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Author Topic: PLAYLIST with COMMENTS/REVIEWS  (Read 2158909 times)
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Baglady
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« Reply #7335 on: March 25, 2019, 12:50:32 PM »

BAD KHARMA - 96-98 4xCS (Bonbon Tapes)
How many were doing industrial noise of this caliber/kind in Sweden in the 1990's? Not many I think? Five titles spread over four tapes (1xC90 and 3xC60), all recorded onto a 4-track between '96 and '98 in northern Sweden. Kaibatsuri is basically eight tracks of mostly tapeloop oriented noise, and quite harsh, most of the time. Points of reference are scarce. Although I come to think of a strange marriage between ONE DARK EYE and S*CORE, this is still elusive and hard to pin down. It simply just hammers on; fierce, with great timing and variation, in a steady pace. Absolutely brilliant.
Salt from '97 picks up almost literally where Kaibatsuri ended, with some of the previous source sounds still ringing, but geared up and a notch harsher. Three longer tracks of mangled tape splatter, feedback, derailing electronics and whatnot; it's a beautiful mess. There's a certain wailing druggy almost outer spacy feel to the whole recording which sends me off to the same mental regions as MACRONYMPHA's Crack, without necessarily sounding too much like it when zooming in on details. A great continuation of Kaibatsuri, and the two recordings makes an unflagging meatgrinder stuffed with questionable prescription drugs.
Tape Werk, recorded '97-'98, sounds very different. Much more fragmented, consisiting of many shorter pieces. Some intense collages of a multitude of sounds, som where just one single sound is bent and turned inside out. More crisp, less... tapey. While sounding more grandiose, almost Aube-ish at certain moments, it's also less coherent than the two previous recordings. Very all-over-the-place. There are so many good parts here that fly by way too fast. Enjoyable, but too schizo for my ape brain.
Krshna, recorded in '98, starts out deceitfully calm, droning away with dragging crackle and a pulsing synth. Suddenly interrupted by wild junk noise combined with some hard-to-stomach break beat samples. Yikes! Thankfully that doesn't last too long, and the rest of the tape is occupied by a wide variety of wild shit. All out harsh noise, humid throbbing loops, tape mess etc. Something for everyone, and while it is schizo, it feels less rushed than Tape Werk. A winner!
Last tape in this box, Kriyayoga, feels lika a summation of the three before it, all in a big pile, sort of. Rather confusing to sit down and listen to, but a pleasant thing to have running while doing domestic chores. Lots of great parts that I'd gladly hear more of, but alas.
BAD KHARMA is, again, hard to pin down. His often very sparse and anonymous covers and layouts probably doesn't help him, but then those were probably of less importance. Seems he just enjoyed doing noise (it does sound like he's having a good time), and that's all there is to it.  Going through this box I come to think of Lasse Marhaugs albums from the same time span, Science Fiction Room Service and White Inferno, which both seem to inhabit the same corner of noise as BAD KHARMA did. This playful yet serious, searching and exploring kind of noise which can't be lumped together with any specific subsubgenre. They're not aping japnoise or the american crunch or whatever was going on at the time. Makes good sense that they ended up doing a series of collaborations. Two individuals from rural corners of their nieghboring countries, logical!
The box, although limited to 50 copies and released 12 years ago, still comes cheap. Worth it for the first and third cassette alone.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 01:22:12 PM by Baglady » Logged
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« Reply #7336 on: March 26, 2019, 03:45:11 PM »

was blown away by how good the americanoise compilation is, because i was considering (now buying) the re-release. i am contemplating also buying the noise war 5xcd, because, like i thought maybe two cd's of rusty americanoise could be too much, it was simply just an enjoyable experience! i wonder how many of these massive comps that are rock solid there is?
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« Reply #7337 on: March 26, 2019, 04:16:01 PM »

Incapacitants – Zouvneree cd (Alchemy)
Holy laser noise, Batman!
Listening to Stimbox and thinking back to the lazer noise deal.  Are we talking about anything similar?

