:11 AM
GRS103 Kinkakuji / Ginkakuji / Gokurakuji The Three Temples (3xCass, Ltd, C46) 1994

"This isn't really a compilation, but a collaborative effort of majestic proportions. This is a triplecassette released in perhaps the most beautiful packaging I've ever seen for any release. Being a G R O S S release means it will be attractive, of course, but this goes beyond that. The picture included here will give you an idea; three tapes in boxes, glued in a triangular shape to an octagonal black board, with a handsome green and black color motif. The three cassettes are, of course, the Three Temples referred to. The first, "Kinkakuji" (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion), is a collaboration between Maso Yamazaki (aka Masonna), and Akifumi Nakajima (aka Aube, and head of the G R O S S label). It's a collection of scary, weighty synthesizer textures, with occasional vocals by Maso. Side B is particularly intense in a horror movie, church-mass style. The second tape is "Ginkakuji" (The Temple of the Silver Pavilion), by Hiroshi Hasegawa (aka Mortal Vision, and member of cccc) and Akifumi Nakajima. This tape is more electronic in feel, with deep rumblings and creaking, high-pitched tones. Hiroshi's sound is less psychedelic than Maso's, and more feedback and noise-oriented. The third tape is "Gokurakuji" (The Temple of the Heavenly Pavilion), and is a collaboration of all three artists. This one opens with a very analog synth piece which flashes back to the 60s/70s German electronics artists. The tape at times becomes very noisy, but there are moments of calm which allow brief relaxation, like an audio rollercoaster. This is a beautiful release and a great listen as well. Limited to only 100 copies, so it will be difficult to track it down, but it's worth the effort." - Ongaku Otaku # 1 (http://shock-corridor.blogspot.com/2008/10/ongaku-otaku-issue-1-1995-my-scan.html)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 06, 2010, 11:13:50 AM
some corrections to main discography and added review:

