Black Earth – Diagrams of a Hidden Order mCD
Ambient black metal in this day and age is a far cry from the warped primitive manifestations of Abruptum‘s In Umbra… (RIP Tony), so I really appreciated that Black Earth didn’t go the purely electronic route of flitting evil touches and general “grim” vagaries that adjective oriented artists like. This mCD is a hazy and flagellating test that rewards listeners on multiple levels.
Black Earth‘s bandied color descriptor and geometry cult designs are among the things that make me grimace. …
Black Earth – Diagrams of a Hidden Order mCD
Анатомический Атлас Compilation CS
Looking for one of the best experimental compilations of this year? Анатомический Атлас not only has a great array of artists, but a really compelling and cohesive theme. Great curation and a mandatory acquisition!
Анатомический Атлас means anatomical atlas. Each track covers a certain aspect of medicine with respect to the enlightenment era and the tracks cover HNW, dark ambient, and power electronics. The tracks are sequenced impeccably in such a way that there are two distinct build-ups. The art for this …
Jib Kidder – New Works for Realistic Mixer 2016 CD-r
Care of Editions
Every so often, a record label forms to transform some aspect of the industry, however minute or grand. Care Of Editions‘ shtick is offering a certain number of paid (as in you get paid to download) downloads for every physical copy sold of an album sold. The handy guide in the back tells me that there is a non-linear, inverse relationship between vinyl sales and downloads. The more vinyl sold, the more one is paid because …
Dear EE patrons,
I have been inundated with work, but will resume publishing reviews very soon.
Those of you who have sent material to be reviewed, rest assured, all of it will
be digested and written about.
We would like to introduce Headstone Brigade which is the new folk project of Egan Budd/Xiphoid Dementia with this free downloadable and streaming EP featuring covers and traditional arrangements of folk songs. Headstone Brigade’s sound can be described as neofolk or melodramatic pop with a sea shanty twist due to the main instrument of accordion being featured in almost all tracks. This free EP is a precursor to a full-length which is coming later this year on Brave Mysteries.
Please check out the EP Divine Vestiges over at Headstone Brigade’s bandcamp …
Based in two locations, Ionophore is the product of Leila Abdul-Rauf, Jan Hendrich, and Ryan Honaker. Dark electronics, beats, industrial soundscapes – Ionophore weaves in and out of styles on their second full length album entitled Sinter Pools. The album has been stuck in my rotation for a while as I’ve been inclined towards something more pleasant but still rewarding to listen to. As such, Sinter Pools is saturated with electronic manipulations and organic instrumentation that are densely packed into an album that is easily one of …
Regosphere & Vomit Arsonist – An Inquiry Concerning the Indications of Insanity C20
Having appeared on a split 7″, An Inquiry… is proper collaboration at last, but alas it is but a short journey. There is some strong evidence these two Andy’s should work together again as the content focuses on a re-visitation of common themes the two artists have explored (cognitive processes, mental health) and the two artists’ styles mesh very well together.
Side A’s “Mechanized Lobotomy” and “Nurse, The Scalpel Please…” are conservatively sculpted blankets of sound that tinker …
Final Boss – Enforcer CS
Sleeping Giant Glossolalia
I recently played a show in Portland, Maine (courtesy of Last Mercy!) with a mostly non-noise oriented crowd. If you’ve ever been in this situations, you know that it can feel very isolating being the only asshole without drums or guitars. Thankfully, I was in good company with three nerds from New York City who call themselves Final Boss. As a live performance, Final Boss played 10-15 minute interludes sessions consisting of modulated tones, harsh waves, and stripped down beat structures …
Concrete Mascara – History Of Ruin CS
This tape is a thick caloric slab of cranky power electronics. Very hard to consume, but worth your time.
Concrete Mascara has made the work of reviewing this tape difficult by offering a harrowing 45 minutes of nail biting power electronics. There is a certain vastness to this tape that is a little overwhelming. I haven’t heard anything else by this guy, but this release seems like a pretty good cross-section of sounds that offers nice variations in sounds but also …
Reptile Womb – Thee Fyrste Deathe: Serpent Wrything Beneathe Thee Graeve CD
Bestial Burst records
The lacerations which Reptile Womb has foisted upon the listener might be more effectively appreciated if one approaches Thee Fyrste Deathe from a power-electronics perspective. The tools used here are primitive and unpolished. Its true bedroom wizardry lies in the composition making for a remarkably ugly but catchy set of songs.
The closest comparison I can think of to Reptile Womb might be Gnaw Their Tongues. The latter opts for grand entrances, inundation of samples, …
End of 2015.
Here are a few things created this year that I liked more than I liked other things. No order of preference implied, though bias for the artists featured certainly is.
Nycterent – Imprisoned By Reflection, Last Mercy
I asked myself whether or not I could separate the compelling backstory behind the artist (which I’ll keep to myself) from the release itself since this tape is so sparsely adorned (it is a tour tape after all). Upon re-listening, it is evident that this is a powerful demo tape which …
Analfabetism – Av Hjord Är Du Kommen
Here’s yet another Swedish entry into the growing database of Existence Establishment reviews. This is one release that makes no claims of outlandish innovation or ground breaking shtick…Av Hjord Är Du Kommen is a solid old school piece of electronics execution that draws heavily from the Cold Meat Industry world and references those artists respectfully and discretely while drawing from personal experience to produce one of the most unique pieces of industrial I’ve heard in a while.
I like that Malignant Records …
Diaphgramagic – Broken Man C30
Urgent Telepathy Recordings
Here’s a submission by Ohio’s Diaphragmatic. Released by Urgent Telepathy Recordings, Broken Man is a work of ripping junk metal scrapes, cuts, and even some tape manipulation. I think this medium is very cool, but 30 minutes is a bit much.
“Firefucker” starts out by banging out wallops of junk rhythm that disintegrate into some grinding swirls, swabs of feedback and clipped to hell rumblings. Similar to chaotic acts like Death Jenk that operate at maximum volume with disregard for the …
Ättestupa – Vattnet Drog Sig Tillbaka, Stenarna Blev Synliga
I’ve been following Ättestupa for the last three releases and they’ve become one of my favorite bands of inveterate instrumentation and songwriting. If you’re a fan of this sad, sad music, then Vattnet Drog Sig Tillbaka, Stenarna Blev Synliga (translated: The Waters Receded, The Stones Became Visible) will provide you with similar elements of the thick-air minimalism that defines their sound. On this new album though, there is a new approach of the band of traversing even more …
Tetrad Veil – Solar Sequence C45
If you enjoy listening to long and stifling processions of funeralistic doom flavored industrial, then this is your ticket. Solar Sequence is a brilliantly contriturated death industrial side project from one of the members of doom metal band Aldebaran. In four lengthy tracks, Tetrad Veil stomps through oozing frequencies and minimal but lumbering and hammering percussion with an array of dislocated vocals that range from Burning Witch screeches to ritual chanting you might find on a Root album.
Starting with “D.W.R.”, here …
Nycterent – S/T CS
Last Mercy Recordings
This self-titled tape represents a new name and a new perspective, but those familiar with Jon’s previous project, Erroraeon, will find solace in the fact that Nycterent is every bit as mangled and painful, perhaps even more so.
No track names are given, and in this case it works well…you have no way of anticipating the next movement because the tracks blend together seamlessly (or maybe it’s one track with several movements…). The layers of writhing tones upon one another is a strength of this …
Will Over Matter – Visio ja toteutus CS
Freak Animal Records
Will Over Matter has been briefly mentioned around here for the fact that the man behind the project plays in the raw and grotesque black metal band Ride For Revenge as well as a number of other projects. Visio ja totetus is an album of discarded innards of patterned minimalism, with a focus on microscopic nuances and shifts.
Repetition is no problem, but there is a fine line between looping on and on til the needle breaks and building out something …
Cyst – Demo C15
Danvers State Recordings
Give a man a guitar, a damp basement and a four track/tape machine and you can expect a few different outcomes-shitty one man black metal, garbage drone metal, Fred Frith experimentalism, or, thankfully, this crude and sickening demo from Cyst. Cyst is the product of a member of the “dual-bass weed-grind” Suffering Bastard (they rule!) and much of the content of that band revolved around anger, hatred, and social commentary of a vile variety in short blasts.
Instead of revisiting old sounds and themes, …
Aeoga – Triangle Of Nebula-Devourers & Palace For Vultunales CD
Designed as a compilation, Finland-based Aural Hypnox has decided to re-release two of Aeoga‘s previous albums on one CD along with hand-crafted packaging, showcasing some solid dark ambient with industrial edges.
The first album, Triangle Of Nebula Devourers, is comprised of three expansive tracks that ooze organic and elaborate sounds. They are absolutely vast and ritualistic. The tracks are quite different front one another and feature a varied but consistent technique of cascading different movements into one another using …
Way back in 1999 when I first started making noise I was contacted by Jonathan Kans who wanted to release some of my music. So it came to be that the first Xiphoid Dementia release was on L.S.D.Organisation for a 4 way split with Azoikum, Baal, and Quell. L.S.D.Organisation went on to create massively intricate releases of a very high quality for a formidable price. At some point it seemed things got too hot and heavy for Jonathan and he disappeared leaving several large orders unfulfilled. It’s a pity because …
Koufar – Lebanon For Lebanese
Fusty Cunt Records
Koufar has kind of taken a back-seat to A. Chami’s other projects, lately. It is probably the most notorious of his monickers, spurring confusion and apprehension amongst outsiders because of the project’s nationalistic overtones. It’s often that his politics have become his calling card to some who have little understanding of Koufar from a musical standpoint. Moreso than Purity Of The Cedars, Lebanon For Lebanese is an unpolished shrapnel of destruction, flowing from sonic cannonballs of rhythmic scrapes and detonated with …
Pleasure Strain – Illness Attraction C32
I’ve really been digging this quick release lately and I say quick because billing this as a C32 is a little decieving. It has the same material on both sides so it’s closer to a C16. Either way I have no previous experience with the project so I’m going at this review based on this release alone. Artwork is typical photocopied high contrast black and white which fits the rough sound very well.