Good question. I wanted to take the time to give it the response it deserves. So, let’s see. Just to consult my extensive notes here…

Ah yes, here we are. The answer is: no.
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« Reply #7338 on: March 26, 2019, 04:18:37 PM »

Incapacitants – Zouvneree cd (Alchemy)
Holy laser noise, Batman!
Listening to Stimbox and thinking back to the lazer noise deal.  Are we talking about anything similar?

Good question. I wanted to take the time to give it the response it deserves. So, let’s see. Just to consult my extensive notes here…

Ah yes, here we are. The answer is: no.

More seriously. Zouvneree seems one of the more Mikawa-driven of the recent Incaps, sitting cleanly inside a crisper, cleaner, digital-sounding range of wheedling, mewling, squeal and scree. Rapidly ascending and descending overlap of criss-crossed sweep and swoop. Fuzz and feedback making way for more laser-pointed precision, free-wheeling psych extremes never quite losing the sense of strictly delineated range of movement. Gear would have to factor strongly into the equation. With Stimbox, different gear, different times, just, different.

And as far as the Stimbox lasers. One should probably refer first to the vast majority of artists coming out of Japan, any one of whom would have had as much or more on the laser side of noise. Quick list off the top of the head: Merzbow, Pain Jerk, Incapacitants, Monde Bruits, CCCC, Astro, Aube, MSBR, Masonna, Thirdorgan, Government Alpha, Gasolineman, Kazumoto Endo. Plenty of laser action, none of it really defining any of the projects (unless one is inclined to want it to). I’d again chalk it up to gear plus general predilection for more dynamic, high energy blasting of the Le Shit. (Mileage may vary.)

<trigger alert! about to jump off the deep end>
Plus, and not to put too fine a point on it, a healthy spirit of wtf aka willingness to experiment.  A lot of these folk were/are serious gear fetishists, as often seemingly willing to be led by as much as to lead the gear. A matter of willingness to take the good with the bad and the ugly, to let the sound speak for itself. But… perhaps that willingness has always- and will always- be there. Forever locked in battle with the apparent fetish of the moment. And the winner is...
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 04:43:11 PM by Bloated Slutbag » Logged

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« Reply #7339 on: March 28, 2019, 06:08:50 PM »

Mo*Te - Taste Die Mad CD - Audio Dissection/Industrial Recollections - a nice middle ground between the monolithic excellence of Life in a Peaceful New World and the less dynamic, but still enjoyable Cuffs reissues which came out last year. The album takes the format of three shorter tracks followed by b-side long track. personally I enjoy the "intro" track "Acid*Voice" and the last "White Donor" the best. each have similarities in the layered sounds that really sound good to me. some alarm/mechanical whirring that pans left and right and in and out of focus. steady low end rumble. that good stuff. "Acid*Voice" even has vocal snippets and grainy crumble. mm mm. "Gap in the Gap" and "Distension" are more straight forward in their harshness and very good in their own right. One thing I can say, Mo*Te knows how to use slow panning to create space and dynamics with a relatively small amount of layers in the tracks. I'm reminded in some ways of techno producer Regis's early and mid period works, which were massive slabs of sound, expertly modulated and extremely satisfying. short version, get this reissue!