GRS100 Various Density 100 (2xCass, Ltd, C50) 1993
Thirdorgan! Fuck! Many times I’ve been in the middle, whether project should be rated among one of the greats or not. There are plenty of so-and-so material. Especially later days laptop CDr’s. But when one listens this 1993 25 minute monsters, it simply is amazing. Thirdorgan has quite distinctive sound/style. In theory it could be lumped together with a lot of artists, but in other hand,.. not. This piece is unusually well “composed”. Not sure if it’s intentional, but intensity and energy simply grows in such manner, seems like he starts little bit restricted and in the end noise is fast moving layers of distorted electronics and feedback. In beginning one could say sounds are very distinctive. Something what always made me think of Putrefier, even if Thirdorgan was doing style before. Sounds are recycled through multiple pedals and signals are still pretty sharp and easy to follow the pedalworks. Later track is multilayered and intense, and even saturates closer to wall, although on todays standards never becomes one. Dynamic and fast modulated.
Mortal Vision is Hasegawa of CCCC/Astro, and at least it started as guitar noise project. I recall it went into synth later on, but this one is still guitar. Barely. At first there are just occasional hints that sounds emerge from strings, but mainly it is heavily processed effect drenched feedback. Later guitar starts to become more audible. Intense string abuse. Sounds like live piece, what basically operates in one layer. It is droning, but still noisy and relatively quick in the moves. Not really calm. Any day, I would still choose Mortal Vision over endless amount of “guitar drone”.
Monde Bruits is like studio version of Psychosomatic Performances material. In similar way it operates on high pitched electronic sweeps. With studio sound, it allows to hear better the details on bass department, where fast electronic filter lazerbeams suddenly raise the heavy boosted bass rumbles. In this material Monde Bruits works in very wide stereo sound, and layers from several pieces over eachother. Some are quiet compared to mail sound, which gives the strange feeling of having two pretty similar sounds what differ radically on volume. Silent noise? Monde Bruits is always easy to recognize. Nobody else does it like this. This is the unique approach to harsh noise what often lacks today. People may be afraid of “lazer noise” tag. It often seems that those who were into massive pedal tables and technology, went to lap top, and those who are primitive noise.. well, are such. Modern day equivalent for bands like Monde Bruits, Putrefier, Stimbox, Xome, Thirdorgan,… who knows if they exists? It is pleasure to return to sound of the masters which sounds so timeless anyways!
Aube side is oscillations of 1 VCO. If you have heard any of the VCO recordings of Aube, you know what to expect. At some point, I grew tired of the same source, but now years later, when you listen this, or some other VCO stuff, it is simply great. At most intensive stages, I would say there must be 5-10 leayers of various type of oscillations creating massive noise storm.
Another phenomenal GROSS release what would be great as double CD re-issue. 100 copies existing in world, seems just too little for material this good. (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: magnus on August 10, 2010, 11:46:52 AM
Good thread! G.R.O.S.S. were a class label!
one of the missing i used to have, and maybe still do, is this (it´s been over 10 years since played last so mamory a bit hazy) :
GR-006 Aube Drip (Cass, C30) 1992
Ambient Aube using dripping water as sources, as might be guessed by the title. I found this quite dissapointing, not the rumbling, droning or noisy Aube i liked but quite fragmented piece, also i´ve never much cared for sound of dripping water, more like forgetting to turn off the water tap in the kitchen before going to bed rather than Chinese torture... Also i believe i before this had heard another Aube release using same source (not 100% sure though), so instead of something freash as Aube had been before it was more of the same. Not very spectacular packing either.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 11, 2010, 06:00:13 PM
GR-018 Thirdorgan "Cyclotron" (Cass, C46) 1993
Really good harsh noise again. I like that this is actually 5 distinctive songs. It starts little quiet, but doesn't take long the heaviness of dense electronic noise hammers you down. On b-side some tasty sex noise included in mix, and I think the more you listen, the more evident it sounds that Akifumi Nakajima has his hands on the process. Cover says Decomposed, mixed & designed by Aube. And it has this very specific "softening" edge, which is often present in Aube's work. It isn't the sheer raw distortion, but comes with quite unique sound that includes perhaps quite careful reverb/eq/filter work? Hard to really put in words, but perhaps noise with less rough edge? (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on August 11, 2010, 08:55:21 PM
GR-004 Dislocation "Instill / On The Move" (Cass, Album, C46) 1992
I used to have this for long time as tape dub. Some years ago found original. Perhaps the "hi-fi" medium isn't so mandatory in this, since it is live improvisation recordings.  4 guys with electronics, guitar, reeds and .. hmm "performance". Don't know if the last member is just for visual or if his performance has some sort of audio contribution. One guest musician on electronics as well.
There was earlier tape on Vanilla, which is not very far from this. Coyte's Call LP has always been one of highlights of improv. noise for me. For reason or another. There are CD's on PSF and Scatter. So how does it sound? If you make live recording of live performance, where everybody handles their own instrument, which is very different from what other members are handling, you get nice realm of sound. You can follow the movement of all the members and their sounds, which either mix well together, or sometimes seem to wander aimlessly for a while. A-side of tape has plenty of the reeds... and is it just reeds? I think some saxophone diarrhea splatters in your eardrum as well. Distant yet more "jap noise" electro-noise crunches is something what sets Dislocation apart from many other in this area. PErhaps not enough, but even little of hard noise with more "jazz instruments" gives good atmosphere.
B-side of tape has much noisier and electronic feel. Plenty of effects and electronics. It operates in chaotic noisy orchestral feel. Not just guy with pedals. 2nd cut of the tape is back with the most definitely saxophone sounding instrument and high pitched quiet electronics. Well. It might be nostalgia, but band remains my favorite in this field. Or perhaps someone is able to tell the good free improvisation band who has one feet in chaotic freejazz and another feet in fierce non-academic sounding electronics? (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Tommy Carlsson on October 26, 2010, 09:47:19 AM
I just bought a second copy of GRS-111 MSBR Spherical Nerve System, because my old copy was seriously damaged due to the packaging. I am interested in hearing from others who have the tape -- have you noticed anything strange about the packaging? It seems like the soft mesh material used is causing some problems, maybe due to the glue used...? My first copy is all very, uhm, sticky... the cover stickers have fallen off, and they are gooey with smeared printing. The tape labels are off, and the insert is barely readable. It's like the whole cover is decomposing, which in all fairness, I guess is kind of nice in some respect.