Pleasure Strain offers up a sick combo of power electronics and …
Stone Wired – Umbral Depth Of Shade
I have never heard of Stonewired before and I don’t think I would have sought them out. Sadly, many of the same maladroit artistic implementations that plagued the Voidmorf release I reviewed are present here (and I shall not go into details). This would have been a shame as Umbral Depth Of Shade is a bleak and crushing work of death industrial that covers a wide variety of styles.
The minute “Regressed Back To The State Of Primal Being” thumps in your speakers, …
Babelfishh – Writhe In The Elements EP C20
While there is an underlying hip-hop current going on here, Writhe In The Elements traverses a pretty large and almost insurmountable spectrum of sound sources, influences and composition choices. In the twenty minutes that this beast unfurls its wings and bellows foul noxious fumes, Writhe… has the touch of an artist wearing many masks but still retaining a tangible humanity – one of frustration, contempt, self-analysis, and self-ridicule – in spite of being beaten back by the elements, one that hopes …
Ochu – Tvärsnitt LP
Ochu is an experimental music group from Sweden that focuses on creating improvised instrumentation not unlike Musique Concrète. Some of it involves samples and loops while other portions revolve around rhythmic clanging and metallic scraping underneath various drones.
Obviously, this type of stuff isn’t for everybody and it could come across as a music conservatory mid-term for some. For me, it does have a concept art mystique about it, as it appeals to my visual senses and appreciation for natural elements used musically. “Der …
Voidmorf – Beyond All The Light
Exabyss Records Bandcamp
I usually shirk away from reviewing most ambient music because I am not all that skilled at expounding on what works or doesn’t work. I can say at least that Voidmorf is comprised of several members and that they are undoubtedly proficient at creating crisp, well-produced, and pleasant sounds of cosmic ambiance to create musical structures that just sort of float along, thereby somewhat effectively achieving the nebulous vacuity of space. Beyond All The Light is not a particularly bad album …
Regosphere/Teeth Engraved split C20
Dumpsterscore is back with another helping of off the beaten path heavy electronics, pairing two Pacific Northwest heavyweights on one C20. Regosphere is well known to this site as his brand of power electronics is a mesmerizing and anxiety-inducing sort, and is documented fairly well on an extensive discography. Teeth Engraved is a mostly death industrial duo that often pursues more dense and timbre-laden pathways to achieve their sound.
On “Panic Architecture”, Regosphere excels in making his sound choices distinct, yet not so self-evident …
New Forest – Distant Realities C40
New Forest is the project of Levi Berner who’s aliases are listed on discogs as Algiers, New Forest, Vexations, Visible/Invisible Wall although I am familiar with his work through the project Witches which was his collabration with Lavas Magmas’ Luis Gonzalez. For some reason I was under the impression that he had many releases under the New Forest moniker but it looks like Distant Realities is only one of three and a more recent one at that having been put out in 2014.
Distant Realities …
I.Corax – The Cadaver Pulse I: Sealed in a Radiant Larval Maelstrom CD
It’s been over 10 years since I.Corax released their second official release which contained The Cadaver Pulse I & II. Now Aural Hypnox has decided it is time for a re-issue of this material to the world. Why they decided to release the two movements as two separate discs instead of a box set double CD I have no idea but it seems like as a retrospective that would have been a preferable idea. Either way this …
I.Corax – The Cadaver Pulse II: Mothelix Liquescent CD
Here is the second I.Corax reissue from Aural Hypnox which is also the second part of The Cadaver Pulse series. For a review of the first disc go here.
If you have been exposed to any Aural Hypnox bands before you know what to expect; the highest quality ritual dark ambience out there and in this Mothelix Liquescent is no exception. Abstract yet meditative I.Corax combine both digital and acoustic sound sources into the equation to form a truly mysterious atmosphere. If …
TRTRKMMR – Avec La Souillure Nous Entrons Au Règne De La Terreur LP
Iron Lung Records
From whatever bunker TRTRKMMR is hiding out in, he has chiseled out a reputation for himself as a true outsider. His splits with Dead Times and Husere Grav are very unorthodox, off the beaten path pieces of work of freak death industrial. As a former member of doom/sludge band Otesanek, you can be sure his releases have some metal influences as well.
There aren’t many records that can balance quality samples and hardware choices like …
Gnawed/Swollen Organs C26
Danvers State Recordings
This review is total filler. I mean come on, do you really need to read commentary about Power Electronics/Death Industrial done by two artists who are pretty awesome at what they do? Am I going to reveal some brilliant insight to you? Not really, this isn’t the type of shit that should exactly surprise anyone. This is more like a tip of the hat to a pair up that deserves being mentioned.
First the bad news – Danvers State is all out of …
Aderlating – Gold Streams From The Angel’s Throat Part 1 C30
Fall Of Nature Records
Mories has patented a particular sound by using tension to build up to a rich ejaculation of violent, ear bleeding sounds which often incorporates black metal elements. Aderlating is somewhat new to me and seems to be a sort of less black metal influenced project than Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum or Cloak of Altering. But even Aderlating frequently dips its toes into black metal territory. While the nuances are lost to an …
James Reindeer – Om – A Tribute To John Coltrane, Vol 3 C60
James Reindeer Bandcamp
I feel like a lot of good writers sacrifice a disproportionate amount of life energy crafting perhaps a line or maybe even a single phrase that can really make their audience feel revitalized, moved, or inspired. Maybe that’s why James Reindeer has opted for a very hard right turn towards the field of dark ambient than his former/current role as an experimental underground rapper (of sorts).
The 3 Om – A Tribute To John Coltrane tapes …
Sept Star Sete/Disleksick split flexi
SeteStarSept FB page
Noise grind is not so much a genre as it is an excuse to completely stack overflow your discogs page with mostly meaningless releases, a move that was predestined by the Belgian bred Agathocles. Japan’s Sept Star Sete similarly has been climbing this shining path over the last several years themselves by releasing a gaggle of mostly completely useless band splits to occupy grind collector freaks. Kind of in the same way a dope rapper might make him/herself look good by giving …
Private Archive – Honey Aspic Enema C30
My immediate visceral impression is that Private Archive is going for the particular type of tone and mood that bands like Sleep Chamber have capitalized on: incorporating drugs, sex, and manliness into the salacious din of fuck den synthesizers with some rhythm. It works for some artists when it plays out more like a dirty secret than a porn theater exhibition. Honey Aspic Enema leans more towards the former category.
Let’s get it out of the way: the packaging is kind of …
Deterge – In Cahoots C26
This cassette was released way back in 2013, oh how time flies and how I just sit on my ass and let it pass me by. It’s no surprise that this tape is totally fucking bad ass as most material both live and recorded from Jim Haras has been nothing short of excellent.
Side A opens with a seething hot white noise assault accompanied by Whitehouse influenced vocals. Certainly not my favorite track on the release but a decent opener. However it’s not until Atomic Productivity …
Kerrstillingskozletskynyströmpetrus – Death Instruktions LP
Informed by a single vision (in this case, the cover art), Kerrstillingskozletskynyströmpetrus have crafted Death Instruktions with a mangled and dark vision incorporating each of the artists’ styles collaboratively. The result is a pretty compelling if not a somewhat murky and hazy concoction. Admittedly, I am only somewhat familiar with the work of Steel Hook Protheses, Murderous Vision and Megaptera, but it’s not difficult to understand why these artists would want to work together.
The tracks are crafted as distinct songs that shift within …
Sigma Octantis – Dissipations CD
Malignant Antibody is a sub-label of Malignant Records but I’m not really sure what style of music this sub-label is focusing on. As I look at the discography I see R/A/A/N and Skincage either of which I cannot seem to recall what they sound like – and Skincage in particular just gets mixed up with all of those other skin-themed bands like Skin Crime, Skin Area, and Skin Graft. What I can tell you is that Sigma Octantis creates music that combines several different styles …
Pig Heart Transplant – For Mass Consumption LP
IRON LUNG RECORDS
Perhaps better known as the guitarist in Iron Lung, Jon Kortland is no stranger to noise.
In addition to his punk projects (Gob), he participated in a series of obscure projects in Reno, Nevada, quietly creating disturbing ensembles of noise and filth, firmly ahead of his time. At some point Pig Heart Transplant took root. Its previous works span a huge range of sounds and feature collaborations with a variety of musicians. Iron Lung remains his most prolific project, over …
Citizen 2-13 – A Violent Means Til The End C12
I reached into the pile and pulled this sucker out of the deep end and what a fucken grab it is! It’s a shorty but I’m not at all surprised at the high level of quality considering this is coming from Peter J. Wood’s label FTAM.
The packaging is understated as are most of the releases from this label but that doesn’t hold back the fucking excellent barrage of dense harshness that side A employs. Mangled samples with people screaming open things …
Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead has been around for a while. It’s only recently they have gotten some much deserved shine with their masterful full-length on Malignant Records called “Starving the Fires”.
The two are without a doubt some of the hardest working artists in death industrial. Avoiding the typical tropes and sounds, Teeth Engraved continues to evolve sculpting impenetrable walls of noise pummeled by scrap metal “bovine whirlwind” percussion and vicious vocals.
Please introduce yourselves and how long you’ve been operating as Teeth Engraved.
-Hey dude, …
Nyodene D/Wolves of Heaven – Split LP
Anthems of the Undesirable
Nyodene D is the project of Aaron Vilk based out of Ohio and Wolves of Heaven is Andrew Nolan and Eric King who I am previously unfamiliar with. For some reason I thought they might be a metal band. I was wrong. It turns out not only are these two projects perfectly matched for a split in terms of sound and style but they have also created one hell of a power electronics/death industrial record!
