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New reviews of Existence Establishment releases

26 November 2012 xdementia No Comment

Bereft/Fire In The Head – MA/PE/FU Vol. 1 LP

From Heathen Harvest webzine:

Concrete. A perfect metaphor for the hardcore spirit that infects both the past and the present state of the Massachusetts underground. It is the brutal, severed face of American power electronics. It greets flesh with all the subtlety of a nuclear blast wave, and its only voice is the crushing crumble under the rumble of an Earthquake or the gut-wrenching clash of jagged metal against itself, the white noise of the heavy rain that washes away the blood and memory, and the death rattle in between. Yeah… concrete. And there is plenty of it in the vast urban sprawl that makes up the inspiration behind this first release in a three-part series from Existence Establishment. First up are two monolithic figures in this asphalt wonderland — one deceased, one very much alive — in Michael Page’s Fire in the Head (which was laid to rest with this release) and Peter Lee (Force of Nature) / Andy Grant (The Vomit Arsonist, Danvers State Recordings)’s Bereft. Both projects need little-to-no introduction beyond that, and both are here representing their roots, so common sense already implies that this is going to be a powerful offering from both sides of the record.

F/I/T/H’s side of the split begins with that noted Earthquake rumble as it quickly evolves into a roaring fervor with “The Great Deceiver” and “In his Garden”, reducing whatever order remained into shambled chaos. Complex layers of harsh industrial electronics, drone, and undoubtedly pernicious if not outright virulent vocals swiftly pile up throughout the side, creating an aural mirror to the complexity of subject matter that they encompass — from his personal perception of the Abrahamic evils of the opening and closing tracks to one of Page’s most beloved subjects in firearms in the cleverly titled “My Right, you’re Wrong” (which includes a brilliant placement of the infamous Rifle-monogamy sample by R. Lee Ermey from the film “Full Metal Jacket”.) Page’s trademark crushing vocals dominate the final moments of “Sodom Eyes”, bringing this side — and the project’s existence — to an eventful and expected outwardly emotional conclusion.

Bereft’s side is more drawn back in terms of complexity, but the first track takes up a percussive direction that is bombastic to the point of developing death industrial on an incredibly destructive doom-ridden, martial scale — very much ‘old school’ with production quality that is surprisingly immersive for its bare-bones approach. The heavy electronics are basic and minimalist, and with that comes vocals that are stronger because of it — vocals that are confident in their emphatic, surprisingly audible delivery, and which tackle a variety of subjects from vehement individualism to an honest and intelligent ancestral pride. Some people may be quick to judge the project based on some controversial lyrics within “I will not Assimilate”, but this track is the artist’s resistant vocalisation and refusal to be forced into becoming part of the same guilt-trodden, overly dramatic liberal mold that contemporary society marches us toward. This is a far cry from the same finger-pointing, ignorant accusational racist garbage spewed by projects like Intolitarian — rather, it’s a celebration of the self that shakes off the brittle frustrations of openly having any form of Caucasian racial pride in America.

Overall, this is a fiercely inspired and extremely impressive split, and every bit of what I’ve come to expect from Fire in the Head, as well as what I’ll come to expect in the future from one of my new favorite industrialized projects in Bereft. I don’t say it publicly very often (at least not within my reviews), but if you don’t already own this, you should.

Lavas Magmas – Acts of Worship CDr+DVDr

From Brutal Resonance webzine:

Hurrah! Reinforcements arrived to industrial scene; and today it is Luis Gonzalez from Portland to add from his personal vision to the long row of different abstract creations. There is not much information about his activity that could be found, though from a little bit that I dig out from the internet, the cdr which I hold in my hands is his first full length album, accompanied by a visual effects dvdr. Before this he contributed few tapes here and there with editions of 30 to 60 pieces, maybe for the special ears only. Anyhow, here is the CD called ‘Acts of Worship’, and I will give it all my time in order to dissect its guts.

What I can hear from the very beginning is a total abstractivism that flows with the every tune out of my speakers. A wide sonic soundscape is full of reach spectrum of accidental scratches, noises, metallic parts hitting each other etc. Electronic pulsations are everywhere, without any specific structure; sometimes it is really hard to navigate through those barricades of sound. There are few tracks which are harsher, having sharper layers that try to conquer the stage, like in “Repetitions Migrate”. And there are few more cinematic, reminding of some sci-fi movie thriller, where a listener has to switch on all his wild imagination, take for example “Orgonopticon” and “Humanizing Inhumane”. Droning loops intertwist into the vortexes of a local insanity, electronic pulsating waves fill the air, rising and fading, crossing the atmosphere and firing hidden messages up to the sky full of stars. Maybe Luis tries to worship an alien civilization that will receive his letter and will finally take control over stupid human civilization.

To make a long story short, the album didn’t affect me too much. The experiments with field recordings, machinery sounds and electronic ambience are not new and were already explored for a few decades. One has to bring something definitely different in order to glance between all those that try to. Regular and plain background music without any specific highs and lows, but I truly want to make a suggestion to Luis to continue his journey, because the potential to grow presents for sure.

From Black Audio webzine:

My initial reaction to this release was towards the DIY packaging that is reminiscent of punk ethos. Either way, this has been well put together and it warmed my cockles somewhat smelling the glue and paint and trying to prise the CDr out of the neatly patched together digipak.