Encephalophonic - Surgical Mods CD - Freak Animal - spanning 3 years of recording and 4 years of releases, Surgical Mods brings Encephalophonic's limited and OOP material together in a cohesive compilation. what you expect: razor-sharp harsh noise that only relents occasionally to bring you down with ultra-negative samples. what you get: razor-sharp harsh noise that only relents occasionally to bring you down with ultra-negative samples. i am a huge fan of when short clips of acoustic guitar show up, such as in the first track. "Spastic Emotions", the 2nd track delivers some segments which get a little close to laser noise, in the best way possible. from his split with Mo*Te, it definitely feels influenced by him in the best way possible. the next 4 tracks are from two 7"s, all of which fall in line with the quality and style of the 3 CD albums released over the years. special standout of the 4 is "Moaning Sex" which is exceptionally damaged sounding. really crispy and brittle. and then my favorite of the bunch is the only unreleased track here which is just goddamn great. electrified in a way that makes me think of Martin Seligman's experiments regarding learned helplessness. brutal, piercing, relentless. glad this one finally saw the light of day! And to end it out, "My Inner War" from the Noise War reissue which is fantastic and I already reviewed.

Cracksteel - Blood Purge CDr - Chi Omega Institute - Cracksteel is completely unfamiliar to me. I've heard the name here and there over the years and so I finally picked up this reissue of the 1996 tape of the same name. Two huge slabs of churning noise. the title track just doesnt stop for its 20 min+ run time. the general nature of the rumble is hollowed out with a hint of bass. the sounds, barely even layers at times can get a little wonky here and there, but I dig the exploratory nature of it. what I believe are vocals show up too later on and the occasional ugly flange or phaser. my first listen I was in bumper to bumper traffic for the entirety and it worked quite well. 2nd track, "Silver Disaster" starts of quite. the lovely sounds of cables being unplugged and plugged back in. electrical feedback, bass hum. the kinds of sounds I still use in my recordings. love it. then after a few minutes it kicks instantly into blast mode, but with a lot less heaviness than the 1st track. more dynamic but less satisfying in some ways. i've gotta give this one some more time but I will say it's got me interested in digging into more Cracksteel in the future.
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« Reply #7340 on: March 29, 2019, 10:23:34 AM »