Nyodene D is up first with what …
Skin Area/Jarl – La Petite Mort LP
Well this is certainly an unexpected pairing of artists but also a collaboration that makes a lot of sense on paper. Skin Area features Martin Bladh of I.R.M. and Jarl is the long running dark ambient project of yore. The LP captures the previous atmosphere of much of Skin Area’s discography but this release is less guitar driven and focuses more on textural elements to capture the intense and esoteric feel.
Side A kicks off with the sounds of bending cymbals, strings, and vocals. …
Yen Pox – Universal Emptiness 10″
Yen Pox previous proper release before this 2011 vinyl creation was put out in 2002. Although the group is not known for their proliferation they are known for their quality dark ambient soundscapes and I was surprised to hear this arrive with little fan fair. Certainly the lack of excitement is not warranted as this slab of vinyl proves that Yen Pox continues to create some of the best atmospheric music out there.
Side A gets things off to a slow start with subtle spacious …
TeHÔM – Lacrimae Mundi CD
Before hearing this disc I was not at all familiar with the name TeHÔM. But after reading the description from the label on their latest release I feel I need to start the review with the tangled web that is the history of the project. Active in the mid 90’s, Croatia’s TeHÔM has been resurrected in the past years by original member Miljenko Rajakovic. Their first 2 albums were released on Twilight Command, side label of Douglas P’s NER label. TeHÔM’s founding member Sinisa Ocurscak …
Shredded Nerve – Retention 7″
Shredded Nerve is the newer project of noise artist Justin Lakes who previously performed as Pusdrainer and collaborated under a few other project names. This new project marks a turn in direction for Lakes as he has shed the pure harsh noise worship of his previous project and now embraced a more loop-based musique concrete style of experimental sound while still keeping some elements of industrial and noise.
The first track Mind Begins to Crumble as Dots are Connected (Alternate) – which takes up all of …
Father Murphy – Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It LP
Father Murphy is a duo from Italy who are influenced by such artists as Goblin and various horror film soundtracks but have a very original and experimental take on those sounds. Utilizing a mix of electronics and guitars these tracks are on the more musical side of things but also have a focus on rhythm. The atmosphere is one of dark corners and hidden secrets, it is a very intimate kind of music that they create.
Side A spans a wide …
Veiled – El temps no passa LP
Veiled is the bicontinental duo of Robert Francisco (M Ax Noi Mach, Dexter Industries) and Arnau Sala (Exoteric Continent, Vactor). Although I don’t speak spanish I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that the title translates to “The time does not pass” (or something like it). This new record combines the different styles that Veiled has explored previously yet keeps the project at an unfaltering march forward in terms of evolving their sound.
Side A features two tracks with the first entitled …
Skin Graft – Enemy LP
Skin Graft is Wyatt Howland from Ohio. He has been a rising force in the noise scene for quite some time now but interestingly the small bit of information provided on this LP mentions that this material was recorded from 1986-2013 of which is much longer than I believed him to be operating.
Side A begins with low crunchy noise and industrial clanging. It’s apparent right from the outset that Howland means business here. The overdriven sound here is somewhat like a sonic avalanch of distortion …
Bob Bellerue – Brokelyn LP
Love Earth Music
Bob Bellerue has been a major force in the NYC noise scene for quite some time now and it’s good to finally be able to hear a full-length release from this tenured artist. The insert recommends that the listener use a high-fidelity sound system and “turn it up to FUCK YEAH” for best results. Well Bob, you are in luck because I have such a system and my roommates aren’t home.
Side A kicks off with some classic daytime ambience complete with bird calls and …
Remainderless – Remainderless EP 12″
Remainderless is three Los Angeles rooted performers/composers converging regularly to compose, record, case and sift sounds. Equal blasting, squeak and rasp + uncommon and unsettling squelch frequencies comprise the aggregate sum of their output. Documented over three tracks on their debut EP 12″. I’m not sure what the difference is between a strait-out LP and an EP 12″ but there is a decent amount of material on this record.
Side A contains the first two tracks Devastating Inquiry and Glass Pollution both of which are good titles …
+Dog+ / Actuary – Ritual Filth 10″
Love Earth Music
So it is that these two acts meet for a split record. I’m not sure what the relation is but they have seemed to do a certain amount of work together in the past (Actuary being released on +Dog+’s label etc). The record is meant to be played at 45 RPM so it’s a touch shorter than your average 10 incher. First impressions are good: heavy black matte paper with silver silkscreened print of medieval woodcut imagery keeps things simple and safe.
Migrations In Rust – Two Shadows LP
Migrations In Rust is Jesse Allen whose musical pedigree includes being involved with the Red Light District collective in Queens, NY – which has included some of the best in modern experimental musicians such as Yellow Tears, Pharmakon, John Mannion, Diaphragm, DJ Dog Dick and a slurry of other side projects, solo projects and collaborations – former member of the Cathode Terror Secretion and current performer in Cowards, in addition to producing and performing under the guise of several other solo projects (Hollow …
Regosphere / The Vomit Arsonist – Split 7″
Phage Tapes / Dumpsterscore Home Recordings / Obfuscated Records
This split record is not just a great pairing of artists but also of labels who have teamed up to back this quality record. The art, packaging, and production all converge around 2 excellent tracks from these American death industrial artists who have a lot in common in sound but also in namesake as they are both named Andrew.
Regosphere is up first with Death, Like a Thief which immediately chimes in with a rumbling repetitive …
Street Sects – The Morning After the Night We Raped Death 7″
Street Sects is a project of which I am completely unfamiliar with, nor do I know the artists Leo Ashline and Shaun Ringsmuth off the top of my head. Yet with The Morning After the Night We Raped Death they have created a quality work by all means starting with the excellent packaging, art, and vision.
Side A is a very quick affair featuring the title track; yet the style of music is unexpected. It’s a mix of breakcore, …
Gnaw Their Tongues – Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus CD
The orchestra of the damned endures and it is powered by Gnaw Their Tongues the consistent Belgian project who is meshing ambient/noise and martial industrial with a black metal aesthetic. Since Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus was released in 2009 the project has seen the release of several albums since, but it seems the original prolific progress has since slowed.
Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus however, continues to show the solid foundation that Gnaw Their Tongues has created for themselves. …
Sektor 304 – Engage…Forward 7″
Sektor 304 bandcamp
Why the fuck is this the only release I have by Sektor 304? I’ll admit, I’ve had the above bandcamp bookmarked for a while and have enjoyed the absolute fuck out of the sprawling “Transmissions “(which was released last year) and had every intention of buying physical copies. This is in my opinion the best of what modern industrial has to offer. It tips its hat at the old school, then forges on with a unique style.
“Engage…Forward” is the A side …
Gnawed / Breaking the Will – Split C40
White Centipede Noise
This split was released last year and is quite the pairing of artists. Gnawed creates strait-forward death industrial while Breaking the Will specializes in cut-up harsh noise.
Gnawed is up first with his token deep and heavy sound. Death industrial mayhem of the highest quality and nothing less. Insanely heavy looping industrial rhythms pounding your brain out of your skull. The material is honestly perfect, falls right in line with the top-notch delivery I have come to expect from the project.
Breaking the …
Plagues / Execution Techniques – Understanding C32
Earth Noise Eternal
The circumstances of this cassette seem to be somehow centered around birth/death. A quick look at discogs reveals Understanding to be the debut release of the project Plagues, yet the last release ofExecution Techniques. So it is that this little tape – all on its lonesome – represents a microcosm of the universe.
Worth mentioning is the cool handmade packaging on the tape. Colored paper folded into a custom case, with a cloth bag around it – all silkscreened with various illustrations and …
Author & Punisher – Women & Children CD
Tristan Shone returns for the next installment of his epic industrial metal project Author & Punisher with Women & Children. I have been following his works for a few years now and fully appreciate the eclectic mix of doom, electronica, and industrial elements that Shone brings to the table. One of my favorite releases of the project has always been The Painted Army and although I certainly love his other work I always have thought that Shone had a certain propensity for …
Kine – Meditations in April Green CD
Kine is an interesting group of experimental musicians that was formed in April of 2012 during Vietnamese artist Dao Anh Khanh’s visit to New York City where they recorded the ‘Meditations in April Green’ release. Two of the members of the group are also in Pas Musique who I’ve previously reviewed.
The album kicks off with 2 long tracks the first Meditation 1 clocking in over 15 minutes. Given that every track on here is named Meditation x it makes sense that the general …
Freddy Ruppert – Hangs a Shadow C70
So it is that this is the first release from NNA Tapes to have graced my review pile! And what a pleasure it is. Freddy Rupert – an artist with whom I am unfamiliar – creates what I would consider just about the most pure version of sound collage or musique concrete I’ve heard since Pierre Schaeffer.
Throughout this tape it feels like there is very minimal processing and mostly just layering and editing of different sounds. I do hear possibly some tape manipulation …
Vehement Caress – Flaying the Pyre C45
Vehement Caress is a dark electronics crossover act exploring the areas of dark ambient, death industrial, drone, noise, and power electronics. It is the work of Lex Russo who is native to the Boston area and seems quite content in keeping his influence local. However, his work is quite effective and although kept in very limited quantities he has toured several times up and down the east coast.
To kick things off with the release the packaging is awesome, it’s all printed on transparency …
Samarkande – Performance X CDr
Performance X is a live recording by this odd experimental outfit Samarkande who actually sounds quite original. That does however come at a cost; the music is a strange combination of sounds and styles which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
It’s tough to try and figure out a description of Samarkande’s style. Experimental electronic music with touches of drone. Either way the style leans to the more musical side of the genre while using experimental elements to add layers and passages to the tracks.
