V/A – X Means Not Welcome 2xC20

27 September 2013 xdementia No Comment


V/A – X Means Not Welcome 2xC20


Straight edge harsh noise & power electronics? Can this be true? Have these scenes finally collided and if so, how will they possibly reconcile themselves? Well, X Means Not Welcome is the first step on a very slippery slope that will probably never lead to these scenes ever being able to successfully collide but what it certainly does offer is 40 minutes of militant heavy electronics that will appeal to any fan of the genre, but probably not just any straight edge kid.

Baculum is up first with a broken wall of meandering harsh noise. It is harsh, and it provides a lot of movement but there’s not much here that really interests me. The textures are like plastic and the noise is more fluffy and stunted then sharp and angular. Right at the end things converge into a really cool loop but it’s dismissed in a matter of seconds.

River Of Ichthyosis is up next and immediately it’s noticeable that there wasn’t much offered for mastering on this tape set. The quality is completely different and a lot of frequencies are cut out on the high end to make this track a bit muted. The harsh noise is quite effective though with separated frequencies kind of doing their own thing chaotically but converging here and there in moments of clarity.

XALLXFORXTHISX is up next and immediately brings things to a new level. Playing with insane quiet/loud dynamics the heavy sound is oppressive yet explosive and the quieter layers are creepy and regretful in a way that only a crack addiction can make you feel. It’s an odd concept – a straight edge project recreating the feeling of being caught in addiction – but it’s one that is successful and quite profound.

Last up is Strangled Cop who brings a burly seething attack of heavy distortion with angered vocals layered on top. The production is thick and overdriven but works well. About half way through there is a transition which might be a new track. It’s a great one representing completely brutalized electronics that sound like these small machines are just screaming in pain. Great textures that have that perfect balance of static movement.

Worth mentioning is the excellent packaging here. It’s simple and to the point and matches the raw sounds perfectly. I’m not too keen on the first tape, the material is somewhat generic and/or held back by the bad quality of the recordings. The second tape is absolutely sick and represents some of the best work being done in power electronics today.

Composition: ★★★☆☆
Sounds: ★★★☆☆
Production Quality: ★★★☆☆
Concept: ★★★★☆
Packaging: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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