Encephalophonic – Surgical Mods
The first few times I heard this were less than ideal- through headphones at necessarily low volume. Harsh fucking noise at low fucking volume, you snort, why fucking bother? I see your fucking point, I answer, but I fucking need my fucking Enceph. You fucking fuck.
   Still, even at low fucking volume, the essential fucking harshness still comes fucking through. In fact, the Harshnoise At Low Volume Test or HALT, as demonstrated by my colleague here Professor Blumpy, is I think often a good measure of the brute power of the shit. Or, I mean to say, the brute fucking power of the fucking shit. You fucking fuck.
   The eight tracks are collected mainly from a handful of relatively low-run 7 inchers, indexed in order of release (and presumably of recording date). This latter was a good move. Throw on a random piece of Enceph from the last few years and the timestamp is hard to spot. Here the sense of development through chronology is clear, and welcome.
   The earliest work has all the grisly scars of the Enceph of the moment- harsh, spastic, jagged, pointed, high energy ripping textures, metal junk spew, looped percussive stutter, stop motion balance, unhinged by brutal scorch attacks shrieking across spectrum. As the album progresses, excrement gets harsher, sharper, smellier, more precise, more pointed, ever more rigorous and exacting of obsessively meticulous focus. A quick run through then. Professor Blumpy?
   Er, ahem. Thank you, Slutbag. Just a moment please while I consult my notes. “Molested For Life.” Mm-hmm. Presumably an existential statement on the cogent ethos of the noiseperv. It is my stated opinion that this is the most raw of the Surgical Mods, incoming mechanized loop quickly obliterated by rapidly panned junk-spew spasticisms, ripping simultaneously in every direction, to open into widened field of electrified scorch. That’s the first twenty-five seconds. Proceed now to massed junk clusters hammering away at the edges, soon to occupy center stage before veering off onto open-ended acoustic-cum-junk stutter. At a critical juncture, mournful acoustic fingerwork sets off a high-pitched, needle-like, singe. Note too the decisive drop into echoing bong chamber, trash smashed and compacted with all brute force. For further discussion of the critical aspects of this and the following three tracks, I would ask that you refer to my previous study, Tinpot Shit-Pails Hurled All Over The Room, Ripping Holes In Filthed-Out Distortion Walls.
   “Spastic Emotions” drizzles in scraggly dirtfields, blasts open in epileptic scorchfits, shrieks in metal bashed L-R clambering. A generous and diverse array of raw material appears to have been commissioned; refer here to the aforementioned tinpot shit-pails. True to title, the pacing is consistently inconsistent. Those less qualified are therefore advised to steer clear of close study, to minimize the risk of being reduced to spastic gibbering mess. As it is, please see our good friend Slutbag. Any questions? Moving right along. Brief cracks are are roughly prized open to admit rapid-panned junk-scree, soon swallowed up in more cleanly filthed fuzz-belch. Ultimately, the keen ear for scrambling expectation drives monolithic, extended, wet, grey-tinged, machine buzz, dragging on and on, and on. Delicious, slathering. Slurp. Dry humping loop-thump, out.
   “Auto-Induced Manical State” immediately ups the stakes, new gear- or new skills- evidently in play. Much more comfortable interactions with open spaces are afforded, widened stereophonic effects privileging more painstaking and considered heaving of overbilged junk-splatter, sucker punches just that critical degree heavier, hurtful, impactful. Somewhat in keeping with the methodology first expounded in Spastic Emotions, a ground down and brittle texture study consumes a solid half portion to grind things out to bilge-walled finish. “Neurological Failure” originally appeared on the opposite side of the same 7-inch and while every bit as hurtful, is also, per title, a gibber-inducing spastic mess. At no point is the listener permitted reprieve from the frantic hurling of shit-pails across the pan. While I would hesitate to describe this as texture study, there are a good number of interesting, deadened, filth-textures introduced and explored, none of them for more than an instant or two, but all of them intrinsically linked to the essential, full-bore, hurtcore.
   The next two tracks also originally occupied opposite sides of the same platter. Once again the stakes are raised, so high this time, in fact, that the essential achievement is nothing short of- CUM ALERT!- ahem. The Essential achievement here is nothing short of fucking awesome. If you will excuse the digression, “Body Fluids” are needed to- SOUNDS FOR BUTTPHONE!- I say, if I may. "Body Fluids" are needed to, um, lubricate this incredibly dry rush of pure HARSH. Would you excuse me? Slutbag, please, settle down. Moving on. Though principally of the raw, ripped and scorching electronic persuasion, a considerable quantity of blown out junk-scraps are violently bashed about the field, feeding an encroaching sense of considered discombobulation. That discombobulation reaches its zenith in “Moaning Sex”, which could well be the winner. What’s that? Oh, thank you for your concern. Slutbag has been, um, subdued for the remainder as I’m afraid it may not otherwise end well. Consulting my notes here. Introductory ear-bleed singe-waves explode in dizzying swarms of multi-pronged angular excitement, brief acoustic interludes engaging feedback-tweaked screechers. Total bung-rupture via dis-sheveled low-end turd-burgle, shredded metallic gristle rebounding off fractured enclosure, large meaty crunch-chunks breaking off and hurtling through craggy, distorted, spaces to output: pure fire.
   Rather than fight fire with fire, a relatively puritanical departure in “Living On The Edge”, the longest entry and the only one previously unreleased. Comes out the gate swinging, hyper-spastic hailing and blasting. But soon the deferral to fairly steady-on, brute force type, crunch textures. These textures are spread out and broken, sporadically, into fat flatulent chunks, frequent un-centered incursions un-hinging the nerves and fraying any sense of balance. Thus the in-delicate balance, on the edge, to be savagely choked by razor-sharp, razor’d raw, razor wires of twisted metal and grit, gasps for air thick with palpable tension. Persuasive. Punishing. Perfect set-up to the inner war to end all inner wars.
   “My Inner War”. No doubt. Within moments any lingering hope of stability, previously eked out On The Edge, has been violently expunged, spasmodic surgically spliced surges of epileptic, apoplectic, frenzy throwing a veritable encepha-load of discombobulation through mangled pain factory of frenetic, herkily-jerked, essence. Harsh, pointed, incisive. Needle-like focused fury. In a way, fairly puritanical follow-up to the puritanical predecessor as previously pronounced, plenty of brute force type crunch texture to spice up proceedings even as the rough-edged metal-pronged glistening lacerations razor through the storm, unending hail of hack splack crack and smack. Much as I hate to delight in other people’s misery, I can’t help but hope the war has only but begun. Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 03:17:03 PM by Bloated Slutbag » Logged

