Minamata – Niigata CD
Zone De Confusion
Despite being active since 1984 Minamata seems to have had a long bout of absence from 1991 to 2009. It wasn’t until his resurgence in the latter part of the 2000s that I discovered the project for myself. It’s unclear when exactly this particular re-issue of the cassette from 1985 was released but they added into the mix a mammoth 17 minute track to close things out which was recorded in 2002. Quite a nice addition.
If you’re a fan of noise/power electronics or industrial you …
Minamata – Niigata CD
Actuary/The Black Scorpio Underground – Metamorphosis of the Transgressor C30
Love Earth Music
This is a pairing that seems to make sense. Both Actuary and The Black Scorpio Underground tend to meander over that line between ambient and noise in a similar style. This is also, the first release on cassette that I have received from Love Earth Music, is it marking a new era for the label? Who knows, but I am quite fine with it.
Actuary is up first on side A with one long track entitled Stricken Host Lies Down. …
Hheva/Shiver – Troubled Sleep C40
It’s kind of weird that this split should bear the same name as Prurient’s seminal album. There are so many great combination of words and images to conjure out there I don’t know why in hell you would choose the exact title of an already landmark noise album. But besides this little pet peeve of mine I dig the simple packaging and delivery on this release. Shiver is familiar to me as I have reviewed them before but Hheva is a new name.
Side A contains …
Objekt/Urian – Tonfragmente II CD
Zone de Confusion
Objekt/Urian is a project that has apparently completely evaded my radar since the year 2000! Always amazing that one can find new things after this many years in the noise scene. Zone de Confusion is a sub-label of Nuit et Brouillard, the long running industrial label.
Presented in Tonfragmente II is a very clean sound of industrial/power electronics much reminding me of a mix between the groups Irikarah and Haus Arafna. Sure, they are great starting points but I’m not sure that Objekt/Urian ever …
Vehement Caress – Existential Squalor C30
Yet more work from Boston’s finest Vehement Caress. It’s a project that is continuing to expand his sound and styles. Where the last release reviewed here was Flawed Eternity – a drone album dabbling in powerful synth atmospheres – now Existential Squalor brings back the lo-fi noise and power electronics in full force.
Side A is really enjoyable with a handful of tracks that are quite varied. Ranging from throbbing power electronics with hateful vocal attacks to sampled speeches accompanied by noise loops and building …
Epaulettes – An Exhortation in Martyrdom C30
Epaulettes is an artist hailing from Boston who works with a variety of synthesizers and effects to create heavy industrial-influenced drone. The artwork here is quite understated with merely an abstract shadowy image, perhaps of the artist himself as the cover. It fits the disembodied death drone well, and reflects the minimalist aesthetic.
Side A works very well with it’s early onslaught of very airy industrial ambience. Whispery frequencies coupled with heavy tones eventually build up to an intense powerful synth throb. Then the …
Vehement Caress – Flawed Eternity C40
Vehement Caress is Lex Russo, an understated dark electronics project from Boston MA. He also runs the low key tape label Apicult Recordings on which this cassette is released. In the past I have enjoyed Vehement Caress’ output which usually is heavy squalls of harsh electronics ranging from throbbing industrial to seething power electronics.
Flawed Eternity is a different beast though. Embracing more of an aggressive ambience sound here Russo explores the depths of synthesis and atmosphere, a tact much different from his previous output. …
Jaguar Crystal Palace – There is Going to Be a Change of Power C60
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
I have to admit it is not until this moment that I realized Dumpsterscore Home Recordings has a recycled tape series. I am very pleased about this – even more esoteric sounds to explore! Jaguar Crystal Palace has very little information about them available anywhere on the net and even after a quick search I couldn’t find any info about this release on the label’s website even.
JCP present a curious amalgamation of sounds. Meandering (yes, …
White Water Orgasm – When Was I Ever Wrong CD
I am unfamiliar with this project and upon setting my eyes on this release I had no idea what the expect. The artwork recalls more of a hallmark card than a power electronics release but this seems to be the general aesthetic of the artist.
What we are presented with is about an hour of blistering power electronics. The tracks are formulaic with basically one layer of either noise or meandering harmonies and vocals plastered on top. Although none of it …
Now in its eighth iteration, the Milwaukee Noise Fest returns with a facelift, promising to be bigger, better and noisier than ever. From August 22nd to the 24th, FTAM productions will fill the Miramar theatre with twenty four of North America’s absolute best in controlled (and uncontrolled) dissonance and sound wave hijacking.
While the festival continues to focus on local musicians playing host to twelve of the city’s best noise artists, this year will include an expanded roster of international musicians. Creative commons crusaders and plunderphonics masterminds Negativland – best …
V/A – Death Season II CDr
Darker Days Ahead
Death Season II is a well rounded compilation representing a good variety of artists and sounds. It’s curated with care and has a flowing stream of tracks which seems to make sense and lets the artists sounds unfold with effectiveness. Although there’s maybe some part of me that feels that half of these artists are one-shot wonders they all manage to churn out some decent material which is rather unexpected for a compilation of lesser known artists like this.
As far as this review …
Small Cruel Party – An Accident in Substance 3xCD
An Accident in Substance is a mammoth 3 disc retrospective of the work of Small Cruel Party representing a wealth of material. For me, it is actually the introduction to this artist who’s name I have heard floating around for years but never had the motivation to really delve into. Well, I’m glad I did because this is some simply intriguing and even at times profound material.
A written introduction in the packaging states that “the music of Small Cruel Party was …
A Night To Dismember – Chicken Heart 3″CDr
Chicken Heart is a nicely put together release featuring a good dosage of harsh noise and power electronic sounds. Simple black & white artwork adorning off-white paper gives it a unique D.I.Y. feel.
The sound here is crisp and crusty. Well produced with frequencies searing in both the high and low-ends. The evolution of the track is a little choppy but keeps things unpredictable. The basic sounds here are heavy layers of distortion, some metallic movement here and ther,e a skip of delay or …
Svaixt – Lo C45
Svaixt is a side project of Laurynas Jukonis, the man who is also behind Girnų Giesmės. He apparently had an opportunity to travel to Upper Mustang which is an isolated mountain city in the far reaches of Nepal.
Lo is mostly a compilation of various field recordings from this enigmatic habitat which is Tibetan in culture. So what you can expect here are droning chants, windy ambiences, bells, and foreign walla. There are some tracks that stand out like the opener which consists of a glassy abstract drone …
Innana – Signal/Or/Minimal CD
Crowd Control Activities
Released way back in 1999, I got my hands on this little sucker during my last trip to RRR. The running time clocks in at about an hour here so I figured, why not write a review while I’m listening to it? I’m a big fan of Innana’s previous works yet this release is a step in a different direction.
Signal/Or/Minimal seems quite a fitting title as these tracks are more on the minimal side of things. Yet despite that they morph and evolve rather …
Pusdrainer – Sexual Revulsion C33
Danvers State Recordings
The lo-fi collage artwork on this disc much reminds me of an 80s horror flick like Street Trash or something which is pretty much along the same lines of Pusdrainer’s aesthetic. A very nicely done job by Danvers State Recordings and a quick preparation for the grimy sounds inside.
This is possibly the most raw Pusdrainer recording to date, yet it’s also quite a full spectrum of sound. Although in the description from the label it says this is close to wall noise I might …
Aiden Baker & Thisquietarmy – Orange CD
Orange is a heady disc chalked full of resplendent guitar drone from these two artists. The disc features blurry, dreamy orange art in a slick slipcase. Clocking in at 46 minutes it contains 8 tracks of glistening atmospheres.
The tracks seem to melt into one epic journey with an ever-evolving centrifuge of sound. Ebbing and flowing from high mountain peaks into deep abysmal depths there are moments here that feature controlled synth noise, soaring harmonies and even some subtle melodies here and there. I think …
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer – Crows Eat the Leviathan’s Carcass CD
Release The Bats
One of my favorite projects that I have discovered in recent years; Blue Sabbath Black Cheer present this harrowing full-length comprised of various collected tracks from their more limited releases and a few unreleased tracks as well. If you are not familiar with the project they hail from Seattle and present a barrage of harsh noise and creative industrial that plays out like a more bleak Wolf Eyes.
Due to the fact that this is a collection of …
The Infant Cycle – Left Ear Revolt CDr
The Ceiling Limited
The Infant Cycle is another previously unknown project to me. On Left Ear Revolt they present roughly 53 minutes in 9 tracks of varied experimental electronica styled sounds.
Most of the tracks here are in the repetitive drone style of things with clean harmonic synthesizer sounds slowly evolving among a bed of various glitch accents. It has a very laid back vibe to it, modern and electric.
There are other stylistic elements added here and there like the brief industrial sounds in …
Kazuma Kubota/S.I.V. – Split 7″
Cipher Productions/Underground Pollution
Delivered in understated packaging – a simple atmospheric black and white photo on the front and hand-stamped labels on the vinyl – this little release packs a serious punch. It’s good to see the efforts of two labels and two artists coming together so simply yet consistently.
Kazuma Kubota is up first with a whirlwind of a track. Kicking things off with excellent industrial atmospheres of machinery and metal sounds, the track suddenly blasts into a miasma of harsh noise mayhem about 2 minutes in. …
Skin Graft/Deterge – Sinkhole/Neglectronic LP
A pairing of two scummy midwest harsh electronics artists can’t get better then this. At this point these dudes are mainstays of the scene and represent the economical decay of the area pretty well with thier raw and bitter sounds. The packaging here reminds me of something RRR might have released at some point but with nicer inserts that were apparrently printed by Phage Tapes who always knows whats up.
Skin Graft is up first with absolutely tortured musique concrete junk noise. Shit tons of distortion …
Pacing & VWLS – Collaborations Vol. 1 CDr
Human Beard Records
Human Beard presents this collaboration on CDr which features our boys Pacing from Buffalo NY and an unknown act to me VWLS. The album is available on CDr or also for download here.
Pacing usually delivers droning walls of intense noise attacks complete with walls of feedback and insane synth surges. This effort is rather more subdued and I have to say I am enjoying it a lot. Although it’s quite short clocking in at only 18 minutes the tracks are …
Ex.Order – The Law of Heresy CD
Ex.Order is the side project of René Lehmann and Knut Enderlein who mainly function as dark ambient powerhouse Inade. For the uninitiated Ex.Order is the more noisy, power electronics side of the duo. This release is a re-issue of the original tape released in 1997. It sounds like the material has been remastered well though, as the recording is crisp and clear while retaining its lo-fi origins.
The Law of Heresy represents all that was great about industrial/pe in the late 90s. Simple song …
Brandkommando – Changes C60
Nil By Mouth
Brandkommando is a project that I have still not made up my mind about yet. Their material tends to be solid yet even out of their rather large body of work they haven’t released anything that strikes me as very memorable. This is a full-length release on tape once again nicely packaged by the excellent label Nil By Mouth.
Side A demonstrates much of what I’ve come to expect from the project. Long winded tracks of chugging death industrial, or whirring hums with feedback layered on …
Animal Steel/EUU – Split C30
This is an exciting release to have found in my review pile as these are two lesser known Boston artists. Animal Steel is Ted of the infamous PE trio 2DeadSluts 1GoodFuck. EUU is Joey who also operates as Typical White Male. Both artists focus on experimental electronics yet this release offers some surprises.
Animal Steel is up first featuring one long track on side A with squelching analog synth pulses combined with crusty atonal throbs. It’s an echoing sci-fi alien planet vibe with spastic tape manipulations, …
Lupus Sol – Lupus Sol CDr
Live Bait Recording Foundation
I’m not totally sure but I believe Lupus Sol is a collaboration between Aaron Vilk of Nyodene D and Stephen Petrus of Murderous Vision, two diehards of the Cleveland industrial scene. This disc spans 4 tracks and 47 minutes of death industrial/drone.
The general sound here has a focus on texture most of which is different forms of metallic drones. Where Invokation / Hight Tension has a noisier chug to it and more shifts than the following The Eroded Face of Edward Paine, …
Suicide Bomber – Do Amphetamines and Fuck Everything CDr
Suicide Bomber is a currently defunct power electronics project from Calgary Canada. He now performs as Citadel which I’ve heard is somewhat in the same direction as this material goes. What he presents with this quick CDr is 2 tracks totaling 12 minutes so this is definitely an “EP”.
The first track is simply titled Worship and is more of a buildup track that leads into the intensity of the second track. Textured feedback tones eventually build into a wash of intense …
Gnarly Sheen – Tansit of Venus CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Gnarly Sheen is a new name to me, obviously a take on the actor Charlie Sheen who has actually become pretty gnarly himself. Simple packaging surrounds this limited disc which contains 7 tracks of varied synth music in 28 minutes.
The majority of the disc falls into the more musical realm of things using synths, drum machines and employing various melodies and harmonic tones. The music is roughly strewn together and also roughly performed. There are elements of drone, kraut rock, and early …
Merzbow/Actuary – Freak Hallucinations LP
Obfuscated Records/Love Earth Music
It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve reviewed a Merzbow release but now I’m remembering it wasn’t that long ago having reviewed his LP on Blossoming Noise which unfortunately was sonically completely forgettable. Now I am faced with a split between Him (capitalized because Akita is of course, the God of noise) and up-and-comers Actuary who seem to be getting around a bit lately.
Merzbow is up first utilizing a digital feel with crazy atonal computer babble accompanied by some rather weak distorted …
Kevin Greenspon – Maroon Bells CDr
Kevin Greenspon is a traveling solo musician who creates melodies and textures of guitar drone also touching on ambient, noise, and musique concrete. The style lies somewhere in between Fennesz and Grouper.
The disc has an air of melancholy to it featuring mainly peaceful floating atmospheres. The tracks are very well layered and almost delicate in their structure and sparseness. This is listening for a rainy Sunday, or a peaceful snowfall.
The tracks are varied enough to easily keep the interest of the listener while also …
Sharpwaist – Poison Harbor C30
Razors and Medicine
Sharpwaist offers some of the best industrial/power electronics in the world and hails from my very own hometown Boston. It is the project of Carl Haas who has been active in the scene since the mid 2000s. Yet, the project has managed to keep a dedidedly low profile.
This is some of Sharpwaist’s best work. The raw character that pervades most of his recordings is still here, yet this time it’s coupled with a ferocity not seen in his earlier endeavors. This material hits hard …
Ophibre/Hunted Creatures – Split C40
Oph Sound Recordings
Drone, experimental, ambient are the styles that both these acts employ. Packaged in an intricately layered affair the tape isn’t too far off from the sounds it contains. For those of you unawares, Ophibre is from Boston and Hunted Creatures from Pittsburgh yet both haunt the same dusty corner of the scene.
Ophibre is up first with a beautiful drone track. Glistening stalactites of varied spectra ensorcel the listener with their haunting harmonics. The track is constant throughout but the textures are so finely interwoven …
Iron Fist of the Sun – I Will Never Have the Right CD
I lost track of IFOTS releases a few years ago when this artist became too prolific to keep up with. Although they are still using iconography of Princess Diana all over the place I’m not really sure if her visage remains to be anything more than a logo for the project at this point. Predictably the release features simple, understated black and white artwork with minimal text.
The artwork reflects the sounds well because what is to be …
Thisquietarmy – Black Haunters CD
Black Haunters really threw me for a loop after having only some bare knowledge that Thisquietarmy is a guitar drone act. I guess I have a certain prejudice for these acts that mix ambient with post-rock to be rather bland and generic. It turns out though that Thisquietarmy is anything but that and they show it well on Black Haunters and epic full length that demonstrates a gorgeous mix of ambient, drone, and post-rock.
Easing the listener into the album with the first 2 tracks the …
Theologian – Finding Comfort in Overwhelming Negativity CD
Yet another epic release from Lee Bartow the man behind the now retired NTT project and now operating under the moniker of Theologian. Clocking in at 52 minutes this disc is a flowing mind warp of power drone, dark sounds, and even – with a change of pace for the project – some electro beats thrown in for good measure.
The latter of which marks perhaps the largest shift in Bartow’s sound in years. I’ll be honest I’m not a huge fan of …
V/A – Untitled C60
Tapes of a Neon God
At four different artists on a release I am making a judgement call and labeling this a compilation. Especially when it’s only a C60. What is presented here is some violent shit. A layout featuring cut-up and bloody arms and a group of depraved artists creating heavy-as-all-fuck noise this is some serious shit. The only issue I have with the layout is that the text is really hard to read.
Shattered Hymen is up first with a wall of junk noise. They cover a …
GRKZGL/Flatgrey – Split C23
Strait out of the Brise-Cul camp here and it’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed anything but the label keeps on churning out releases. This is a great one with two sides of unparallelled harsh noise attacks.
Side A features GRKZGL’s contribution. Although I’ve witnessed the project do harsh noise live numerous times it’s a change since his early days which were in the drone world. Luckily this insane barrage of crusty junk is intense and unrelenting with excellent moments, buildups, and climaxes that shows that GRKZGL really …
Death Factory – Machinen Untter Kontrolle CD
No Visible Scars
I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for a death industrial project as Death Factory. Luckily they represent the genre well and Machinen Untter Kontrolle follows up the excellent Chilling Impressions tape perfectly.
The album kicks off with the title track which is a throbbing attack not unlike something offered up by Brighter Death Now. The following track Manifestation of Fear (3rd Version) is a continuation on a track that appeared in previous tape and it features a great combination of …
Josh Lay/Crown of Bone – This is a Tourniquet of the Light, The Black Obituary CD
High contrast abstract artwork adorns the face of this release and it’s a good indication of the bleak sounds that lurk within. This is a split release with one long track from each artist.
Josh Lay is an artist hailing from the American mid-west and he creates organic black ambient/drone. His track here entitled Shroud of Ice and Bird Feathers lives up to his reputation quite well. Understated quiet textures of sewer drains, broken electronics, …
Hostage Pageant – Manipulated Memories C47
Based on the artwork I thought this was a 905 Tapes release which means I like it. This is in fact coming out of the Rainbow Bridge camp and is limited to 22 copies. I’d be surprised if there’s any left at this point.
Hostage Pageant presents several tracks on each side all titled Memory parts 1 through 6. Side A is harsh pedal noise, spastic and changing with thick squalls of synthesizer attacks, low bass howls and squirmy layers. Some muddled samples seem to …
Seplophobia/Post-Mortem Junkie – Split CDr
This is a reissue of a split tape that seems to have been already re-released twice. Abgvrd’s version marks perhaps the third time this release is seeing the light of day. The split seems like a good matchup based on the artist names with the literal meaning of Seplophobia meaning “a fear of decay”.
Seplophobia kicks off with a quick horror film sample and immediately leads into a distorted bass dirge of pure crunchy noise. The track remains this way with little evolution. Only some frequency …
Werewolf Jerusalem/The Black Scorpio Underground – Split C30
This one is delivered in some rather badly arranged packaging. Most immediately noticeable is that the artwork is blurry and pixelated in addition to not being very well designed. The release also consists of only one cassette yet it is in a box that is made for two. Not a huge issue but it’s just not very well executed.
Werewolf Jerusalem is the project of Richard Ramirez who is also responsible for the infamous noise unit Black Leather Jesus. In this split Ramirez …
Urna – Liber Lelle CDr
Here’s a beautifully delicate arrangement of ritualistic ambient sounds – I believe from Italy? – released on Russian label Abgvrd. The basic drawn artwork doesn’t really compare to the subtle and atmospheric sounds represented here which are quite distinct.
Among the instruments listed in use on Liber Lelle are bells, cymbals, mandolin, balalaika, zither, accordion, and flutes. These instruments do not generally make a presence through traditional means but instead they are used to create sparse compositions of musique concrete and minimal atmospheres. However, it gives …
Holy Family Parish – Lis C45
Razors and Medicine
Holy Family Parish is a project I haven’t had much experience with and a quick search on discogs shows that their output is limited. With this tape they present a good handful of tracks ranging from guitar ambient, to throbbing minimalist sounds.
The tracks here are very diverse with each one offering a different take. It makes the album sound rather scattered yet also quite esoteric. As if these tracks were collected over a long period of time and each one from very different …
Luasa Raelon – The House of Flesh CD
It’s been some time since I’ve heard from Luasa Raelon and his last album Vampyr was released in 2010. This release is from what is now way back in 2008. Seems like just yesterday and could be based on the excellent sound that Reed presents here.
Combing his trademark alternating synth drones, rumbling noises, and pulsating bass thrusts Reed continues the legacy he has set forth for Luasa Raelon with The House of Flesh. The tracks are varied but use similar source material and …
Shattered Hymen – Gash Worship C20
Here’s some ultra raw noise from Chicago. These dudes appear to be influenced by power electronics and most definitely harsh noise but the pe influence doesn’t come across in their sound too much – mainly only in the aesthetic of packaging design.
The noise here is actually surprisingly wanky and not very harsh. Much more on the experimental side of things with bare passages leading into quickly moving feedback manipulation. The fact that it’s almost not layered at all though prevents it from being heavy …
Lethal Dose 50 – 21st Century Awakening CD
Nuit et Brouillard
Here’s an album that was released way back in 2006. Not sure why it was sent to me for review now but I’m trying not to refuse anything. 21st Century Awakening is an album that spans industrial, ambient, electro and synth pop and unfortunately it’s spread a little thin for my taste.
The tracks where LD50 stays committed to one style are decent, like Dose V.S.291 and Solitude. But when LD50 strays into electronica territory it tends to ruin the mood too …
Autocancrena – Homo Sacer 3″CDr
Here’s a very nicely packaged 3″CDr, a step above what I’ve seen from Diazapam already. The artwork is simple and portrays the sound on the disc accurately which is also quite basic in its delivery.
The disc contains two tracks the first Malsana Dottrina is a simple dark ambient piece with delayed and reverberating chants being quite organic and meditative. The second track is more electronic with sinister electronic pulses, muffled samples yet also remaining minimalistic.
The material here reminds me of the quieter moments of Brighter Death …
Kama Rupa – :Kama:Kontra:Kontrol: CD
Here’s a release from the esoteric New York city based outfit Kama Rupa. This digipak is beautifully packaged with iconic design and simple text layout that makes for a professional presentation.
Oddly enough there is a tracklist of 5 different songs listed on the back but the audio is presented all in one track on the disc with obvious movements showing each individual passage.
The style here is intimate and sordid which is what makes Kama Rupa so special. Spanning dark ambient, death industrial, sound collage and …
Ophibre – Psyllium Husks C38
Another sick release from 905 Tapes this time from Boston native Ophibre. My first exposure to his work was his release Drone Works for Differing Digital Audio Formats and Encoding Methods which wasn’t so much a proper release but an experiment that yielded rather interesting results.
Side A sounds consists of one long evolving track which is an in-studio live recording. I mean to emphasize evolving because the composition here is great. What starts out with awkward circuit bent sounds eventually forms into a drone piece …
Skin Graft – Dystrophy CD
Skin Graft is the harsh noise industrial project hailing from Cleveland that has taken the noise world by storm over the last few years. Operated by Wyatt Howland, the project often makes live appearances and features frequent collaborations and splits.
With Dystrophy Howland presents 4 tracks clocking in at 30 minutes. Although it’s harsh and noisy this is not quite harsh noise, nor is it quite industrial. Skin Graft finds that fine line in which he straddles both genres perfectly and this allows him to be …
Pusdrainer – Ejaculation Spree C32
Pusdrainer is the project of Justin Lakes hailing out of the midwest US. If you’re not familiar with the project you can usually expect the crudest and rawest of harsh noise mayhem with a sleight power electronics edge to it.
Ejaculation Spree is no exception. Housed in a pasted together photocopied artwork from the outset the release screams filth. What you will find inside is lo-fi harsh noise which could be derived from a plethora of pedals or from a menagerie of homemade electronics.
One thing that …
Amalgamate – Spark I 3″CDr
This is one from left field. Amalgamate is a previously unknown project to me and they present a quick fix of floating ambient drone with electronica beats intermixed within in.
The sound is dreamy yet fluid with this odd combination of styles much reminding me of acts like Plaid, early Aphex Twin or Autechre while at the same time not being quite as complex or technical as those projects.
The longest track here A Wedge of Raging Cygnets is the most original with a sing-song like quality …
Pulsating Cyst – Horrible Signal 7″
Here’s a release where neither artist nor label rings a bell, but there’s a sticker on the package that boasts glow-in-the-dark vinyl! You have my attention. Deep green artwork with card stock inserts and stickers make this a worthy fetish item before even spinning it.
The material here was recorded from live performances so it’s good you can get an idea of what the project sounds like live. Luckily the quality isn’t held back at all from this because the production is very thick and …
Ophibre – Drone Works for Differing Audio Formats and Encoding Methods CDR
Sentient Recognition Archive
Here’s one for all the audio geeks and the just plain curious. Drone Works for Differing Audio Format and Encoding Methods is just that, a disc that; a disc that is in the .cda format (data is arranged as a regular ‘playable’ CD) which features audio that was once encoded in the format that the track was named after.
So since each track is named the exact type of audio encoding that was applied to the source it’s …
Fungi From Yuggoth – Fungi From Yuggoth C30
Here’s a tape housed in a polar fleece sleeve, I can only assume it’s to protect the outside world from the cold heart contained within these sounds. Fungi From Yuggoth is based on a series of poems by H.P. Lovecraft and this release is available as either a tape from Diazepam or a free download from Lightbulb records.
The promo blurb suggests that the music is recommended for fans of Brighter Death Now and I would have to confirm that’s not far off. There …
Theologian – The Chasms of My Heart CD
Here’s the latest release from Lee Bartow the man behind now defunct project Navicon Torture Technologies. 2012 was a busy year with at least 2 new full-length releases from Bartow under the Theologian moniker. For those of you who haven’t experienced the new chapter in his work what you can expect is less power electronics, and more power drone. Although Theologian sound isn’t too far off from the bar set by NTT in the past.
The Chasms of My Heart is probably one …
Failing Lights – Failing Lights CD
This is actually my first exposure to the project even though this was released a while ago. For those who don’t know Failing Lights is the primary solo project of Mike Connelly, also known as 1/3 of legendary noise units Wolf Eyes and Hair Police. He lives in Michigan, where he runs the Gods of Tundra label.
This self-titled release runs a gamut of various styles and sounds. Some droning noise, sound collage, and even free improv influences. Clocking in at 39 minutes the album …
Deprivation – From the Gutter to the Grave C30
Here’s some extremely lo-fi and raw power electronics/death industrial delivered in a black plastic bag, you know the kind they put liquor or porno into after purchasing it. Worth mentioning is that the tape comes with a simple photocopied art booklet to further explore the concepts dealt with in the album.
Repetitive samples, darkened noise textures, walls of distortion and experimental weirdness is all something you’ll find within the album. The first two tracks are a good showing of noise/pe but the standout …
Being/A Snake in the Garden/Diaphragmatic – July 2012 Tour C30
This is a seriously stacked lineup of some of the best harsh noise acts currently active in the U.S. scene today. For those most addicted noise fanatics they have also posted an epic tour video that spans many performances from this exact tour. With this tape each artist contributes a track and then they wrap it up with a massive 3-way collaboration. Quite the piece of ear candy for those with rotting teeth out there..
A Snake In The Garden is …
Kristoffer Nystrom’s Orkestar – Overlook Hotel CD
Overlook Hotel is the softmore effort from Kristoffer Nystrom’s Orkestar; the collaborative project between Swedish industrial legend Peter Nystrom (Megaptera, Negru Voda), and Norwegian up and comer Kristoffer Oustad (V:28, Plague Machinery). What they present here is a new installment with a classic sound of ambient and rhythmic industrial music.
The Night Corridor sets the mood perfectly with echoing ghostly sing-songs heralding the night and it leads into the follower Cleaning Still Houses which presents the style that the bulk of the album follows …
Body Cargo/Pogrom – Resistance CD
Here is a split with 2 collaborative tracks between these 2 power electronics artists. The theme is resistance, gorilla armies, political rebels. There’s something about when power electronics artists explore political subjects that I really enjoy.
Body Cargo is up first offering several layered tracks of harsh sounds. The tracks are quite detailed and present a traditional power electronics sound not really bringing anything new to the table but that is fine. Black Smoke Obelisks is worth commenting on because of its more ritualistic chanting qualities …
Temple of Set – Temple of Set C32
Cult of Craft
Here’s another snazzy looking release from Cult of Craft this time bringing the noisy sounds of Temple of Set, another act I am unfamiliar with. The packaging is simple yet classy with a bow holding the tape into onto the heavy stock.
The sound and style of Temple of Set remind me much of Temple of Tiermes and it’s not just because they have similar names. With this self-titled tape you will get long droning tracks of distorted synth tones. The production …
Locrian & Christoph Heemann – Locrian & Christoph Heemann CD
Handmade Birds Records
Here’s a hefty collaboration between noise’s favorite post-rock offspring Locrian and a collaborator who goes by the name Christoph Heemann. Heemann is a German composer who I am unfamiliar with yet has belonged to a number of projects and has collaborated with Current 93 and other seminal European artists.