Just recently I stumbled across a second copy at a reasonable price, so I decided to try and upgrade my junk copy. Unfortunately, the new tape is showing some signs of the same kind of problems. The tape still holds together, but the cover stickers are both smeared and gooey. To prevent any further damage, I'll store the tape in a separate box. But overall I find this quite annoying. Has anyone else experienced anything similar with this one?


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on October 26, 2010, 09:57:45 AM
I think it is manufacturing "defect". Not knowing how glue will react over the years. My copy is "damaged" slightly, but not brutally. Some prints are smeared and little tickyness, but not too heavy. I think problem might be also that if copy has been sealed, it may cause some "micro enviroment". Just like some of those old slide cases will make film corrode faster if you know what I mean. I have plans to keep packaging open, dry/clean it and see what's the result. All parts can be removed and put back. I'm positive mesh can take cleaning/soaking to get rid of glue etc.
Nerdy work of librarian preserving releases, hah..


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: SILVUM on October 28, 2010, 01:56:45 PM
My copy of the MSBR is pretty rough too, the main damage is on the back sticker with the numbering / logo, it seems the black ink had become very sticky, and got some paper stuck on it / some ink was pulled off, visually it looks like it flaked off.  There is some minor damage to the tape labels where some of the ink rubbed off inside, but it's not too bad.  My "solution" has been to keep it out in the open air to hopefully "dry it out"... totally frustrating...

I don't even want to talk about the problems I have with my Four Shrines set... a nightmare of torn paper and a printing error where the only solution would be another copy, or getting Akifumi to reprint a label.... so annoying....


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on October 28, 2010, 04:03:48 PM
My four shrines set is in 3 pieces. But it's more handy that way anyways. I know how it should look, and proper glue job would get it fixed. Was damaged in mailing, as far as I remember.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 05, 2010, 10:19:10 PM
maybe time to continue to finish this project....

GRE203 Sympathy Nervous "Apple Head" (Cass, Ltd) 1995
Huh... this must be something what sticks out of line of GROSS catalogue quite a lot. First half of a-side is pretty good. It's something what is very much "today": Distorted melodic chords/tones. If someone would have said this is release from 2010, I'd have said "of course it is, fucken' cliche too", hah.. But well, it does date back 15 years. Rest of the material is pretty much techno type of music. It abuses distortions and some experimental sounds and most of all "3D" mixing. Cover urges for headphone listening, and funnily enough includes statement "guitar included - not techno!!". I can appreciate the efforts that clearly is put on this, but for my tastes, this goes far too deep into techno music influences to totally enjoy. I don't know what else this Japanese duo produced and if it was always like this?


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: P-K on April 06, 2012, 03:11:21 AM
older topic, maybe offtopic but still related :

today i was playing some cd's i didn't listen to for a long time.....incl 2 Aube-albums : Metal De Metal (Manifold) and Cardiac Strain (Alien8), and i like these very much, excllent stuff......is there other work you people can recommend? something like 'classic Aube'   ;-)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: acsenger on April 06, 2012, 04:12:53 AM
Quote
is there other work you people can recommend? something like 'classic Aube'

I haven't heard them in ages but I liked the Sensorial Inducement LP and the Mort Aux Vaches CD.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Bloated Slutbag on May 13, 2012, 06:51:19 AM
GRS100 Various Density 100 (2xCass, Ltd, C50) 1993
Thirdorgan! Fuck! Many times I’ve been in the middle, whether project should be rated among one of the greats or not. There are plenty of so-and-so material. Especially later days laptop CDr’s. But when one listens this 1993 25 minute monsters, it simply is amazing.