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« Reply #7341 on: March 30, 2019, 11:46:32 PM »

KOSMODROM - The War of the Worlds CD, NAR
Kosmodrom is emerging to become the cleanest HNW act ever. The cleanest concept, the cleanest conceptual artwork, but certainly not the cleanest walls. The debut album, released after an almost countless number of high quality, good looking tapes (all of which I own), now manifests a strange form of psychedelic, atmospheric Sci-Fi soundscapes. The rumbling noise machine does come out, but it is cushioned in a massive amount of spacious space sonics and cosmic concoctions. Interestingly, and probably coincidentally, the first recording I thought of upon hearing this the first time was Neptune Tower's Caravans to Empire Algol, an album as shamefully underestimated as Wongraven's Fjelltronen, though those albums stem from another time and another scene. In all honesty, it's not correct to speak of "HNW" any more, as the comparisons in the previous paragraph may suggest. Even if this still packs some crunch at times, it's now much more a matter of space ambient/experimental with noise elements. Any Vomiresque rumblings constitute but one element, and seldom to never a dominating element, in a much more smooth experience. The music is certainly dynamic and sometimes ominous, but always very atmospheric and almost always very relaxing. An additional bonus is that it works very well with alcohol (probably other drugs too, but I am a simple man and keep my sins within a Western framework, much like my few but not insignificant virtues). I can imagine this stuff being used together with a video installation; B/W Sci-Fi spliced together with vistas of galaxies and nebulae, but simply listening to this in headphones (or loud on the stereo) works just as well.

I seem to only get around to writing about stuff I like here, but even if you're weary of my recommendations, I'll nevertheless recommend this. Spacetacular.

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« Reply #7342 on: April 01, 2019, 04:53:50 PM »

Digest(ible) spew:

Encephalophonic – Surgical Mods
Precision. Detail. Hurt. The inevitable output of cut-up surgeon edging, inch by seven inch, toward the height of his craft. The height of his hurt, the height of his HARSH. Meticulous, painstakingly crafted attention to detail. There is a reason this kind of thing never caught on: it is hard. Real hard. When done right, it is hard to argue with the essential hurt. The essential pain. Pointed angular shards repeatedly smashing up into and through one another. There are pauses, here and there. There are moments. Perhaps a moment to dwell upon the hyper-spasmic rage of shrieking fits blasting from one earhole to the other. Perhaps a moment to approve the extreme contrast of textures ripping, in semi-erratic epilepsy, across spectrum. But mainly to emphasize the essential SPASTIC inflection setting the nerves on edge. Again and again.

For the full diarrhetic monty, please see here
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« Reply #7343 on: April 02, 2019, 04:32:00 AM »

More semi digest(ible) spew:

Incapacitants – Zouvneree cd (Alchemy)
High-powered high-speed high-end, highly dynamic highs, and lows, flailing wildly, but not unwield-ly, from one spectral extreme to the next, digital drills wheedling out phantasmagorical middle. Despite the coldly precise stabbings, and piercings, a certain amped up warmth, taking room acoustics in a love embrace, fire all your (lazer) guns at once, and explode into space. The most cosmic Incapacitants since Betley welcomed Cosmic Incapacitants, but tightly reigned in by the intense grip of the King(s). Altogether now! Born to be- KA-BLOW! (thank you) That sense of control inevitably gets hurled, violently, through the proverbial plate-glass window via 33 minutes of Bushbashwackers live, massed densities over/under lapping, licking, whacking, supernovas of explosive fury to invite that total chaos of cosmos the chosen were so unambiguously born to channel.