The atmosphere …
Gnaw Their Tongues – All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity CD
Gnaw Their Tongues is an interesting project who I don’t think I’ve completely wrapped my head around yet. First I know of their split with Corephallism which was released in 2012 and was my first exposure to the project in which they present a heaving industrial track. And then I reviewed their full length L’arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante which was released in 2010. Now I find All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity in my review pile which …
Gnawed – Fissure C60
Ok ok. I was going to start this review all gushy over how much I am in love with the work of Gnawed but I have a bone to pick with this tape. How can you call this a C60? It has the same material on both sides! Isn’t it really a C30? I mean, it’s physically a C60; yes. But it has 30 minutes of material on it! I shouldn’t complain, I didn’t pay for this.
So NOW I’ll gush about how much I love Gnawed. …
Sutcliffe Jugend – With Extreme Prejudice CD
Who would think that after 32 years Sutcliffe Jugend would not only still be creating music under the moniker but would also still be at the head of the pack where noise/industrial is concerned? How did they escape the tasteless fate of churning out dancy techno anthems in exchange for a fate of complete despair in no-holds-barred abstract extreme music?!
I can’t answer these questions but I certainly can enjoy the result. In looking at where With Extreme Prejudice falls on the SJ discography …
Anemone Tube – “The Transfiguration Of The Image” – C25
Danvers State Recordings
Here we have a new tape of three long out of print compilation tracks, as well as shorter new track, by Germany’s long running Anemone Tube. Active since the mid-90’s, Stefan Hanser creates his own unique blend of heavy looping harsh electronics, power electronics structures, dark ambient textures and in more recent years, field recording manipulations. That may sound like a lot to take in, but back before people became stuck in the harshly defined genre separations seen in …
STDFN / Terrorist Financing – Split – C5
Toilet Experience Records
Here’s an extremely short split by two new bands doing there take on the classic noisecore sound that seems to almost have died out in the past decade with the fall of most of the originators. I know for a lot of us into harsh noise, bands like A.C., 7 Minutes Of Nausea, Sore Throat, Gore Beyond Necropsy, etc. are what started our love for harsh sounds. So it’s great to see some newer bands taking up the flag and doing …
Wrong Hole – “Virgins Go To Hell, Fuck Your Way To Heaven” – C15
Here’s a short but sweet tape by Wrong Hole from Los Angeles. This one came out a while ago, but is still available from the label and was procured from Nile when he was on tour this past Winter. The production is lo-fi but crisp enough to get the point across and the tape it’s self is dubbed loud and clear. The artwork is nice textured close up capture from some video, abstracted and nice colors …
Machinefabriek – Veldwerk CD
With astute design and bold colors and text Veldwerk is presented. The artwork is curious especially coming from a label that specializes in the dark and gothic. But it appears here that Machinefabriek focuses on carefully composed musique concrete with other subtle elements added.
The compositions are quite effective using delicate sounds that ebb and flow. Peaks and valleys lead to moments of engaging sound effects, subtle haunting harmonies, and finally intense noise swells to form a well-rounded front. There are also elements of guitar which somehow …
Baroke Misty Queens – Tacked Into It
[one-sided 6inch lathe cut with silkscreened b-side]
Auris Apothecary is a label that stands on its own, isolated from many scenes but especially from the main stream. It is the embodiment of “boutique” more than any other label today. Having received numerous releases for review from the label I simply couldn’t ignore the fact that what they are doing is something quite different. An emphasis on creative package design, carefully curated releases and most importantly; uniting the physical with the aural.
Auris Apothecary was introduced to …
Sunken Cheek – Prince Of Mind / Husk 7″
Immediately noticeable is the excellent packaging on this release. The artwork is simple yet effective using silk screened blue ink on black matte and accompanying this is a giant fold-out poster. More than one could ask for in a seven inch record already. One fair warning is that this record plays at 45rpm so it’s very quick, maybe 8 minutes tops.
Sunken Cheek represents everything that I want in noise these days; creepy atmosphere, harsh electronics, tinges of industrial scraping at the …
Encounters – Formless Migration CDr
Ok, this was originally reviewwed as a Husere Grav release because it had no info in it and me by the artist. It’s actually Encounters which is a duo of Husere Grav and half of NRIII; the latter of which I am not familiar with. There is absolutely no information provided anywhere on the release but it is a slimline jewel case that comes in a black envelope with a photocopied image pasted on the front. Quite esoteric.
The audio here clocks in at 33 minutes …
Requiem – Provenance CD
Requiem is the artist David Graham who has been operating out of Pittsburgh for quite some time (I believe the late 90s?). Under the moniker he creates epic soundscapes of industrial tinged post-rock and Provenance is certainly a showcase of his skills and aesthetic.
My favorite thing about the release are the intense and explosive moments where a new level of heaviness is achieved. Moments like the last part of This Story Ends the Same Way it Begain where there is an explosion of pummeling industrial hits, …
Husere Grav – You Are Transparent CD
The low key ambient drone artist Husere Grav is back with this release on the surprisingly high profile label Crucial Blast. Delivered in a DVD case with fuzzed-out photography containing a sticker, a pin, and a cool insert-booklet this makes for a sick little package that truly does justice to the bleak soundscapes within.
Throbbing low frequency drones, shifting textures in the mid and high ends bring to mind the empty industrial spaces at night. When the machines are on autopilot and the electric …
Destroy Date – Inner Dialogue CD
Love Earth Music
They pulled out all the stoppers for this one. From the extremely shitty design to the re-hashed pop music within; this presents perhaps everything that I hate about experimental wankery.
I really shouldn’t even continue this review past the first track entitled Los Angeles Music Test which consists of a computer-type voice narrating the track number and then playing a 3-5 second clip of a classic rock song. This track is 13 minutes and goes up to 94 clips of classic rock songs. …
First Human Ferro – Homo Shargey CD
Old Captain/New Nihilsm/Requiem/Triangle
Homo Shargey continues the development of this long-running project which by this point has run the gamut of different styles and sounds. Over the years the project has progressed from lo-fi death industrial – my personal favorite incarnation – to haunting abstract folk and now settling into detailed synth-based ambient.
With Homo Shargey FHF deals with the concepts developed by Alexander Shargey (who I guess is also known as Yuriy Kondratyuk) that consist of using a particular method of space travel to land …
V/A – BG/BTW/HP/ORU July 2013 Tour 3xC20
This release is a tour-de-force of harsh noise heavyweights from their tour last year. Three tapes chalk full of the filthiest cut-up noise attacks I’ve heard and it’s absolutely brilliant and devastating.
Brad Griggs is up first – a hidden gem of the midwest – who’s noise is reminiscent of early Pedestrian Deposit. It’s crunchy as fuck and rough around the edges. Mostly a constant barrage of junk attacks but there is a contact mic shuffle breakdown about 1/3 of the way through.
Side B …
Today is Father’s Day and possibly no other noise artist tackles the idea of fathers better than Sudden Infant. It was over 2 years ago the last time Sudden Infant played Boston under the Existence Establishment banner but with a point at the 13 minute mark that simply asked a question “What do you know about a good father?” Joke Lanz – the man behind the project – raised an interesting and poignant question for our generation. What does being a father really mean? Can we still be freaks? Can …
Here is a recent video posted by Rob Beckham of Providence artist and frequent Existence Establishment guest Timeghost performing live May 28th, 2014 at The Rat Snake Lodge in Nashville, TN. Although the audio quality isn’t the best the video manages to capture the intensity of Timeghost’s performances aptly.
Timeghost exists as a method to explore circuitous patterns and synchronicity in electricity, sound, and lifetime. Performances range from light & video meditations to song-based, post-industrial crooning. On recording, compositions are informed by architecture, dream states, history, alienation, the occult, …
Climax Denial/The Rita – Preparing for Pointe C40
I have grown to appreciate The Rita’s persistent use of salient themes for his work, be it skateboarding, or in this case, ballet. Joining the fray is creepy harsh noise stalwart Climax Denial. The result is a very densely packed blast of ebbing conversation pieces.
Climax Denial’s salacious disposition makes for a very nice background motif on side A. I’m not a fan of explicitly referenced sick-shit noise in general, so my voyeuristic sense is prodded with Climax Denial’s oozing synths, sound samples, …
Death Jenk – s/t CD
This Phage Tapes offering consists of four tracks of swelling feedback assaults, and damaged vocals which hang somewhere in the background, surrounded by synthesizer and distorted drum machine treatments. I appreciate this type of chaotic harsh noise because it seems to lack any major over-thought and any opportunity for obvious high-falutin conceptual morass. It instead relies on a nice palette of crushing sounds.
This album goes in head first as furiously as possible, concept or no concept.
The first two tracks bleed into each other seamlessly, sometimes stuttering …
Alan Courtis & Cyrus Pireh – Uritorco C32
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
The flavor of the day is experimental noise and if you don’t like it I suggest you skip this one. Side A is lo-fi and awkward and gives us have moments of harsh noise in Yek and much guitar fuckery featured in both Do and Seh. This type of stuff is wholeheartedly not my kind of thing but I can imagine it will appeal to some.
Side B starts off on a more solid note with Chaahr a short industrial field sample. …
Weltschmerz – Dünnen Faden Des Lebens CDr
Nothing like a CDr in a DVD case limited to 20 copies. This is my kinda thing. I’m not exactly sure where this artist hails from but the tracks have alternate titles in Russian so I’m guessing that’s where. The overall mood is bleak as can be and the audio here reflects that.
In Dünnen Faden Des Lebens Weltschmerz mixes dark ambient and black noise to form a grey slated aural field of post-apocalyptic atmospheres. Angst is a slow burner of a minimalist noise …
Typical White Male/EUU – Split C60
You Don’t Like It
There’s something mysterious about this tape yet you have to have in-depth knowledge about the artist to know what it is. Of course, if you are reading this you deserve to be in-the-know so I will divulge it for you; TWM and EUU are two sides of the same coin, two minds trapped in one flesh-bound body. It is with this knowledge that you can finely begin to decipher the puzzle that this split poses.