As a long-time pumper of Thirdorgan, I'd have to strongly concur here. If you like this one, you need to find his untitled split with Crack Fierce, courtesy of United Syndicate. I've got a few copies and will part with none of them.

EDIT But this also seems to support some of what I've ventured in the past, re- Thirdorgan 90's analog era: that "the surgeon" Shimizu's dense layering of very cleanly rendered upper registers demands higher fidelity. It seems odd, and interesting, that the only Thirdorgan that has ever received lasting praise, is the work released on at least type ii cassette.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Bloated Slutbag on May 13, 2012, 06:59:37 AM
GR-013 Club Skull The Origins Of ... (Cass, C40) 1993
...It's like CCCC becoming Aube. And Aube becoming CCCC
...It's kind of unfortunate that while especially Aube and Astro has produced some inferior items, what must be still far more known & distributed, some masterpiece like this remains forgotten obscurity.

Do give another listern to CCCC "Amplified Crystal" lp (Endorphine Factory). EDIT Mixed by Nakajima/Aube, as is the "Amplified Crystal II" tape. Certainly more CCCC than Aube, but very warm, rich, dense, yada yada. Criminally under name-checked CCCC classic.

While I'm at it, fans of this kind of faux-spiritualized harsh psychedelia would not be unserved in referring their aural passages to CCCC "Gnosis".


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: impulse manslaughter on December 07, 2013, 10:05:35 AM
RIP Aube. According to what i'm reading on Facebook he died on the 25th of september.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 07, 2013, 10:35:36 AM
I heard about this too.
I know he was selling his private collection, and perhaps even labels archives 1-2 years ago in Japanese auction site? So possibly the death was cause by things he could predict. No need to speculate though. One of greats gone...


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: THE RITA HN on December 08, 2013, 03:27:36 AM
Never realized how killer that IUGULA-THOR tape looks.  Glad to be able to grab one from Discogs.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: tiny_tove on December 09, 2013, 12:34:48 PM
I think that was Chiaravalli's best noise/pe release.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: Baglady on January 12, 2015, 05:55:12 PM
Not that it matters much, and I'm not even sure why I ask, but did the Envelope and Special series have metal tapes for the initial copies as well?

The Envelope series looks great, but that damn paper... Have bought two of them on discogs (Hyware and Skin Crime, both rather cheap, thankfully), just taking out the tapes made a nice hole in the side of each envelope. More robust reissues of the better ones in the series wouldn't be a bad idea.


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 11, 2015, 03:23:13 PM
GRYS02 Aube / Nagisanite was this series of not really Gross stuff, but stuff he did for exhibitions? I got some tapes what he did outside regular Gross catalogue. I wonder if I have any of his old catalogues at hand to scan...?

This tape, includes live performance of Aube, recorded on hi-8 camera. Audiotrack remastered afterwards. Aube material was later reissued on "Benefit 1997" CDR. Sound quality is clearly live recording. Distant and colored by camera microphone quality. Still interesting and fairly clear in detail. Utterly icy drones and dripping water creating rhythmical patterns and deep humming loops. Slightly distorted and often echo drenched. Delay is often used to give rhythm patterns additional "polyrhythmic" level. Set is slightly edited in studio. It clearly has the beginning and the end (with audience clapping), but something is done in-between what makes set to fit into one side of C-45.
Nagisanite is some sort of indie-rock band. Slow melancholic guitar and singing, percussion... Well, you know. like lots of Alchemy records rock bands used to be. Zero interest for me, but I guess it is most of all for people who understand what they say.