For the full diarrhetic monty, please see here
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« Reply #7344 on: April 02, 2019, 03:31:03 PM »

harness- irreversible succession Hologram label. After the Ideopathic tape I was not expecting these live tracks to be so sparse and reserved. Reminds me of Jesse Kudler/Jason Zeh, Mike Shiflet. I think its so great and important that Luke and Shane are making this style in this day, especially live.
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« Reply #7345 on: April 02, 2019, 05:12:26 PM »

One more load of semi digest(ible) spew:

Treriksröset ‎– Kristen Musik Från Rågsved
EAR RAPE. It is no joke, my son. That it seems to have the blessings of the Good Lord only makes it that much more disturbing. As full-filthed and flavorsome as to be expected from The Carlsson but much more tightly constricted, drilling straight-ahead groove through the center of the aural cavities. In the opening gambit, the hefty down-churned bludgeonous bilge-loaded oomph-leanings, as expected. Then the straight-ahead ear-bleed drill into Kingdom Numb, not expected and Not Nice. By any measure. By harsh standards this is not, perhaps, overtly harsh. There are sufficient, and sufficiently, dry, and shredded, scrapings of rough and crumbling raw. Thus the fool obligingly cranks the shit. But through it all, an intense screeching shriekage that simply refuses to allow for respite. By the fifteenth minute, the ‘holes are pretty much burnt out. By the end, just scorched, blackened, crusts, smoke rising slowly and mingling with hazy ozone vapors.


For the full diarrhetic monty, please see here
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« Reply #7346 on: April 03, 2019, 04:25:29 AM »

Edward Ka-Spel / Steven Stapleton, Colin Potter / Quentin Rollet ‎– The Man Who Floated Away / The Closer You Are To The Center, The Further You Are From The Edge
The Man Who Floated Away is a good title for the floating atmospherics wafting in wave after wave of slow rolling drift. It is also the title of the spoken narrative courtesy Ka-Spel, so perhaps a question of chicken and egg. What it also is, is good. Ambient tonal bells score wind-swept side streets, derelict alleys, whistling tunnels, but far from empty. Full-up, luxuriant, brimming, busy with concrete clusters that could be sourced from street corners, bus stations, train stations, as though egging to transport listener together with protagonist… One day the need to escape became so strong he found he did not even have the patience to walk to the front door and step outside his apartment... The voice is not singular, but plural, pushing the somewhat disturbed yarn in miniature vignettes, here at the fore, there a shadow half hidden behind curtained window. I’m reminded of some of the late 80s early 90s work you might get from characters with one foot in the industrial patches, PGR/Merzbow/Tiechens GRAV or Merzbow/Heemmann Sleeper awakes.... Not so much in sound palate but more in how the clusters swell in seeming coincidence of concert to sometimes achieve critical mass. At proper levels the foundations are shaking in sympathy with our mixed-fortunate hero. Still very much sedate, stately, overlapping crests building, sighing, caressing, drawing attention out, up, and away.
   The second track is quite a contrast, Colin Potter molesting saxist rarely elsewhere encountered. Plainjane piano driven plinketies feed Nursey drone of rasped sax, reversed waver, wobbled quaver, so all is well. But then the shattering, into tiny twitching bits, headless chicken squawks fluttering in panicked dis-rangement over rapid incisions of alternately drawn-out and fragmented voice, amused airs, sporadic slaps, freeform kitchen clutter. Perhaps taking cues from the first track, scattered elements cluster together at intervals, threatening to overwhelm, but never quite, soon driven snickering into corners, scampering about with sinister glee before droning undercurrent calls the reedy spectacle home to roost.
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« Reply #7347 on: April 03, 2019, 09:02:39 AM »