TWM appears on the bulk of side A …
Dante Augustus Scarlatti – Worship at the Throne of the Oscillator C40
Yet another phenomenally packaged release from the Auris Apothecary camp. They never fail to amaze me with their carefully crafted artifacts. I’m not familiar with the artist here but with such a great presentation expectations are set quite high.
I really like how the track lengths are listed on the back cover of the booklet here. It’s very helpful in deciphering the larger structure of the album. Breaching the Circuitry of Reason opens the tape; a noisy opener lasting …
Aeoga – Temple Treye CD
The Finnish masters of dark ritualistic music are back once again with Temple Treye which truly must be a dark place somewhere in the outer reaches of the northern wastes, or perhaps it is a place that only exists within their minds. Either way some sort of it is manifested in this 45 minute outing of intense ritual musick.
Opening with Feast of the Stance it’s clear Aeoga are experimenting with different sounds and styles because the use of theremin like synth lines pitch bending into …
Navicon Torture Technologies – Your Suffering Will Be Legendary 2xCD
Your Suffering Will Be Legendary is a mammoth two disc set in a gorgeous digipak and stocked full of excellent ambient, death industrial, and drone featuring collaborations with artists like Aun, Cenotype, Herbst 9, Troum, Jarboe and more. It’s a lot to take in and took me quite a few intense listening sessions to fully absorb the depth and breadth of the release. The funny thing about the release is that almost all of the power electronic influences of earlier …
Aural Hypnox – Underworld Editions I C20
Underworld Editions is a series started by the label Aural Hypnox and is a document of their invitational private seances which consistent of the various members of the associated artists known as the “Helixes Collective”. The material is said to have been recorded in a subterranean lodge located in Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia which I can only assume is in the far reaches of northern Finland – feel free to fact check that one.
What is presented on this tape meets all expectations and then …
Bruital Orgasme Untitled – C30
Here we have a new tape by the married Belgian couple Bruital Orgasme, who seem to specialize in creating a mix of old school harsh noise combined with field recording cut-ups, glitch textures, and thick harsh drones. I have a few of their past releases, and while I’ve enjoyed them, there’s been nothing that’s really blown me away. There was enough to keep me interested though which led to this C30 landing in my hands. I think with this tape they have taken a huge step …
Iron Forest – Body Horror CD
Iron Forest returns for the project’s last full length with Body Horror. Once again presenting his brand of doomstep to the masses. Immediately eye catching is the artwork which is a collage of various pornographic source material but abstracted so as to portray a mass of horrific creature-like images.
Kicking off the album is Pathogenesis which is probably the track on Body Horror that stands apart from the others the most. It’s a slower affair and features a picked guitar as the base for the …
Hheva – Drenched in the Mist of Sleep C30
Hheva appears to be a relatively new project but that doesn’t mean that Drenched in the Mist of Sleep isn’t some quality material. First off, the release is beautifully packaged in leather casing tied shut with thick twine. The j-card reveals textured paper with smartly black and white images and text, a very nice DIY presentation.
Side A contains The Forest Bathes in Crimson Lead which is a beautiful floating ritual drone piece. Harmonic and peaceful yet focusing on an air of mystery …
Urna – Larvae C60
Urna is a project from Italy that has been around for many years now, but has remained largely unheard outside of his own country except for maybe the early releases that came out on the infamous Slaughter Productions. I first heard his CD-R “Lares” back then when it came out and was very impressed by it. I tried tracking down his other work with little luck, besides the occasional disc here or there. So it was great news when Brave Mysteries announced they were releasing this …
V/A – The Moon is Hungry 2xC20
Four killer artists come together to create this great double tape set. Immediately noticeable is the great artwork job tying everything together here. The artists tend to do a great job as well creating like-minded sounds to fit into their side. I listened to this puppy a few times before even opening up the booklet and realizing that it was more than one artist, which is one point that demonstrates how succinctly this material works together.
Up first is Homogenized who presents possibly my …
Crown of Cerberus – With Arms Extended to The Heavens C30
Crown of Cerberus is a project that creates ritual music through electronic means. Tending to rely on loops to create a repetitive, psychedelic, and oftentimes beautiful tapestry of sound the project is quite adept at achieving an otherworldly experience. Gracefully accompanied by an exquisite display of DIY art on this tacfully silkscreened packaging; this release is truly something special to behold.
Side A contains the track Exalting Her Majesty’s Beauty from the Depths of Every Ocean, and from the …
Fecalove – Void, Chaos and Cum CD
Crucial Blast Records
Fecalove is an incredibly prolific project that has been releasing music since 2004. Despite that fact Void, Chaos and Cum is actually my first exposure to a full album by the project. Obviously as can be deduced from the project’s name the subject matter here is concerned with a variety of sexual depravity so if you’re not into that kind of thing you may want to tread lightly here.
The albums opens with a fucked up sample most likely from some kind of …
No Dreams – Pessimistic Substance C30
Depravity label and No Dreams are the vessels of Omar Gonzalez a noise devotee based out of Chicago who also helps run the now infamous DIY show space The Rectum. He is an artist who is prolific and apparently unstoppable given that he is also a member of power electronics unit Machismo and filthy noise rock mongrels Rectal Hygenics. Is there an ass this man doesn’t have his fingers four knuckles deep in?
No Dreams’ sound seems to be one of much more subtle dynamics …
Phoned Nil Trio – Ar B Ok Alou 7"+C26+CD
Rainbow Bridge Recordings/FTAM/Ursa Major/Colbeck Labs/Maxcorp Industries/Blackhouse
This is a weird one and not just for the fact that this one release spans 3 different formats. Phoned Nil Trio is a group consisting of Neil Gravander (who also performs as Nummy) and Peter J Woods (who also performs under his own name as well of a slew of other projects) and Dan Shierl (who I am not familiar with). They are based out of the Milwaukee noise scene; infamous for it’s growth and activity.
Pas Musique/Ben Link Collins/Shaun Sandor – Of Silence CD
Silent Media/Alrealon Musique/Blondena
Of Silence is an interesting release on multiple fronts. It’s a collaboration between artists and labels but the 9 tracks are grouped into threes with each group featuring a different combination of the 3 artists that have worked on the material. It’s hard to explain but once you see it laid out in the credits it’s easier to understand.
The compositions featured here are unsurprisingly of the quieter and avant garde variety. But I have to admit I really enjoy how …
Hexen – Hexen C30
I immediately received a ritualistic tone from the second I set eyes on this release. Housed in a small velvet red bag and accompanied by a chunk of bark this release has esotericism written all over it.
Luckily the sounds live up to the carefully planned packaging. Side A features a beautiful mix of experimental atmospheres and sounds. Echoing glassy textures are laid as a bed of sound and added to that are ethereal whispers. All this which is then interrupted by heavy washes of noise blasts. …
Gorduw – XIX CIF. 30/15 CDr
Russia: the wild west of the 21st century. With it’s dashboard cams, street fight videos and military aggression it’s no surprise that it is also a hotbed for industrial music. Gorduw is currently on the front lines right now and the project’s style is as multifaceted as their homeland’s antics. Having listened to several albums I’ve come to know that the project spans the genres of experimental noise, electro-industrial, and power noise.
XIX CIF 30/15 tends to the former of the styles with 5 …
Joey Molinaro – The Mephist C12
I had the pleasure of playing with Joey Molinaro in a basement a few years ago. He is a true freak and I mean that in the most adoring way possible. A violin player who delves into avant garde and weird music. Not to mention this is a release from the esoteric Auris Apothecary label; an organization that features some of the most strange and wonderful pieces of art that has graced my sense of sight, sound, and touch.
The style of The Mephist …
Iron Forest – Pantechnicon CDr
Iron Forest is a project form the man behind A Crown of Amaranth and I believe is now a defunct project but he is still operating under the project name Auditor. Pantechnicon is the first effort for this new project and is coined by the label as “doom-step”.
That description may not be far off as this is somewhat based around odd angular beats with a good dosage of noise and distortion. Lots of experimentation and tangents here. Once you think you have a track nailed …
Cursory – La Sorcière 7"
La Sorcière is my first exposure to Cursory a project which I know nothing about. Starting with the presentation of this release I can say it’s quite an effort where it has been beautifully yet subtly packaged by Blossoming Noise who always manages to put out quality material. Ultra heavy stock with silver silk screen art is very effective but leaves almost no information about the release to be shared.
Side A contains the track Some Men Look into their Minds and Find Naught but Pain …
Aphid Palisades – II C45
Fade Away Tapes
Aphid Palisades is the nom de plume of the collaboration between Lee Tindall (also of Belarisk, and Zerfallt) and Ryan Connolly (also of Sundrips). With II they create a beautiful sound of psychedelic experimental dronescapes.
Guitar is used in a very subtle and thoughtful way and combined with excellent synth work. Nothing feels canned or generic and there is a great sense of movement throughout the tape. The material shows an excellent combination of glassy and bright textures with warm analog goodness.
My only critique …
Tasuketekun – Electrical Lessons CDr
Tasuketekun is a harsh noise artist hailing from Japan and creating noise in a the style of the Japanese greats like Merzbow and Astro. This disc holds roughly 42 minutes of white hot synth-based noise with tons of variation yet using droning synth pads as a base for each track.
Two longer tracks kick things off with Electrical Lessons featuring a low bass tone and cut-up distorted elements above the drone. It is quite consistent for the entirety of the track. Human Weapon is of …
Regosphere/Shiver – There’s Daggers in Men’s Smiles C20
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
This cassette is an already sold-out split tape from two burgeoning noise artists both tending to lean towards the ambient/industrial realms.