The music presented in this self-titled collaboration is a style of post-rock experimentalism with some metal and drone influences. Comparisons include Xasthur, Tarentel, Arktau Eos, Sunn0))) and House of Low Culture …
Crown of Cerberus – Her Strength C32
Cult of Craft
Immediately leaving an impression is the handmade packaging on this excellent tape. Heavy silkscreened stock with a bow holding it all together. The presentation exudes an intimate and spiritual affair which is reflected in the warm and ethereal sounds on the album.
The music is ambient but not necessarily drony, more like moving textures and tones delaying into oblivion. It reminds me a lot of acts like Cold Electric Fire or perhaps Vidna Obmana.
Crown of Cerberus generally emanates an air of peacefulness …
William Fowler Collins – Tenebroso CD
Handmade Birds Records
This disc from Handmade Birds is almost completely devoid of information. Adorned with deep dark artwork and a pitch black inner booklet the only information you will find here is the artist and album name on the spine. So before this disc is even spun you get quite a bleak impression of Collins’ work.
Collins is a self professed dark ambient artist working in the realms of drone with an industrial tinge. Tenebroso clocks in at around an hour with a total of 6 …
John 3:16 – Visions of the Hereafter – Visions of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory CD
Here’s an interesting release that certainly isn’t something I get everyday. John 3:16 creates an ambient style of cinematic post-rock music that may perhaps have a small experimental influence to it as well. There are a lot of different influences and directions involved here but it comes together as something quite unique and presents a consistent mood which delivers more than what I was expecting.
I really enjoy the tracks that are less rock influenced more – …
Knurl – Pyrolysis C60
Harsh fucking noise – Knurl has it. Pyrolysis is the latest release from this uncompromising harsh noise act and it continues in the tradition that Knurl has carved out for himself over the years.
This is strait-up junk metal destruction, distortion, loud as fuck in-your-face aggression and pure transcendentalism that can only lead to nihilism. Doesn’t make sense because this is chaos at it’s most refined.
It’s true, Knurl reaches new heights with his renewed vigor on every release. Spastic, brutal and raw are a few feelings that come …
Pacing – Flea Dweller CDr
Human Beard Records
Here’s another little CDr from Buffalo New York’s sick boys of noise Pacing. They’re back with their style of droning noise and industrial with a slight grindcore influence (in both concept and sound).
Offensive Sobriety is an interesting track that features twisting metallic drones of tortured feedback. It leads nicely into Legless Segway Cruiser which is a more strait-up wall of disgusted noise. As usual Pacing’s more aggressive noise still needs a little work in the frequency spectrum but the movement and intensity is there.
Sektor 304 – Subliminal Actions CD
Here’s the second proper full-length effort from this Portuguese industrial project. If you’re not familiar with them Sektor 304 performs neo-tribal rhythmic industrial with a raw edge somewhat in the vein of Young Gods and Skinny Puppy.
Kicking off the album with a more abstract intro track entitled A Carving on Metal Skin Sektor 304 make the improvements in production quality here immediately noticeable. This aspect really helps to clarify their sound and makes the percussion hit harder, the vocals more effective, and the noise …
Umpio – Tripamishqi C30
Here is some pretty gruesome junk noise attacks presented by a project I am not familiar with. It’s always great to hear new projects especially when they deliver a barrage of ugly sounds like this.
Umpio doesn’t let up much in the span of side A on this jam-packed tape. The moments where you can possibly grab a quick breath of air slam back in quickly with some textured industrial sounds before you can even completely inhale.
The concept here is an apt one for rusty and aggressive harsh …
Vacio Perfecto – Tecniche Perse 3″CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Vacio Perfecto is a relatively new artist from Spain and with this quick 3 incher he presents a solid mix of industrial, noise, and almost electro styles. The disc is smartly packaged in a mini sleeve to make for a compact edition.
Much of the source material here sounds analog but there is a lot of digital treatment which gives the material a very modern edge. However, the rhythmic nature of the release keeps an organic character to it as well which makes it …
Positive Adjustments – The Molalla Tapes CDr
Here’s a release that was limited to 40 copies and is based on the true crime case of “the Molalla Forest Killer” Dayton Leroy Rogers, something of which I know little about. The disc is stock full of noise and sickened power electronics with a running time of close to an hour.
My first reaction to this lo-fi noise blast is that the production is rather poor with a lot of tinny high-end noise. As the album unfolds however there are moments that peek …
Maculatum – The Nameless City CD
Maculatum is a side project of Collapsar and Rasalhague neither of who I’m that familiar with. In The Nameless City they present several pieces of carefully designed atmospheres.
The general feeling on here is almost of a sci-fi film noir utilizing electronic drones, sound design elements and stylized industrial stings. The atmospheres Maculatum build are quite fragile which makes for a very interesting and detailed execution.
Maculatum skirts on the edge of industrial and even into a slight tribal realm at points which one might …
Black Leather Jesus/Creation Through Destruction – Split CD
Harsh noise is the name of the game once again from this heavy split release with each artist presenting 2 long ass tracks. The artwork is interesting, yet it seems like this split brings together two quite unrelated concepts so it comes across as more of just a 2 for 1 deal instead of a consistent artistic project, although the sounds do manage to compliment each other well.
Creation Through Destruction kicks things off with pure blasts of pedal noise. The material is nicely …
Gnawed/Ice Volt – Split C20
Insides Music/Spit and Cuss
Here is an absolutely SICK split tape between these two Minneapolis iconoclasts Gnawed and Ice Volt. Of course I am quite familiar with the prolific and devastating project of Grant Richardson that is Gnawed. Ice Volt on the other hand keeps quite a low profile and although I’ve personally met the man I have yet to have heard his recorded material under this moniker.
Well Gnawed is up first on side A with Denied and just from the title I am already loving Richardson’s …
Murderous Vision & Fascist Insect – Primordial Beings From Dimensions Unknown LP
Black Maggot Noise Productions/Live Bait Recording Foundation
Here’s a collaboration between two Ohio-based acts. Murderous Vision is the long-running ambient/industrial act from Stephen Petrus and Fascist Insect is a noisy grindcore four-piece from the Cleveland area. The artwork here is strait forward and the LP itself is clear with blood spatter all over it to make for a uniquely packaged artifact.
Side A features 3 tracks of industrial/noise. The title track is up first and features howling walls of sound and …
Instinct Control – This is Where I Draw the Inflection Line CDr
Instinct Control is Ryan T. Dunn from Chicago also the man behind the infamous venue Enemy. This was released back in 2009 and at the time I had the pleasure to witness him live. I’m guessing this material was created with the same equipment he employed in the live set – circuit bent and manipulated tape machines.
This is experimental sound through and through. It has a very analog sound and every single track is merely one layer of pulsating, …
Robe. – Remains of a Burning World C60
Thors Rubber Hammer
Here’s another effort from Robe. which is actually some older material recorded in 2008 but re-released on cassette in 2009 after an initial first run as a CDr release. If you’re not familiar with Robe. they are a duo from Indiana that create black noise with guitars and electronics.
The usual issue I’ve found with Robe. is that they fall into that muddy rut of creating rather dry sub-par guitar noise. This is not the case for the first two tracks on …
Bagman – Men Who Solicit Sex CD
From the second my hand caressed the black cellophane wrap on this release I knew this would be a power electronics affair. Unfortunately you have to destroy the outer wrapping to get to the CD itself but the design is minimal and tastefully done.
Men Who Solicit Sex is described as “A study in five parts on the topic of unlawful sexual solicitations.” What Bagman presents is roughly 30 minutes of harsh traditional power electronics with plenty of media and news samples surrounding the …
Bitchneck – All This is Yours C10
Here’s a quick tape from one of Boston’s finest unsung power electronics projects. Bitchneck creates a range of experimental sounds which usually find themselves falling into the power electronics genre and on this quick tape they culminate into a hearty slab of brutal aural assaults.
Side A consists of two tracks, the first is a mixture of weird experimentation with an almost digital effect to the sound but layers of oscillating synths and noise attacks join it with scathing vocals. The second track is …
Funerary Call – Nightside Emenations CD
Time for some proper dark ambient music with one of the more recent albums (two were released in 2012) from Funerary Call. If you’re not familiar with the project Funerary Call is Harlow Macfarlane also the mane behind the death industrial project Sistrenatus. Under the FC moniker Macfarlane creates ritualistic dark ambient music with a heavily organic feel.
The sounds on Nightside Emenations are quite well spread out and composed only dealing with thick slabs of layers at key moments. This helps to create a …
The Subtraction – The One Who Infests Ships C30
Land of Decay
The Subtraction is a project featuring J.Soliday of Winters in Osaka and Omar Gonzalez of Machismo. What they present with The One Who Infests Ships is roughly 30 minutes of darkened electronics ranging from bleak ambience to seething experimental.
Side A is the calmer, quieter side but immediately noticeable is the focus on layering detailed sounds. On the surface it feels quite minimal but a more focused listen will yield eerie melodies, dark textures, and morphing elements.
Side B is more angst-ridden …
Emeralds – What Happened CD
No Fun Productions
Looks like this is the Emeralds full-length following their last release on Hanson entitled Solar Bridge. They’ve released about 2 splits between these two albums with What Happened having been released in 2009, has it already been 3 years?!
The first two tracks kick off with weird experimental wankery but both are commendable for the emotional rifts they eventually open up with their slow building climaxes. Alive in the Sea of Information using vocal chants and Damaged Kids using strummed guitars while both employ layers …
Cathartec – Lithogenesis C30
Here’s a tape from the Seattle based musician Cathartec presenting roughly 30 minutes of ambient drone. Simply packaged with earth tones and runes the design is a decent implicator of what is contained within.
The tape kicks off with Orthoclase which is a floating and airy drone piece with a ton of great textural layers in the mix to add detail and subtlety. The piece swirls around the listener like a raging blizzard, but peaceful in it’s beauty. A really nice amalgamation of sounds here. Lithogenesis is …
A Wake A Week – Little Black Cloud CD
It’s always interesting to dive head first into a project of which every aspect is completely unknown to you. I’ve never heard of the label, the artist or anything else having to do with this release. All I know is that the disc is contained within a carefully and professionally designed digipak.
Little Black Cloud has an undeniable soundtrack-like quality. If this was a proper soundtrack disc linked to a film I would not at all be surprised. It has several features …
Streetmeat – Nails C20
Here’s some more traditional power electronics delivered for the fans of a classic sound out there.
The general sound is of warm, lo-fi electronics. Pulsating oscillators, cheap distortion, flangered vocals all culminate into the typical formula for a brutal power electronic assault. Style like this has been employed before but Streetmeat continues to further define the sound.
One of the better moments here is the closer of this quick tape Nail For Your Coffin which ups the ante for aggressive sounds with a nicely layered core of distortion. …
Nite Shadez – Black Holes For The Face And A Graveyard C47
Out of Body Records and Rob Buttrum literally never cease to impress me with fantastic aesthetic and a brand that is somehow “so Texas” in the weirdest and most sinister way possible. Black Holes For The Face and A Graveyard is the latest tape from the Nite Shadez project, a duo consisting of Rob Buttrum and Andrew Michael. The mood here is consistent with Out of Body’s regular output, and the influence that Buttrum has on the music …
Tourette – Jardin du Sommeil. Chant d’Amour sur la Nuit Grandissante CD
This could possibly be the first Troniks release I have reviewed on Existence Establishment but I have to say I am happy to see the label back in operation, even if their output has slowed down some. My limited experience with the project Tourette has led me to believe that what I can expect is pure lo-fi harsh noise, although the graphic design here screams of something much more artsy.
Jardin du Sommeil kicks things off with a page …
Friends With Corpses – Don’t Turn on The Lights C30
Here is a sick Pusdrainer side project featuring Justin Lakes and Joe Walter. Friends With Corpses delivers saturated power electronics and death industrial experimental sounds with their debut effort Don’t Turn on the Lights.
First off, the packaging on this record is sick – ugly neon colors and a piss yellow tape remind me of something from a Gaspar Noé flick. Also worth mentioning is that the track titles are quite wonderful.
Side A kicks off with Throbbing Pisshole an overdriven synth …
Pacing – Summer Tour 2011 CDr
Here’s another older release yet definitely one that warrants a review. Pacing keeps bringing it with no expectations and no strings attached in this 4 song CDR (also available online for free).
Pacing seems to employ a general song structure with most of their tracks here. Droning mid-range tones are used as a bed with various layers of noise folded over it. Feedback, junk noise, synth madness it’s all here and the tracks unfold quite nicely.
The epic closing track entitled Aftermath Live 5/3/2010 delivers an …
Arabian Blade – The Pressure Mantra C20
Arabian Blade is Christopher Donofrio of Reviver and Donovan Fazzino a name I’m unfamiliar with. This is an older release having been recorded in 2008, who knew it would take me this long to review it! With this quick cassette the duo presents 2 fuzzed out dead noise tracks, both untitled.
Side A features bubbling overdriven synth attacks employing a heavily squashed sound. There is literally no room left in the recording for anything else because the frequencies are spread so wide. It’s quite …
Knurl – Thiocarbamide CD
Harsh noise is the name of the game and with Thiocarbamide Knurl makes himself a key player. The artwork depicts corrosion – lots of it – with rusty metal, gritty textures and old machinery.
Taking no time to get into the thick of things Knurl explodes the album with the opener Morphocrylate a blistering barrage of distorted sounds, junk metal, crunchy starts/stops, screeching feedback and everything that makes a harsh noise album great. Neuromyositis follows suit with yet another obliteration of sound.
Even following into the second half …
Plastic Boner Band – Cherubinic Wanderer C60
Employing possibly the worst name in all of noise Plastic Boner Band are back this time expanding their sound with a cassette release packed to the brim with seething, droning noise.
Side A is broken down into 5 tracks though I’ll be damned if I can tell where I am in the lineup at any given time. That’s fine because the sound ebbs and flows with effectiveness always lashing aggressively straight to the face! PBB manages to get a nice crunchy sound out …
Skin Area – Rothko Field CD
Here is an impressive release from Martin Bladh and Magnus Lindh the former of which is also in IRM as well as recording material under his own name. Skin Area takes the aesthetic and electronic soundscapes of IRM and transforms them into an experimental post-rock journey that skirts on the edges of genres where adventurous listeners will find just as much in common with Sonic Youth as they will with Sutcliffe Jugend.
It’s a very odd pairing, but one that seems to make perfect sense …
Noisepoetnobody/Cathartech – Split C40
This is a split tape between what I’m guessing is two modular synth based projects. Clocking in at about 20 minutes each side and employing simple packaging with blotted artwork on the cover it’s minimal and abstract.
Noisepoetnobody is up first with several minimal synth tracks. Drones and plodding rhythmic synth elements mark the basis of these 3 tracks. I would say there are about 2-3 layers for each track which keeps things very basic and doesn’t really call for multiple listens. The style of these tracks …
Single Indian Tear – The Black Category 3″CDr
Here’s an act that doesn’t have much info anywhere yet is billed as acousmatic music on their myspace page. I’m not really sure that’s a good description for what Single Indian Tear does as I might describe it as “light experimental music”.
The Black Category is one 11 minute track of synth music ranging from droning textures, simple enduring melodies, and converging pads. It’s slow and this is most definitely synthesizer music not falling into stylized genres like new age, electronica, or ambient. It’s …
Kapustin Yar – Trithemius C45
Land of Decay
It’s not completely clear in the label write up but Kapustin Yar could be a collaboration project between Jason Soliday and Omar Gonzalez. Either way this has some pretty simple artwork designed by Terrence Hannum of Locrian so there’s an added bonus for any fans. This is my first exposure to the project and it is certainly one that does not disappoint.
Featuring layers of harmonic and minimalist elements to form maximalist compositions Kapustin Yar exists somewhere between experimental electronics and post-rock music. Think of …
Adrian T. Lakey – On My Way Out CDr
Here’s a strange one and quite unexpected. Adrian T. Lakey’s release comes with little information and simple black/white artwork in a white box with a booklet containing lyrics. Lyrics because this is a folk release, one that leans to the experimental side of things due to it’s use of samples and synthesizers but some of On My Way Out can easily be lumped in with the neo-folk genre.
Kicking off with 2 folk songs these are anything but traditional. Acarophobia / Sleep …
Legless & Lavas Magmas & Regosphere – Live in Glen Burnie 3″CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
I come into Live in Glen Burnie thinking that 3 separate acts, playing together in a live collaboration sounds like a recipe for disaster. Luckily I’m wrong on this account because this little 3 incher delivers some dense layers of electroacoustic and industrial mayhem.
Extremely layered washes of sounds are combined effectively on this one 18 minute long track which ebbs and flows throughout its duration. I really enjoy all the crazy textures and sounds which might be …
Propergol – Tormentor 7″
Nuit et Brouillard
Here is an incredible release from one of the driving forces in modern noise and industrial. Released on the classic label Nuit et Bruillard this release is 100% pro. The packaging looks great, good thick vinyl, and insert with art and info is all that I could have asked for.
The two tracks on this release are similar which make for a great pairing. Side A sees Tormentor to fruition with a pulsating rhythmic synth blast and swashes of noise meticulously layered over everything. It’s a …
Linekraft – Bouryoku Kikai CD
Black Plagve Productions
When I imagine what a pure industrial record would sound like it’s probably something similar to Bouryoku Kikai with it’s high contrast black and white art, bold logos, and raw sound. Hailing from Japan the project uses scrap metal and found objects along with a barrage of electronics to form a lo-fi yet very aggressive and layered sound collage.
Bouryoku Kikai has something for any industrial fan. Swashes of noise, plenty of scrap manipulation, industrial rhythms, blasts of vocal atrocities and even minimalist rumbling bass …
Corpuscle – Victorian Snuffbox C40
The boys of Boston are back with their 3rd release featuring some gorgeous gold silkscreen on black paper for this cassette. It’s apparent that they’ve also honed their sound as well into a more cohesive and tight mix.
Side A consists of several tracks which kind of blend into each other nicely. The tape kicks off with Shadow of Golden Memory which is a plodding power electronics piece and features a great repetitive noise attack with various elements layered on top. After a short blast of …
Deign – Pecuniary Huckster C20
Out of Body Records
I’m really digging the design of this tape. Further confirmation that Out of Body Records is slowly – but certainly not quietly – becoming a significant force in the noise world. Not only that, but presenting really great unknown artists is a crucial characteristic for a noise label and that is another area where Out of Body Records seems to excel.
The sounds presented in Pecuniary Huckster are extremely refreshing. This is music that pulls from such genres as electroacoustic, harsh noise, experimental, and …
Frank Rosaly – Centering and Displacement LP
This record has made me realize that although I do love vinyl – with the large artwork, the heavy packaging, the analog concept and the physical ties to an abstract medium – I will still choose to listen to a compact disc if given a choice. That’s because this LP comes with a compact disc of the same material that is on the record and I’m realizing I haven’t listened to the actual record at all even though I’ve rocked the CD a …
Murderous Vision/Defiler – Split 7″
Live Bait Recording Foundation
Here’s a sickened slab of wax featuring two dark noise artists at their best. Defiler is a name that somehow seems familiar to me, but in which way I cannot recall. Murderous Vision is of course the long-running project of Mr. Stephen Petrus hailing from Ohio and active for many years. Packaging here is adequate with fuzzy high-contrast black/white imagery and with dancing skeletons on the back you can’t go wrong.
Defiler is up first with one track entitled Your Diseased Icon. This is …
Evil Moisture – Goo LP
Straight from the Blossoming Noise camp comes this LP featuring some great design. With tongue-in-cheek graphics featuring people from the 50s with musical instruments, tape machine diagrams all on a baby blue/white color scheme the graphics match the sounds well and this is my first exposure to the sounds of Evil Moisture.
Evil Moisture creates fun experimental noise – something that admittedly I’m not really that into. There’s a ton of tape machine manipulation which sounds well – exactly like it usually does. A lot of …
Circuit Wound – Fight Or Flight CDr
Circuit Wound is a Simi Valley, CA resident making rusty, dirty drone/noise. With releases all over the board (Troniks, the legendary Harshnoise, Monorail, Hospital, Rainbow Bridge, Trash Ritual, 905), you could say Circuit Wound is a prolific noise experiment with heavy quality control. It is more than obvious from this release alone that Howard does not just press record.
Starting off with a metallic and mildly distorted organ(?) drone, the nastiness builds until my temples feel like they are in a vice. And don’t …
Bitchneck/FRKSE – Winter C30
This is a D.I.Y. affair with a heavily painted plastic cassette case and all info stickered onto the cassette itself. Very simply but effectively put together.
Bitchneck presents two tracks that make up his side which is entitled The Worst Winter of My Life. First track is a blistering noise attack with crunched distortion almost achieving the sounds of oscillators. I recognize the second track as being Fevers and Carwrecks even though it’s not listed in the info. It’s simply one of my favorite Bitchneck tracks with …
The Vomit Arsonist – Go Without CD
Assembly of Hatred
This marks The Vomit Arsonist’ second proper CD release but with a slew of other impressive releases the project is building quite a portfolio. Go Without is presented in a classy digipak with very dark artwork mostly in black and white. Photos include abandoned industrial places, and possibly an MRI scan on the front? Not sure what the significance of the cover art is but it at least is quite intriguing.
What you can find within is the most completely hopeless and bleak …
Cultus Sabbati – The Hagiography of Baba Yaga C30
Land of Decay
Here’s a beautifully packaged tape with full color printing, graphics and tracklisting on the tape and a fold-out J-card. It greatly reflects the sounds for this artist that I am not familiar with.
Cultus Sabbati present guitar-based drone with a ritual ambient feel. They explore elements like tribal drumming, blackened whispering, and guitar riffing while mixing in a good amount of synthesizer and noise drones to thicken things out.
There are some good moments here with creative vocal effects, but I’m not …
Automating – Soundoffsoundoffsound... CDR
Delivered with a simple paste-on tab in an arigato sleeve is this is a long drone piece from an artist unknown to me. Based on the packaging alone I was expecting something very experimental and angular, but what is presented here is drone through and through.
This one track begins with soaring harmonies which could be culled from any type of source, though I guess it’s a synthesizer. The tones are pretty basic though so it could be anything. Over the course of roughly 45 minutes the …
Normal Police/Earth Chaos – Split 2xC30
Neatly packaged in a white plastic box this release features lo-fi photocopied and printed artwork and insert. High contrast black and white on blank white tapes. Possibly the only thing that annoys about the tapes is that they’re not labeled so if they were mixed up things could get messy.
Normal Police is on the first tape and is a side project of Andrew Pugh also of Regosphere, Andrew Quitter, and the man behind Dumpsterscore Recordings. The track begins with Fashion Victim / Faceplant a noise …
Asva & Philippe Petit – Empires Should Burn…. CD
Small Doses/Basses Frequences
This one arrived out of left field. Being unfamiliar with both artists my expectations were set pretty low. Although the material I’ve heard from Small Doses has always been pretty good I really didn’t know what to expect. The artwork conjures images of ethnic sounds and world music but with a hint of decay.
What is contained within is some excellent ritualistic dark ambient music reminding me of a cross between Halo Manash and Arktau Eos, two excellent artists off of …
Reviver/Aghori – Split C30
Existential Cloth Recordings
Here’s a quick split tape with cool psychedelic artwork. Reviver does his usual thing utilizing low dirgy drones but it has less of a death industrial vibe and more of a dark ambient vibe surprisingly. It’s just not as aggressive as usual.
I didn’t know what to expect from Aghori, but we have some sounds matching Reviver’s style. Although it says on the tape that side B consists of only one track entitled The Same Path Twice the side is broken up into three tracks. …
Kshatriy – Transforming Galaxy CD
Ah, nothing like good ‘ol space ambient to help ground me this morning after a hard night of drinking. At least this stuff will soothe my headache appropriately. First off, love the packaging. Very tasteful, colorful, and psychedelic mix of images make up the artwork on this slick digipak.
The sounds and style of Transforming Galaxy might be a touch predictable; harmonious synth drones, deep resonances, crackling samples. But it is well executed nonetheless. The synths aren’t overtly melodic or cheesy, the merging of electronic and …
V/A – Milwaukee Noise 2005-2010 12xC30
Thought I would bring reviews back with a bang with this monumental box set of twelve – yes you read it right – TWELVE cassettes of noise from artists active in the Milwaukee noise scene between the years of 2005-2010. The release costs $40 and that may be hard to justify but I got a chance to see this sucker first hand before I handed over my cash and it’s not really until you hold it in your hands that you realize how much work …
Dead Times/TRTRKMMR – Split LP
Here’s a heavy split with 2 like-minded artists representing the blackest of harsh music. The packaging is simple white print on black backgrounds and includes a nifty insert/sleeve with all the info needed on it.
TRTRKMMR is up first with tracks that start out as aggressive power electronics. Chugging distortion, samples, aggressive vocals in the black metal style of things. A track or two in things turn into this kind of ultra-distorted black metal stuff with harmonies emerging somewhere deep under the overdriven layers. Finally, leaking …
Burial Hex – Six Wings LP
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Burial Hex LP yet here is the newest from this now enduring project. Burial Hex is a black noise project focusing on ritualistic and occult elements in dark ambient music. Recently having performed at Existence Establishment’s own Industrial Liberation Festival 2012 the act has really evolved while still staying true to the original vision.
Upon further investigation I’ve found that this recording actually has a somewhat interesting backstory that explains the similarities in each side (from the label): …
Limbs Bin – Primitive Response 7″
Familiar Combatants/Tickled Meat
This is a sick little record featuring roughly 12 intense minutes of face-melting power violence influenced noise and power electronics. Much reminding me of Dead Boomers who also boast of power violence influences. The formula works quite well and makes for some interesting more primitive rhythmic and punk-influenced sounds.
Each side has three tracks which keeps things moving quite fast. Side A features the title track Primitive Response which is a quick sqeal of feedback leading into heavy power electronics explosions. Sweeps Week follows …
Gnawed/RXAXPXE – Split C60
Here’s a professional tape release limited to 100 copies splitting the sides between each artist. At 60 minutes there’s a wealth of material here and it’s a great introduction to both artists. The label was kind enough to send me the special edition so I could get a taste of the extra effort which is two metal panels screwed together putting the tape in a kind of “vice”, a nice touch.
Gnawed is up first with 6 heavy tracks and coming in with a sound that is …
Divine Shell/Buildings & Mountains – Of Mine Own Brood C30
Blood Dirt Cassettes
Here’s a split cassette between two newer artists. Divine Shell creates loud and aggressive harsh noise and power electronics while Buildings & Mountains is a more eclectic project spanning the genres of noise, experimental, and electronica. I enjoy each of the projects on their own, but I have to admit I went into this one with an eyebrow raised on how they would mesh together on a split.
Divine Shell presents a mix of tracks with the first a scathing …
Corvuz – ночной туман CD
Here is my first exposure to this Russian dark ambient project and a thorough one it is. ночной туман spans about 60 minutes and is translated as “Invisible Landscapes”.
Corvuz spans styles of new age, and ritual ambience reminding me much of the works of acts like Herbst9, Circular, and Vidna Obmana. The range of sounds here is quite nice and features a diverse set of elements in each track. Usually you will find synth pads, some acoustic element – like guitar or sung vocals – …
V/A – Secret Assembly DVD
Here’s a hefty release that features full videos and pristine audio recordings of an epic show that was organized by Noises of Russia and recorded in the Ukraine on 16th of May, 2009. The artist sets that are included here are Deutsch Nepal, Noises of Russia, First Human Ferro, and Filivs Macrocosmi. An excellent lineup.
On all the sets the video production is top-notch using concert footage, source videos and projections to create an interesting visual collage that is set along with great sets from each …
Wolf Eyes – Always Wrong CD
I’ve been a Wolf Eyes fan since they had their first release on Sub Pop and I’ve enjoyed many of their full-lengths while shying away from some of their more limited releases. Sometimes I’ve found they offer a mixed-bag but I am often surprised by them on their larger run releases as well as their excellent live assaults that I have witnessed.
Always Wrong marks a point where Wolf Eyes is ascending to the next level of what they do. The textures and arrhythmic qualities …
Peter J Woods – Fear C20+C9+C17
Here’s a mammoth release from Milwaukee’s infamous noisemonger Peter J Woods. Immediately noticeable is the heavy conceptual element here. With classy “artsy” photographs, card inserts, abstract poetry and strangely manipulated spoken samples mixed throughout the release it’s clear the concept is of utmost importance.
The style is similar to what PJW has explored previously, an odd mixture of noise, electroacoustic, and power electronics. Tape I Side A is a quieter piece with crinkling and off kilter audio artifacts which build to a quick noise attack right …
Husere Grav – s/t CDR
This is an older release that’s been lurking in my review pile for quite some time. Somehow though, I’ve always been drawn to the artwork with its grey hopeless imagery and classy handmade style.