SEWER ELECTION - Killing For Belgium C30 (Harsh Head Rituals)
If the collab Killing Sessions puts you right in the middle of a natural disaster/battle scene/scary situation, Killing For Belgium has you sitting comfortably somewhat above that scenario. Panoramic destruction. Like an aural harsh noise take on Where's Wally?, or a two-page war scene in some Moebius comic. Side A is a varied affair. Burning hot rumble ebbs and flows, sometimes taking a step back to allow for other kinds of badness to shine, with heavy showers of feedback throughout. Side B has you moving slightly closer to the carnage. More straight, less varied and more wallish, but still distinctly different from the collab Killing Sessions in that you can still easily single out all the parts and details. This might just be one of my favorite SEWER ELECTIONs.
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« Reply #7348 on: April 03, 2019, 04:19:39 PM »

SEWER ELECTION - Killing For Belgium C30 (Harsh Head Rituals)
If the collab Killing Sessions puts you right in the middle of a natural disaster/battle scene/scary situation, Killing For Belgium has you sitting comfortably somewhat above that scenario. Panoramic destruction. Like an aural harsh noise take on Where's Wally?, or a two-page war scene in some Moebius comic. Side A is a varied affair. Burning hot rumble ebbs and flows, sometimes taking a step back to allow for other kinds of badness to shine, with heavy showers of feedback throughout. Side B has you moving slightly closer to the carnage. More straight, less varied and more wallish, but still distinctly different from the collab Killing Sessions in that you can still easily single out all the parts and details. This might just be one of my favorite SEWER ELECTIONs.

Nice review, couldn't agree more. I love this tape! Granted I don't have a lot of SE's tapes, but I picked this one up at Sarvilevyt or Hospital 8 or 9 years ago and it has remained one of my favorite harsh noise tapes since.
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« Reply #7349 on: April 03, 2019, 05:22:15 PM »

Of Habit “Viable Device” (Index Clean, 2019)
Of Habit “Extended Technique” (Entr'acte, 2017)

        Never thought I'd be interested in stuff like this, but makes sense in the bigger picture. Weird, meticulously-assembled electronic “music” with spoken word instead of traditional lyrics/singing. Definitely has origins in hip-hop/rap and the “wrong kind of industrial,” e.g. techno, none of which I'm any kind of fan of (except maybe a dozen rap tunes). I'd even go as far as to say the main comparisons I have for this, I'm really no fan of: The Streets, Sleaford Mods, minimal techno whatever the fuck that I don't give two shits for. You might be thinking, “are you gonna talk about 'noisy textures' in Kanye West's music yet,” but I assure you this is going in a different direction.
        I checked this project out more for the guy's involvement in Spoils & Relics, a group I probably should be a huge fan of, yet for some reason own nothing by. As above, this fella must certainly have some background in “regular” music, but what we get from both releases leans more toward S&R in terms of editing and abstraction. It's the monotone vocal delivery covering surreal, “modern” topics especially, which helps place this more in the non-music/weird/other category.
        The album for Index Clean seems to be right at home, and admittedly the association was one reason I checked the project out to begin with. This one is stranger, colder, and louder, almost veering on harshness at times, with a sharp and precise digital sound. “Dark web” references, etc. Non-danceable rhythms and beats collide with surprisingly oddball synthetic and occasionally acoustic sound. This offering, I suppose, is darker, if I had to put a word on it –  an anxious, drugged, exhausted and tense atmosphere. Hallucinatory and paranoid, even.
        The cassette for Entr'acte is perhaps my favorite of the two, both still being total gems and for me, totally out of left field. Ratio of beats and rhythms perhaps a hair higher than the above, but maybe that's just because I like the chosen beats about two percent more – there's a tasty latin-sounding part that is like an Esplendor Geometrico outtake. Maybe slightly less vocals on the B-side of this release than the above, too. All experimental/concrete elements are ultra- precise as above, but now treated with razor-sharp reverb. Tape dub adds a hard-hitting analog warmth. Atmosphere/attitude more adventurous and self-assured, but the spoken voice is still mumbly and perhaps a bit under the influence. Overall effect on me is relaxing which was unexpected but welcome.
       I don't know. Maybe if you're like me and you're not really into “regular electronic music,” so check this out and find what you maybe feel is lacking in all of that. I did. Please recommend to me, if you know of any: more weird, beat-driven electronic music with non-rhyming, spoken vocals with little or no effects. This may appeal to fans of: JH1.FS3, Red Wine & Sugar, Esplendor Geometrico.