Regosphere tackles side A with Wolf’s Head (Bleeding) which has a much more power electronics vibe than most of his material and I’m really digging it. Beneath the Sheath follows with more of Regosphere’s token sound but as always these tracks are very thick with excellent synth pads and layers of fuzz.
Shiver’s work here isn’t bad but I have to say …
Arabian Blade – Perpetuate Myself C30
It’s no secret that Christopher Donofirio’s Reviver is one of my favorite projects currently in operation in New England but here we have him teamed up with Donovan Fazzino, a man who I am less familiar with. Luckily it seems the pairing works quite well together because this tape is an excellent offering of droning ambience and industrial.
Side A consists of a few tracks with the first 2 building up to the third. Beginning with more subtle drones it’s solid work until it gets …
Opponents – Psychosexual Spiritual C38
Opponents were founded in late 2006 in New York City by the duo of Joshua Slusher and Aaron Feinstein. In Late 2009 they were joined by Joshua Greco to form the current lineup as a trio. I’m surprised they haven’t crossed my path before as they are quite prolific and if Psychosexual Spiritual is any indication they’re sound and style is evolved and explorative.
Opponents embrace the blurred line between industrial, electronica, abstract, and psychedelic music while using all analog gear. The production quality reflects that …
156 – A Life Lived As If In Hell C30
156 is back with their unique brand of musique concrete industrial music. This time bringing their awkward style to the next level and truly creating an audio soundscape of the most hellish levels.
Side A combines field recordings of people screaming, yelling, coughing, maybe fucking? Who knows? With reverberating industrial junk noise sometimes forming rough looping patterns at other times just cutting in and out incessantly. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to these sounds, their main goal to …
Oneirogen – Kiasma CD
Oneirogen is the project of Mario Diaz de Leon who is a classically trained guitarist based out of New York city and also composes music under his own name. Oneirogen generally features guitar-based epic drone tracks that are paired with heavy synthesizer dirges ranging from huge exploding harmonies to emotional arpeggios. Kiasma is the third effort from the project following an initial full-length and one ep.
Kiasma is an expansion on the ideas and aesthetics that de Leon had set in his previous full-length Hypnos and I …
Funerary Call – Fragments from the Aethyr CD
Fragments from the Aethyr was released in 2012 on Crucial Blast records and was the second release of the year for Funerary Call making it the project’s most prolific year since 2004. If you’re unfamiliar Funerary Call it is the project of Harlow MacFarlane who also heads the Canadian death industrial project Sistrenatus. Fragments of the Aethyr continues to the exploration of FC’s ritualistic ambience.
The sound on Fragments though is much more string-centric. With the interplays on the opening track Libation being …
LSFB – Loathsome Sounds From Beyond C20
LSFB features members of Nyarlathotep and hails from Pheonix, AR. Loathsome Sounds From Beyond contains 4 tracks. In the opener Eye of Retaliation the sounds are immediately filthy and tortured lo-fi style. Burnt-out transistors, throbbing pain waves, and frantic screaming buried in the mix all amounts to a wild array of insane noise.
The following track Honeymoon in Haiti takes things down a notch and churns out some well played death industrial elements. This time much more brooding and and atmospheric than the …
Wastelanders – I: Total Desolation C90
Calls and Correspondence
Wastelanders is a solo side project by Dean Costello, who is also active in Harpoon, Diatribes, and Winters in Osaka. This is the project’s first release which was put out in 2010.
Side A kicks off with a post-rock styled solo guitar piece with slowly rotating strummed cords spiraling into oblivion. A quick cut to some randomized and/or granulated electronic fluttery tones is a touch awkward but adds some crucial variance. My only issue with this is that the music usually only consists …
Peter J. Woods – Failure from Both Ends 7″
Peter J. Woods the insane professor from Milwaukee, is back. In this quick album he explores different sounds and compositions but nothing that is too unfamiliar to his previous work. However the material sees him furthering his technique and vision.
Side A contains East a track that begins in a very unobtrusive way. I can’t tell if these are broken oscillators or heavily manipulated vocals but the track builds quite effectively until it has overtaken the listening space. The production is very …
Iron Fist of the Sun – Tears Royal LP
There’s something about power electronics projects that explore their own cultural attitudes, shortcomings, and gripes that just works so well. Iron Fist of the Sun is possibly the best example of this going right now. The project is quite prolific while keeping an esoteric air about itself and staying clear from the limelight. Tears Royal was actually released in 2012 – which now seems so long ago – yet this material is probably some of the best that the project has …
Human Larvae – Womb Worship CD
Human Larvae is an act that is anything but prolific. Since The Odour of Love – his debut release in 2008 – the Germany-based artist Daniel Burfoot has released only a handfull of material. I was very proud to help him on his first full-length endeavor Home is Where the Hurt Is which was released to critical acclaim and saw the burgeoning potential of a new artist who not only focused on song structure and evolution within the tracks, but an overarching conceptual element …
+Dog+ – Fuck Faced Failures CD
Love Earth Music
Yet another release from this prolific artist. I feel like +Dog+ is unironically trying to carve out his own nitch for terrible release artwork because the design on this disc is quite painful to the eyes. Yet the sound is more cohesive here and more effective than the last material I heard from the project.
FFF is 11 tracks in roughly 1 hour with styles falling into droning noise, or ambient noise however you’d like to phrase it. Slowly evolving tracks that are …
Murderous Vision – Ghosts of the Soul Long Lost Vol. 2 2xCD
Live Bait Recording Foundation
Ghosts of the Soul Long Lost Vol. 2 is another mammoth addition to the Murderous Vision catalog with a wealth of material sprawled across 2 full discs. For anyone that is not familiar with this long standing industrial act this album is a great starting point, or even to once again re-familiarize yourself with the artist.
The set starts off with a mix of martial industrial tracks that feature some creative sound design and competent compositional …
Servile Sect – Glowing 10″EP
King of the Monsters
Servile Sect is a project who I am completely unfamiliar with as is the label. Though immediately I am met with an impressive presentation of abstract artwork and absolutely mind blowing smoky vinyl that is really impressive. The packaging here gives the impression of a space-age techno project, or maybe something quite droney and glassy.
Yet what Servile Sect presents here is the polar opposite! With side A’s A Frenzy of Cubensis we are greeted with a blast of pulsing lo-fi industrial with a …
Veiled – Veiled LP
Blind Prophet Records
If you are not yet familiar with Veiled you should be. Veiled is the duo of Robert Francisco (M Ax Noi Mach, Francisco Franco, Angeldust) and Arnau Sala (Ex-Con, ASDC) and together they create new school synth pop no-wave with a straight forward feel on their first LP. Not to say that Veiled hasn’t explored broader territory with their previous two releases – they have – where they delved into more abstract yet still rhythmic synthesizer based compositions that lurked on the outskirts of drone …
E.E. – Volcanist LP
E.E. is a musical group that hails from northern Ohio and features members Patrick Newman, Nate Meadows, and Wyatt Howland. The latter of the names is the only one I recognize because Howland is the man behind the mighty Skingraft. Beyond that I am not at all familiar with any of it but I can say this is a pretty neat looking LP. Each side is titled here with side A being Island Arc and side b being Popocatepeil and both consist of two tracks each.
Shift – Hatet/Misären 7″
Filth and Violence/Untergeschoss
Return of the mighty Shift. And it is a welcome one. If you are not familiar with the works of this artist this is a fantastic starting point. Since this is a short record I’m going to try to keep this review snappy.
Side A contains Hatet-Misaren(kackerlackorna) which brings some dense death industrial to the stage. Unrelenting low-end kick drum pounding away while Shift’s token noise attacks and newfound vocal rasping appears layered on top. An absolutely heavy affair and one that I wouldn’t change for …
Kevin Greenspon – Waypoint C10
Waypoint is a quick little affair which is kind of a strange thing for drone music. If you are not familiar with the works of Kevin Greenspon he combines guitar drone, noise, and audio collage to form glassy floating compositions of ambient harmonies with variations wandering into experimental territory.
Both Waypoint and Renewal – which are placed on side a and b respectively- have a very similar vibe using bell-like fx on floating plucked guitar lines to create a beautiful and emotional atmosphere. The work …
Concern – Living Wage C20
This is a great tape featuring the understated sounds of Gordon Ashworth’s ambient project. If you are unfamiliar with the artist he is also the man behind the harsh noise collage project Oscillating Innards.
Side A features two tracks of blurry melodic frameworks packed into a box, shoved into a corner in the attic and eventually buried under layers of dust. That’s not to say this material isn’t relevant – it is – but it’s oh so delicate and esoteric that it conjures up these …
Panther Modern – White Light Power Electronics CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
White Light Power electronics features an odd mix of styles and sounds which may somewhat be attributed to its wide cast of contributors that include D of Black Bloc, T.O.M.B., Colin Orr of Suicide, and even an organist from a church. What this amounts to is an album that features some off kilter experimental tracks and combines them with seething feats of industrial and power electronics.
Sometimes I feel the more experimental tracks are a bit jarring and don’t mesh too well …
Regosphere/Harold Shipman – Split CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Combining the sound of layered synth centric industrial and barebones experimental harsh noise is not something you see too often, but the 43 minutes of this disc offer just that. The first track is the only Regosphere track clocking in at 18 minutes it’s a tour-de-force of what Andrew Quitter does best. Carefully composed drones and noise merging and morphing over the course of it’s running time. This is the kind of material I’ve come to expect from the project and it’s just as …
156 – Frontyard/Backyard C30
Acid Casualty Productions
This tape presents a very strange sound indeed. I am not familiar with the works of this NYC-based artist but Frontyard/Backyard is quite clearly based off of many field recordings from various areas. I might assume they are from around the artist’s living space. That said, editing is very seamless yet also quite jarring in the recording’s contrasting atmospheres.