 


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on December 15, 2015, 11:14:32 AM
GR-026 Aube Frequency For Collapse (Cass, C46) 1994 
Excellent tape! This tape utilizes sound from building deconstruction site. Recordings contain wide variety of clashing metals, saws, hammers, often assembled to rhythmical patterns that occasionally remind of Vivenza. Futurism of old age, now almost nostalgic sound of physical labor. Typical ways of Aube to compose slowly moving track what starts from simple things and goes always more layered and busy. Extensive effects and short loops. Always keeping space for sound and detail in timing. Not "noise" in terms of harshness, but it's hard to really put this into any other category. (MA)


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on October 12, 2017, 01:11:19 PM
GRS110 Kohei Gomi / Masahiko Ohno / Toshiji Mikawa / Akifumi Nakajima The Four Shrines (4xCass, Ltd, C40) 1996

I recall that originally there wasn't mentioned artists like this? Listing style is from discogs. I remember that it only listed each "project name" in GROSS catalogue. Artist details are found from packaging. Nice special project with session of 4 noise masters together and Akifumi being the mastermind here. Both, sound and the design. Exceptional packaging and full length sessions of each:

Meiji Jingu is Aube + Pain Jerk,
Ise Jingu is Aube + Solmania
Heian Jingu is Aube + Incapacitants
Atsuta Jingu is entire crew together

Out of these all, Aube + Pain Jerk is the winner. Just restless and brutal harsh noise. It starts with typical Aube style queit loop and neat usage of reverb, but Gomi's noises start to brutalize and dominate whole sound after a while. We end up into full-on Pain Jerk'sih harshness for long periods of time, only to return back into squeeling loops of vco/feedback sounds. Of course Pain Jerk at the time was in loop frenzy as well.
The rest, are not bad. How Aube mixes his stuff, it's works for his own, and selected amount of other things. Running some Solmania noises through effects could be good, but overall, re-effected already effect-based material is not always winning recipe. Quite opposite. Starting from raw and sharp and compact material will most likely give better results, unless method is adding stuff, instead of manipulating the existing one.

This same could be said about Aube+Incapacitants (or Mikawa solo actually) project. Rawness of Mikawa's electronics is not really present here until maybe later part of b-side. Tape starts with highly processed drone sounds and eventually becomes noise. But throw in tremolo and reverb and delay etc, and the fast modulated ripping quality of Mikawas work is very distant below the efx heavy sound of Aube. Eventually disturning and painful elements of Mikawa's noise start to crawl on the top. Still driven through slow flanger soon removes ferocity and makes it simply droning. Eventually drone is buried under heavy brutal harsh noise, which has way more bass rumble than Mikawa generally uses. Effect heavy, maybe closer to "As Loud As Possible" style of Incapacitants and is pretty close to the level of Aube/Pain Jerk set.

Of course one should not expect each tape being what the projects do as solo. Instead something what qualifies to be done under different name. Packaging and theme of four shrines release is very unique, and despite it is not as phenomenal like for example Density -compilation or some solo works of these artists, it is different - and very justified addition to collection even if you'd have bunch of stuff from everybody. Certainly expensive item to get now. I got my copy years ago, not even 100% sure who sold it to me. I got two theories, but nevertheless this is the ltd 14 copies metal tape edition what was for "staff only". It's dubbed all-on-red style and actually doesn't sound as phenomenal as most of the GROSS stuff. For reason or another. I may need to give a try to another tape deck too!

 


Title: Re: G.R.O.S.S. label overview
Post by: FreakAnimalFinland on January 18, 2019, 03:07:44 PM
GR-011 Aube Luminous (Cass, C46) 1993
I suspected that I had two copies of this tape, but not yet had time to check out if that is true. Tape was still sealed after so many years, so I assume I had to have other copy somewhere. Soundtrack for light installation, which consisted mostly flickering lights.
What you hear, starts with subtle sound of fluerescent light flickering. Fairly quiet sounds, and with Aube style of the early 90's, eventually looped and efx treated soundscapes will become massive noise wall, qualifying even harsh noise. Despite it is subtle and atmospheric for most of the time.