With 11 untitled tracks and 50 minutes this is certainly a full-length and a solid release. What Husere Grav seems to specialize in is ambient/drone with a noisy edge, all guitar based. Luckily the guitar isn’t overly apparent and its treated tastefully at all times. With the opening track it is clear …
Drag Age – Mask of a Crushed Insect C12
Drag Age’s Mask of Crushed Insect is a heavy piece of synth drone. The sound here is mostly death industrial with very little in the high end. Not a lot of deviation from a typical death industrial/power electronics sound is done here, and at only about eleven minutes in length, Mask of a Crushed Insect doesn’t really bring anything new to the table at all.
The sound is heavy and deep all the way through. The first track breaks up the drone …
En Nihil – Pyres C40
En Nihil is a death industrial project that’s been around since the mid-nineties. When I first received this tape I did a double-take, finding myself curious to see if this was the project of old. With Pyres En Nihil shows that the passage of time has not dulled his skills but rather sharpened them to a hallowed point.
With 20 minutes per side there is a wealth of material and a variety of textures and passages are presented as well, yet at the same time keeping …
Pusdrainer – The Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife C32
Auris Apothecary/Audio Stag Records
So apparently Justin of Pusdrainer found an old 4 track porno audio tape and just had to destroy it as best he could. What you get here is that audio destruction tastefully packaged and presented by the always excellent Auris Apothecary.
As a package this is an impressive effort. The tape is enclosed in a ziplock bag, and wrapped in a tied-off condom which prompted me to untie it with my teeth – in hopes that it may …
Deterge – Anacoluthon C25
I’m really happy to hear Deterge is back with this sick tape. For those of you who don’t know Deterge is Jim Haras also of the Chicago power electronics unit PTM.
What Deterge presents in Anacoluthon is a very unique take on power electronics adding a psychedelic edge to the sound. Vocals are generally not so up-front and distorted but distant and affected. The sound isn’t balls-to-the-wall harshness and aggression, but rather seething and flowing.
Somehow removing the aggression and over-the-top drive of more raw power …
Torturing Nurse – The Nihilism 3″CDR
Darker Days Ahead
On the start of The Nihilism the listener who is familiar with Torturing Nurse may ask if this is the same project that spews harsh noise into the faces of noise fans across the world with no regrets. But once the listener delves deep enough into the release we know this is in fact the same Torturing Nurse – or perhaps not the same, the project has proved that it has evolved quite a bit since my last exposure and The Nihilism is …
Penetration Camp/Page 27 – Blood and Black Vinyl 7″
Here’s a short 7″ with one quick track from each artist. These artists are rather unknown to me having only heard one other 7″ with Penetration Camp on it before.
Penetration Camp is up first with a subdued track of ambient noise. Mostly lacking in the low-end it’s a dead-air broadcast of seething noise. Things seem to get a bit louder and more active over the course of the track but that’s about the only evolution heard here.
Page 27′s track is a …
Iron Fist of the Sun – Danny La Rue Died in His Sleep C50
Here is the much hyped project that I have heard so much about yet haven’t gotten a chance to actually listen to their output. The big question is: do they deliver? Do they live up to the hype? Well you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
This is a pretty burly tape clocking in at 50 minutes – these longer tapes are becoming much more rare in the noise world. Side A is broken into 4 …
Josh Lay & PBK – s/t CDR
Here’s a collaboration between two noise artists Josh Lay and PBK the latter of which I have not been exposed to before. It sounds however, that they are quite the match because these two tracks fall in line with what I have heard from Josh Lay before. It appears that PBK only stands to compliment Lay’s sound.
What they present are two tracks clocking in at almost 15 minutes each. The style is ambient/noise with musique concrete samples and some vague industrial elements. Noticeable …
Lavas Magmas – Ten Swords C20
Here’s another installment in the chronicles of Lavas Magma’s discography and still upping the ante for his style of atmospheric industrial music. This is one of my favorite projects currently in operation and Ten Swords is a testament to that reasoning.
Side A contains the track Mall of America and features bubbling oscillators combined with heavily distorted textures. The overblown bits of sound and crunch that Lavas Magmas attains here is impressive with a kind of saturation that overloads the senses yet doesn’t subtract from …
FRKSE – Guilt Surveillance LP
Here’s the latest release from Boston’s resident esoteric weirdos FRKSE. Mixing noise, black metal, eastern music, hip-hop, and electronica it’s always a genre bending affair when FRKSE goes on the prowl and Guilt Surveillance is no different in that respect. Yet, it is different where composition and aesthetic vision are concerned as this LP is a much more focused and mature release than what they have achieved before.
It might be that the majority of the songs are shorter than FRKSE’s last few releases – it …
Jason Crumer – Let There Be Crumer CD
Second Layer Records
With a pretty significant stylistic departure from the droning monster that is Walk With Me, Jason Crumer has returned. Let There Be Crumer is his fifth full length and is much more diverse. With powerful, tense ambient environments and all out harsh noise, Let There Be Crumer is varied and captivating.
Overall, the most immense parts of this album are the subtle soundscapes Crumer builds through his ambient works. Delicate yet tense drones pervade this album throughout. Lovelock, NM starts the album …
Dead Boomers – Family Money CDR
I believe this is the first official release from this duo who – with their full-length LP release The Pig in the Python – reminded me so much of The Cathode Terror Secretion. Yet this disc varies from that sound quite a bit.
What is delivered here are seven tracks of subdued industrial noise with muddled power electronics vocals here and there. The style is very much in the vein of newer Sutcliffe Jugend; it’s not loud, but still rather aggressive, almost quiet and academic …
John Mannion – .. …….. C30
For those of you who have heard John Mannion’s legendary LP Cut Through Glass/Metal you can expect .. …….. to be a different beast all together. Presenting minimalist experimental tracks with a clean picked electric guitar at its base these sounds have an entirely different feel than his Hanson release.
Mannion does a good job with keeping the guitar noodling interesting though by creating huge tone clusters as well as gestures and large movements that sometimes sound quite alluring. Other times, there are synth sounds …
Pulse Emitter – Meditative Music 4 CDR
Reviewing music that is made for a certain purpose can be a challenge. Because I always listen to music for the purposes I intend for it, so sometimes it’s difficult to try and remove yourself from what you’re used to and imagine what it would be like to listen to this in the way it’s intended for. For instance I don’t meditate, so the music on this disc may be interpreted differently by a guru, or someone who knows about meditating.
My first impression …
Suburbia Melting/Cory Schumacher – Departure C30
Darker Days Ahead
Here’s a split tape with a side project of Andrew Quitter from Regosphere (quickly becoming the man with many faces) and Cory Shumacher. First off the artwork is great on this beast: high contrast black and white comic style drawing as the cover with simple text and photo on the inside adds a realistic yet fantastic touch.
Mr. Schumacher is up first with heavy noise walls. The distortion is piled on thick as molasses here with a ton of delay in the mix. Not …
V/A – Auris Apothecary Sampler #2 C45
Here’s a very eclectic offering from the excellent Auris Apothecary label. For those that aren’t aware Auris Apothecary defines the concept of a boutique label with elaborate and artistic packaging, strange sounds, and an unwavering aesthetic. They are truly at the top of their game with this sampler smartly packaged in a folding case and sealed with wax. The sampler is also available online here for those who can’t get their hands on the physical release or are too lame to have a …
Lisa’s Trip - Lisa’s Trip C24
Monster Heaven is…kind of ambiguous and fairly anonymous. On purpose. I will leave it at that.
Lisa’s Trip is a project you’ve likely not heard of just yet, but I am certain you’ve heard the likes of it’s creator’s project REGOSPHERE, or perhaps the affiliated label, DUMPSTERSCORE HOME RECORDINGS. Andrew Quitter is behind this material, and his game this time is bleak, melting, bending and totally strange. The album title is fitting. I am not sure who Lisa is, but it’s definitely a trip.
There is nothing …
The Changeless Round – Unspeakable 2xCDR
Here’s a rather enigmatic release from a label whose website appears to be long dead and there are little-to-no links about the project itself. Upon even setting eyes on the package containing these two CDRs one can see the minimalism seeping through, and so I prepared myself for a long journey.
Although the first disc has just one hour long track according to the booklet it is split into 4 movements which are actually quite audible. Each movement seems to have a particularly gaudy subtitle …
Filivs Macrocosmi – Сталкер CD
Filivs Macrocosmi is a project by Sergey Svistelnik also of Old Monk’s Saga hailing from the Ukraine. With Сталкер – which I believe means Stalker – he has crafted an audial interpretation of Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic film of the same name. For those of you who have not yet witnessed it, I strongly recommend it, as it is one of my favorite films.
It is clear that Svistelnik has an understanding of the concept and aesthetic that Tarkovsky put into the film because Сталкер is certainly …
Cincinnatus C – I Don’t Have A Future/I Don’t Want A Future CDr
I have always been a fan of glitchy, strange, completely wacky yet tasteful feedback loop manipulation. It bores and annoys many people in the harsh noise scene, but I believe it to be more than possible to create soundscapes of this type to where they stimulate and even hypnotize. In the sea of feedback loop toggle-flippers and knob-twisters, Craig Hodgkins of Philly/Pittsburgh/DC stands out like a bruised apendage. This is especially because of other releases of his where …
Sunken Cheek – Depths C30
Sunken Cheek is a Syracuse noise act, and this tape is his latest output. Variation is for sure present here and Sunken Cheek meshes harsh and sparse sections fairly adeptly. While it doesn’t quite work always, “Depths” overall is fairly solid.
The first side is very minimal most of the way through, with scraping and clanking sound along with whispers that apparently are narrating a tale of habitat destruction, and while one would be unable to tell this as most of the whispering is buried enough …
2673 – A Saffron Wasteland CDR
Here’s another dose of minimalism from 2673 and I’m happy to report that this time it works quite well. The tracks are untitled here which leaves little interpretation for concept but the sound is somehow dense in it’s sparsity.
8:31 kicks off with high pitched harsh tones that alternate in sound finally dipping down to a separated bass/treble tone. I really enjoy how the frequencies fuck with your head. My hearing felt “off” somehow during and after this track. You can tell there’s thought put …
Pacing – Pacing & Friends CDR
Here’s a full-length from these Buffalo, NY kings of noise featuring many collaborations with friends. It appears it’s mostly collaborators offering vocal performances here with the exception of the last track where a friend Aaron is credited to “scrap”.
The album kicks off very strongly with A Sea of Teeth and Hands which features high pitched electronic squeals joined by intense crunchy noise walls. An assault of vocal attacks appears and we have a full-on war with the listener. The follower Abuse is equally as …
Cloama – Municipality of Marionettes LP
Freak Animal Records
Here’s the latest offering from Finland’s Cloama. This massive LP covers a mix of his more power electronics/noise influences and his drone and electroacoustic influences.
Splitting side A into 4 tracks things are kicked off with Municipality of Marionettes Pt. 1 which features noisy layers of texture over beautiful harmonic drones. Transgressions of the Mountain Lord immediately starts off on a different note with droning feedback, industrial sludge, and PE vocal deliveries. Once again reminding me of the odd amalgamation of sounds that …
Astro / Marax – Split CDr
Astro is a Japanese noise project that has been floating around for quite some time now. Since 1997, Hiroshi Hasegawa of Astro has collaborated with the likes of Richard Ramirez, Government Alpha, and Bad Sector. Alongside Marax, who I have previously not heard but has nearly been around for the same amount of time, this split essentially qualifies as HNW but still has a very swirling, Japanoise flair to it.
Astro’s track, Sounds For Unconsciousness Behavior, is a long, pulsating whirl of harsh, spaced noise …
Facialmess/Sleep Sessions – Excessive Force CD
Fuck yea, it’s been awhile since a harsh noise record really excited me, but this is a pretty incredible pairing of excellent spastic cut-up harsh noise acts. Actually, based on the Sleep Sessions material I have been exposed to before I was expecting longer tracks but I can settle for the merely 12 minutes of his material that this split offers because it’s heavy as fuck and unrelenting with an excellent array of sounds.
Facialmess is up first though and offers roughly 20 minutes of …
Selfish Implosions – Radical C23
Selfish Implosions is an anonymous power electronics project which focuses on the concept of underground skateboarding culture in an extreme form. Hailing from Montreal you can be sure that this is going to have a rough edge as they deal with a good 5 months of snow year round so it’s gotta be tough to be a skater up there.
Side A contains 3 tracks each very aggressive with some impressive vocal convulsions. Very impressive are the vocals which remind me of Atrax Morgue in the …
2673 – In Dreams 3″CDR
On In Dreams 2673 presents a minimalist journey much reminding me of the sounds of Francisco Lopez and Pulse Emitter, drones from modular synthesizers and slowly evolving compositions.
The bulk of the 20 minute track is a low hum which is joined by other tones about 8 minutes into the piece. Eventually the sound works up into an all-out ambient bed with reverberation and low wind tunnel elements. it’s just when it seems things are getting exciting that we are immediately cut off and the piece has …
Revival Lake – Brothers Without Arms 3″CDR
Here’s a real shorty that is a collab between two Connecticut based projects Reviver and the now defunct Medicine Lake. Knowing their respective styles one can speculate on how this would sound and they probably wouldn’t be far off.
Electric buzz hums, distorted vocals moans and various layering together forms a deep drone track with ritual elements. There is a lot of space and quite an organic feel mainly being a result of the vocals but this could also be coming from Reviver’s use …
Sanctimonious – Hypocritical Sages C24
Nil By Mouth
Here’s a quick tape of very lo-fi and primitive power electronics. Housed in a cardboard box with a fold-out poster inside and a sticker on the front the packaging is as simple as the music.
The first thing I notice is that the sounds are not very creative at all. Standard pedal feedback, delay, some metal banging here and there. There’s a lot of boring feedback drones, things that sound like they might be the result of homemade instruments or circuit bent pedals. Always …
Steel Hook Prostheses – Cut off the Nose to Spite the Mouth 2xCD
Here is a mighty 2 disc set of reissued material from the ever bleak Syzmic Records camp. Delivering 100% dark and hopeless sounds here Steel Hook Prostheses is as unforgiving as ever in their apocalyptic vision. Coming housed in a pro digipak with simple artwork the packaging comes off with a succinct retrospective feel.
Disc one contains the releases Sadistic Surgery, Cold Embrace of an Iron Lung, Controlled Sense of Decay all released in 2003 and 2004. …
Klit – Sodomy is Birth Control C10
Danvers State Recordings
I think most people would expect searing power electronics and blistering noise when confronted with the art and concepts that this tape presents but instead what we have here is 2 quick tracks of spaced-out experimental weirdness with a very creepy vibe.
It sounds like there’s a lot of manipulated vocal or animal sounds in each of the tracks with soft yet swelling noise loops lurking in the background. Synth drones also tend to pervade things to form thick, cohesive walls of noisy …
Luasa Raelon – Vampyr: Light of the Beast CD
It’s always good to hear a new Luasa Raelon CD if even the release itself is older. You know what to expect and you can be sure David Reed – with his very specific multiple projects – will deliver exactly that. Vampyr: Light of the Beast follows the Luasa Raelon formula by the book delivering over 40 minutes of glistening drone and subtle industrial.
This is dark ambient with plenty of harmonic movement. Slowly played synthesizers layered with alternating pitched pads and …
Aghori – Light Circles 3″CDR
Existential Cloth Recordings
Something tells me this is not the Aghori who’s 3″CDR Light Circles has found its way into my hands. Not that I have anything against emo/tribal metalcore but this is clearly a different beast!
What Aghori delivers here is a good 20 minutes of organic ambient/noise seemingly created from the sound of bowed cymbals, manipulated distortion and perhaps vocal moans. Both tracks are untitled yet the first is more intense on the noise factor drenching the ritual ambient layers with a light layer of distortion. …
Vehement Caress – Cachexia C20
Here’s another really great tape from Boston’s own Vehement Caress. Represented here is a great convergence of throbbing industrial, lo-fi harsh noise, and heavy drone.
Side A features several tracks, the first of which is a pummelling industrial anthem very much reminding me of older Brighter Death Now. There are no vocals, so it doesn’t meander into the realm of power electronics – it remains pure death industrial. The following tracks are shorter outings wandering in the grungy noise realm, reminding me of some of Wolf …
Corephallism/Gnaw Their Tongues – Split 10″EP
This is easily one of my favorite releases of 2012 and it’s great to know that before the halfway point. Two underrated acts team up for this obsessive industrial slab of vinyl to form a formidable sonic force. Their respective styles differing so much yet at the same time complimenting each other gracefully. Right off the bat I noticed the absolutely gorgeous artwork with sparse yet well placed text which helps make this release an instant classic.
Corephallism is up first with two tracks of …
Sudden Infant – Inner Storm C30
Joke Lanz is back with his brand of dadaist aural blasphemy. Once again coming from the Blossoming Noise camp who seems to be able to consistently churning out quality releases. Inner Storm’s graphics features a simple collage with sparse text and information, the focus clearly on the music here.
What Sudden Infant delivers is his usual style of insane audio terrorism but with a variety of new and different sounds woven in. The tracks here all have a repetitive rhythmic core with layers of noise …
Teeth Collection – Untitled 3″CDR
Teeth Collection is an enigmatic midwestern noise project that focuses on using physical sound sources for his compositions and this untitled work is no exception. The main sources cited within consist of “one mic, no amp, and the tumbler from a dryer”. The fact that no electronics were used here is touted on the booklet and it certainly raises an eyebrow as to how he could actually pull this off.
Yet the result: stunning. The work comes off as something from Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar but with more …
Heavy Breathing – Severe C30
Immediately very noticeable about this package is the extra cardboard box, high contrast silk-screening and lo-fi images of various Muslim women in traditional burkas. The sparse artwork highlights the basics of the packaging as well as the minimal textures one might overlook had the design been too engaging.
The sound here is quite understated as well. With a lo-fi production quality it represents the rough aesthetic well. Although this isn’t caveman electronic; it’s well composed and layered to form a formidable wall of aggressive sound in …
Hive Mind – Elemental Disgrace LP
Here’s a heavy full-length from the former Detroit resident, now L.A. wunderkind Greh Holger. The LP is nicely packaged with full-color cover and shiny print along with heavy gram white vinyl. Quite classy, and apparently falling into the category of the “Spectrum Spools” series of the label.
Elemental Disgrace sounds like it is 100% synthesizer but the sounds Holger is able to cull from his machines are varied, and lie heavily on the subconsious. Perhaps the sound that would occur if you brought a …
Mourmansk150 – La Guerre, L’Anarchie Et Le Chaos CD
Nil By Mouth
Here is the first proper CD release from this now infamous European power electronics act. Mourmansk150 takes its queues from such acts as Militia, Brandkommando, Strom.ec with a new school take on power electronics and industrial. La Guerre, L’Anarchie Et Le Chaos is a record that has already become infamous for various reasons. For starters it includes a pure shit-talking track entitled “Fuk Miko Aspa” (sic) – I say pure because the lyrics don’t really flesh out any good reason …
Reviver – Total Load Shed C30
Temple of Pei
Here’s another great offering from Reviver this time from Telecult Power’s label Temple of Pei. With simple credits: Chris Donofrio = graphic eqs, this tape is more on the minimal side of Reviver’s work.
As the label describes it, “oceans of electricity drowning anyone stupid enough to fuck with it. What if Nicola Tesla smoked DMT?” I would say that’s not far off. The electricity element is palpable here, it the wavering pulses and growling drones really make my hair stand on edge. Even …
Darsombra – Deliriums & Death 3″CDR
This is an older disc yet it’s my first exposure to Darsombra. Clocking in at 14 minutes there’s not a whole lot of material to go by, but with two solid tracks it delivers.
It sounds like Darsombra fits into the guitar drone/metal mold quite well, taking queues from such groups as Earth, Sunn0))), and Nadja. The composition is quite musical in nature in Peripheral, the first track. But this is very well composed with effective multi-tracked guitar layers and dirgy chords which make their …
The Vomit Arsonist – Patience/Violence C20
Danvers State Recordings
I always wonder how much my mood effects certain reviews. Today, the churning, pummelling slow dirge of The Vomit Arsonist very much compliments my current disposition so this is bound to be a positive review. Patience/Violence is actually a reissue of the tape that was originally released in 2010 on Exterminate the Brutes – a label title that sounds counter productive to The Vomit Arsonist’s goals.
Patience features drowning toms sounding to a dark pulse with warm analog hums in the background, PE vocals …
Joshua Norton Cabal – Inner Light CD
Joshua Norton Cabal is actually the noise project of Andrew Nolan and although it’s a name that I’ve heard of before I actually haven’t been exposed to his output. Inner Light is a short CD clocking in at merely 38 minutes but packed to the brim with varied experimental noise.
Right off the bat we are delivered to some harsh frequencies yet they quickly break down into scrap sounds, things falling apart, and layered distortion and textures. The textural additions make this a bit more …
Sky Burial – Dream Decimator C60
Clocking in at 60 minutes Dream Decimator is an epic work with minimal packaging – a very deceiving release indeed. This is perhaps my favorite Sky Burial material to date with very detailed ambient/industrial sound collage and drone. This is where the elements that Page has been working with for years have finally come together perfectly.
I can only guess that this tape consists of one long track because there is no tracklisting mentioned in the insert. One thing that really catches my attention here …
Marax – My Suicide Note Penned in Sound CD
Marax is an extremely prolific artist since ’99 yet it’s a surprise that I’ve never come across his material before. My Suicide Note Penned in Sound is packaged in a simple paper slip-case with gritty textures and sparse text which reflects the sound well.
The disc is one long track of hallowed drones slowly changing with wind-howling textures lurking beneath the thick core. I believe this music will appeal to drone heads as the sparse variation stays the same throughout the piece. …
Gnawed – Despiser 3″CDR
Spit & Cuss
Released back in 2010 this isn’t actually new material at this point but it certainly does stand the test of time. Clocking in at merely 16 minutes split into four tracks this 3″ may be short, but it delivers.
Forked Tongue consists of high-pitched tones interrupted by ungodly industrial hits and punk-style screaming vocals. I really like that the distorted feedback has almost a metal-scraping sound to it, subtle but very effective. Choke has a more rhythmic backbone with pummeling hits and a similar style of …
Wilt – She C73
Danvers State Recordings
Here’s a new mammoth release from Wilt which features some sickened black noise. Before delving into the sounds here the artwork is quite enjoyable with a dark black/red scheme but some nice blown-out colors in the cover image.
The tape starts off rather slow with The Soil Begins to Smother Him which features a hefty weight of low tones and some softer distorted layers on top. In A Blanket With the Density of a Falling Sun Wilt bring things to a new level with surging industrial …
Teeth Collection – Untitled 3″CDR
Here is one subtle 17 minute track from the enigmatic Teeth Collection. Texture is the name of the game with the first part of this track being almost more of a “presence” than anything audible. Eventually slow airy tones begin to wisp forth. It’s not long before the track takes a more industrial turn before lifting into microscopic echoing grains of sound, an unexpected twist brings us into the middle of the track.
It’s not long however, until the menacing drones make a comeback and rather quickly …
Pollutive Static – Turn on The Fuck Soundtrack C44
Nil By Mouth
Here is a lo-fi barrage of various harsh noise sounds pummelling the listener with no room for air. The noise is intense and in your face – minimal effects. Mostly just distortion, feedback, synth noise and pedal hatred.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this whole tape. There are long passages where there is just one sound layer going on and on and when a change up finally comes it’s not really that interesting or leading to any place …
FRKSE – Horsless Rehearsal C62
FRKSE (pronounced “forks”) is a project local to the Boston area who combines an eclectic cast of stylistic inspiration raning from raga, noise, hip-hop, and black metal to form a genre blasting epic in Horsless Rehearsal.
At over 60 minutes there is a lot to take in, never mind that there is almost never a rest between tracks, this is a constant barrage of wall-eyed sound. The song structure often features a booming drum-machine back beat, distorted in different ways and mixing in odd samples into …
V/A – God Blast America! DVD
This is a real treat for those of us who – years later – are still kicking ourselves for missing this mammoth show. The coverage is as comprehensive as one could possibly ask for – not every full set is featured here but it is easily over 2 hours worth of material. The production of both the audio and video is astounding considering the live condition in which it was captured. Visually – as with the audio – each set has it’s own mood which …
Patrick Emm – Trash Playback Forms C24
Here’s another great release from Boston’s own Patrick Emm that focuses on slow droning and free improvisational music. Lonely soundscapes for a dusty day. This continues Emm’s growing body of impressive work.
Side A is split into two tracks the first being a bubbling lo-fi synth study reminding me a bit of Pauline Oliveros’s Beautiful Soop but much more ambient. The second track Current and Tide turns to more white-noise and cable-crackle oriented sounds with a mellow tone in the background and it provides a …
Endless Bummer – Fritzl CDr
Spit And Cuss
Endless Bummer is a project involving Grant Richardson, the man behind the brutal Minnesota power electronics act Gnawed. Endless Bummer is a quite accurate moniker for this project, because Fritzl is a very depressive, slow moving piece. Consisting of heavily distorted, drawn out riffs, this is doom, sludge, noise, and ambient all meshed together to form a massive titan of heaviness.
Fritzl is pretty repetitive and extremely drawn out, but it really works. Everything sounds so hateful and plodding; Endless Bummer hammers the same riff …
Demergo – Westwater Meadows CDr
With a heavy, brooding sound, Demergo’s Westwater Meadows presents a sound that straddles the line between ambient and death industrial. Long, looping drones and frail ambient textures collide in an expansive and diverse way. Although the energy and diversity start to taper off near the end, Demergo’s sound is definitely immersive.
The liner notes outline a short story in which a researcher explores a dead world that he is ultimately consumed by. The sounds here apparently are meant to accompany the narrative and do so very …
Disthroned Agony – Hexakrvl C30
Disthroned Agony is a pretty infamous noise act by now due to many (rumored or true?) live antics. Here is a tape filled to the brim with the absolute filthiest noise I have heard in a while. This is more along the experimental and slow side of noise rather than spastic harsh cut-up style stuff.
Opening with an evil sample sounding like it came from some 80s horror flick Milking Potion is the first track and it sounds like a lot of distorted drones, slowed …
Bad Rep – Chicago Slime CDr
Bad Rep’s Chicago Slime appears to be a re-release and one of the few releases on Italian experimental label Heretic Recordings, and is the only recording I can find by this project. The album is divided into three parts and all of them consist solely of distorted samples culled from lo fi sources. The sounds are looped and distorted but overall come out as pretty one dimensional and not particularly interesting at all.
Most of these tracks stem from other musical sources. Everything is heavily …
Holzkopf – Sober Materials #2: Not By Power CD
Holzkopf may not be a name familiar to fans into the more hardcore power electronics and industrial but Jacob Hardy who now resides in Vancouver, BC creates a unique flavor of dance/electronica that flirts with such styles as noise, power noise, electronica, techno, and reggae. To any reader I think this may sound like a total clusterfuck, but the catch – GASP – it’s actually really good.
What you can expect from the sounds of Holzkopf is the steady thump of a …
Astro – Synthetic Spectra C60
I have to admit I’m a little more ignorant than I should be when it comes to the Japanoise scene. But I at least can say that not only do I know that Astro is Hiroshi Hasegawa also of C.C.C.C., but also that I have witnessed him perform live as well.
It seems that the Astro sound is one of mostly harsh noise culled from modular synthesizers and the material I’ve heard before hasn’t really won me over. Synthetic Spectra however is a new beast …
En Nihil/Gnawed – The Fall of Humanity C36
Nil By Mouth
Two great acts team up for an insane noise tag team on this split cassette. En Nihil is a veteran of noise/industrial while Gnawed is a relative newcomer. Once again Nil By Mouth kills it with the extra touch on packaging, a black plastic bag and a huge nail piercing the front.
En Nihil is featured on side A presenting 3 tracks of heavy chugging noise. It’s like a hurricane that’s on fire pummeling at the walls of your concrete fallout shelter. …
Rings of Smoke Through the Trees – s/t C50
Danvers State Recordings
I can’t believe this is merely the first Danvers State Recordings release to be reviewed on Existence Establishment. I guess it’s just a random set of circumstances that has led us to this point, but I’m happy to report the first review will be a very positive one. Rings of Smoke Through the Trees is a new project to me, and is a trio featuring the work of Andre Custodio, Thomas Dimuzio, and Mark Wilson. The name Thomas Dimuzio rings …
+DOG+ – Forced Morality CD
Love Earth Music
Forced Morality is one of +DOG+’s latest recording and the artist presents their typical fare of harsh, diverse power electronics on this release. Though Forced Morality is a little slow to start, overall, this release is a solid, brutal bout of aural assault while tastefully dipping into territory that could be described more as brooding than hostile.