The tape alternates between more raw/unedited excerpts of field recordings and other recordings of sound effects type material like junk sounds, scrap metal, and even sounds that …
Biava/The Smartlemon – Split C55
This is the first tape release for the Italian label which also offers material from these two Italian artists. The split tape contains a wealth of material from both artists with Biava being featured on side a and The Smartlemon on b.
Biava’s material is much more to my liking here. Although it sounds quite digital in many places the artist manages to create a cohesive and engaging showing of morphed sounds using various effects. The sounds are quite unique yet perhaps remind me of the …
Nyodene D – Edenfall CD + Bonus CD (feat. Sektor 304)
This is the second full-length CD release from this Ohio based death industrial act. If you are not quite familiar with the project yet Nyodene D focuses on repetitive crusty noise reminding me of a combination between Brighter Death Now and old school Grunt.
On Edenfall the influence of Europe After Storm-era Grunt is quite palpable. The most obvious element here is the repeating loops that act as a backbone to each track and then added noise and distorted vocals. …
FRKSE – Scholar Drugs C40
I Had an Accident Records
FRKSE is back with this conceptual cassette representing something quite different from the project. If you’ve read previous reviews you know that FRKSE normally merges industrial, middle eastern music, noise, and even hip-hop into a strange 70s psychedelic trip. Live, they come off more as an old school death industrial unit presenting pummeling dirges – but playing AKAI samplers with drumming fingers – it’s a strange and wonderful site and sound to behold.
But with this tape they offer droning dark ambience combined …
Sigulda – Sickness and Health C20
Side of the Sun Recordings
Here is both a label and an artist of which I have no previous exposure. Both seem to have been mostly only active in 2010 so who knows if they are still functioning. Either way, the release must be documented.
The tape is split into two tracks with one on each side. Side A features Sickness which uses electric oscillator drones to kick things off with delay and modulation and quickly build to swashes of noise. The noise gets aggressive yet continues …
Katze – Berg CD
Katze is a project of which I have some familiarity, I’ve performed on the same bill with the project and witnessed their live set which is quite fantastic. This is my first exposure to their recorded material and it bears a different sound.
More cerebral and minimalist than their live performance is, the style falls more on the electroacoustic side of things rather than noise/drone. The first two tracks A Man A Plan A Canal Panama and Meeps are digitally source driven tracks. Delicate buzzing drones collide …
The Dadacomputer – The Birth of 5XOD CDr
The Dadacomputer was created in 1981 as an experiment in long-distance collaboration from Cardiff to Bristol which were separated by the Bristol Channel and are about 40 miles apart. The collaborators are Mark Phillips and Robert Lawrence who had met about 6 months earlier in Bristol due to Lawrence putting an ad in a record shop looking to work with similar musicians quoting Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk, Chrome etc as influences.
It took several years for the collaboration to finally be complete but on …
Brume – Quicksand C70
First of all, the packaging on this one. Hoooollllyyyyy sshhhhiiittttt!!! A sealed clear plastic baggy silkscreened and filled with sand! Inside the baggy is yet another sealed plastic baggy holding the tape so as to not get sand in it. Very well done. My only complaint is that it’s difficult to preserve if you want to open it. I guess that means I suggest you buy 2 copies each, one to open and listen to and another for your collection.
This work is a bit different for …
Scald Hymn – Primary Wilts
Holy Page Records
Scald Hymn is a solo noise project by Erik Brown, hailing from Massachusetts. Scald Hymn seems to be a newer project, with little info on his bandcamp, and no discogs page.
Something must be said about Holy Page’s diversity in sound. One moment they can be releasing casio midi jams, and the next moment be releasing lo-fi noise bangers. This tape kind of hits you over the head with trudging feedback loop generated rhythms in its opener. It flips around rumbly bass and then back to weirdly organic …
Morgan Evans-Weiler – Strata C32
Morgan Evans-Weiler is a violinist/improvisor/electronic musician based in the Boston area. He programs electronic music using PureData, and improvises on violin and prepared violin. He keeps an active performance schedule in the New England area. Current projects include; Katze (duo w/ Noell Dorsey), HMQ (Michael Rosenstein, James Coleman, Howard Martin).
Strata is a succinct manifestation of Morgan’s composition techniques as side A features a heavy electronic drone coupled with fast stroking violins that although quite frantic seem to stay within a certain pitch as to …
Filivs Macrocosmi & Charadriiform – Ex Vivo CD
A5 Productions/OMS Records
I’m not sure how I feel about the packaging on this one. The CD looks nice, but it’s only delivered in a clam shell case which I find kind of disappointing. No art, but I guess it follows along with the concept. Filivs Macrocosmi is Sergey Svistelnik who holds it down in Lithuania as one of the staples in the ambient/noise scene. Past projects include Old Monk’s Saga, Fragments, and In Meditarium, yet it appears the only currently active project of …
Goat Thron – Skrajne Uplodlenie! CD
Goat Thron is a project that has quite the sordid past and present. The project was started as a raw black metal entity in 1999 by creator Dagon. However, in June of 2000 Dagon decided it was time to go so he hung himself and the project came to a screeching halt. However, in 2004 one of the other members Funeral, decided that he would resurrect the project but only with a noise and industrial sound refusing to play black metal ever again under …
New Forest – +material/medium+ C40
New Forest is a project I am unfamiliar with and the packaging of this album is quite minimalist using only high contrast black/white imagery. Although the art is slightly psychedelic I didn’t really realize this detail until I started listening to the tape.
Kicking off side A is Dreamless which is a track that is rather ruined by a persistent drum machine beat. The problem with drum machine beats in noise/experimental music always seems to be that the beats are not very interesting and lack the …
NOISE WALLS HAVE BECOME SMALL
OUT OF HIS PITY FOR THE LAST MAN HATH GOD DIED
Noise walls have become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man who maketh everything small. His species is inexterminable like that of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
“We have discovered happiness”- say the last men, and blink thereby…
Everything is intrinsically meaningless, but things can be extrinsically more or less meaningless, if not absolutely so. I call this their noisiness.
Social Drift’s somewhat bold idea is that nosiness has become a quality of …
Veiled – Tabula Rasa C15
Veiled is a duo featuring Robert Francisco who hails from Philadelphia and Arnau Sala who resides in Spain. Together they create dark electro of the old school no-wave industrial style which lately has seemed to blow up in certain circles. Veiled has always had an lo-fi S&M aesthetic and makes use of modular synthesizers and hardware fx during their live performances.
The title track is featured on side A and is a slow pulsing reminding me of the darker side of Goblin with it’s whispered vocals …
Woven Qualm – From The Grey Havens
Green Records and Tapes
Woven Qualm is a new one of Knox Mitchell’s (Lidless Eye, The Bloodletters, Night Court) forays into sound creation, and it seems to be a project that focuses on more calm and slow moving ideas.
The first thing that strikes me about this tape is the overarching sense of loneliness. This bubbling sound – of what I can only imagine is burned and sped up tape – makes the tape sound so dirty and aged, like something that you would find at …
To The Lovers, Farewell – Banister to the Throne Room CD
The name of this project seems familiar to me but it appears they only started around 2012. The disc is packaged in a standard jewel case with some colorful artwork.
The sound within consists mostly of experimental harsh noise, I’m guessing a decent amount of this is digital because of it’s cold sounding production. A lot of distorted synths and squiggly overdriven ramblings. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t but more often than not it tends to …
Greg Kelley – Self-Hate Index CD
Greg Kelley is a musician who specializes in experimental styles and creates noise by using a trumpet and running his sounds through fx. This release is a few years old now but it is actually his latest full-length album under his own name.
Much of what you will find here is breathing type sounds, quiet, meditative and unpredictable. There are noisier moments like Shearing Husks where the dynamics really start to open up. Some tracks tend to get a little dry with the focus on …
Shift & Hal Hutchinson – Full Weight of the Opposition 10″EP
I believe Unsound Recordings is a sublabel of Unrest Productions the label run by Martin of Shift. Shift, having been reviewed here before releases sounds ranging from raging power electronics to minimal harsh noise. Hal Hutchinson however, I am unfamiliar with so this is my first exposure. The packaging here is simple stock with black & white print. Nothing to write home about but a decent presentation.
Pigshit is the first track which takes up all of side A and …
Filth – The Witches Pharmacopoeia C40
Filth is a project that is only a few years old now but has been churning out some great industrial noise since its inception. The Witches Pharmacopoeia is no exception and it appears that the artist uses his proven techniques to create yet another foray into deep industrial noise.
Percussion is used in each track here although on side A’s Mandragora it’s much more sparse and mainly treated as gestures rather than anything overtly rhythmic. The same excellent production techniques as Filth always displays are …
Dajjal – De-Evolution In Simulation Generators C90
Embracing a full and intense sound Dajjal presents an intense attack of heavy harsh noise that utilizes what may be modular synthesizers and fx to create textured beds of sound.
Side A begins with a booming bass surge and eventually evolves into a full-on attack of noise and texture that is harsh but also reverberating. The production is very dense but somehow there is also plenty of space as well. As the track continues oscillators attack but they sound more like broken glass …
Crown of Bone/Tenebrious – Epitaph Crusted Black CD
Who would have thought that Indiana would become a hotbed for black noise? Just when you thought all was lost with the world something as surprising as a split between two black noise projects from Indiana shows up at your door. Released by the ever growing force Obfuscated Records this CD is sure to impress any fan of the genre.
Tenebrious is up first with what I would consider a more traditional showing of black noise as coined by the late great Aural …
En Nihil/Striations – Split C20
Danvers State Recordings
First off, I freakin love the packaging of this bad boy. A big, soft, white poofy case with darkened artwork and a slot for the tape. It’s simple yet effective much like the music here.