Matthew Revert “Letters to Friends of the Late Darcy O'Meara” (Round Bale, 2018)
Matthew Revert “The Honey Dodger” (Thalamos, 2019)

        For anyone unfamiliar, Revert can be sort of pigeonholed into a description more or less like a “folksy” version of some of the other weird Aussie genius stuff also going on down there: think Matthew Hopkins, Index Clean-affiliated projects/artists, and what have you. A lot of Revert's material features acoustic guitar and a sort of hazy, sunny quality amidst his sound-collage clatter. His lyrics seem to have a well-intentioned pessimism and strike me as humorous, perhaps unintentionally. So, the lazy “singer-songwriter” label isn't entirely off. Thing is, his work for No Rent and collaborations with Vanessa Rosetto, while always listenable and quite beautiful, can veer into noise territory and sometimes be, dare I say, harsh and unsettling.    The point here is, Revert is more readily compared to the Shadow Ring than Nick Drake, for me anyway. I see his tendency to be (often all at once) playful, scary, and weird reminiscent of the now-defunct Lambkin/Goss vehicle – well, their decent work. Much of their output I find unlistenable.
        So anyway, I think the reference rings true on these most two recent cassettes, which remind me of the above-mentioned in that we get Revert still in playful mode, but also being fairly creepy and ill-at-ease throughout both, much like the material from the Shadow Ring which I do enjoy. There are sections in “Letters” where insinuations are made as to having had something to gain from, or a perhaps a hand in, this O'Meara's death. The maniacal laughter, pleading and weeping in “Dear May,” for one, is...suggestive. The sound work is just that, and the instrumentation when it occurs, is for texture rather than to form each track into a “song.”
        With “Dodger,” instrumentation, including synthesizer, various strings, wind and percussion, is central, in almost a return to form to the older, folksy releases. Although the vocal/lyrical delivery feels more poetic than unhinged (as above), we're still in weird/bizarre/seemingly-disturbed territory. The label honcho described this tape as “gripping,” and I definitely agree. It's seen more spins than the above and more one-sitting full-listens. One of Revert's eeriest tracks yet is featured here: “Sailor Moon, S01 E07,” the weirdest sound poetry piece I have ever heard.
        I frankly don't know what to say about Revert's work without feeling stupid and pompous. As with similar artists, I suspect there's some inside-joke element I'm too American/dense/obtuse to get. Then again, why try and justify such things? It's not as if “in on it” is a real form of participation, for that matter. I don't really care, because I find his work both very disturbing and exceedingly pleasant. Those unfamiliar 'til now and for some reason curious might do well to start with Not You (Kye, 2014) for the aforementioned “folksy” style, Being Small (Kye, 2017) for something that'd be very much at home on Index Clean, or Everyone Needs A Plan (Erstwhile, 2018) for a gorgeous collaboration with Vanessa Rossetto. The above-reviewed represent staggering progress, or regression, from those mentioned here, depending on how you look at it. Both readily streamable on Bandcamp for those not willing to take the plunge. TL;DR: For fans of: Whitehouse, The Shadow Ring, Henri Chopin.
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