The album starts out with Generation XXX, a pretty typical track of pulsating industrial noise with bits in the background to accentuate the sound. It borders on HNW …
Dan Of Earth – Shed A Soft Mongoloid Tear CDr
Dan of Earth’s 2010 recording is weirder than ever. Shed A Mongoloid Tear takes on a much more understated feel than what I have heard from Dan so far, and he pulls it off magnificently. Bass-y undertones punctuate altered field recordings and the vibe throughout takes on nearly a dark ambient feel without resorting to the typical, one dimensional wispy tones. But don’t be mistaken, Dan’s work here is still very ghostly and haunting in its own way.
One of my favorite …
Chris Burns – Feedback Tabarnak CDr
Chris Burns is an artist that has been around for quite a while. Best known for his bout of success in the short lived 80s garage band Terminal Sunglasses, Feedback Tabarnak is his solo effort. Originally self-released on cassette in 2006 and re-mastered and re-released by Grkzgl on Brise-Cul Records, the sounds here consist primarily of lengthy, extensive drone pieces punctuated by avant garde noodling and free improvisation. While the sweeping guitar tones create a thick and heavy presence, Feedback Tabarnak really loses a …
V/A – Tied to An Abuse 2xC50
Nil By Mouth
Here is a fucking wet dream of an industrial and power electronics compilation which reminds me of the days of old with compilations like The Depth of Beyond that just packed a ton of great artists into a multi-cassette package. With 2 cassettes in this neat package featuring photocopied cut-up style artwork, this is in the true vain of filthy industrial aesthetics. It just blows my mind how many great artists are featured here.
I would go as far as to say that …
Koeff – Liminal Looks 3″ CD
Koeff is the solo project of Johanna Rosenqvist, former member of Swedish P.E. group Institut. Liminal Looks by Koeff is a very short collection of lo fi industrial pieces. The sound here is churning and repetitive, and definitely not in a good way. Nothing new is to be found here and before anything interesting happens, the album is over.
The best track on this album is the first one, and even then it drags on too long. The sound on said track consists of blown …
Reviver is a hidden gem in the land of New England whose sound can be described as death tone drone; low rumbling feedback and pulsating synth noise with little breathing room. Christopher Donofrio is the soul entity behind this sickened sound and has so far presented a discography of consistent and pummeling sounds while evolving in his own unique way within the confines that he has set for himself. Add to this regular live performances and a taste for the obscure in everything from music to beer and we are …
Peter J Woods – Fairweather Mask CD
Autumn Wind Productions
Ok, what is with Autumn Wind Productions? They seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. Too bad because they are a rather prolific and driving force behind the gothier side of noise and industrial. Which of course, makes this Peter J Woods release all the more perplexing. Either way it’s great to see a proper CD release from this excellent Milwaukee-based artist.
Mr. Woods gets right down to business and kicks things off with the epic title track. It’s pulsating …
Dead Boomers – The Pig In The Python LP
These dudes are from Australia, they played in Boston a few weeks ago and put on a pretty damn good show. Here is their first LP, I think it may be their softmore release. Dead Boomers are a duo and their sound could be described as what a war between The Cathode Terror Secretion and Wolf Eyes would sound like.
Dead Boomers use stylistic queues from industrial, noise, drone, and power electronics to form an excellent and cohesive sound. Most tracks here have …
Captivity – Addendum 3″CDR
Here’s yet another great release from FTAM, the label run by artist Peter J Woods. This little 3 incher is packed to the brim with post-rock, and guitar based ambience and experimentation. It seems Captivity is a two piece from Milwaukee and they create some great material here.
Exnition is the first piece and leans most toward the post-rock end of things. The material very much reminds me of Tarantel or Acid Mothers Temple. Harmonious droning guitars finally give way to melodies with a steady drum beat backing …
Inappropriate King Live / Scant – Split C50
Rainbow Bridge Recordings
Inappropriate King Live is yet another project of the ever present Justin Marc Lloyd. The sounds here are weirder than his usual fare and I daresay some of his best work to date. Scant is the HNW project of Matt Boettke of Sex Complex. Together, I would say the combination of artists on this split is a jarring and unusual one, but overall the material is solid.
The Inappropriate King Live side is a dense, swirling work of altered field recordings mashed …
Bacillus – Anthracis BCCDR
It’s been a long time since I’ve received a release on a business card! This format is just as awkward as it ever was, yet the packaging is very well put together with folded transparencies, acute text, and it’s all encapsulated in a biohazard bag. Very fitting for the concept of Bacillus’ sound.
I’ve been exposed to quite a few tracks from Bacillus and have enjoyed what I’ve heard. However, it seems Bacillus has really degraded his sound for Anthracis as this material is exceptionally lo-fi, gritty, …
Andrew Quitter – Floaters Original Sound Track CDP
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Andrew Quitter is the man behind Dumpsterscore Home Recordings and the heavy synth drone project Regosphere. Quitter is a quickly rising up-and-comer in the international noise scene having released some excellent recordings as well a large amount of split releases with the likes of Content Nullity and Extraordinary Pigeons. He is clearly one step ahead of me having already released another new album under his own name entitled..
Here he is though, releasing music under his own name and it seems to …
Swamp Horse – Subtle Dementia 7″
Subtle Dementia is the latest effort from Swamp Horse, the project that consists of Josh Lay and Morgan Rankin. Recently released, this record features some choppy painted/collaged graphic design along with a sticker and a patch which is a nice addition.
Two tracks on this beast, each on their respective side. Side A is my preferred track, with a neo-classical 80s horror film kind of vibe. It’s slow and plodding with glistening melodies and lurking tones. A very simple track that stays consistent throughout, yet …
Churner – The Eyes Stared Back At Me CDR
Violent Noise Atrocities
Here’s Churner again, summoning up some harsh noise walls in two really long tracks. Just a piece of advice for him before we get started: spellcheck is essential. The album title is actually spelled wrong on the packaging and it’s certainly a cringe-worthy mistake. Someone has got to tell him that the past-tense of “stared” is not spelled “starred”. It’s even listed on his website as such.
Moving on (with effort), I’ve already described that this is wall-noise so that explains …
High Aura’d – Mooncusser C32
High Aura’d is a guitar drone project from Massachusettes and YDLMIER is a Boston based up-and-coming tape label. What they’ve created with Mooncusser is about 30 minutes of flowing harmonious lo-fi and noisy drones reminding me much of Labradford and Flying Saucer Attack.
The music here is drenched in a light distortion, consists of repetitive tones sweeping in and out of very slowly moving melodies. It is basic, yet has depth and the form begins to emerge with each repetition. There are always subtle tones added along …
Klinikal Skum – Chosen Powerless CD
I have to admit I haven’t been keeping up with Klinikal Skum like I should be. I was really in love with their first CDR release Pulsating. Yet the softmore effort Miasma didn’t really do it for me. It seemed to be too drenched in reverb and lacked that warm analogue hum that I loved so much in Pulsating. Yet here is Chosen Powerless, Klinikal Skum’s latest effort and what it delivers is a nice mix between the sounds of their previous recordings.
If you …
Yiodohsan Khallyostro – Caina Monumental 3″CDR
Here’s a quick noise blast from this artist who is unknown to me. It’s been a while since I’ve heard from Heretic Recordings and I’m not sure how old this record is, but here’s hoping that they’re still active because they’re definitely a pretty damn good label. I consistently enjoy their handmade packaging efforts and this 3″CDR falls right in place with the rest of them. Textured paper with heavy silkscreen print and the side of the plastic baggy is sewed up which just …
Veiled – Museu Secret C24
Veiled is a duo of Robert Francisco – of M Ax Noi Mach, Angeldust – and Arnau Sala performing synth-pop mixed with subtle nods to power electronics. This genre mashup seems to be a rising trend with groups like Throat, Haus Arafna and Thorofon leading the way, not to mention the flirtations of Prurient and Cold Cave. Of course there has been convergence with synth pop from other power electronics as well, probably the worst offenders being Strom.ec and Irikarah. I say that with humor …
V/A – Blood Dirt Compilation Vol. 1 CDR
Owl Records/Blood Dirt Cassettes
Here’s a completely eclectic compilation covering folk, noise, indie rock, ambient, and experimental. This is really all over the place yet the material from each genre is of a decent quality. I might even go as far as to say the noise on here – Richard Ramirez, Black Leather Jesus – seems a bit out of place due to it’s S&M nature, aggression and stark contrasts between the other more musical works on the disc.
After a track that is kind …
Sky Burial – Aegri Somnia CD
Yet another Sky Burial release. Does Michael Page ever sleep?! This time we have quite a collaborative effort, with art from famed tattooist Thomas Hooper and sonic contributions from Hawkwind’s Nik Turner and mastering by Justin Broaderick this is a quite a massive work.
The album is broken up into two long tracks, the first Movement I: The Synaethete’s Lament is a drifting new-age track that features bursts of saxophone layered into the mix. Drifting synth harmonies, lightly clanking metallic elements, and very slow …
Hive Mind & John Wiese – …Trick Satanism 10″EP
Here’s a pretty great looking collaboration between these two artists of mammoth sounds. The artwork here is colorful, filthy collage work and contains a heavy vinyl record within. The sound is a really great mix between the staple qualities of both these artists and forms a thick layer of grit and grime on everything within listening distance.
Side A, entitled: It’s exactly What You Think It Is is the more aggressive track here with slowly rotating drones that are absolutely soaked in …
Pale Tongues/Watcher – Split 3″CDR
Here’s a quick release from Waterpower featuring two artists who are new to me. Both present extremely harsh noise with a touch of a power electronics edge. The funny thing about the release is that there is no information contained within, it can only be found on the website and on forum posts, which is strange to me. Why release a hardcopy for collectors but not include the essential information?!
Either way, Pale Tongues is up first and their harsh noise contains a lot of high-pitched …
Vancouver, from the view of a postcard.
By Kate Rissiek
Vancouver is a city of mixture and contrast. It is a young city still trying to define itself. Home of the 2010 winter Olympics and the city in Canada with the mildest weather. It’s gray and it rains most of the time. It is embarrassing to only be known for hockey riots and marijuana activism. It is expensive to live here. There are many cultures and religions and always many tourists visiting. There are wild forests, mountains and water. Laid back attitudes …
Stemcell Research Project – Charnel Houses CD
Here’s a heavy dosage of black noise from the Syzmic Records camp. This is my first exposure to SRP but not a bad one at all. Lo-fi and minimalist sounds here. Whispers, echoing screams, and slow-moving harmonic drones, especially in The Rite of Ossilegium which is probably my favorite track here with it’s almost peaceful, yet still extremely creepy vibe.
The effectiveness dips in the middle a little bit with Cutting the Vessel which is some crackling lo-fi, possibly digital noise which doesn’t do …
S.T.U.G. 218 – Order 218 C54
Violent Noise Atrocities
S.T.U.G. 218 is a side project of the man behind Deadwood. Previously, if I recall the sound has been more along the lines of harsh noise wall, but with Order 218 the artist presents a sickened array of harsh noise, death industrial, and power electronics. This is probably the first time I’ve thoroughly enjoyed material from this artist, and I can say with confidence that Order 218 is top-notch.
The production on the tape is excellent, all the harshness is bold and in-your face, …
Roto Visage – Where The Mandrakes Grow CD
Autumn Wind Productions
Roto Visage is a project who’s name popped up a few years ago along with a barrage of releases. Possibly one of the most prolific dark ambient projects around, Roto Visage has released 27 albums since it’s first in 2005. My previous experience with the project has only consisted of a few online releases and although I enjoyed what I heard the material failed to really “grab” me.
Where The Mandrakes Grow is a disc that very much brings to mind the …
Peter J Woods/Brutophilia – Burials, Ruins, Offerings 2×3″CDR
Holy shit. I am always so thankful when I find something like this that’s been sitting in the review pile forever and I pick it up and realize how fucking insanely awesome it is that this was even made. Perhaps this is a bit dated at this point, but both artists absolutely rip it up with this split release which is nicely organized on 2 3″CDRs. Gotta love these things.
Peter J Woods takes the white disc with 3 tracks of punishing industrial. The …
Andris Balins – 9.21.11 C20
Owl Records/Blood Dirt Cassettes
Here’s a weird and wonderful release. 9.21.11 is artfully packaged in a melted vinyl record with a splash of red paint across the front. Shaped into a stand-alone holder, the cassette lives comfortably within. The music itself is also quite intimate. Harmonic bells and slow guitar meld with a healthy air of ambience and tape hiss to form a quiet yet melancholy and beautiful piece of music.
My only gripe is that it is one long track split between two sides so when side …
Breaking Wheel – Poise/Ache CDR
Fever Recordings Limited
According to the label this is the only recorded statement of this group whose future is decidedly uncertain. The death seems a bit premature as I’ve never even heard the name Breaking Wheel before, and although the sounds may come off as just a touch generic there is certainly some promise within.
Only 3 tracks grace this little EP that features understated yet classy packaging. Plain white with sparse text provides nothing more than the absolute essential information. The track Poise features crunchy and heavily …
Regosphere / Vexations – Split C30
Regosphere is a name that is constantly gaining momentum in the noise scene. With dense and apprehensive death industrial work and harshness that is never overdone, the self coined term of “anxiety electronics” is a considerably accurate one. Vexations is a project that I’m not particularly familiar with but this project’s side is an excellent pairing with Regosphere’s sounds.
The Regosphere side, titled “Heat Lightning (Waiting For Blood To Boil), is a constant buildup of anxious atmospheres and weird synth sounds. Industrial loops push the …
Jason Crumer – First Two Records on CD CD
Freak Animal Productions
Here is a mammoth release from Finland’s Freak Animal Productions representing this American artist. Jason Crumer started off as Aluminum Noise and had several great releases under that moniker until he started releasing music as American Band after releasing an ambient album as Amazing Grace. Needless to say he has found his sound now under his own name, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The CD contains the first two LPs that Jason Crumer released: Future With No …
Brume & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau – Salicylat C40
Here I am again reviewing yet another already sold-out release. If I can’t even keep up with all these great releases from the Blossoming Noise camp how is the hapless collector supposed to?! Well, I guess they have to pay top dollar for it on eBay or something, yet I’m happy to report this cassette would be worth it! Everyone should be familiar with the epic sounds of C. Renou’s Brume project, yet Kommissar Hjuler Und Frau is a new name …
Annihilvs Records is the label of seminal U.S. new school power electronics Navicon Torture Technology’s frontman Lee Bartow, who is now operating musically under the moniker Theologian. The label has released many CD, and tape releases including such classics as Jarl – Sealed Void to IRM – The Cult of Young Men all with little fan fare, continuing to stay an underground and unsung entity. Existence Establishment has reviewed several of the releases coming from the Annihilvs camp with very high ratings so we really felt like the label needed …
Crank Sturgeon – Mashacoustic CD
Love Earth Music
Crank Sturgeon is an old school experimental/weird noise act that’s been in the game for as long as I can remember. He is the true embodiment of “weird” and Mashacoustic stays true to the aesthetic Crank has been carving out for some time. Floor Gans – the first track – easily sets the tone for the oddness that is about to grace your ears with a purely spoken word affair: “The bundle wine of basketeers weeeeeening their snipped bits of pant leg and beard …
Developer – OOBR004 C30
Developer is the harsh noise project of Matthew Reis, better known for being the man behind Teeth Collection. Utilizing the catalog numbers as the titles themselves, Developer’s sound is one simultaneously harsh and strange. With smashing industrial sections that constantly devolve into straightforward harsh noise in one way or another, ”OOBR004” takes on a sound that won’t be unfamiliar to harsh noise fans but contributes things like weird field recordings to add a bizarre edge.
The transition here is constant while maintaining a harsh noise base that …
Gnawed – Patience Is Waste C40
Taking a much more restrained approach this time around, Gnawed’s “Patience Is Waste” retains a lot of the heaviness of 2011’s “Purge”, but this time in a much slower, more deliberate fashion. There is very little blazing harshness found on this tape; most of the atmosphere here evolves slowly and, in a fashion almost rendering the title ironic, patiently.
The title is strange on this release; the biggest factor that comes back to me time and time again for this tape is patience. The drones …
V/A – Divelto CD
Here is another confusing release. I’m not even sure if this label is still active or what but this is actually a compilation with random information printed all over the packaging so it’s kind of difficult to tell what address leads to what artist/label/etc. Plus there are 57 tracks on this puppy so the track-listing divides up the tracks per artist. It seems this is a mix of noise/industrial and cybergrind type stuff.
The first 6 tracks go to a project called Jesus of Nazareth of which …
RLW – Sechs Abstände LP
RLW is abstract composer, Ralf Wehowsky, co-founder of the Wahrnehmungen & Selektion labels although he is previously unknown to me. With Sechs Abstände however, he offers an excellent introduction to his carefully composed sounds. I would probably file this one under the free improv umbrella but it doesn’t seem to share many of the more negative qualities with the genre.
Side A consists of three tracks each gaining in intensity. Irrung is quiet with slow drones staying very subtle all the way through. While Fragezeichen …
Chefkirk/Marlo Eggplant – Untitled CDR
Control Valve/Corpus Callosum
Good ‘ol Chefkirk! Good to see him back on hardcopy these days as his last few releases have gone strait to mp3. Marlo Eggplant is an artist who I have little experience with, only having seen her live at the Victoria Noise! Fest last year. Both offer some established experimental noise on this split disc.
Chefkirk is up first with an epic 20 minute track entitled Overcoming Computer Anxiety. It’s quite a roller coaster ride with perhaps the first 15 minutes consisting of quiet subdued …
Vice Wears Black Hose – Part 2 CDR
Violent Noise Atrocities
Well, it’s 2012 and wall noise is still here, perhaps going stronger than ever. Although I can’t say I like it much more today than I did when the it first graced my ears I think it’s at least time for me to reevaluate my rating criteria of it, if not try to appreciate it while in the moment of listening. More importantly Vice Wears Black Hose is the wall noise supergroup of Richard Ramirez (Black Leather Jesus) and Sam Mckinlay …
Brume – Glossy Black Fruits C45
If you are not familiar with the sounds of Brume you should be ashamed of yourself. Glossy Black Fruits is the latest effort from Christian Renou’s Brume project based out of France and now risen from the dead. I am familiar with probably well over 6 Brume releases although that still only breaches the shallow-end of Renou’s discography with the project. This excellent cassette is beautifully packaged with understated collage work and simple text that reflects the varied electroacoustic influenced sounds perfectly. And the …
Locrian – Territories CD
The step between genres, more often than not, seems to be a precarious one for most artists. The choice of what the music gets the most of genrewise can either make an album phenomenally or break one equally phenomenally. Locrian’s Territories is a shining example of the former. Though firmly rooted in a black metal mentality, this lustrous album spans from black metal to power electronics to ambient to drone, all tastefully and masterfully accomplished. The sounds here are sweeping and expansive, giving ear to all …
Winters In Osaka – Mutual Collapse CD
I immediately found this release rather odd since my previous experiences with Winters In Osaka had always featured them manifesting with a drone based sound. However, with Mutual Collapse the harsh is brought in various formations.
The first three tracks are a mixture of harsh noise and power electronics with vocals, throbbing distortion, and walls of intense sound. The most effective of the three is most definitely Baby Pop with it’s great crunchy bass attacks and screeching highs. The least effective is the 5 minute …
Penetration Camp/Slicing Grandpa – Four Flies on Grey Vinyl 7″
Drug-Front Productions/Strain Theory/Scatological Liberation Front
This release has me really confused in more ways then one. It took a while to actually figure out that the artists are Penetration Camp and Slicing Grandpa because all it says is “Four Flies” on both covers. It’s not really clear what record label actually released this, or even what side each artist is on (luckily it says in the description on the website). I was also curious if this had anything to do with the …
Nyodene D – Every Knee Shall Bow CD
Assembly of Hatred
Every Knee Shall Bow marks the first proper CD release for this newer death industrial/power electronics project hailing from Ohio. So far the releases I’ve been exposed to from Nyodene D have been of solid stature and Every Knee Shall Bow follows suit with what has become expected from the artist.
There are 4 long tracks – each clocking in at over 10 minutes – featured on the disc. They mostly consist of low synthesized drones, industrial loops and heavily delayed screaming …
Sudden Infant – Psychotic Einzelkind CD
Here is a 2008 release from Switzerland’s revered son Joke Lanz who masquerades as Sudden Infant when creating insane art-infused noise. Although I have been exposed to several of his works in the past this is one that I seem to have missed, although I do recognize several of the tracks from the live performances that I have attended.
This is definitely a great release and good starting point for people who are not familiar with his work as the disc spans the many …
Grain Belt – Grain Belt CD
Small Doses, White Centipede Noise, Phage Tapes
Grain Belt appears to be an HNW supergroup composed of the members of Baculum, Willful, and Wince. The sound here is industrial at its basest: extreme squalls of industrial noise with subtle shifts over the span of the album. The pitch here is mostly in the higher range and tends to stay there. The variations in the wall are enough to keep this album engaging and utilize a lot of scrap metal noise. Brief melodic tones in the background …
Flesh Coffin – Folie à Deux CDR
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Andreas Brandal is the man behind the quickly rising Flesh Coffin moniker and he is taking the noise world by storm. Offering strange and unusual sounds, Flesh Coffin is easily carving out his own niche in style and sound while sticking to a classic dark and gritty aesthetic. This is what I truly love about noise.
Folie à Deux consists of two long tracks to form almost 40 minutes worth of seething distorted atmospheres, harsh noise bursts, odd textures, and sometimes almost academic …
KVIK – Feeds CDR
KVIK is an experimental/drone project hailing from Montreal. With Feeds he presents three long tracks of minimalist experimental tracks with some drone influence. The CDR is spraypainted and features some tasteful and iconic artwork to accompany the music.
Return Signals is the first track and it gradually lulls in with low bubbly synthesizer drones. These are accompanied by other noisy synth elements that become quite screechy and wanky along the way. The Hand That Feeds follows up with a repetitive feedback jolt that continues through the bulk of …
The Kali Ensemble – The Kali Ensemble CD
Phage Tapes/Turgid Animal
The Kali Ensemble is a collaboration between Michael Page (of Sky Burial, Irukandji, and the late Fire in the Head) and Pentti Dassum who I am unfamiliar with. The art on this disc immediately brings to mind a tribal feel with it’s Indian influenced artwork. Both songs clock in at over 30 minutes, and are respectively titled The Seven Tongues MK I & II.
Strangely enough the sounds that the Kali Ensemble present are much more industrial than tribal. The first track …
Gnaw Their Tongues – L’Arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante CD
Now my French may be a little rusty but I do believe that this album explores a few concepts centered around death. Death triumphant, songs of death, white death, and any other imaginable types of death that one could possibly want. The concept of death is classicly represented on L’Arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante through somber strings, bombastic chords, and valiant rhythms that fall together like a gorgeous Gothic symphony. This is neo-classical through and through.
Heavy, plodding percussion …
Nxfxtxex – Press Play And Shuffle 3″CDR
Shit Music For Shit People
Nxfxtxex, or Not For Trendy Ears, is a Danish noise project that, from what I can determine based on the material found on Press Play And Shuffle, stays more on the absurd side of the noise genre than anything. Consisting of 99 tracks within about a twenty minute time span, I’m reminded of Sissy Spacek’s self titled album in terms of format but, in terms of concept, Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Altered States of America is what comes to mind more when …
Churner – Coffin Angel CDR
Violent Noise Atrocities
Here is my first exposure to the already prolific artist Churner. He seems to spew depraved power electronics noise from almost every orifice with this simple CDR release. The packaging is ultra minimal using simple text and stickers on a stock digipak.
The album kicks off with what is probably the most creative track here, a lonely organ tone eventually working itself into a frenzy of obliterating distortion. The rest of the album features sickened power electronics and harsh noise with screamed and distorted …
Josh Hydeman – Chiaroscuro CD
Entropic Tarot Records
Chiaroscuro is a release that is now a few years old and I believe is one that stands out among Josh Hydeman’s release catalog as he is more well known for his harsh noise and power electronics works. So it is that Chiaroscuro explores slowly evolving synthesizer compositions featuring metallic patches, organized drones, slowly moving pitched pads and even the sound of a guitar here and there.
The entire album has the atmosphere of an old creepy sci-fi film. As the album artwork is all …
Shalocins – Scrapped Mold CDR
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Here is my first exposure to the project Shalocins. With Scrapped Mold they present almost an hour’s worth of material in two long tracks, both recorded live. The artwork here is simple yet tasteful following the aesthetic of most Dumpsterscore releases.
The style of Shalocins is junky harsh noise with synth and pedal sounds. It’s quite generic and doesn’t really do much for me as it’s also a bit wanky with long passages of fuckery, squealing circuits, and dead radio noise. At first I thought …
Budrūs – Devyniems Rytams Auštant CD
Here’s a heavy disc of black ambient from an unknown project to me. I have no idea where Budrūs hails from but I wouldn’t be surprised if they reside in deep dark woods, or some foggy isolated lofty mountaintop somewhere based on the earthly drones emanating from Devyniems Rytams Auštant. They merge harmonic synthesized beds with various black metal influenced vocal deliveries and some tribal percussion to form a unique sound.
Sometimes the vocals are screamed and sometimes they are whispered or spoken gruffly. The …
V/A – Dreadful Passage CD
Hipster Death Records
Here’s an ambient noise compilation that I believe consists of mostly Seattle-based artists. I know at least Joy Von Spain and Cathartech are from Seattle; I guess the rest of the artists are guilty by association. It’s a heavy release, clocking in at over 60 minutes with multiple tracks by some artists; this is a lot to take in.
Joy Von Spain & Patrick Urn collaborate for the first two tracks entitled Walking All Alone Pt. 1 & 2 which feature a weird combination of …
The Ritual Inclusion of Code – Beta Wave Nemesis CD
Here’s a nice flowing ambient album from the Small Doses camp – meaning that the artwork and design is top-notch. The design features symmetrical glitchy computer graphics multiplied to a thousand and cut to hell. Kind of strange because the sounds here are anything but reflective of the art work.
Dense beds of sounds – sometimes harmonic and sometimes noisy – are layered into a 30 minute exercise in ambient drone with some industrial influence here as the track grows. Meandering …
Merzbow – Microkosmos Volume 1 LP
All the years of reviewing and I’m not sure if I’ve even ever reviewed a Merzbow release. I think it’s something I generally try to avoid because of all the baggage attached to such an endeavor. The debate on his proliferation, the analog-vs-digital debacle, his more accessible beat driven works, and finally his hard-edge stance on animal liberation. All of these topics I’d rather not tackle now but how can I ignore them when all those elements have had such an affect on his …
John Mannion – Slice Through Or/In Glassmetal LP
John Mannion is one half of The Cathode Terror Secretion and a member of the now infamous Red Light District. With Slice Through Or/In Glassmetal Mannion presents a phenomenal full-length of epic proportions which has managed to capture not just a high sense of sound design, composition and evolution with abstract sound, but also a way to harness the “physicality” that so many noise artists attempt to portray in their recorded material.
Fading in from merely the ambience of an unaffected framed fan …
Ur – Clandestine Meeting Park C60
No Visible Scars
Here is the latest effort from Italian ambient/noise heavyweights Ur. With a handful of releases now under their belts they are fully prepared to bring it and on Clandestine Meeting Park they do just that.
Ur come from a unique angle; they merge ritual ambient with industrial elements to form an interesting mix of styles and one that is not very much explored by other noise acts. This is a one-sided 60 minute tape and it kicks off with beautifully resonating Tibetan bells that …
Andrea Pensado – Ktotam CD
This is my first exposure to the work of Andrea Pensado and I can sense immediately that this is in the vein of free improvisation/academic style work. The noises are of the start/stop variety with intense variation. Differing so much at one time that it begins to blend together. There are many spastic breakthroughs of acoustic and contemporary classical samples of music that tend toward acoustic instrumentation and voice.
The bulk of the disc presents glitch style sounds, crackles and piecemeal. I’m guessing granulation is a heavily …
Regosphere & Extraordinary Pigeons – Split C20
Here’s yet another great release from Regosphere this time splitting things up with the unfortunately named Extraordinary Pigeons. The latter of which I am not familiar with, yet Regosphere has been churning out some impressive material as of late and this tape delivers just as well as his previous material and is a good pairing of artists that while not too similar, are quite complimentary.
Extraordinary Pigeons is up first with the long drone track entitled Spirits of the Ice Forest. It’s a rather …
Buildings & Mountains – Summer Gut String CDR
Here’s a hefty CDR with a menagerie of different sounds and styles. These tracks remind me a lot of the varied albums of Coil but there are moments of heavy experimentation, Muslimgauze-like beats, and even more melodic ambient pieces featured here.