Musically, the bedrock of this album is bedded down in Dark Ambient circles. An old school industrial vibe resonating over individual tracks in machine like drones, whilst clattering scraps of metal fall together in on their way to the smelting forge. It’s not entirely inventive, nor is it original, but does serve a purpose in the genre, which this album is pinpointed within.

The accompanying DVDr utilises source material from newsreels, to diabolic atrocities and so forth. Essentially I would expect to see this played out at any live action Lavas Magmas took part in and to some effect adds the necessary ingredient that is sorely lacking when taking on this release in a purely aural environment.

‘Acts of Worship’, is by no means a bad album when collectively packaged with the DVDr. However, there is little on offer in the grand scheme of things, when there are so many other artists out there providing a vast amount of work that triple the engagement this project struggles to provide.

Lackthrow – Release 2xCDr

From Black Audio webzine:

There is nothing more ludicrous than the packaging this 2CDr album provides. Seven inches of tar painted copper plating that provided me with as much entertainment trying to take out the CDr’s as much as it did actually listening to them; if nothing else it made me smile, cut fingers and all.

Andrew Powell’s Lackthrow spews a staggering 54 tracks out over two discs. With a visceral mash of power electronics and cold Industrial waste, that assaults the senses from every angle. Much of this has been heard before and that by no means is an insult in a market as saturated as this project lingers within; if anything, Lackthrow holds its own well.

Let’s be honest now; there aren’t that many releases from the genre that can actually be termed ‘good’. I do raise my hand in admission that PE is one of my guilty pleasures, fully aware that the majority I play now and again is absolute hogwash, requiring little to no talent at all. There are exceptions to the rule however, with Control and Slogun being a prime example of consummate professionalism, providing PE with a purpose and necessary soapbox, where the sounds on offer are clinically executed to devastating effect.

Lackthrow doesn’t achieve the same heights as his peers. Then again many artists of this ilk rarely do; what they do provide however, as in the case of Powell, is an essential insight into B division solidarity.

GM Electronics – Trashwalker CDr

From Terror webzine:

GM Electronics is a noise project from the Czech/England musician Jiri Balsinek. A decade of activity, with slight interruptions, and approximately 10 releases. Most of them were released in his own Chimera label. The last CDr of the project, Trashwalker, that is spinning in the player now, has been released via Existest Establishment label from USA. The previous version of this album was released in 2004 in Cyber-Blast-Records and if my information is correct, the original release has been made even some time before that via I.N.K. Recordings. So this album is being re-released for the second time already and I’m getting curious why is that.

About the packaging itself. It’s not the first quite originally looking release from this label. CDr is packed in approximately 7″ size envelope, made from some sort of thin copper paper that is covered in tar from the outside. This isn’t something that you can stare and adore, but it fits the concept of the release perfectly. I don’t know if the sound is different from the previous versions of this album because some of the track titles are different, but I think I’ve read somewhere that it has to do something with the artist just changing the titles and that’s it.

The most important thing is that the first track title is unchanged – Snusmumriken (inspired of course by Tuve Janson). You can see what the whole album will be like from the first track because the formula does not change that much – the sound is chaotic, multilayered, digital harsh noise. For those who are afraid of the word “digital”, I’d say that despite the clear sound, the album and compositions in it are truly superb and I’ve listened to it quite a few times already and didn’t get bored yet. It’s the sort of chaos that fascinates, does not go past the boundary to nonsense and at the same time keeps the intrigue and interesting sonic structure.

From the second track I already get the parallels with Michael Page, but Page is not that intense and perhaps slightly more atmospheric where GM Electronics travels the distorted post apocalyptic reality where only survival instincts and need for moving forward are active. And since we talk about atmosphere, emotions and feeling, the most melodic and weird track in the album is Dismantled Emotions. Distorted melody of some string instrument flies above the thick array of noise. Such a weird mood.. It sounds as if chamber orchestra would have been isolated in the psychiatric ward and right before the demolition of the building, they start playing some sort of a track all together. Lovely insanity that continues and gets more intense in “Cryohydra” after a rather boring track “Flesh on Fire”. Massive textures of sound and growing suspense with roaring sirens in the background. The loop of time right before the death where you suddenly find yourself fighting with all the hydra heads of your own mind.

The disc is finished with the most silent title track “Trashwalker” – manipulations with synth and pieces of noises and various sounds placed above the static note. It seems like the hum in your ears after such a noisy album – a pleasant silence or uncomfortable feeling… All in all it’s an interesting work. I can’t see it becoming the new classics of the genre or praise it for innovations, but I had a good time listening to it. And the packaging is fantastic. Digital apocalypse among snusmumriken…

From Black Audio webzine:

Packaged within another of EE’s DIY copper and tar infused amalgamations, we have six tracks of OTT digital noise and electronics. ‘Trashwalker’ was previously released twice on other labels. I am scratching my head as to why this needed a third outing, but I suppose if there is a market for this then why not.

GM Electronics represent the more visceral, less vocal driven affairs that sit borderline between PE and out and out noise. There is little on here to take on board as actual ‘songs’, rather than something to clean out the cobwebs or brutalise your neighbours.

It would be all too easy to cast aside this project and indeed this release. I thoroughly understand where ‘Trashwalker’ is coming from thematically and there isn’t much on here that wouldn’t sit well within any self-respecting all-out-noise addict’s collection. However, as an album to actually speak about musically, there is little to differentiate the songs on a track-by-track basis and more emphasis for me should be placed on the collectable nature of this limited product, rather than anything pleasurable to listen to.

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