It took a few listens to really fall in with what was going on here but after delving into it a few times I can safely say I find this release thoroughly enjoyable. The first few tracks lean more to the electro-Muslimgauze …
The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle – The Moon CDr
The liner notes for this release suggest one to wait until dark and listen in headphones with one’s eyes closed. With a preface like this, I expected some deep, dark ambient or some pulsating, entrancing death industrial. On “The Moon” by The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle, that’s not quite what I got. The first track takes on an extreme ambient quality, then suddenly segments into The Voice of the Moon, an obnoxious piece with “random” synth wankery. While the transition is sudden …
Hymnal Bruise – Untitled C90
Yet another mind-blowing release from Auris Hypothecary from an unknown artist to me. I have no idea who Hymnal Bruise is as there are little-to-no credits provided in the inserts. The packaging is great, along the lines of Auris Apothecary’s other excellent manifestations. It’s a recycled case and recycled cassette yet the quality is certainly top-notch on both accounts. A torn page from a hymn book is plastered over the double-cassette case and stamped with a demonic icon.
The sounds are treasures within themselves. What kicks …
Drape Excrement & Söldnergeist – Black Rider CD
This is an oldie, but a goodie that I just got my hands on and simply have to write about it. What an impressive collaboration from these two excellent death industrial/dark ambient artists. First off, the packaging is simple with a classic dark feel featuring some great abstract artwork which bookends the release quite well.
Two shorter pieces kick things off featuring dense sound design, glassy textures and organ tones with even a very subtle glitch feel to I was a Fool which …
Flowerday – Snuff Film C30
With a brutal artistic direction, Flowerday’s Snuff Film is a fairly typical harsh noise wall release. While Flowerday doesn’t do much to break from the mold on this tape, the sound is vicious and HNW fans will appreciate Snuff Film for sure.
Side A contains the most variation on the tape. The sound consists of harsh, HNW textures with subtle shifts in tone and odd noises rising out of the wall. Frequency and tone plays a big part here; sounds like high pitched squalls and low …
V/A – Anhedonia C20
Fusty Cunt Tapes
Here’s a hyper-active compilation that consists mostly of American artists from the Midwest but a few from New York as well. The packaging is pretty over-the-top coming packaged in a diaper with the title of the comp written in sharpy on it. It’s definitely good for a laugh, as are a few of the other photos contained in the booklet, but you’ll have to pick this puppy up to find out which ones. Obviously part of the aim was to have fun with this and …
Kazumoto Endo & Kazuma Kubota – Switches and Knobs CD
Here’s another pummeling harsh noise release from the Phage Tapes camp once again representing 3rd wave Japanese noise artists. Kazumoto Endo is an artist I am familiar with as delivering some of the best in cut-up harsh sounds with a start-stop technique that he employs, almost as if he is playing a wind instrument and must take a second to breath for more air. The name Kazuma Kubota is one that I am not familiar with yet it looks like …
Hunted Creatures – Fall 2010 DVD
Dynamo Sound Collective
Here’s a varied DVD from Pittsburgh’s Hunted Creatures, a project which has been faithfully spearheaded by Ryan Emmet since it’s inception; yet now frequently features collaborators and a rotating cast of members. The DVD comes in a clear slimline case which somehow seems to be a bit more professional than a regular DVD case. On popping this puppy into the DVD player it’s nice that it has a full interactive menu that is tastefully designed.
The release features 4 short films with visuals created …
K2 – Abdominal Electricity CD
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a proper harsh noise release and what better act to get my hands dirty with than the ever-impressive K2. Coming from the steady caring hands of Phage Tapes this CD features some impressive graphic design along with its translucent jewel box case featuring strange diagrams, anatomical and mechanical outlines mixed with subtle textures and smart text to create a truly professional looking endeavor.
The sounds are a great reflection of the smart and complex design with tons of fast, …
Buildings and Mountains – Underwater C10
Blood Dirt Records
This cassette is possibly one of the most mysterious pieces of sound art to come my way. With minimal cardboard packaging with the only identifying factors scrawled in pen, “Underwater” by Buildings in Mountains represents a fierce DIY aspect that is only complemented by the weird, tweaked out basement sounds featured here. The sound here is mostly drone with fleeting ambient sounds and weird, ritualistic gongs and bells. Subtle textures weave their way in and out of the sound and create a twisting, …
Shiver – Born To Lose 3″CDR
Here’s my first exposure to this Italian project and it’s a solid one. The disc clocks in at about 18 minutes and features some decent noise/power electronics sounds.
The House of the Others kicks off with blaring noise feedback joined by a sample of the infamous Bud Dwyer suicide tape. It’s well-tread territory and clearly the mark of a newcomer but luckily the seething wall of noise that eventually blends in is intense and aggressive.
There Was Blood Everywhere is up next with a slower droning noise …
Flesh Coffin – Seeing Things C32
No Visible Scars
“Seeing Things” is a harsh noise entry by Flesh Coffin, and while this cassette doesn’t do much to deviate from a pretty typical harsh noise sound, “Seeing Things” has a nice dichotomy between cold, unrelenting harsh noise and lonely, isolationist ambient music going for it. While I feel like the juxtaposition of these two unlikely genres could have been exploited to a much greater extent on “Seeing Things”, the use overall is effective and creates a suitable contrast between the styles.
While the harsh …
Belialist – Belialist 3″CDR
Combining the cold industrial ambience of Sewer Goddess with the intense analog warmth of Brutophilia will get you Belialist. This is their first recording for the collaboration and I believe it is still the only recording available. One can only imagine the insanity that arises from a sum of their parts, but I will do my best to describe it for you.
Influences here seem to range from Italian death industrial greats like N. and Morder Machine to more atmospheric projects like Megaptera and Inade. Ridged Teeth …
Robe. – Fragile Construct 3″CDR
Fragile Construct is a quick disc not quite scratching the 20 minute mark featuring 3 tracks from this guitar ambient/noise duo.
The short intro track Fist puts things in the right direction with a shifting glassy textured drone that lasts for about a minute thirty. Next up is the main track Collapse which spans roughly 14 minutes. Immediately there joins wanky meandering guitar fuckery which just bores the fuck out me. There’s nothing worse than having to listen to a soloist shred it up with no …
Black Bloc – No Innocent Civilians 2xCDR
This is the first full-length recording that I have delved into from Black Bloc and it’s a heavy effort. Two discs with each containing two tracks and rounding out to about an hours worth of material. Black Bloc’s style here is very unique because in many cases the noise has post-rock elements mixed into it which range from slowly moving piano melodies, guitars, and floating drones. There are even moments on here that remind me quite a bit of something from Godspeed You …
Filth – Winter Mind C55
Winter Mind is yet another of the first steps from label Out-of-Body Records and they’re off to a great start. This is my first exposure to Filth but I’m happy to report that it is yet another excellent slab of blackened power electronics/death industrial in the vein of Morder Machine, …Today I’m Dead and Atrax Morgue.
Side A features some great sonic shifts, the sound here will be bent into the depths of ugly tape decay and peeling grit only to soar into filter sweeped walls …
T.O.M.B. – Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy II CD
Fall Of Nature Records
Firmly rooted in a black metal motif, TOMB presents “Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy II”, a compilation collecting TOMB’s “Sacrilegium” and “Black Crypt Worship” along with the unreleased album “Dungeon Sessions”. While the imagery here may come off as somewhat corny and overdone, “Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy II” is a solid experimental and black noise album. With vicious, distorted vocals in a typical depressive black style, TOMB explores black metal ideals while heavily branching out into more industrial and experimental themes. …
Diagram A – Limited Guts CDR
Here’s a special limited edition CDR compilation of previously limited edition tracks from the cupboard of Diagram A! Tracks 1,2,3 & 5 were previously released on a CDR by RRRecords in 2004 and tracks 4 & 6 were previously released on a cassette entitled Pure Guts in 2004 as well.
Diagram A is the token example of a D.I.Y. harsh noise project, all instruments are handmade by the artist himself, played, and performed by Dan Greenwood. Yet Limited Guts features tracks that are much more …
Flesh Coffin – Devil Worship In The Slaughterhouse C30
This my first exposure to Flesh Coffin and goddamn is it a good one! Devil Worship In The Slaughterhouse is a varied harsh noise album that features some very textured junk noise thrown in there. Glass, metal, dirt, and various other kinds of grit make up a dynamic and shifting bed of sound on these 2 tracks, each which span close to the full length of their side.
Simply entitled Stage 1 side A almost has a cut-scene scenario going on. Like …
Francisco López – Untitled (2004) CD
Francisco López has been a force in the electroacoustic soundscape field for more than 20 years. His composition of sounds and ultra-crisp recordings truly go lengths to create space in sound. With minor ambient tendencies that mostly devolve into field recording, “Untitled (2004)” is a dark and moving but in a highly removed way. The listener can listen to these tracks and feel immersed in the environment; López presents each track with a vital coherence and balances the minimal sounds highly efficiently and punctuates the …
A Taste for Decay – Beneath Black Waters CD
Black Goat Records
Here is a heaping wad of black noise from Black Goat Records, a label specializing in dark noise and black metal. The design features pitch black, low-contrast images with stark text. Run-of-the-mill stuff but tasteful nonetheless.
The full disc clocks in at about 45 minutes, with 6 tracks. Each of these tracks are very gritty and dusty, lo-fi like the sounds were actually recorded on decaying tapes giving the project name new meaning. Most overwhelming about these tracks is the …
Ur – Trieb CD
Here is an older release from these purveyers of organic dark ambient music. Trieb, having been released in 2008 is still available over at Topheth Prophet. It’s a disc that hasn’t shown it’s age and still lives up to expectations of delivering dark esoteric music.
Split into 4 tracks, each running about 10 to 17 minutes, these are drifting compositions that are allowed time to sink in, expand and evolve to form long stretches of creepy atmospheres. Kicking things off is The Belly Of The Earth Is …
Still a bit of an unsung hero in noise and experimental circles Josh Lay is a Kentucky based artist whose work spans the edges of industrial, avant garde, drone, noise, noise rock, and now even black metal. Currently creating noise under his own name, he is also one-half of Swamp Horse and was a member of the now defunct Cadavar in Drag noise rock band. He continues to produce a varied spectra of sounds as well as release records on his D.I.Y. label Husk Records. He has collaborated with such …
Red Mass – Mule Stone CDR
Well, I wasn’t expecting this one! If you’re not familiar with Brise Cul releases usually what you can find is a barebones yet classy DIY release. They cut right to the chase, photo copied artwork on colored paper, spray painted CDR. Just enough.
So, Mule Stone kicks off with a power electronics influenced piece entitled Tunnel. Droning electronics, vocals that start out a bit melodramatic but soon turn quite effective. The track seeps in little by little until it finally forms an interesting mixture of …
K11 – Metaphonic Portrait: 1230 A.D. CD
Deeply contemplative, gorgeously dense, and highly composed without feeling rigid, K11’s Metaphonic Portrait: 1230 A.D. is a collection of ambient sounds and textures recorded in the lower basilica of the Assisi Cathedral. Ghostly and forlorn yet vibrant and fascinating, this album truly presents a vast span of sonic beauty and decomposition. Evolving slowly and patiently, each track presents the listener with a sort of denseness that communicates a real sort of presence in the sound that is highly organic and immediately relatable. Not …
Human Larvae – What Lies Ahead C40
What Lies Ahead is the latest release in the works that chronicle this underrated German power electronics act. Utilizing the entire running time of this 40 minute cassette Human Larvae has crafted yet another exceptional full-length album that spans the genres of black noise, power electronics, dark ambient with a very subtle noir jazz influence. The tape unfolds over it’s running time with tact and precision where Human Larvae yet again tells a sordid narrative of loss, hopelessness and no redemption.
Side A consists …
Masaoka/Chen/Grüsel/Nagai – Masaoka/Chen/Grüsel/Nagai CD
Now here is an odd amalgamation. “Kenta Nagai raises a Shamisan, Hichiriki and his throat together with the far voice and violoncello of Audrey Chen as Miya Masaoka conjures Koto with electronics and Hans Grüsel, rummaging in a suitcase of blippoo box and bugbrand weevil08, douses for… then detonates waveforms.” Definitely a strange collection of instruments and talents here which could easily result in a meandering mutual jerk off session, or an intensely profound and intriguing convergence of styles and instrumentation. Luckily for all of us, this …
A Death Cinematic – A Parable On The Aporia Of Vengeance And The Beauty Of Impenetrable Sadness 2xCDAugust 19th, 2011
A Death Cinematic – A Parable On The Aporia Of Vengeance And The Beauty Of Impenetrable Sadness 2xCD
Simple Box Construction
With a name that easily pigeonholes itself as overtly pompous, this colossal album does very little to live up to the pontifical nature of this droning, dull piece of work. Bearing a likeness in style to artists such as MGR and House of Low Culture (both Isis side projects. A total coincidence, I swear), A Parable On The Aporia Of Vengeance And The Beauty Of Impenetrable Sadness attempts to create a …
Swamp Horse – Oracle 3″CDR
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Swamp Horse is the legendary Josh Lay and for this project he is joined by Morgan Rankin, the latter is a name that sounds somewhat familiar but I can’t quite recall where from. This is another quality release from Dumpsterscore Home Recordings, a label which is impressive with it’s consistent aesthetic and smart packaging. The simple lined black work on metallic gold paper being a nice touch to this minimally packaged 3″. I really love the 3″ format because with 22 minutes it provides …
Steve Bates – The Dim Coast CD
With a sound that basically qualifies as a noise collage, The Dim Coast involves scraping, minimal noise, environmental effects and ambient tendencies to fill it’s time. The sounds range from cut up found sounds to meandering piano to spacey synth work with even a few post rock tendencies. While some tracks flow very nicely and effectively straddle the line between slowly evolving ambient works and minimal but noisy, others don’t boast the same effectiveness.
Our Previous George is apparently either an attempt at a mood …
Regosphere/Content Nullity – Claws Of The Witch C36 –
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Claws of the Witch is an excellent split between two great up-and-coming artists. Both represent solid compositions of death industrial power electronics with a more atmospheric edge. The pairing of Regosphere and Content Nullity is a good one and makes for a coherent welding of styles.
Regosphere is up first with two forlorn death industrial tracks. The tracks feature thick beds of synthesized sounds, slow and plodding with rhythmic pulses of heated frequencies. I really dig Regosphere’s style in general, …
Troum – Ljubimaya|Daur CD
This CD is a re-release of two 10″ records from 1998 and 2003. If you are at all familiar with Troum you will already know that they are one of the top acts creating guitar-based drone and ambient atmospheres and have been at it since the mid 90s. Luckily they never fell completely into the post-rock genre so even with the material from 2003 we can hear creepy airy ambience with guitar often at the forefront but no drums anywhere in sight.
The first 3 tracks are from …
Fermentae – Diaspora 3″CDR
Black Goat Records
Immediately making an impression on me is the excellent color design and packaging on this little disc. It’s a triple gatefold pro-printed digipak with a pro CDR. Very impressive looking. This being my first exposure to the project Fermentae, I had high expectations set by the visuals.
Diaspora is one long track of blackened industrial drone. The record label cites influences such as Wilt and early SUNN0))) which definitely isn’t far off. I would almost say it’s a healthy combination of both those sounds. There are …
+Dog+/Actuary – Concordia Dischord 7″
Love Earth Music
This is a split seven inch between two acts, the prolific +Dog+ and I’m guessing what might be a new project Actuary. Each artists presents one track per side, probably around 5 minutes or so each. The artwork falls on the better side of what Love Earth Music has created in the past with ink line drawings of devils stabbing people and-so-on and-so-forth.
+Dog+ is up first with Specific Ocean which is a glitchy noise piece that sounds like a bit of a step back …
White Reeves – Ultimate Pleasure Til Death C20
Dynamo Sound Collective
Here’s a tape from Ryan Emmett – the main person behind Hunted Creatures – and Micah Pacileo who is also from the same project. Apparently the material here is culled from hours of recordings, presenting only the best moments. I wish every noise act did it this way. The artwork here immediately stands out with a photo of David Letterman. I can’t really figure out how it relates to the sound.
Side a opens with a kind of wishy-washy stew of psychedelic …
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer – Witches C20
This is the second release from BSBC I’ve been exposed to and it is easily up there with my last glowing review of the project. The cassette is simply entitled Witches with the track Witches III on the A side and Whitches IV on the B side. One long track for each side makes for a great goddamn tape here.
The enormity of sound and intensity that is Witches III is phenomenal and overpowering. Deep booming rythmic swashes of distorted bass ring like the …
Diaphragm – Gauze CD
There’s something mysterious about the word diaphragm, like why is that silent g in there? Why is it a ph instead of an f? Having chosen the word as a name says a lot about a project, it calls for mystery yet also simplicity, as it is about the most basic thing you can make a sound with. The only knowledge I come armed with about this artist is that I know this is one-half of the noise duo Cowards, which if you have read my …
Blood Box – Funeral In An Empty Room CD
It’s tough for me to think that it’s been 8 years since Blood Box released The Iron Dream, but it’s true. Although Michael Hensley is touted as a member of Yen Pox it’s becoming clear that his focus tends to lean towards that of his solo project Blood Box. With only 2 full-length albums previously under the project’s belt, Blood Box is a name that has already reached legendary status. Yet this is a legend that still lives on. Funeral In …
Michael Graeve – Simple Methods For Complex Times CD
Released as an aural accompaniment to Simple Paintings for Complex Methods, an abstract art exhibit in 2001, Simple Methods for Complex Times is a short collection of minimal, improvised sounds. Overall, the sound stays very minimalistic with very minor sections of harsh noise. The sounds are scratching and atmospheric and at times take on a very minor industrial sound.
This 14 minute long album touches on ambient and noise music effectively, and while the minimal motif isn’t always pulled off, I feel …
Metaconquerer – Of Steel, Bone, and Fire CD
Metaconquerer is the solo project of John Stillings who is also one half of the power electronics unit Steel Hook Prostheses. With Metaconquerer Stillings focuses on a more minimalist atmospheric sound, yet there are still plenty of industrial elements at play on Of Steel, Bone, and Fire. This is a record that is as black as the darkest night, perhaps a perfect soundtrack for a satanic mass, and it may just be Metaconquerer’s strongest effort to date.
Most recognizable is the airy low …
Vipcancro – Tropico CD
Vipcancro is a new project to me and appears to have been going since 2008. Not new, but not too old either. With Tropico they present about an hour of rough-around-the-edges but well crafted ambient noise.
The sounds are wallowing and contemplative, lo-fi yet with an academic edge that adds just a touch of sheen to the production. Slow moving but with a healthy dosage of layers Vipcancro succeeds in creating atmospheres with some depth on Tropico.
The album evolves nicely with the tracks becoming more engrossing the …
Death Factory – Chilling Impressions C30
No Visible Scars
Yet another great release from the No Visible Scars label. Somehow they manage to keep churning out some of the best death industrial that I’ve heard released lately and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With Chilling Impressions Death Factory presents two long tracks, each one “dedicated” to a horror film.
Side A presents Manifestation of Fear which is dedicated to the film Phantasm, which I am actually familiar with. If I had to choose though, I would say that …
Demonologists/Deathstench – Incantations in Dead Tongues CDR
Black Goat Records
Here is a sick split between two artists who I’m unfamiliar with. I always enjoy hearing new stuff that peaks my interest, and there’s nothing like a good dosage of black noise to do so. First off the artwork on here is somehwere inbetween black metal and stoner ink drawings which represent the sounds accurately.
Demonologists kick things off with a mix of wall noise and creepy ambience. With song titles like Corpse Orchard and Blood Soaked Pregnancies this is a dark, soulless …
D.S. Miller – The Glass Snail CDr
D.S. Miller’s The Glass Snail is an album that’s as beautiful as its subtle cover art. With sounds ranging from intrinsic, complex, and glitchy IDM-esque electronics, to dark and progressive, to high-floating, ethereal ambience, this album contains an impressive array of electronic tastes without ever becoming sparse or scattered.
The amount of influences present here is what really causes The Glass Snail to shine. If I had to pin this album to one genre overall, it would probably fall fairly nicely into “ambient”, but …
Bastard Noise/Actuary – Skeletal Uncertainty LP
Love Earth Music
Here we have a split LP between the mighty Bastard Noise and the lesser-known Actuary. Of course I am familiar with BN but I have not yet been exposed to the sound of Actuary. The packaging of this is pretty strait-forward with text and simple logos. The only issue I have is that cover looks a rather shoddy with a skull graphic that reeks of cheap photoshop filters. Aside from that the inner spread is pretty sick with a nice variation on the …
Dead Body Love – 10 Luglio 1976 C45
This is my first exposure to Dead Body Love and looking back it’s tough to believe the project has been active since 1995. 10 Luiglio 1976 could fall under the harsh noise wall banner with 3 long tracks of harsh noise. Exploding distortion, white hot blaring synths, skronking frequencies.
This material reminds me a lot of later digital-era Merzbow. It’s pretty lo-fi and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it was produced on a laptop, although I suspect this may just a …
Negru Voda – Vald de Luxe 3xCD
Although of course Negru Voda needs no introduction I will remind my readers that he is Peter Nystrom, one half of the famed yet dreaded duo Megaptera. Peter has been doing Negru Voda for quite some time now and the name has long been standing on it’s own and known for quality rhythmic death industrial. The sound has generally been more rhythmic than the dirtier and slower Megaptera project, but with Vald de Luxe the range of sounds span from the expected, …
Pedestrian Deposit – Austere CD
Austere seems to mark a new turn for Pedestrian Deposit. Now a duo, they create electroacoustic atmospheres that sometimes wanders into ambient or industrial territory. Of the old harsh noise sound, there is little to be found. Although I do enjoy this new shift, there is still part of me that yearns for the intensity of previous harsh blasts. The change in style isn’t all that surprising though, as Pedestrian Deposit’s more recent CD release Fatale, proved to be just as much of an outing …
Dementia and Hope Trails – Ethereal Hurt C20
Dynamo Sound Collective
Dementia and Hope Trails is yet another one of the many faces of Justin Marc Lloyd perhaps better known as Pregnant Spore or less well known under a multitude of project names such as False Flag, Sensible Nectar and Ghost Volcano. This particular project sees Lloyd on guitar, some extraneous electronics, tapes and field recordings. I would be hard pressed to know this however, because Ethereal Hurt offers up 20 blissful moments of spacy, undulating drone.
Apparently both sides are untitled here …
Custodian – I CD
Here’s a BURLY offering from Custodian. Yet the album title has me wondering whether this is entitled the roman numeral “1″ or I as in me, myself and I? Quite unclear due to the fact that there is very little information provided here and all the tracks are left untitled, which may hint at the title being the former because the entire album almost runs as one long track, not because of the fades in between – which do occur – but because of the monochrome …
V/A – City/Ruins DVD
Live Bait Recording Foundation
Welcome to the city of Cleveland, or more specifically to the seedy noise/industrial underbelly of this not-quite-midwestern waste of land. This extensive documentary on the Cleveland scene covers everything from the view of the artists, classic venues, the history of the scene, live performances as well a general summation of noise/industrial music for the uninitiated. Very noticeable right off the bat is how well balanced and thorough the documentary is and how varied and lush the scene in Cleveland appears to have become.
There are …
Al Qaeda / Dried Up Corpse – 1309 C27
Sporting a beautiful, double sided insert abounding with images of the grave and the single inscription “Fuck you”, Al Qaeda and Dried Up Corpse treat the concept of Fucked in their own individual ways on this 1309.
Al Qaeda’s side consists of some ambient-esque electronics with avant-garde aural environments: chimes and bells sound off continuously and regularly while distorted voices narrate the empty, hostile atmosphere. The right touch of paranoia is found here and the track stays minimal and only briefly brushes …
Pestdemon – Doppelgänger C30
Doppelgänger is Pestdemon’s latest output on Unrest Productions, a label boasting an array of artists such as Richard Ramirez, Gelsomina, and Black Leather Jesus. With an amalgamation of sounds centered on a solid, wall noise base, this cassette provides a sense of mystery and familiarity simultaneously.
Consisting of heavy electronics and mostly wall noise, Pestdemon provides a slow but tense buildup on Hemsökelse – Ritual. The tones shift in a subtle but consistent fashion; high frequency background noises rise out of the mist and industrial noise matches …
Reptile Worship – Formosa 3″ CDr
Reptile Worship is just one of the many promising experimental artists to release content on Peter Woods’ FTAM label, an organization designed to give a home to Milwaukee’s avant garde and experimental community. With a strong Reptilian agenda motif, Formosa is a short release with hostile industrial tendencies and dark, bassy drones. With an ominous, crackling backdrop, the environment created here is nothing new but interesting indeed.
The textures presented on Formosa mesh into each other very slowly and tediously, making this release somewhat slow to …
Climax Denial – All Of My Loves Are Like Dreams CD
Assembly Of Hatred
Here is Climax Denial’s first proper CD release, but with such an extensive discography I don’t really know if that means anything special. All Of My Loves… thankfully lives up to – and might I dare say – exceeds expectations.
The tracks are just as aggressive as always with all aspects of Climax Denial’s sounds represented. Creeping ambience leading into heavy distorted ambience (see the opener Oh Mommy, I am Dying), pulsating power electronics with sickened vocals (see The …
Wolfskin – O Ajuntar dad Sombras CD
This is my first exposure to Wolfskin and it features a solid representation of the artist as most Malignant releases do. With muted earth tones and understated artwork the visuals reflect the sound well.
These are synth ambient tracks with some subtle tribal influences here and there. Sometimes in the form of shimmering chimes glittering on the edges of the harmonics, other times manifested as drums loops yet at all times layered beneath the swirling drones.
The overall atmosphere features nothing new, this is well …
Serge Modular Users 2009 CD
Released as a showcase of experimental musicians that make use of the Serge modular synthesizer system, Serge Modular Users 2009 is a collection of an amalgamation of styles, but only to a certain degree. There are a few gems to be found here, but overall, this compilation is rather dull.
M/N/M/L kicks the album off with Breath, a expansive and spacious track that effectively utilizes minimalistic tendencies. STRK is an Autechre-esque track with hints of skewed rhythm and avant-garde electronic environments. Distress Call is an aptly named …
Reviver – Drilled for Life DVDr
Reviver’s Drilled for Life is a short but fairly engrossing piece of distorted electronics. Approximately five minutes in length, Drilled for Life is live music set to a video of dental extraction. The unpleasant visuals are perfectly soundtracked by Reviver’s groaning, frustrated sounds. It’s like Drilled for Life is the metaphysical recording of the pain and brutality of surgery.
Reviver manages to strike a balance between heavy, dirty electronics and a sort of spacey, reverb heavy sound laden with shouted vocals and rhythmic drones. The …
NRYY/DMAH/A.R.GH/Kenji Siratori – Split CDr
Prime Unit Records
This four way split is Prime Unit’s latest output. Showcasing one of the label’s regular talents, alongside some others (not to mention the ubiquitous Kenji Siratori), this split has a nice variety in tone and feel going for it, almost to a fault. While that variation helps, I feel like this split may be lacking in consistency and focus.
NRYY begins the album with Resistance of a Silence, which sounds like a highly warped and distorted dance track. Gradually, the track devolves into pure noise. …
2673/Unicorn – Split CD
Kitty Play Records
Boasting a personnel of Kevin Winter and W.T. Nelson (ex-Man Is The Bastard/Bastard Noise), this split has some weight behind it. Unfortunately, the music doesn’t particularly live up to that weight. While the aim here apparently is to be engrossing yet minimal, neither act pulls it off well. The effect, unfortunately, is rather dull and strikes me as rather pretentious.
2673’s side is the biggest culprit here. Far too minimal, the sound variation approaches nil. Droning, minimal synth at its worst, I can’t imagine it getting …
Shift – Morose C30
Shift is back with this heavenly 30 minute cassette of his best materiel yet. Where before I have found some of his recordings interesting, yet not quite engaging, I am instantly sucked into the whirlwind of seething drones that is Side A of this layered and emotional recording.
The release almost comes across as one long track, simply split into two sides with the first being slightly more restrained yet this makes for a more immersive listening experience. The track very slowly builds into a pulsating and …
Griefer/Blue Sabbath Black Cheer – Dancho Danchev Suck My Dick/We Hate You LP
Deterrent Industries/Gnarled Forest
Here is a burly LP from two of the Northwest’s finest heavy electronics units. I picked this one up at the Victoria Noise Fest. After witnessing both acts live and I was really interested to see what kind of thing they would put to wax and I am not only surprised, but also enthused by what I have found.
Griefer effectively does his live set justice with brutal lo-fi power electronics that feature a very clear and …
Aaron Dilloway – Chain Shot CD
Here is my first album experience of the now well-known artist Aaron Dilloway. I have seen him live in the past and enjoyed his performances and it is interesting to hear what his style is on record.
Chain Shot doesn’t feature the intense contact mic’d noise that I expected. This is a much more restrained album and I would almost say it has more to do with avant garde musique concret and electroacoustic sounds rather than a harsh noise extravaganza.
There are three long tracks …
Úden/Nagrindr – Split CD
Departed Souls Productions
Úden and Nagrindr seem a pretty natural match on this split. There’s not a whole lot of noticeable difference between the artists soundwise. The Úden tracks start the album. Titled Wandering and Wandering II, these monikers fit the tracks very well. Both have a mysterious, ethereal feel that is at the same time evocative and sensual. The feel here is one of something impending combined deftly with a touch of wonder. The first track does this the best while the second one tends to meander. …
Robe. – Antiquated Silhouettes CDr
Dirgehead Distribution Company
With a sound like equal parts of a transmission from a lost era and odd signal patterns emerging out of the void of space itself, Robe.’s Antiquated Silhouettes is an experience that is constantly evolving and emerging out of a desolate gap in time. These tracks seem to create aural depictions of a complete and desperate sort of emptiness, yet the complexity and depth of the sounds creates a work that prefers to stay sensitive; cold and bleak but never harsh. Opening the album …
Jim Haynes – Sever CD
Jim Haynes is a new artist to me and what he delivers with Sever is almost and hour’s worth of carefully sculpted minimalist soundscapes. One could guess that he is exploring the elements of decay, rust, grit and grime as the sound is quite dirty. Like the persistent smog hanging over L.A. it is just layered on, yet still far from opaque. It really does feel like you are almost breathing in the sound on Sever.
The first track entitled “:” is the longest here and …
Gnawed – Purge C40
Heavy is the dose for the day when I popped in Gnawed’s Purge cassette. I had been exposed to a few tracks here and there but it didn’t properly prepare me for the full-frontal assault that is Purge.
Purge is a pummeling attack of rhythmic synth pulses much recalling the classic death industrial sound of Mörder Machine and even with similar flanger-induced vocal hatred. Although Gnawed seems to enjoy the low-end a little bit more with less synth fuckery in the higher registers.
The tape is quite consistent …
Envenomist – Bound Dominions CD
Bound Dominions is the latest full-length from David Reed’s underwater concept based dark ambient project Envenomist. Seems it is a separate project from his other dark ambient project Luasa Raelon because of this conceptual difference, as I don’t hear much difference in sound or style. Yet that can be considered a good thing because with Bound Dominions Reed continues to pump out the shiny synth-based industrial ambient that he has become known for.
As much of his work, the first few tracks are very call-and-response between …
Controlled Bleeding – In Blind Embrace CD
It’s kind of embarrassing but this is only the second full-length I’ve heard from the long-standing eclectic act Controlled Bleeding. Previously I had been exposed to Shanked and Slithering on Hospital Productions which was balls-to-the-wall harsh noise. Of course this is something completely different, but in a great way.
In Blind Embrace is a interesting mix of different styles, there are elements of neo-classical which are strongest in the opening track Tormentor’s Song reminding me of Arcana, Sophia, and Puissance. Then there is the …
Brandkommando/Seth Ryan/Fear Konstruktor/Disgust – Split 2xC30
Wow, here’s a hell of a split double cassette! Phage Tapes keeps up with their absolutely beautiful packaging standard with tasteful minimalist textured artwork in a uniquely shaped double cassette box. A heavy matte silkscreened insert is included with tracklisting. With four sides and artists to go through it could seem like a lot but the material on here is top-notch so it goes by fast.
I am familiar with only 3 of these artists, the odd man out being Disgust who I have never …
Danvers State Recordings was started in 2008 by Andrew Grant as a means to release his own material, but since the beginning he knew he wanted to release other artists as well. The first release was his own project The Vomit Arsonist, a cassette called “Reciprocation,” limited to 20 copies. Even though he released an extremely low number, it sold out much more quickly than he expected. Grant started contacting other acts he wanted to release, and it kind of snowballed from there. Less than two …
UNSUB – Interstitium
Dark Winter Moon Recordings
Power electronics and ambient music. Two genres that would seem an unlikely pair, but on Interstitium, UNSUB pulls off this combination masterfully. Utilizing drum beats over deep, rhythmic drones, UNSUB creates an engrossing sound that strikes a balance between esoteric and listenable with no real compromise to either side. The effect is harsh, hateful electronics with a very hypnotic side to it. The recording quality here is quite high, so both sides get equal sonic representation. Even though the power electronics are definitely present here, …
Sky Burial – Kiehtan CD
Here is yet another chapter in the ever-increasing Sky Burial chronicles of Michael Page the man behind Irukandji, his own D.I.Y. noise label Audio Immolation Industries, and the now defunct Fire In The Head. Previous Sky Burial releases usually embody a dense atmospheric sound often bordering on industrial but with heavy drone influences and culling concepts from Native American and ritual themes.
Kiehtan is a clear step in a new direction for the project. This time embodying a much more new-age style in the vein of …
FRKSE – FRKSE C45
I Had an Accident Records
FRKSE creates Middle Eastern and Indian inspired heavily distorted beats very much in the vein of Muslimgauze, or Telepherique’s split with Maurizio Bianchi entitled “The House of Morning” and also reminding me of the project Ginger Leigh, of which I have reviewed a few times before. What’s different about FRKSE is that they feature live drum machine performances combined with heavy synth drones or at other times combined with guitar or bass lines.
There is a general smattering of random and rough samples both …
Article by Ian Duncan-Brown, video by Rat Chasinil
Several inches of snow didn’t deter the usual reprobates from attending Friday’s noise show at the Starlab in Somerville. Shane Broderick set the evening in motion with a seething, taut power electronics set. Surprisingly melodic synth patterns underscored the brutality of Broderick’s vocals, and his brief performance featured an element of control and precision sometimes missing from his previous ensemble, Two Dead Sluts. The set created an unsettling level of tension as melody gave way to gusts of harsh noise, …
False Flag – Lucre/Teeth 2xFD
So, if you’re wondering about what the fuck kind of format this release is, “FD” stands for FLOPPY DISC. Yes, that’s right kids, I’m talking 2x 3 1/2″ 1.44 MB FLOPPY DISCS. Of course people will have differing opinions on the relative usefullness of this format but personally I don’t care. I appreciate the effort to have to find a floppy drive, download the tracks and also enjoy the monumental packaging in the process. With cut-out elements, gold silkscreen and phenomenal minimalist text design this …
Funerary Call – Dark Waters Stirred CD
Fall Of Nature Records
Here’s another release from Vancouver’s Funerary Call, as stated before this is the more black ambient styled project of Harlow MacFarlane also of Sistrenatus. This material is more recently recorded in 2008. Dark Waters Stirred is a more restrained album than the previously reviewed The Black Root and seems to feature the use of guitar in the bulk of the tracks much more prominently, yet never really coming out with it.
I would most easily compare this to the style of sounds …
Funerary Call – The Black Root CD
Fall Of Nature Records
Funerary Call is the black ambient project of Harlow MacFarlane who also performs more varied death industrial sounds under the moniker Sistrenatus. Although Funerary Call is an older project of his, he is still active and churning out new material. This particular release happens to be a reissue though, originally released on Fluttering Dragon Records in 2004.
The Black Root definitely stands the test of time as this is some top notch black ambient/death industrial music. This is the kind of noise …
Subklinik – Musik for Dekomposition CD
Fall Of Nature Records
It’s been a while since the name Subklinik has graced my eyes and ears and so I was quite ecstatic when I received this gem. As far as I can remember Subklinik has been around for quite some time but is a lesser known and less prolific project. They create dark electronic music and do so with clarity and vision.
The style of music on Musik for Dekomposition is somewhere between The Slaughterhouse era Brighter Death Now and the sounds of the more …
Cock E.S.P. – Historia De La Musica Cock CD
Little Mafia, Breath Mint, Sun Ship
Cock E.S.P. the infamous misfits of noise return with the mammoth release of yes, a full 99 tracks, technically more if you count the goddamn “medley” on here. This is total aural terrorism and I really expected to hate this album with all my heart, but after a closer inspection and listening to it, I can’t help but respect and adore what Cock E.S.P. has done here.
With each track painstakingly titled in satire it’s hard not to …
Baby Daddy – Hungry Hungry Nipple CDr
Slut Factory Records
Baby Daddy is a harsh noise duo out of North Carolina, and their sound is a pretty typical one. With metallic, spacy tones, robotic, warbling effects and Masonna-esque intensity, Hungry Hungry Nipple does very little to deviate from the harsh noise sound. What this album does best is create a tense atmosphere without scathing the listener’s ears. The sound is much more cosmic than harsh and the progressions have just enough psychedelic undertones involved to keep the sound interesting.
The major transitions here …
+DOG+ – Bliss CDr
Love Earth Music
Part wall noise, part power electronics, Bliss is the latest of a project I had previously unheard of called +DOG+. With a fairly decent sized catalog behind their name, +DOG+ is no newcomer to the noise scene. Bliss consists mostly of loops and heavily distorted guitar work with some drums thrown in at times. The feel ranges from droning and lethargic to crushing and in your face. The influences apparently range here from some obvious Masami Akita homage to even a Sunn O))) feel (particularly …
Concrete Isolation Box – Love Under Steel and Concrete CDr
Love Under Steel and Concrete is Concrete Isolation Box’s debut. The idea here is harsh drones and pounding walls of noise. This is a formula that I’ve seen countless times in the noise music scene and, unfortunately, Concrete Isolation Box (C.I.B. from here on) doesn’t really do anything that hasn’t been done before. Pure blasts of distortion with vocals ominously rising out of the mix is something that noise and power electronics acts have been doing for years, and while …
Peter J Woods – Songs for Nothing LP
After Music Recordings
Songs for Nothing continues where Peter J Woods has left off and explores the eclectic form of experimental crossover music that Peter is well known for. A mix of sound collage, drones, vocals and power electronics the album brings the listener through passages ranging from harsh, balls-out power electronics complete with screaming vocals, throbbing distortion and walls of noise, to high tension orchestral strings and even into lo-fi scattered sounds.
Although there are separate tracks on each side, the sound flows, or …
Boy Dirt Car – Familia LP
After Music Recordings
Sound collage, spoken samples, field recordings, experimental noise, and guitar noodling are what Boy Dirt Car seem to specialize in with Familia which proves to be an enigmatic effort that – even after repeated listens – I cannot seem to yet solve. There is more then one instance where intense spoken samples come to the forefront to spout monologues of profound outbursts and it feels that this is where the strong point of Boy Dirt Car is focused.
Some of the samples take away …
Fat Worm of Error – Ambivalence and the Beaker CDr
Thoroughly embracing the stereotypical avant-garde, Fat Worm of Error’s album Ambivalence and The Beaker is one of unsettling weirdness and alienating environments. The impression I got from listening to this album was one of something breaking for a half an hour straight, while we as listeners are witness to this bizarre display of pure, stream of consciousness sensory output. The sound mostly consists of a combination of unaltered field recording and improvisational guitar, alongside other instruments. The cowbell is used …
Dan Greenwood – Guts:Render 3xC20
If the name Dan Greenwood sounds familiar to you, it should. He is the man behind the cult harsh noise project Diagram A and the collaboration “Proof of the Shooting” with the late John Brown. Of course now releasing material under his own name the influence of these previous projects are still very much in play on Guts:Render as well as the influences of Chris Cooper, Patrick Oneil, and Dominick Fernow of Prurient as source material which is culled from each of these artists.
I fully …
Theologian – The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel on My Face CD
Theologian is the new project of Lee (Leech) Bartow, the singular entity behind the late new school power electronics project Navicon Torture Technologies and the respected noise label Annihilvs Power Electronix. It’s definitely an interesting thing when an artist ends such a successful and prolific project only to spawn yet another “dark electronic” project. Since I had never really delved into Theologian’s material before this, I took some time to soak in …
Pusdrainer – Instant Death/Total Shit 2xC30
Dead Pope Productions
Here is my first formal introduction to the project of Pusdrainer and what is presented is a nice looking double tape package with simple black/white artwork and spraypainted tapes. Quite the DIY affair but one that obviously has some effort put into it.
The sounds here range from – most notably – harsh noise, to power electronics, a small dose of industrial here and there, and finally a good handful of wall-noise thrown in for good measure. To give you a general vibe of …
Lavas Magmas – Phantom Limb C30
Yet another excellent release from the enigmatic Lavas Magmas. The project hails from Portland and uses a smattering of electronic effects combined with guitar, field samples and many times video accompaniment. This release is audio alone, but it is just as effective, if not moreso.
Most of Side A consists of a soaring drone track somewhat reminding me of the best moments of Troum. Drifting and floating to form a clear precise sound, but with enough dirt to hint at the industrial atmospheres that are …
Mazakon Tactics – Adorable Atrocities C30
No Visible Scars
Here is yet another quality release from this consistent tape label. Mazakon Tactics presents the darkest of death industrial sounds in this brutal 30 minute cassette.
Merging the death industrial influences of Brighter Death Now with power electronic death grunts and some clanking metallic sounds Mazakon Tactics has formed one of the most dismal and hopeless records I have heard in recent memory. The cover is quite fitting as this could definitely be the soundtrack to someone being pulled down into the layer of …
Rei Rea -Quel Que CD
Rei Rea’s Quel Que is a short album that consists mostly of ominous drones and lonely ambient melodics. Occasional bursts of distortion appear here but this album is mostly repetitive drones and spacey synth work. Unfortunately, it seems as though the concept has consumed Quel Que, leaving us with a stripped down chunk of boring, monotonous ambience.
Quel Que is obviously supposed to be a haunting and moving piece; the fact is that it is neither. The only sort of variation present here is the difference …
OGOGO – Redux CD
“Free jazz” and “avant garde” are the two best words I can come up with to describe OGOGO’s Redux. The sound throughout this entire album is very progressive and guitar/trombone based, and while it can be noisy at times, it’s hard to call this a “noise” album in the traditional sense, though I doubt that’s what OGOGO was going for. With rambling tones and endless prog-rock guitar noodling, Redux comes across as fairly sophisticated but also rather pretentious.
I can detect some fairly complex work being done …
Squid Fist – Face/Off CD
Hidden Birdhouse Records
With squealing feedback and rampant drums and cymbals, Squid Fist’s Face/Off is an interesting piece of improvisational work. At times, the beating drums add this strange, frantic effect, as if this album is the soundtrack to a futuristic, ritualistic tribe of savages enacting some sort of grisly rite. At other times, the album takes on a very ambient noise, incidental, found sound feel, as if recording to audio the bizarre situations said savages get themselves into.
The album starts out with Flesh Chair, which reminds …
Hated Bruit Kollektiv – Aktion One CD
HBK is an ephemeric project held among musicians behind Genetic Transmission, Moan and Nojsens. Aktion One seems to be the groups first release and is a surprising collage of harsh noise, musique concrete, electroacoustic and industrial/dark ambient. The release is packaged in an enormous and well designed poster on heavy matte paper.
Quite lush and intense it really sounds like all kinds of sound sources are used here. Field samples, digital processing, distortion, collage work combined with heavy metallic clanking and even some human …
Government Alpha – Impregnable Storm CD
To those out of touch with the world of harsh noise Government Alpha is a long standing Japanoise act and often referred to as one of the leaders of the second-wave of Japanese noise. With Impregnable Storm Government Alpha offers a hefty barrage of harsh frequencies by way of the Polish label New Nihilism which has uniquely packaged the disc in an enormous well designed poster.
Impregnable Storm is just that – a wailing downpour of unhindered powerful sound without respite for about an hour. …
Dan of Earth – …I Can Still See The X 3″ CDR
The name Dan of Earth is kind of an ironic name for this artist, because …I Can Still See The X is pretty otherworldly. Taking a heavily ambient route, this short (it clocks in at just over twenty minutes) but absorbing album sounds like a transmission from some point far into the future. Utilizing avant garde tendencies and a general, Kafkaesque weirdness, …I Can Still See The X is a solid release from this obscure act.
New Smooth Jazz …
Churner – Boneyard CD
Violent Noise Atrocities
Boneyard is one of the many 2010 releases from the prolific Churner, and where he took the lo-fi, melodic sound on the previously reviewed and ill-planned Florescent Bondage, he goes for a much more straightforward approach on this EP. Boneyard is a very appropriately titled EP; the moody, dismal sounds presented here completely evoke the mood of a creepy, fog filled graveyard. Nothing here is very innovative or original; Churner just traverses the soundscape deftly and has created an atmospheric, albeit short soundtrack to an …
Corephallism – Corephallism 3″CDR
Corephallism is a side project of Shane Broderick of TwoDeadSluts OneGoodFuck fame. What we have here is the debut release of his solo project with 2 tracks totalling in just shy of 10 minutes of material.
It’s too short for me – and consider that a good thing. Speaking In Tongues opens with a creepy church organ sequence and is quickly enveloping me in it’s seething and throbbing drones of pure blackened bliss. The production quality converges perfectly with the composition to form a sound that is …
Haus Arafna – You CD
You is an immediate continuation on the twisting narrative of the German husband-wife duo Haus Arafna. The album is their 4th full-length among a hand full of 7 inch records, singles, compilations, and collections. You continues Haus Arafna’s foray into more accessible synth-pop territory but still has a few industrial/power electronic gems thrown in the mix for good measure.
Kicking off You is the dreamy, melodic Pain to Love sweeping in and encouraging the listener to let down their guard. Don’t worry your trust won’t be betrayed …
Control – Deadly Sins CD
Deadly Sins is Control’s latest contribution to the power electronics genre. With a distinctly dark ambient feel, Deadly Sins provides a dismal soundscape for a theme that has been addressed in nearly every type of media. Most of the sounds consist of heavily distorted drones and a thick, suffocating atmosphere. Thomas Garrison, the man behind Control, obviously has a handle on the use of theme and mood when it comes to sound creation.
Deadly Sins consists primarily of a give and take act of hostile aural …
Churner – Florescent Bondage CD
Violent Noise Atrocities
Florescent Bondage is an album that took me by surprise. With a sexual theme from the get-go, I expected some considerably dirty electronics. Churner took a route on this album that could be considered a polar opposite. Surely, Tied in Knots/Princess starts out with a mesmerizing, overwhelming wall of sound that is similar in style to the power electronics of The Cathode Terror Secretion and Halflings, but none of the tracks do much to continue on this theme in the least.
Graceful Abuser takes on …
Lungwash – II CD
Lungwash’s II is the latest entry in Void Séance’s (with releases from groups such as Churner, Werewolf Jerusalem and Ritual Stance) Fortress series, and it’s no wonder as the labels website states that releases in this series are “concerned with concentration, focus, and texture.” II is an album that doesn’t really deviate from its own formula. While fans of simple, reflective and nihilistic noise will appreciate this approach, listeners looking for lots of variation are bound to be disappointed.
What Lungwash do on II they do well. …
TL0741 -Magnetic Injuries CD
TL0741 is Pat Gillis, and Magnetic Injuries (HC3TLCd2) is a new version of his previous Panic Research Audio release simply titled Magnetic Injuries. The album consists solely of tape manipulation and synth effects. Using ambient sensibilities combined with ominous analogue wizardry, Gillis takes the listener on a journey that relies almost solely on mood and atmosphere. Gillis apparently has no desire or even reason to abrade the listeners’ ears; while he does include short bouts of aural aggression the key here is defining sonic space using …
Blown Doors/Hunted Creatures – Split C62
Here’s a great split with two very well paired artists. Hunted Creatures appears here as a 4 piece and Blown Doors a duo. Both projects play a kind of experimental/musique concrete style of composition that has an improvisational feel to it, but also with elements that are well though-out and expanded on.
Blown Doors presents Unseen Glaze a highly layered and detailed track that features a heavy dose of bass, with shuffling textures that converge and elements that sync up rhythmically only to break down …
Max Lord – Ghost Grass 02 C45
A sparsely labeled tape in simple hand-made packaging. I didn’t even know who this was I was listening to until emailing the artist right before posting the review. Ghost Grass 02 is a intriguing little tape that grows from the subtle roots of minimalist synth throbs into a multi-layered journey of pulsating psychedelia.
The first minutes of Side A feature minimal synth drones slowly morphing into each other and finally building to a layered composition. The structure really ebbs and flows quite nicely and …
Author & Punisher – Drone Machines CD
Author & Punisher creates doom metal, industrial and drone based music compositions and has been doing so for some time with the use of mechanical sculptures that Tristan Shone – the sole person behind the project – has created. I had the opportunity to witness his live performance last year where I was surprised that the use of guitar was completely non-existent and instead Shone relied on the controls of his machines.
Although Drone Machines relies heavily on the use of processed guitar it’s …
Existence Establishment is proud to present some words with our own functioning artist Daniel Burfoot the sole entity behind the German power electronics/industrial unit Human Larvae, and the spastic harsh noise project Broken Diode. Having released full-lengths for both projects on Existence Establishment in the past, we’ve decided it was time to catch up on his more current activities.
How was the project Human Larvae created and what is the over-arching concept of the project?
Human Larvae was launched in 2005 after playing around with different styles of dark electronics. I …
Content Nullity – Absolute Dread C30
Yet another excellent and consistent label presenting a quality item. This time it’s Content Nullity from the U.K., a country which has spawned such greats as Whitehouse and Sutcliffe Jugend, and which gives Content Nullity some big shoes to fill indeed. Luckily the project has already released a number of quality albums and Absolute Dread is no exception.
Although this is perhaps not my favorite material from the artist it’s still a solid release creeping in with one long track on side A entitled The …
Seth Ryan/Disthroned Agony – split C30
Here’s a split tape with each side featuring one track from each artist. Seth Ryan is up first with Diabetic Coma 2 which features a heavy oscillator joined by reverberating noise and sickened vocals. The track is monolithic without much going on besides the two main layers and vocals which gives it a heavy feel but also keeps it from being engaging. The sounds seem to represent a kind of nauseous feeling with the low frequencies represented nicely. It brings to mind the sound …
Nyodene D – I Have No Mouth, yet I Must Scream C30
Nyodene D could still be considered a relative “newcomer” having had his first release in 2008 but upon hearing I Have No Mouth, Yet I Must Scream one would be hard-pressed to know. The release is a well composed collection of tracks featuring a heavy death industrial feel with belting vocals which push it over into the power electronics realm.
The vocals remind me of Grunt being relatively clean, with perhaps a touch of delay and distortion, usually in front …
Robe. – The Dying Light CDR
Little Furry Things
Here’s a lo-fi CDR with cheap photocopied paper packaging in a little plastic slip case. There’s little-to-no information provided on the release so I assume all the tracks must be untitled. Robe. play ambient/drone somewhat reminding me of Locrian but without so much of the post-rock influence.
Many of these tracks have a digital feel to them with the first track starting off with some nice low drones and whispy reverberating effects. Unfortunately tracks 2 and 3 are some of the longest on the …
Cowards – Forgotten Resonance CD
Fuck year-end lists, I find it much easier to pick one, yes, just ONE album for the year of 2010 and this would be it. It may seem quite astounding Cowards has crafted such an intense masterpiece considering this is their debut release but when you consider the fact that the duo consists of Jesse Allen – one half of the incredible Cathode Terror Secretion and Nick Pace – the man behind Diaphragm – it is no surprise that they are the architects of this …
Wilt – She Walks the Night 7″+C30
Not everyday you see a 7″ coupled with a cassette so this seems like a special release from the high-quality D.I.Y. label Husk Records who never seem to disappoint. Another thing this release makes me realize is that with all the comings-and-goings-on and day-to-day rat races I haven’t done very well with keeping up on Wilt’s discography. I think the last thing I may have really delved deeply into was the excellent “Black Box Aesthetic” which may have been their debut from way …
V/A – Localized Epidemic C16
Localized Epidemic is a quick little compilation featuring harsh noise and power electronics from Minneapolis which seems to have quite a burgeoning scene. All-in-all this is a very solid release with no real weak points anywhere and a good introduction to a number of artists that I was not familiar with.
The tracks are short, generally clocking in just over the 2 minute mark. Probably my favorite track here is the opener Grin by Gnawed. There’s just something about the vocals and the lyrics that come …
Blessed Sacrifist – Timeless Losers 3″CDR
Blessed Sacrifist is the Milwaukee based project of Jason Linski who is also a part of Owls Cry, XxXAllxForxThisXxX and the man behind BullArt Media. With this project he plays power electronics in an eclectic way employing drone, classical music samples, and heavy dynamics to create a varied atmosphere of concrete and harsh electronics.
Timeless Losers has a similar atmosphere to his full-length Falling. Quiet drones and whispers quickly work up to searing distorted walls of noise with delayed screaming vocals and blunt rhythmic barrages. With …
Girnų Giesmės – Sau Kraštas CD
With Sau Kraštas, Girnu Giesmes presents about 40 minutes of flowing, shining, metallic drone atmospheres. The disc is packaged in a simple black and white sleeve depicting blurry images of far-off landscapes which reflect the sound accurately.
Although the opener Brandinta Kupole 1 Dalis is a noisier track, don’t be fooled. Girnu Giesmes keeps the noise and distortion level reigned in for the bulk of Sau Kraštas to form an organic, shifting, and undulating hypnotic experience. The second track Brandinta Kupole 2 Dalis sharing in …
Drowner/Sterile Garden – Split CDR
Here’s a short CDR split that makes sense. I’m not previously familiar with either of these artists but they each present 3 tracks of lo-fi ambient noise.
There are more characteristics they have in common than not. Most of the noise has a drone core to the tracks with sputtering distorted layers adding to the textures. Squealing feedback harmonies join the mix. Generally Drowner’s material seems a bit noisier and Sterile Garden tends more toward the side of subtlety.
I find the aptly titled Sterile Garden tracks …
A Snake in the Garden/Zerfallt – Einfgall C44+C14
Here are 2 cassettes tastefully packaged together the first being a 44 minute split between Vermont’s A Snake in the Garden and Boston’s Zerfallt, and the second being a little 14 minute jammer which is a collab between the two projects entitled Einfgall.
Zerfallt is up first in this orgy of sound with 3 tracks representing a much louder side to the project then what has been released previously. This is harsh noise with a synthesizer base to the sound. However, pedal effects …
V/A – Singles Series Vol. 2 3″DVDR
Table of Contents
Here’s an excellent 3″DVDR – a format you don’t see too often – with really interesting packaging consisting of full-color printed transparency around a sheet of metal. The disc has 2 chapters on it each featuring the visual work of Christopher Cichocki with the first chapter utilizing audio by Warm Climate, and the second by I Heart Lung.
The first presentation entitled Synovial Moves uses Cichocki’s token video techniques of kaleidoscope images, fast cuts, and geometric-like movement of mainly water, but eventually fades …
Lavas Magmas – Black Friday DVDR
Lavas Magmas is the ambient/noise project of Luis Gonzalez based out of Portland, OR. From what I’ve encountered many of his works include a video element including his live sets. I was lucky enough to catch him on his tour with Regosphere and The Dios Project where he put on a brilliant performance utilizing video projections, metal sculptures, electronics, and guitar. Black Friday is a DVDR containing a studio version of the live set with the visuals included.
The sound on here is phenomenal. Swaying, …
Mortuor – I’m Waiting for You… CD
Here’s another simply packaged CD from the Syzmic Records front, this time presenting about a half-hour of sickened sounds from this new death industrial act Mortuor. With the lines “Dedicated to the memory of Marco Corbelli and the Italian Death Industrial Movement.” on the back it is clear the direction this disc is trying to go.
Luckily Mortuor is not only successful in re-creating the great sounds of Atrax Morgue, …Today I’m Dead, N. and many of the other great death industrialists, he also …
Valerio Tricoli – Metaprogramming From Within The Eye Of The Storm CD
Metaprogramming is a disc with one long track ranging roughly 30 minutes in length. This is electro acoustic music through and through with long bouts of silences, shuffling about, loud/soft dynamics, random machine sounds, and subtle drones.
Tricoli has an aptitude for building these kinds of sound structures through what seem like random sounds collected and processed but there isn’t really anything that separates Metaprogramming from the bulk of electro acoustic music I’ve heard. It seems very traditional and …
Hugfucks – Vehement Caress CDR
I really wasn’t expecting much from the goofy named “Hugfucks” project but this D.I.Y. flavored CDR is a creeping, lurking, burping, banging, seriously hot mess in the best kind of way. The packaging design is simple and to the point as is the noise here in style somewhat reminding me of Wolf Eye’s Always Wrong.
Once the opening track Self Immolation has worked up to it’s heavy blast of noise from it’s humming beginnings it’s clear that Hugfucks has a way with controlling sound and frequency that …
Halo Manash – Am Kha Astrie CD
As much times as I’ve reviewed Halo Manash they still manage to just stay one step ahead of me. This time however, I believe this is actually their latest release available and I’m happy to report Am Kha Astrie delivers and veers Halo Manash back into the right direction. The release follows the more recent packaging designs that Aural Hypnox have been employing with heavy cardboard stock and silk screened/stamped ink adorning the surface. Simple yet effective, and it all has a very …
Phragments – Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood CD
This is my first exposure to Phragments and is more or less what I was expecting based on the bleak artwork. What they offer here is slow, melodic, synthesized dark ambient in the vein of Raison D’Etre, Endvra, or Atrium Carceri. If you’re at all a fan of Cold Meat Industries then you will be sure to dig Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood in some form or another.
Of course there are negative aspects that come along with this style of …
By Luis Gonzalez
I caught up with Luis Gonzalez on the Lavas Magmas/Regosphere/The Dios Poject Summer Tour 2010 and asked if he could write a tour guide for me. Here, he covers his own tour experience, offers advice for fellow noisers looking to tour themselves, and reflects on his motivations for doing what he does.
This was my third tour around the two month mark. I went with my friend John (Behavior, What We Do Is Secret) from Portland, OR down to Columbus, OH. John flew home and I picked up my …
Peter J Woods – Creation Death Machine CD
My ears are consistently left ringing after listening to Peter J Woods’ Creation Death Machine because it’s noisy, destructive and filled with sneaky dynamics but I just keep turning it up and playing it too loud because I want to catch every moment, each minute detail. If you’re familiar with Woods’ work you can expect blasts of noise and sounds, spoken word and screamed vocals, sound collage, snippets of field recordings, static blasts and walls of noise. This is artsy power electronics for …
Proof of the Shooting – Untitled C20
Proof Of the Shooting is a collaboration between Dan Greenwood of Diagram A and John Brown who I am unfamiliar with. This untitled cassette is a strange one with Proof of the Shooting’s last release having been issued in 1998 and now this cassette in 2010 with dedication “in memory of John Brown.” One is to only assume he passed away and this was perhaps left over material from their collaborations.
Sonically Untitled is an intense barrage of everything and the kitchen sink harsh …
Inhalant – Save Our Souls CD
Expectations can be a funny thing. I don’t know why I keep setting the bar so high for Texas’ Inhalant, perhaps because I dig the name and the aesthetic, or perhaps because he’s been functioning under the name for 10 years now. Unfortunately I can’t help but just feel a bit under whelmed when experiencing his releases.
Save Our Souls is no exception with the major issues lying in the production. It’s lo-fi in a very exhausting way, and the hypnotic and repetitive nature of …
The Haters – In The Shade of Fire CD
The Haters are one of the earliest and most infamous American noise groups that exist. In The Shade of Fire was originally released in 1986 as an LP on Silent Records. This is a piece of history here kids, revisionist history, maybe, but history nonetheless. The short manifesto written on the back of this slick-looking digipak says it all in perfect simplicity: “… I am deeply moved every time I hear a car crash…Noise is pleasing…”.
In The Shade of Fire features …
V/A – Hate Tasting CDR
Here’s a solid compilation from Sickcore records, an up-and-coming label from our great mother Russia! Presenting a hefty lineup of favorites from the harsh noise and power electronics crowds Hate Tasting is a journey through sickened atmospheres, harsh intense waves of sound, cut-up brutality and warbling synths.
Immediately kicking things off in a very high style is Molester’s Eye For An Eye with some great treatment on the vocals along with some decent distorted noise. High points include Fecalove’s On the Toilet Floor for ultimate Atrax Morgue-like …
Plastic Boner Band – Plastic Boner Band C60
Here’s a LONG release from the strange Plastic Boner Band. Finally they have released the record I have expected them to release. Maybe it’s just based on the silly name but this – contrary to their other recorded material – is a long meandering pile of wankery if there ever was one. The thing that still leaves me puzzled is: why now? Why after the release of their competent Isaiah 66:6 CDR and shortly before their solid full-length The Way of All …
Nyodene D – Pogrom C30
Gotta say I’m a sucker for simple artwork and no bullshit tapes like these. Black and white with cheap text and photos of what I’m guessing are from the Rwanda genocides, this seems to be a concept album based on those atrocities. Nyodene D delivers some strait forward power electronics and industrial reminding me of the sounds of Climax Denial and Grunt.
Side A’s Marched Into the Streets is a shifting barrage of junk noise, sounding great in all it’s lo-fi glory. Along the roughly 15 …
Redglaer – Radioactive Concept C30
Abandon Ship Records
This is my first exposure to Redglaer although the name sounds familiar. This a simple tape with black and white illustrated imagery as the artwork. One track graces each side and I’m guessing each one runs about 15 minutes.
Side A features “Longmont Improvisation” a droning noisy assault that features a constant mid-range frequency accompanied with a good dosage of feedback, distorted interruptions, and along the way there appears some subtle vocal cut-up samples. I like the general production, it’s nice and crunchy but the …
Liz Allbee – Theseus Vs. CD
Be prepared for a strange and varied release when you pop in Liz Allbee’s Theseus Vs.! Packaged in a slick cardboard box with artwork printed right on the front – how’d they do that? The image of the double-headed lamb working quite well to represent the sonic mutations that are housed within. Theseus Vs. is innocent and playful, but also inexplicably weird, and I sense some tongue-in-cheek humor within these odd passages as well.
The sounds represented here range from experimental, electroacoustic, dark ambient textures merge …
Belltone Suicide – E.P. Reissues 2003-2006 CDR
Gilded Throne Recordings
Here’s a long ass CDR in hefty DIY packaging. To be honest the packaging looks like a rainbow vomited but it’s thick and durable and has that unmistakable hand-made touch! I have no idea how I came about this release but I could have done with out it.
The first few tracks are the only tracks I really dig. Untitled No. 580 starts off with some looping unending choral samples merged with synth noise and low drones to make a good blend of …
Poison Tongue – Lick You Sweety C34
No Visible Scars Cassettes
I don’t even know what to do with myself when I hear something this mind blowing, and I promise, there is no sarcasm here. I really, really love this cassette in so many ways. This is my first exposure to Poison Tongue which is a side project from one half of the noise group Pink Sexdeath. First off, the packaging is simple but also kind of awkward. Seven inch size artwork, which is cool but then the cassette is just thrown …
Fire In the Head – Confessions of a Narcissist CD
Cold Spring Recordings
Ah yes, another FITH album. Welcome back old boy! It hasn’t been too long at all, but this time coming from the mammoth Cold Spring Records. Well the CD is quite professional being housed in a standard jewel case with artwork that certainly fits the release very well. I’m definitely digging the design and of course FITH’s track titles like I’m Not Here to Coexist, I’m Here to Win and Home is Where the Whore Is are representative of …
Quiet Covenant – Sleeping Lands CDR
Grim Den Recordings
This was described to me as “it’s just breathing so I recommend you listen to it on a lo-fi stereo while falling asleep”. I hate to contradict the intention of the artist himself when it comes to his art but I have been enjoying this immensely on my hi-fi stereo system wide awake. I have no idea what this is limited to, but you can actually download the album in it’s entirety on the web site. Although I heartily recommend finding a hardcopy …
RU-486 – Iron Empire C52
No Visible Scars Cassettes
This one was a little tricky. Here we have a “C52″ but it’s the same material on both sides so don’t think you’re getting that much bang for your buck. That’s ok though because this is some effective and dynamic thrashy harsh junk noise that hits hard right in all the soft spots. The packaging is a little awkward with 7″ artwork which is rad, but a tape just thrown in the bag.
The opener “Cast Iron Effigies” is also a little deceiving …
Plastic Boner Band – The Way of All Flesh CDR
I have to admit I was totally fooled by this release. It looks so pro I thought it was a real CD. Although this may be a CDR don’t let it fool you, it looks and sounds very professional. The artwork is simple but great and definitely works to further the concept here. Kind of strange because the last release I received from Plastic Boner Band was this crusty CDR in weird bulletin board style packaging and heavy spraypaint junk …
Weak Sisters – Final 7″
I have no idea how I came across this quickie little 7″. Maybe it was sent to me, maybe some touring dudes gave it to me? There’s no information on the record save for the group name and album title on the cover. Black ink silkscreened on grey matte paper sets the tone of a high-contrast lo-fi power electronics album.
That’s basically what is delivered here, with maybe a little more of an experimental noise influence than I expected. But this material reminds me a lot of …
V/A – Untitled 6xC10
Here is an INTENSE release and the first Phage Tape release that has fallen into my grubby mitts. How to tackle a review of 6 separate cassette tapes all rolled into one release has been wracking my mind now for some time. This is certainly a most ambitious project. What we have here are 6 10 minute cassettes each with material from one of the following artists: Climax Denial, Discordance, Human Larvae, Moribund, Sewer Goddess, and let’s not forget our favorite Yankees Sharpwaist!
Packaging is pretty nifty …
Concern – Truth and Distance CD
Concern is the ambient project of Gordon Ashworth who also is the sole proprietor of Iatrogenesis Records, and records under both Oscillating Innards and Deep Jew. Truth and Distance is his latest EP of flowing, droning, light ambient music and although it’s a shorty it delivers!
With three tracks spanning roughly thirty minutes Concern pulls out the shining, triumphant, harmonious drones right from the get go in the epic 16 minute opener “Truth and Distance”. With subtle field samples mixed into shimmering metallic layers of …
Andrea Borghi – Moltiplicazioni CD
Here’s a sexy looking CD and although it’s packaged in a standard jewel case the inserts are heavily textured canvas-style paper with what seems like silk screened artwork. Coupled with very precise text this immediately has a high-tech academic feel. Andrea Borghi is apparently an Italian artist who creates experimental sound using CSOUND and Max/MSP software. The digital element can definitely be heard on much of Moltiplicazioni but it doesn’t hold it back.
The first three tracks on the release are listed as the first “Accumulation” …
DDDD – Frustration Music CD
Love Earth Music
Here is a full length recording from another project unknown to me. With a photograph of a photocopy featured on the front cover I just have to question what kind of aesthetic these guys are going for. The artwork looks pretty bad with black text overlayed on high contrast black and white collage work which makes it unreadable.
Unfortunately the sound doesn’t fare much better. The disc is comprised of 4 long tracks, two of them being close to 10 minutes with the last two …
Cloama – Lernaean Catacomb Complex C55
Erratic Sporadicism Tapes
Now here is some elaborate packaging! With 2 plexiglass pieces screwed together containting a tape and transparent inserts to form an odd-looking object here I’m boggled at how Erratic Sporadicism had the time and resources to make 199 and of these puppies. Very creative but unfortunately not very practicly designed as the case is extremely frustrating because you have to assemble/disassemble the tape and artwork every time you want to listen to this. But definitely worth picking up for the odd packaging alone, …
The Teratologist – Cabinet of Curiosities C30
Cabinet of Curiosities is a standard tape in a plastic case with simple text and graphics in high-contrast black and white adorning the j-card. It’s a simple, professional looking item and after dealing with all this weird packaging I’ve been collecting it seems somewhat refreshing. The tracks are simply named “Cabinet of Curiosities Part I & II” one track for each side.
Slow, dirgy, awkward, The Teratologist delivers industrial experimental music here. The strange torture device that adorns the cover seems so fitting for …
The Vomit Arsonist
Force of Nature/Cipher Productions
The Vomit Arsonist is the project of Andrew Grant based out of Rhode Island. Although he has been coined as power electronics in the past Wretch walks the line between death industrial, dark ambient, and power electronics effortlessly blending the genres together to form a cohesive and strong work. As the first proper CD release from the project Wretch is a success in all aspects.
The opener “The Warm Body Complex” introduces the disc well with a low-end drone that builds into textured ambience with …
Irukandji – Urine Nation CDR
Audio Immolation Industries
Irukandji is the harsh noise project of Michael Page who is also the man behind the former power electronics project Fire in the Head and the current ambient/noise/industrial project Sky Burial. Out of the three Irukandji is certainly the harshest, but the least atmospheric as well. Generally there are small bits of 80s and 90s music mixed with with just a touch of sarcasm, but not as much irony as Page professes to being a large fan of much of those songs.
Urine Nation is …
Sistrenatus – Magnetic Resonance CDR
Sophisticate Pleasure Records
Yet another nail to your coffin hit right on the head by Sistrenatus. Magnetic Resonance is a CDREP from this behemoth Canadian industrial project taking the genre by storm and treading new ground in the realm of death industrial. This little release is no exception.
Magnetic Resonance consists of one track that spans 20 minutes and more-or-less contains 4 separate movements. The first portion is a throbbing industrial dirge that slowly builds to a heavy rhythmic séance and straddles the line between death industrial rhythms …
K11 – Waiting for the Darkness CDR
The packaging for this was deceiving. From the photos of forests and runes that adorn the graphic art I was expecting something in the realm of neo-folk or neo-classical, or even dark ritualistic ambient. What K11 delivers here quite different and reminds me much more of the recently reviewed Anemone Tube, or the long-ago reviewed Canadian project Nebris.
Waiting for the Darkness makes a lot more sense after reading the liner notes: “Waiting for the Darkness is an action of instrumental transcommunication with short …
Anemone Tube – Dream Landscape CD
Here is something quite a bit different from the Silken Tofu camp. Regarding the packaging here, this is a phenomenal looking release, very professional and quite gorgeous. The CD is housed in a 10 panel, odd sized, folder with black and golden print. The text and minimalist artwork look great and reflect the atmosphere of the sounds well.
Anemone Tube is mostly a dark ambient project that wanders into noisier realms every once in a while. The general rule of thumb for Dream Landscape seems …
Lavas Magmas – Toxic Communion C26
I had the opportunity to witness Lavas Magmas live and it was a barrage of sights and sounds which I could only behold in wonderment. I was lucky enough to be given a few releases of his among which this one-sided tape was one of them. Housed in kind of shabby and bedraggled scrap material with stickers and wrapped in wire this D.I.Y. effort is just a bit deceiving because Toxic Communion delivers one hell of an auditory experience that transcends your typical limited …
Cloama – Death Certificate 7″
Freak Animal Productions
Cloama is a project with many faces. Check out the Self Titled CD from a few years ago and you will hear a clean electroacoustic ambient atmosphere. Listen to his earlier Revisionist Knowledge CD on Freak Animal Productions and you will find searing power electronics noise attacks. Finally, pick up one of the collaborations with Blutleuchte and you will discover a surge of blackened noise. Whatever the face though, Cloama always tends to please in one form or another and this quick 7″ is …
Brandkommando – Patria Socialismo o Meurte! CDR
This disc from Sickcore has a special handmade D.I.Y. touch with thick stock and minimalist packaging that works perfectly. The entire presentation is quite impressive. I wish the audio was as consistent as the packaging though Brandkommando tends to have more ups and downs than I would prefer on this release.
The style that Brandkommando employs is somewhere along minimalist death industrial atmospheres of Atrax Morgue or N. However, a lot of the synth work featured on Patria is a bit under whelming seeming to …
Antoine Chessex – Fools LP
Antoine Chessex is a Berlin-based musician exploring the world of noise with – love it or hate it – a saxophone. Luckily, you’d barely have any idea this is derived from a sax in any way shape or form by merely listening to Fools but the live photo on the back and the credits to Chessex for “tenor sax, amp & electronics” says it all. I am perfectly ok with this because after experiencing his intense miasma of sound live, I just had to pick …
Propergol – Ground Proximity Warning System CD
This is actually the first complete Propergol album I have immersed myself in and I believe it is one of his later efforts. Ground Proximity Warning System predictably explores airports, airplanes, flight, and subsequently all the many things that can go wrong with this system. An easy way to describe Ground Proximity Warning System is to say it is the evil twin of Brian Eno’s Ambient Music for Airports. And let me say I’d much rather be listening to this when preparing for …
Gerritt & John Wiese – Panoramic Glass and Mirror LP
Panoramic Glass and Mirror is a collaboration between Gerritt – who seems to be going by his full name Gerritt Wittmer now – and John Wiese two noise artists who have been drifting closer toward the electro acoustic realms. This collaboration here certainly enforces that theory, with pretentious minimalist artwork and carefully edited, fragile sounds that click and pop their way into my subconscious.
Despite the nice thick clear vinyl there’s not much here as far as the graphic art goes …
Corpuscle – Jaguar Mask C64
Here’s a new project hailing from Boston, MA. Neatly packaged in a standard cassette tape with color artwork on the cover and some decent black and white collage on the inside. This is a one-sided tape that consists of 3 tracks.
The sound of Jaguar Mask is the harshest of the harsh. Total pushing wall-noise that is completely relentless. Lo-fi and uncompromising among the crackling distortion lives sickened vocals settled in the mix. There’s a strange kind of reverb in the mix that pervades each track and …
Bereft – Your Messiah Will Fail CDR
Your Messiah Will Fail is a New England project that consists of Peter Lee (patron of Force of Nature Productions and former member of :MOMENT:) and Andy Grant (patron of Danvers State Recordings and sole member of The Vomit Arsonist). What happens when these two heavy-weights of noise collaborate? Basically one of the most intense noise and power electronics albums to hit my stereo for a while.
The first two tracks here are completely devastating. “Hidden Agenda” within seconds is balls deep in blasts of …
Sewer Goddess – Verdigris 7″
Right off the bat this release delivers. I believe what I have here is the “deluxe edition” with an extremely heavy gatefold jacket with silver silkscreen and two inserts. All the artwork here is predictably lo-fi and high contrast but the vinyl is thick and the release obviously has a classy streamlined vision to it which can’t be ignored.
It appears the release is based on some murders that occurred in Oregon, and I’m guessing each track is named for one of the victims. Side A …
Reviver/Medicine Lake – Split C30
Here’s a quick split from these two Connecticut artists. There must be something heavy in the air there because this is drone-laden doom ridden washes of sound that these guys deliver. Not much to say about the packaging, a cassette in a plastic bag with some less-than impressive artwork on it.
Medicine Lake is up first with “Mandible Feast” a lo-fi smoky blur of a track with black ambient tendencies, echoing metallic sounds, subdued noise, and distant moans. The composition here is solid and the sounds …
The Vomit Arsonist – Reason C30
Nil By Mouth
Black on black, black tape with a black label and a black spray painted cassette case. The Vomit Arsonist presents some fucking bleak shit with his latest release “Reason” coming from the Nil By Mouth camp. Packaging is well thought out as usual and creative in a D.I.Y. kind of way. I really dig all the interesting things Nil By Mouth does, and this release is no exception because it is packaged in a fused black plastic bag, somewhat reminding me of a …
Sensible Nectar/Mannequin Hollowcaust – Predator Plague C62
NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Sensible Nectar is back! Predator Plague haunts the airspace in my room. So many tapes… so little time. I will for a change, start this review off on a positive note. I really dig the packaging on this release. Bright orange graphics and the brightest neonist cassette tape I have ever seen. It’s visually offensive in the best of ways.
As for the sound, I am still baffled how Sensible Nectar manages to record this stuff without ripping out his eyes due to …
+DOG+ – Acoustic Shadow CDR
Love Earth Music
+DOG+ is a project that has been active for quite some time now, 1994 according to discogs. Acoustic Shadow is their most recent effort and it seems +DOG+ has got the idea by keeping this puppy around the 30 minute mark. What to expect here is mostly buzzing feedback and synth walls with blasts of noise, amplified and manipulated acoustic junk percussion, and layers of electronics.
The production on acoustic shadow retains a very lo-fi tone but it’s obvious this is intended and it works …
Regicide Bureau – Zugzwang CDR
Side of the Sun Recordings
The thing about Zugzwang is that it’s not a particularly bad disc, it’s just not good. This is a disc of over an hour’s worth of material all apparently recorded live in St. Louis Missouri on 7/18/09. It pains me to think that this dude played this set that was almost one fucking hour.
The production really holds this disc back. It’s obviously a room mic that has recorded the set so it kind of sounds like everything is being played in a …
Sigulda/Sensible Nectar – Split C20
Side of the Sun Recordings
Here are two artists, one of which, unfortunately I am already familiar with that being: Sensible Nectar. This is a short cassette with both artists presenting 2 very mediocre noise tracks, Sensible Nectar’s side is a bit more ambient though.
With “Three in One” Sensible Nectar combines some harmonious ambient drones on top of subdued pedal noise. Well, subdued might not be the right word, it’s really just turned down a lot. Delayed and reverbed-out the first part of the track is ok, …
Regosphere – Gutter Swarm C60
DumpsterScore Home Recordings
Regosphere is a name which is quickly making it’s way to one of my current favorite active noise projects. If you’re not in the loop quite yet, Regosphere is Andrew Quitter the man behind the rising label DumpsterScore Home Recordings. Regosphere takes queues from such epic acts as Megaptera, …Today I’m Dead, and Atrax Morgue to form intensely layered washes of industrial noise.
Gutter Swarm is the first solo album I’ve heard from the project and let me say it is jam packed with #1 …
Patrick Emm – Mythics CDR
Patrick Emm is a drone musician who is previously unknown to me but apparently lives right around the corner. I love little surprises like that! Mythics is an easy 3 track disc spanning 45 minutes of minimalist synthesizer and guitar drones reminiscent Michael Gira’s short lived project The Body Lovers or perhaps even the more experimental sections of Godspeed You Black Emperor!.
The first track entitled “Like I Used To Could” features alternating sustained chords of harmonious tonal drones. Skirting along the edges is Fennesz-like electronic …
V/A – Summer Tour 2010 CDR
DumpsterScore Home Recordings
Summer Tour 2010 is a tour release from the Regosphere, Lavas Magmas, and Dios Project summer tour which is happening NOW. Don’t miss it!!! Check here to see if there is a show happening in your city. What they deliver with the release is 4 tracks 1 by each artist and an extra thrown in from the Dios Project.
Lavas Magmas is up first with “Just Ghosts, No Shell”. Not sure what the title is about but the track is a sick barrage of …
Doornen – AIDS Loves You To Death 3″CDR
AIDS Loves You To Death is a quick little blast of the harshest, crunchiest noise that has graced my ears for a while. The disc simply just does not let up. Housed in stolen public service announcement ads the concept here is really doing nothing but reveling in the fact that anyone is susceptible to this sexy death.
With two long tracks totaling twenty minutes the disc is chalk full of harsh cut up destruction. Blaring distortion, washes of harsh noise, moments where …
Hjorten – Travel 3″CDR
Hjorten’s Travel is based on just that and with two tracks on this quick little 15 minute release the concept is very clear. This is my first exposure to the sounds of Hjorten but right off the bat it’s obvious he likes to use the sounds of field samples heavily processed.
“Trains” is the first track here and uses sounds of trains creatively to produce an atmosphere that both abstracts the sounds but also pounds them into your skull. It’s like he turns trains into these enormous subterranean …
Martin Bladh – Study for a Theater of Cruelty CD
Study for a Theater of Cruelty is a solo outing from IRM frontman Martin Bladh. Adorned with his token collage work, the art is succinct yet somewhat darker than the sounds represented on the disc. At 5 tracks and roughly 35 minutes Bladh takes the listener into an electronic drone soundscape akin to Birchville Cat Motel, Concern, or even Hermann Nitsch.
There are moments when things get kind of noisy the first being the start of track 2 where a high-pitched whine …
Retribution Body – Retribution Body CDR
Retribution Body’s debut self-titled CDR is a winding journey through mantra-like modular synthesizer drones. Being influenced by Buddhist philosophy and thought, it’s no wonder so many of these tracks seem to offer a moment of stasis, of balance, and of a certain stillness produced of course through the vibtration of soundwaves, tactfully revelling in the physical irony of such an act.
Although stillness is a factor here, there are signs of evolution and change which can’t be ignored. The sounds are well devoloped and the …
Organizer and resident DJ Deftly-D. photo: Observationpost
ORDNANCE! is the only multimedia club night of it’s kind. On the first Friday of the month at 234 Main St. in Everett, MA, DJs conduct live drummers that in turn trigger lights, lasers and video to a bed of hard dance music including industrial, rhythmic noise, speedcore, gabber, techstep, idm, and more without caving in to pop music that is played far too often at other industrial related club nights.
Each ORDNANCE! features live guests that range from idm to power electronics …
Fire in the Head – Carrion Wind CD
Turgid Animal Records
Michael Page is a man of many faces and subsequently sounds. Some may be more familiar with his ambient Sky Burial project, others with his harsh noise project Irukandji. Still others may just know him as the fun loving 80s music fan and front man of brutal power electronics unit Fire in the Head. Of course, people aren’t always so easily pigeonholed and Mr. Page makes it especially difficult by releasing this over 60 minute track of dense drone and experimental …
Blank Verse – Karelia Ingria CDR
Visceral Circuitry Recs
Yes, I knew this release from the moment I received the black and white photocopies booklet in a plastic sleeve on a blank CDR. The “bedroom” noise crowd. Not like we all aren’t bedroom noisers or anything but this is a specific brand I feel because a lot of this material seems like they are “half songs” or merely fucking around and recorded and then of course subsequently released.
Blank Verse almost had me tricked with “Vivian Krystal L.” one of the better tracks …
D/S/Miller/Hunted Creatures – Split C20
Dynamo Sound Collective
Another great ‘lil split tape for me to spin this time with 2 more ambient/experimental artists that seem to know their stuff quite well. The printing is nice full color artwork with a Jon Lennon lookalike dude on the front holding rosary beads or something? I dunno. Standard tape packaging, nothing special here.
D/S/Miller is up first with “Blowing Out a Match”, a nice wafting, floating drone track. It’s got some glitches along the edges and just a very vague touch of electronica to it. …
Reviver – Crawlers Spit Black C30
This is what I’ve been waiting for all along from Reviver. I’ve been following his work for a few years now and am finally getting around to spinning this tape and goddamn it delivers beyond expectations! Probably the most telling information here is the only credit going to Chris Donofrio the soul member of this death drone act as playing the “graphic eqs”. This isn’t much more than that, absolutely overblown synth drones pummeling me with their pure intensity and thick as mollasses sound. …
Mutations In The Gryd – Seance For Mutation/Calibration Gryd C31
Here’s a synth duo from Boston good friends of mine in fact. They play 2 synthesizers together with the result being some vaguely structured improvisational experimental synthesizer music. The tape is of good quality with some subtle artwork that I really appreciate.
Side A has these warm throbbing tones that are almost alternating chords. There is a little delay and a lot of noisy lo-fi overdrive in the mix. At times the space seems a little empty, kind of reminiscent of …
Locrian – Falling Towers/After the Torchlight C40
Yet another tape from Chicago’s Locrian. If you’re not in the know, this duo creates harmonic drone music with a dosage of noise layered in. Mostly centered around guitars and synthesizers. They pretty much stick to their sound throughout this cassette, really no surprises here.
Side A consists of two tracks the first being a guitar based track. Slow chords droning on, kind of remind me of early Earth material which I tend to find rather boring. This is a little more layered with …
Halo Manash – Taiwaskivi CD+DVD
Taiwaskivi is Halo Manash’s latest effort and it picks up where Am Kha Astrie left off, despite having a limited CDR – that apparently I was not deft enough to purchase in time – squashed in between the two last CD releases. If you have no idea what the true sound of Finnish ritualistic ambient is like, I strongly encourage you to keep reading this, for you are truly missing out.
Deep gongs, disembodied chants, rattling organic objects, rocks, sticks, chimes. Hidden ceremonies, secret spells, spiritual …
Fear Konstruktor – Preparation of Humanity CDR
Here is a blistering no-holds-barred power electronic noise fuck from what I believe is a project hailing from Russia. One thing that really stands out about this release even before spinning it is the rad packaging which includes a hand painted envelope, a silkscreened canvas patch glued to the front cover and some excellent graphic design. Very classy D.I.Y. packaging here.
The packaging gears me up for the sounds pretty well, because Fear Konstruktor delivers the harsh shit. Very rough and tumble with a rhythmic …
Sensible Nectar/RJ Myato – C62
Here’s a split tape from two artists who are unknown to me. Basic sticker slapped onto a tape with purple artwork and an insert card so small I can barely read it already lowering my expectations for what I might hear.
Sensible Nectar is up first with some extremely lo-fi electronic noise wankery. Plain feedback sounds, blurry distortion all mashed together under a thick pile of reverb and delay. Reminds me of when I get served a plate of tasty Mexican food and mix it all …
IRM – The Cult of The Young Men CD
IRM’s The Cult of The Young Men is a deceptive work. On the surface the tracks seem quite simple, a repeating rhythm, be it a jarring piano key, or the echoing hum of a feedback pulse. Perhaps it might just be an organ-like drone joined by Bladh’s unmistakable barking delayed vocal attack and some rip-roaring scraping and torturing of junk – see the opener “The Cult of the Young Man” – but somehow IRM are able to take these basic elements and …
Deterge – Parlous C10
Fusty Cunt Tapes
Hell yes. Here’s a great shorty tape brimming with harsh synth noise, power electronics and some hardcore-styled vocals on top, think Charles Bronson! Most noticieable is the mouse trap glued to the front of the package! Charming, D.I.Y., original, and hard-fucking-core!
Side A features the track “Daily” which thrives off it’s fluttering synth core. Blasting along the edges are layers of noise which are soon joined by screamed vocals delayed into the wind. Short, simple and to the point. Harsh, but well composed and layered. The …
Noveller – Wolf 7″
Here’s a quintessential 7″ from Noveller, Sarah Lipstate’s ambient/noise guitar project. This is record was released in between her two latest full lengths and the tracks work well as they compliment each other. The material is a bit more detailed then what appeared in Red Rainbows which clearly shows that Lipstate is stepping up her game, capturing the listener’s intrigue more efficiently then she did in the full length.
The textures on Wolf are dense, but don’t suffocate at any time. The harmonies are much more apparent making …
STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES (PART 1)
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STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES (PART 2)
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TwoDeadSluts OneGoodFuck – Champagne and Biological Women 7″
Here is an absolutely depraved record from the annals of the Bloodlust! catalog. The artwork and titles really put things in the right mood for the sounds so upon spinning this little gem I’m all revved up for some totally sickened noise. As with my classic complaint about TwoDeadSluts OneGoodFuck, it’s too short! I just want more more more.
Side A builds slowly with “Covered in Shit” and works into a heavy rhythmic power electronics frenzy. All lasting probably 2 minutes in total. Immediately …
Kave – Hidden Fields 3″CDR
This is the first I’ve heard of the project Kave, and with little-to-no information provided in the booklet – besides that the tracks were recorded in 2007 – Kave remains quite a mystery. I don’t think it’s wrong however, to assume that these sounds have something to do with outer space, possibly the existence of aliens or something along those lines.
The sounds here aren’t too far off from what I could imagine might be the hum of an alien spacecraft if I were to be …
Waterdogs – In Limbo C12
Breathing Problem Productions
The once defunct project of Brandon Terzakis is now back, this little tape having been released before the project went on hiatus. It’s a short tape, minimal artwork but that is certainly part of the charm. Two tracks one on each side, this couldn’t be simpler.
If I were to judge Waterdogs on this cassette alone I would be more likely to group him in with the death industrial crowd rather than the power electronics homo sapiens. Despite the fact that these two tracks both …
Reviver – Ocular Prolapse CSLOOP
Here’s a strange one. I’ve never quite seen or heard anything like it before. It seems to be a modified cassette tape featuring a 30 second loop containing Reviver’s token death drone sounds. All black, with no packaging and a simple label this is as minimalist as minimalist gets.
The loop is unfortunately broken up by about a half second of silence. It is how these mechinations work. The sound here is a low synth growl with some kind of subtle chant in the background but …
Ahlzagailzehguh – Misinterpreted Injury 2×7″
Razors and Medicine
It’s been a while since I’ve heard much from Ahlzagailzehguh and even this release is a few years old at this point, but still available! Apparently Misinterpreted Injury is his first release on the 7’’ format and deals with the trauma associated with the loss of a kidney at the age of 9. Definitely some interesting subject matter here, and with Ahlzagailzehguh being the kind of harsh, junk, cut-up noise I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to be pulled out of …
Zerfallt – Decomposing Towers C31
I believe Decomposing Towers is the debut release of Boston’s excellent industrial ambient noise project Zerfallt. Previously reviewed was Zerfallt’s “To Know the Love of Young Witches” which was actually released after this. Going back one can see the evolution in Zerfallt’s sound because where Witches was heavy, clear, concise, and sometimes even had a strange pall of calm, Towers is gritty, filthy, repetitive, and dissonant.
Side A contains the title track “Decomposing Towers” which is a barrage of heavily distorted sounds. Somewhat reminding me in …
Eva Mendoza – Shadow Stories CD
Here’s an album I was very close to not reviewing. Eva Mendoza is a guitar player who plays this kind of bluesy, folk, Hawaiian music on Shadow Stories. It’s “solo” guitar music with perhaps some multi tracking here and there. I’m not a guitar player but I would guess she is a damn good guitarist. The songs are relaxed, peaceful, and daydreaming. Something I wouldn’t normally be too into but Shadow Stories doesn’t seem to be showing off. Rather the songs here are perfect for …
Arktau Eos – AI MA RA 2xCD
Listening to Arktau Eos’ latest offering AI MA RA reminds me of all the times I’ve heard the term “ritual ambient” thrown around only to hear something quite different then what I expected, I can safely say this is what I might consider the epitome of ritual ambience. Arktau Eos manages to capture the best of the Finnish ambient sound and even combine it with a bit of the famous Finnish psych-folk influence here, especially when the album delves into it’s repetitive sitars …
V/A – Gasmoney CDR
Five artists in 6 tracks make up this nifty little tour CDR in a slim DVD case. Simple black and white collage artwork adorning the outside while the CDR itself is a pale red it’s easy to get it mixed up with some other faceless CDR. Luckily the same cannot be said for the sound contained within.
Pyrrhic Thanatolgy Monger is first up with a whining feedback tone interrupt by outbursts of harsh noise and vocal fits. Simple and effective, the feedback never gets old and the …
Gordon Wilson Ashworth seems to be one of the most interesting and active musicians to emerge out of the US scene in recent times. Constantly recording, touring, and evolving his music Ashworth may seem all over the map at first glance, but a closer look reveals a logical and detailed progression with a clear artistic vision. The interview below seeks to provide some insight into Ashworth’s past, present, and future work.
Oscillating Innards releases started turning up in 2002. Prior to that, were you active in other musical …
Noveller – Red Rainbows CD
No Fun Productions
Having the opportunity of seeing Noveller perform at the last No Fun Fest I had some idea of what to expect of Red Rainbows, but it also meant that my expectations were set high. Perhaps I was a bit put-off by the cover featuring a kind of half-assed painting of Jim Morrison, but luckily the disc is all I had hoped for.
Red Rainbows is an ambient drone album but one that is melodic and harmonic with the best of guitar fueled textures, feedback, and …
Irukandji – The Suicide Jump E.P. CDR
Irukandji opens this twenty minute behemoth of a track with some glowing synthesized textures. The sounds are somewhat familiar but it’s not until the Tangerine Dream-like harmonies begin to form into a melody that this sample becomes quite obvious to me. A perfect tongue-in cheek reference where the home-run break down arrives just in time to be completely blown out by an insanely heavy blast of noise.
Perhaps Irukandji could have fooled the most benign of listeners, but it’s because of the apparent non-irony …
TwoDeadSluts OneGoodfuck/Cock E.S.P. – Split C4
The world is moving fast. Faster and faster every day. Each friend added to my stupid Facebook page just makes the endless spewing of information wash by like water flowing through a breaking levee, flooding more and more with with each opening fissure. Is information cheaper today then it ever has been? Or are we actually valuing it more by spending more time mulling over it, archiving it, and finding new ways to present the same old shit.
These questions are heightened by this fantastic …
Wether/A Snake in the Garden – Split C20
A perfect pairing of only the grimiest of harsh noise hell. This is a no frills release with the sickest sounds from Delaware’s Wether on one side, and Vermont’s A Snake in the Garden on the second side.
Side A is Wether’s turn for air time and they present one track entitled “Spoken in German”. Well, everyone knows that German sounds bad-ass and this track is no exception. Of course I can’t hear any actually spoken words, German or otherwise, but what I …
Content Nullity – Rotting Walls of Decaying Sound 3″CDR
Here’s a sexy little 3 incher from England’s prodigal son Tommuel Reynolds. This is the first full release I have heard from Content Nullity and it is no suprise to me that the sound here is absolutely beautifully layered death industrial noise.
Opening this 5 track disc is the quicky “Mould” immediately foreshadowing a gloomy mood with some subdued harsh noise and spurts of high-pitched feedback. “The Infinite Void” starts off slowly, like a machine just kicking off. Before I know it …
Clew of Theseus – Meridian CD
Clew of Theseus is the ambient/noise/industrial project by main proprietor of Cathartic Process Ben Brucato. I believe this is the first that I have heard from the man, his project, or his label. First off, the packaging comes across as quite artsy. Different textures align all sides somewhat reminding me of a Groundfault release. The information is plastered on in a small box but colored to blend in just right.
The sounds are not too far off from what the cover represents. The tracks are …
Sujo – Arak 3″CDR
This one knocked me on my ass, but quite softly. Arak is about 20 minutes of pure drone bliss from this group I am not familiar with. Smartly packaged in a little pink slip with something like two fighting prehistoric sea creatures printed on a folded transparency, it has the mark of a quality DIY operation. It’s the sounds on the disc though, that really do rise above the expectations set by the outer packaging.
A slow rhythmic dirge quickly kicks in mixed with high pitched wailing …
V/A – “It’s Battery Acid, You Slime” C60
I always find compilations such a fucking pain in the ass to review. Having so many artists jammed into one release, so many different sounds and visions and worrying about those each specifically. Then there’s always the question of how uniform you prefer things to be. Should all the artists sound very similar? Should they all bring something different to the table? Add to that an unlabeled cassette tape. You have to either remember what track you’re on or pay attention very …
Existence Establishment is proud to present Noise Vision!!! We have already started integrating Noise Vision’s excellent live footage and video collages into the site, as footage can be found on our Northeast Noise and Power Electronics Festival II page and our Existence Establishment Web Launch page.
Now Noise Vision is officially a part of Existence Establishment and has it’s own permanent home in our Webzine section. We’ve already kicked things off with a recent video of Brendan Murray, Perispirit, Xela – Live at the Piano Factory. Following, is a brief synopsis …
Benjamin Nelson – Untitled C42
This is the debut release from Boston’s Benjamin Nelson presenting two fluid tracks of minimalist modular synthesizer drone. The description alone is already well-treaded territory so it’s a wonder that Nelson succeeds in using this method to create these gorgeous flowing sounds. Given that Untitled is almost devoid of any threads one could grasp that could lead to a concept here it’s quite surprising that the sound is one of deep emotion and mental clarity.
The creatively titled “Live at the Piano Factory 9.23.08″ lives on …
Jute Gyte – It was a Great Marvel that He was in the Father Without Knowing Him 3″CDR
Here’s a little three incher blast of noise and subversive atmosphere from the enigmatic Jute Gyte. Not sure exactly why this project seems so strange to me but there’s something about the titles, the sounds, the overall feel of his work that has depth to it. It was a Great Marvel that He was in the Father Without Knowing Him is no exception, and it’s impressive how Jute Gyte can manage to …
V/A – People Who Do Noise DVD
Cold Hands Video
People Who Do Noise is a documentary video about noise in Portland. The director has chosen to portray the current state of the Portland noise scene through interviews and staged performances with the artists involved. This decision was probably for the best because I would only imagine having some disembodied narrator attempting to set some kind tone for the film either being too serious, or too flippant to get the film’s point across. But, it’s really the lack of agenda that seems …
Sharpwaist – The Night Of and the Morning After C22
Nil By Mouth
Unnggghhh, this tape is like a fucking heavy punch to the gut. I’ve been experiencing Carl Haas’ live assaults as Sharpwaist for quite sometime now, and sometimes it stabs like a knife in the back, sometimes it’s a raw thud in the gut. But after hearing a few of his releases I’ve noticed he has some trouble capturing all the ferocity of his live performances. Apparently this is an issue no longer because with The Night Of and the …
Ginger Leigh – Merchant of Death CDR
Here is another disc by Ginger Leigh, once again bringing the strange, Middle Eastern psych rock mixed with the rare noise outburst and distorted vocals. It’s like a sample-based Muslimgauze because this feels more like someone got their hands on a large library of old-school psych records from Cambodia (yea, Africa I know, still a similar sound) and edited the tracks ever-so-slightly adding an electronica element here, and experimental noise element there.
With 19 tracks on Merchant of Death it’s pretty surprising how consistent …
E.V.P. – The Postmortem Canticles Of Necromancy CD
Autumn Wind Productions
EVP creates music that will fall squarely into the neo-classical genre. If you don’t dig that stuff, I’d recommend you stop reading immediately because this is not your cup of tea. I tend to enjoy some of it however, so I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in The Postmortem Canticles Of Necromancy and found an excellently mixed variety of atmospheres, sounds, and compositions.
The first part of the disc focuses heavily on the neo-classical side of things. EVP likes to do …
Zerfallt – To Know The Love of Young Witches C46
Zerfallt is a project I am well aquainted with having gone on the road with Mr. Tindell last year. I feel my bias might be worth mentioning, although I truly don’t think my friendship with Lee affects this review. To Know the Love of Young Witches features 4 tracks, two on each side of this 46 minute cassette tape. The design is quite well done using black and green tones with shifty text and featuring a J card which is …
Swamp Horse – Gravity C45
Swamp Horse is 2 man project featuring Josh Lay who records noise under his own name, and an unknown to me; Morgan Rankin. These two apparently create lo-fi drone/experimental with some folk influences. The sounds on Gravity are succinctly exemplified in the artwork which features bleak, muddy textures, a sketchy rendition of horses on one side, and a fading sepia photograph of treetops on the cover.
Gravity consists of two tracks on side A and one longer track on side B. I’m assuming they’re all untitled …
Blessed Sacrifist – Falling CDR
Blessed Sacrifist’s latest effort Falling is a release fraught with contradictions. It’s a quiet power electronics album, filled with moments of silent sound textures, it begins with “An End” and each track contains at least 3 or 4 different tracks in itself. All this and it still only clocks in below the 30 minute mark. Is it a full length, or an EP? Only one thing is certain here and that is that Falling is one strange beast.
The opener “An End” really does feel like one. …
Carlos Giffoni – Adult Life CD
No Fun Productions
After witnessing 4 of Giffoni’s sets live at No Fun Fests this is actually the first time I’ve ever heard any of his recorded material. Adult Life has all the aspects that should make up a great release. A thick cardboard digipak with great printing of some classy artwork, interesting and cryptic track names that give the illusion of depth, and some great thick and full production for the sounds. Adult Life does offer some solid strange synthesized atmospheres but tends to be …
Medroxy Progesterone Acetate/Regosphere – Split C60
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Here’s a great split from these two artists who are both new to me. The tape is nicely packaged on some off-white paper stock with clear black print. It’s simple and effective and looks quite classy right off the bat. Each artist has one side with Medroxy Progesterone Acetate kicking things off on side A.
MPA’s track – entitled “Scum of the Morning Star” – is a noisy drone fest that makes up all of side A. Screeching synths, shiny wails of feedback, incessant …
TL0741 – Back To Minus CDR
Back To Minus is a detailed disc of ambient textures ranging from squirming digital synths, to analog hums, delayed guitars, subdued feedback and probably even some subtle samples here and there. Clocking in at about 50 minutes the tracks are layered, lush and dynamic. There is almost too much going on here as one sound leads into the next so quickly. The overall feel of the record has a mostly digital synth quality, the sounds are well produced, mostly light sometimes wandering into glitch …
Mystified – Phantoms 3″CDR
I really love 3″CDRs. Their whole concept goes so against the idea of “convenient listening” which permeates so much of people’s music listening habits today. Only allowing about 25 minutes on a disc really let’s the artist focus on each second with more fervor then before. Something about their restricting play time just encourages artists to really “make it count” a bit more. Mystified uses the 3″CDR format in a good way with Phantoms delivering 4 noisy digital drone tracks in about 20 minutes.
Each one of …
Sektor 304 – Soul Cleansing CD
Here’s a little something different from the Malignant camp. Sektor 304 plays rhythmic industrial in the old school vein reminding me much of bands like SPK, Test Dept., and maybe even a little old school Skinny Puppy thrown in there. A lot of drum-machine type rhythms and beats but always on the more distorted and aggressive side of things. That combined with noise, subtle guitar layers, and plenty of synthesizers and samples create a densely layered and composed album.
Probably my least favorite track of the …
DeepKiss720 – DK720 CDR
Another one from Unverified which I was really dreading and rightfully so. Although the disc is off to a decent start with some choppy, very noisy experimental electronics a la Jazzkammer. Once the “vocalist” is introduced into the mix during “Removals/Set One” – an epicly annoying 19 minute track – this gets pretty unbearable. The first 10 minutes are ok, not at all my preferred style of noise, but fine for what it is but I really wanted to just turn it off after about the 10 …
V/A – Bullshit Detector 2008 CDR
Audio Immolation Industries
Now THIS is a BAD ASS noise comp!!! First of all, fucking awesome idea. Bullshit Detector offers noise remixes and re-interpretations of anarcho-punk, hardcore, and metal songs. With many of the people on the punk/hardcore/metal end of the “extreme music” spectrum doubting the power of noise/industrial let them doubt no more and look no further then Bullshit Detector 2008.
There’s not one track on this compilation I dislike. Every artist delivers their best here with an absolutely consistent lineup. Concrete Violin offers a great …
+Dog+ – Spiritual Awakening CDR
Expectations are a funny thing, they can really affect how I end up feeling about something. The god-awful design on Spiritual Awakening really sets the bar very low and got me expecting the absolute worst from this full length. Of course, looks can be deceiving, and a good musician does not always a good graphic designer make. Am I still making any sense here? Well, Spiritual Awakening is about an hour of what I can only describe as “mid-paced noise”. The material presented here is …
Climax Denial – The Absolute Bottom C45
Climax Denial’s The Absolute Bottom makes for some great late-night listening. And, as I’m finding out now it doesn’t have to only be enjoyed at extremely loud volumes. The tape is decent quality, the mixing and production are lo-fi but extremely full and powerful right in all the places it needs to be. With two tracks on side A and 4 on side B it’s well paced and varied enough to provide interest for many repeated listens.
The opener “What I’ve Seen” is so simple …
Katchmare – Lotus Village Plan 3xCDR
Oh god, this was a tough one. 3 fucking discs of ultra-minimal drone I had to sit through, but I did it, the whole goddamn thing. I dunno, I just don’t have the patience for this kind of stuff. So quiet and slow moving that you are actually focused on the volume of the “tape hiss” which I’m sure isn’t actually tape hiss, maybe just a bed of white noise? But yes, it’s treated as a layer here, and fades in and out at …
Locrian – Greyfield Shrines LP
Greyfield Shrines is a record that is successful on at least a few levels. The first is that it’s just a damn solid release, and the second is that it’s actual guitar drone that I like. I really appreciate when artists can break my jaded opinions and Locrian has done just that. It was only about 5 minutes into the one track – that takes up both sides of this LP – that I starting thinking about how Locrian sounds much like a darker Emeralds …
Lid Emba & Bobcrane – We Substitute Radiance CD
Here are two new-to-me artists delivering a collaboration of experimental guitar driven electronica in a very colorful digipak. The art kind of looks like the fruit section at the supermarket. Definitely an eyebrow raised when I first peeped this shit and I can say right off the bat this isn’t my thing.
The weird sounds and experimental aspect of We Substitute Radiance is pretty neat. “Ear candy” type sounds glistening, squiggling, chirping along in every track. The electronica aspects are a bit weaker, …
Steel Hook Prostheses – Atrocitizer CD
Ah yes, the SHP boys are back with this full length now coming in from the Malignant front. If you’ve ever heard SHP before you know you can expect some top-quality industrial noise/power electronics with perhaps a bit of an atmospheric touch. The latter of which is much more apparent over the almost 50 minutes that Atrocitizer spans.
If you took away the scathing vocal attacks – which are often the loudest element in the mix when they appear – and merely focused on the sounds, …
Fossils – Waterboarding CDR
I stopped asking why a while ago. Probably after about a year of doing reviews, I figured out it’s better just not to ask why, but to outright state why not. Asking why is just an exercise in futility at best, at worst it’s a colossal waste of time energy and frustration.
Waterboarding is a badly packaged CDR that features an even worse recording of even worse improvised sounds. Experimental music without the experimentation. Fuckery without the “FUCK”. The recording on this is barely as loud as the …
D/A A/D – This is My Hell CDR
This is my first exposure to D/A A/D and it’s a bit of a surprise. Don’t know why, but I was expecting some harsh noise. This is My Hell is instead 3 longish tracks clocking in around 40 minutes of slow modular synthesizer compositions. It’s pretty minimalist and sounds like it’s half way in between Pulse Emitter and Klinikal Skum.
The first track doesn’t really do it for me. I find the sounds run-of-the-mill with the evolution of the track to be so-so. …
Caustic Castle – Makepiece 3″CDR
Ah, good ‘ol Caustic Castle. Caustic Castle is Kenneth Yates, one half of the experimental unit Harm Stryker. For Makepiece he is joined by the meandering saxophone stylings of Clifford Schwing. Makepiece is one longish track clocking in around 18 minutes which features barrages of high pitched squeals, mid ranged squiggles, feedback, organs, and even a little bit of melody here and there.
The piece starts off at it’s most caustic with harsh high-register sounds of the sax bleeting away while joined by feedback and organ …
Hunted Creatures – The Failure of Human Instincts CDR
Dynamo Sound Collective
Human Creatures is one Ryan Emmett of Pittsburgh, PA. I was introduced to the project when I had the pleasure of playing with him while on tour back in March of ’09. The Failure of Human Insincts is an earlier effort of Emmett’s and it is a varied disc of found sounds, ambient atmospheres and slow-moving melodies seemingly culled from guitars, synthesizers and feedback.
Generally you will find a layer of ambience, or found sound to start. Weaved over that are …
RØD STÆR – Tilbake Til Varmland CD
This is a fucking weird one. Probably took me at least 5 listens to get my head around the whole album, and another 2 or 3 after that to form an opinion of it. Well, I was pretty fucking sick of it after that. I kind of suspected something like this after looking at the artwork, which I actually enjoy quite a bit more then I do the sound here. At least you don’t have to sit down and spend an hour experiencing all …
Peter J Woods – Afterthought 3″CDR
This little 3″ clocks in around 17 minutes, but oh, what an intense 17 min it is. Afterthought presents a varied array of sounds, ranging from musique concrete, power electronics, spoken (screamed) word, and drone. I was lucky enough to also witness these works live as well and to have this as a document is just the icing on the cake.
The first two tracks are around 7 minutes, with the opener “Inanimate Portraits” bring a bit more ambient fading in with some singing vocal drones …
Crepuscular – Deep Slow Majesty CDR
If I were to take a stab at this judging by the packaging, I might say it’s Lustmord-inspired dark ambient with too much low-end, not enough interesting textures, too much reverb, maybe a little orchestral elements here and there to give it that Stanley Kuberik 2001 feel, and although it may be aesthetically consistent, it is very likely that those aesthetics reek of late 90s mp3.com dark ambient characteristcs. I would also, be right.
Deep Slow Majesty isn’t an album that is at all “bad”, …
Hum of The Druid – Raising the New Wing/Braided Industry LP
Raising the New Wing/Braided Industry contains some of the scummiest, filthiest, rawest sounds I’ve possibly ever heard. Listening to this thing is like being dragged through an old rusty storm drain to only to emerge at a demolition site. This is truly industrial music. Hum of The Druid is Eric Stonefelt, not just a man talented in the realms of experimental music, but also in art and visuals.
The LP is quite beautifully packaged with artwork created by Mr. Stonefelt. Although …
Navicon Torture Technologies – Gospels of the Gash 2xCD
NTT is one of those projects that just refuses to stay dead. This release comes after the stated demise of the project but delivers as if it is still very well alive in all it’s savagery. Gospels of the Gash is most easily compared to NTT’s previous double disc set the Church of Dead Girls also released in a snazzy-looking digipak. The artwork is familiar as glossy abstracted women-parts bedazzle the symmetrical fold out pro-pressed package. It’s minimalist sheen pleases though …
Caldera Lakes – Caldera Lakes CDR
Sentient Recognition Archive
This is a turn towards the unexpected. On their self-titled CDR (debut?) Caldera Lakes delivers about 30 minutes of fuzzed out drone, psychedelic vocals performances and loops, mixed with experimental digital noise, and some raging harsh noise here and there. The major aspects of this release that I think really work are the vocal drones, which seem like they are performed by the outfit and not sampled, as well as the harsh noise moments. Modestly packaged in a simple slip case, the material …
Breathing Problem – Kimberly C20
Breathing Problem Productions
Kimberly is a quick photocopied cassette release from Breathing Problem, the first I’ve heard of this project. I like it. Harsh noise and power electronics with some trashy vocal samples reminding me of Taint’s “Whoredom” album. I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of this release is, if it was some sort of primer for something else as the text on the inside says “tracks to appear on the upcoming ‘mattresses on the floor’ 7 song cd/cs”.
The concept here seems to be pretty simple, …
Drone Lebanon/Wertham – Roma Yerushalayim CD
You know you’re in for a tough review of a split when you really like one artist and are not at all into the other. Roma Yerushalayim is a split CD that deals quite a bit with politics, politics mixed with religion. The concept here is one that has and will be explored endlessly because it is always changing. Since I know little about the plight of Israel or Judiasm and even less about the Zionist political situation I am going to refrain from …
By Peter J Woods
Just about every picture of Milwaukee is of the art
museum. This is a picture of our gross ass lake.
It’s a filthy city, grimy and decidedly unpretentious, filled with violent crime and enough racism to make segregated schools feel like home. It’s just an hour and a half north of Chicago, so most people don’t even bother with it, either moving away or never even stopping by in the first place. Despite all this, I like the place and am happy to call it home.
This is Milwaukee, and …
I got a chance to talk at length with Mark Durgan of Putrefier while on tour back in March of ’09. We had quite a long conversation spanning things like Broken Flag, zines, politics in noise, and his label and distrobution “Birthbiter”. Since the conversation went on for quite some time, I’ve edited it down a bit to make it more manageable for listening.
Putrefier Interview 03/09
Sharpwaist & Waterdogs – Sniffer’s Rash C30
Breathing Problem Productions
Yea, I’m a little behind on my reviews, have you noticed yet? Don’t even know when this fucker came out, nor do I really care. It’s probably not available anymore so what’s the point of writing this review? I dunno, Carl and Brandon the strapping young lads behind Sharpwaist and the now defunct Waterdogs (yes, Mr. Brandon Terzakis has moved on the greener pastures in the pursuit of artsy-fartsy noise under his own name) gave me this a while ago and I …
Dieter Müh & Mnem– Atomyriades CD
I was looking forward to hearing this for quite some time before I actually gave it a spin. I have been a Mnem fan for years and enjoy his lo-fi cut-up musique concrete weirdness. Dieter Müh is a name that rings some kind of familiarity bell, but not one to which I actually know the tune. What these two artists have cooked up in collaboration here is hefty album spanning industrial, ambient, and even some kind of electronica influences which can be found …
Emeralds – Solar Bridge CD
Emeralds present some soothing sounds from this blue-tinted digipak released by Hanson records. If you are not familiar with them, Emeralds are a trio who play 2 synths, a guitar and effects. They form a sound somewhat similar to Cluster, or Tangerine Dream, a floating sparkling wall of harmonic drones.
Solar Bridge is split into two tracks with the first entitled “Magic” which clocks in around 12 minutes. Magic immediately pulls the listener deep into an entrenched wall of drone slowly shifting in …
Katchmere – Acid Test CDR
Here’s a great splash of spastic experimental electronics from a project I am once again unfamiliar with. Acid Test is about 30 minutes of seemingly random bursts of sound ranging from blasts of noise and found sound to the occaissional instrumental outburst. What starts as a more industrial tinged release with the minimal “Premonition” and more cryptic “Icicle” and “Your House is Next” eventually works into more up front jagged cut-up sound.
Worth mentioning here is the endearing handmade packaging utilizing the classic spray …
Satori – Kanashibari LP
Immediately noticeable is the gorgeous print and artwork that surrounds this this black disc of vinyl. Housed in a thick textured sleeve with glossy pattern trim and a hole in the center opening to a dramatic piece of artwork contained in the paper sleeve underneath the whole package appears as a relic of ages past if it weren’t for the hand numbered list on the inside. Very beautifully realized, a nod most certainly goes to whoever designed and assembled these puppies. This is …
Torso/GACK/Sandy Saunders – The Human Disease Zine+CDR
The Human Disease is a collaboration between two artists I am not familiar with (it seems like they just keep popping up) Torso and Gack. Immediately apparent is the care in the concepts with the accompanying “zine” style packaging. A booklet filled with an insert which the CD is mounted on, and several pages of propaganda style art which appears to have little-to-no agenda but exemplifying death, disease, and hopelessness. More or less right up my alley.
Clocking in …
Brain Lesion – Abomination of Desolation CDR
Yes yes yes yes yes. Abomination of Desolation is such an out-of-nowhere amazing release! This totally took me by surprise as I had never even heard of the artist before. What Brain Lesion delivers is 34 minutes of varied structured/unstructured noise/power electronics that sticks to old school aesthetics while bringing new sounds and feel to the genre.
Every track on this baby is overflowing with pure intensity, noise, and industrial atmospheres. Analog distortion over rhythmic industrial loops, ambient field samples, and somehow Lesion crams …
Bitchneck – The Best I Can Do C20
Perfect, here is quick cassette of raw heartfelt power electronics from just around the corner! Bitchneck presents 4 new tracks on this C20 (I’m guessing at the length here). Armed with a cavalclade of pedals Bitchneck creates layered compositions of pulsating, grinding, abrasive power electronics with distorted vocals blasts and call-and-response feedback squeals.
Side A consists of three shorter tracks the first two “What do I know” and “Death Ought to Be” probably clocking in around 2-3 minutes each with the third “The …
Paranoid Time – Rat Life LP
Here’s a quickie once sided LP from the man behind the label SNSE utilizing the Paranoid Time moniker to deliver a harsh torrential downpour of hard water noise. It’s a total barrage strait from the outset with a thick wall of pedal distortion throwing me back and forth, to and fro, in my puny little life raft. At least it feels small compared to these gargantuan waves of feedback.
Perhaps the most notable track here is the rhythmic jammer “RATTail”. The track is actually a bit …