En Nihil kicks things off on side A with his usual devastatingly heavy production style. Absolutely pummeling repetitive industrial loops sprinkled with various drowned elements of scrap abuse. Each track has it’s own plodding rhythm and will destroy your mind. Like a meeting between Brighter Death Now and Wolf Eyes.
Boar – Dead Existence CD
Boar is a project I have no prior experience with, so I had no idea what to expect from this disc. The design was good enough and on giving it a spin I found it offered up some crusty noise destruction.
The first few tracks are filled to the brim with heavily overdriven textures. Somewhere between wall noise and cut-up attacks. The overall style reminds me of bands that create “black noise” like Demonologists and T.O.M.B. but perhaps with less black metal influence.
On track 5 Boar …
Grunt – Europe After Storm CD
Industrial Recollections/Force Majeure
This album represents the second re-issue of Europe After Storm. Tracks 01-04 re-mastered from the original Europe After Storm tape released by Spite Recordings USA in 1998 limited to 50 copies. Tracks 05-07 unreleased studio material, tracks 08-11 live at S-Osis/Turku/Finland, 1999. The first re-issue was of the same titled CD released in a limited edition of 489 copies in 2001. This edition features the same artwork as the 2001 re-issue but is instead packaged in a jewel-case and limited to 500 copies.
Herpes Ö Deluxe – Tollerort Organisation Verfügt 7″
Divergent Series is a Boston based label (soon to be relocating to San Francisco) from the man behind FRKSE who has been reviewed here before. I’m not familar with Herpes Ö Deluxe but they are said to be “Swiss Legends” from the label. Skepticism set on high as I delve into the tracks.
Well the words of the label could ring no truer because immediately the record impresses with Friester Auf Der Lauer an incredibly weird yet creepy layering of strange sounds culminating …
V/A – X Means Not Welcome 2xC20
Straight edge harsh noise & power electronics? Can this be true? Have these scenes finally collided and if so, how will they possibly reconcile themselves? Well, X Means Not Welcome is the first step on a very slippery slope that will probably never lead to these scenes ever being able to successfully collide but what it certainly does offer is 40 minutes of militant heavy electronics that will appeal to any fan of the genre, but probably not just any straight edge kid.
Baculum is …
En Nihil – Crimes C60
Remember the scene in Terminator 2 when Sarah Conner has a flash forward into the future and everyone’s skin is blown off their skeleton? Well hitting play on En Nihil’s Crimes is very similar to experiencing that moment, but luckily my skin bounced back after being almost blown off by the intense barrage of distorted walls that assaulted me. The production of this tape is absolutely massive and it’s noticeable immediately.
Worth mentioning is the beautiful artwork and manufacturing offered by Phage Tapes with a …
Compactor – Desensitization Reprocessing C32
Compactor is the project of Derek Rush the man behind many impressive music/noise projects including A Murder of Angels, and Dream Into Dust. Although A Murder of Angels is pure dark ambient you will find much more traditionally music leanings with Dream Into Dust, split the difference and that is where Compactor fits in.
The project combines more industrial underpinnings with new school electronica and power noise to create a varied mix of styles. But Desensitization Reprocessing is anything but a rehash of 4-to-the-floor beats …
Joe Marshall – The Evening Redness in the West C22
Double Dot Dash
I am trying to refrain from making any jokes about this album title because I have to remember my roll as a reviewer and not as a comedian. It seems the only time I utter something I think is funny I end up being the only one laughing. I’m sure any comedy is not intended on The Evening Redness in the West though because in addition to the abstract, colorless artwork the song titles are quite foreboding.
It turns out …
Colorguard – Channels C13
Yet another unknown artist from this label and right here in New England as well! I love hearing new and interesting artists one of the few reasons I write these things. This is a quick blast of two opposing tracks represented well with the artwork using inverted white/black art on the cover.
Side A is all lo-fi noise destruction relentless in it’s attack. Not exactly harsh but more hypnotic and mesmerizing. Side B features echoing smooth layers of harmonic sounds forming a droning din of pulsating trails.
Jon Ericksen – The Pale Light C15
The artwork for this release is a minimalist/kitschy affair using a light blue j-card with an animal skull on the front. The design works on a few levels so it sets up for the music although the sound here isn’t perhaps what I was expecting.
Jon Ericksen creates some filthy distorted tunes. Yes tunes, because there is “music” happening behind the layers of distortion, minimalist kind of piano lines that remind me of early Philip Glass or something, but they’re difficult to make out …
Amalgamated – Spark II 3″CDr
Spark II is the second installment of the Spark series from the artist Amalgamated and immediately noticeable is the link in packaging design. It’s unique yet tied to the first volume as well using a vinyl sticker on the front of the case to create negative/positive space with the inner insert artwork. It works and is striking to the eye as well as providing something different.
The music inside is of the experimental electronica variety which isn’t normally my thing but I have to say this …
M. Todd & L. Kerr – Beyond The Threshold CDr
No Visible Scars
Larry Kerr is a member of the massive death industrial unit Steel Hook Prostheses while M. Todd is the man behind the project Transcendent Device. I don’t have any experience with the work of the latter project but if the work of SHP is any indication as to how this will sound I will guess this is going to be a descent into pure darkness with little hope. Before delving into the sound though, I want to mention that …
+Dog+ – Greetings from Moot Point California CD
Love Earth Music
+Dog+ is a project that always seems to perplex me. I’m always on the edge of whether or not I’m into it and with their latest effort Greetings from Moot Point California they make things even more difficult. First off the absolutely terrible graphic design on the packaging is a site to behold. Not just obviously photoshopped, but badly photoshopped the art makes use of fonts in the most atrocious of ways. The color scheme is ridiculous as well; combining light …
Lavas Magmas – Dark Mantle C34
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Dark Mantle is a Lavas Magmas release I have yet to hear and I am psyched to fire this baby up. Lavas Magmas is the project of Luis Gonzalez who has been creating abstract sound since roughly 2009.
The work of Lavas Magmas usually lies within the realm of ambient industrial utilizing scrap metal sounds and heavy organic-like synth sounds to create a mix of soaring drone and experimental underpinnings. Most of this tape stays true to the traditional Lavas Magmas sound …
Agarttha – A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands LP
King of the Monsters Records
This one took me by surprise. I had never heard the project or was familiar with the label at all. The artwork is simple and understated yet the packaging comes with a nice fold-out poster on heavy stock. The music presented within is a great mix of psychedelic drone, goth, and neo-folk.
Most of the tracks feature underlying minimal drum beats with either drones or subtle yet simple melodic ideas and a driving bass line. The atmosphere is …
Peter J Woods & Instinct Control – What We’ve Done 3″CDr
What We’ve Done is a pairing of two midwest artists Peter J Woods hailing from Milwaukee and Instinct Control from Chicago. They both produce experimental music but in slightly different forms. Wood’s sound is usually more composed with a darker touch and Instinct Control’s is more free from and improvisational.
This disc collides the styles of the two artists very well working off the strengths of each. Instinct Control’s usually ultra-dry and raw sound is mixed with Wood’s manipulated and morphed …
Instinct Control – Who We Are 3″CDr
Instinct Control is Ryan Dunn not to be confused of course with the late, great Ryan Dunn of the infamous Jack Ass prank troupe. The Ryan Dunn we are concerned about is a resident of Chicago, the man behind the unrelenting experimental noise project Instinct Control, and one of the people responsible for the Enemy show space which gave host to many incredible shows during it’s duration.
My first experience with the project was a live performance where Dunn manipulated a 4 track tape machine …
Raven – Extinction C20
Raven is one of the acts that has been around for 2 years and now has over 33 releases. I personally applaud the effort of the project as I have absolutely no idea how it’s possible to release that many records in such a small amount of time. Yet at the same time I tend to raise an eyebrow at the quality that those records may or may not embody.
All skepticism aside taking a listen to the tape yields some decent ambient/noise textures. Side A kicks off …
Kata To Chreon – The Sterilization of Eve CDr
Dumpsterscore Home Recordings
Kata To Chreon is a project I am unfamiliar with and on The Sterilization of Eve they present a sound that can only be the result of Skinny Puppy, Plaid, and Brighter Death Now collectively giving birth to some monstrosity. Not to say the sound here is bad, it’s just a really strange mix of different styles.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say this music is original, but I will give them the credit of using quite creative sounds. …
Pestdemon – Helvetesljuset LP
Pestdemon is an act that I had reviewed before and found some potential in the sounds. The man behind the project is Andreas Johansson and the material here is beautifully presented by Unrest Productions with some really exemplary artwork. Definitely an LP worthy of procuring in physical format.
Side A contains 2 tracks the first Silhuett Av Tva Horn an excellent ambient/noise track using modified samples of orchestral music with heavy washes of distortion. I’m not sure when the composition eventually melds into the second track entitled …
AMFJ – Baen CD
Immediately striking is the design of the disc packaging here with a decidedly modern feel. Yet, it’s eye-catching in it’s minimalism and thought provoking in it’s maximilism. Contradictory? Sure. But I feel that is part of the allure here.
Before delving into the sound I inspected the information attached. From the design I expected some clean kind of experimental drone music with maybe even a touch of acdemic flavor. The inside information seemed to confirm this, with a note saying all music is composed with Jeskola Buzz, free …
Diatribes – Three Studies On The Failure Of Language To Comprehend C60
I wasn’t able to find any info on this artist so I have to post without any available links. Diatribes is an act I am completely unfamiliar with and with this tape they present some messy packaging design coupled with swampy droning doom. The only thing I know about the project is that one member is Dean Costello also of the project Wasterlanders.
Side A is all slowly strummed guitar chords which is wholeheartedly not my thing. Maybe it’s …
Wastelanders – Cosmic Despair CD
Calls and Correspondence/Basses Frequences
Wastelanders is a solo side project by Dean Costello, who is also active in Harpoon, Diatribes, and Winters in Osaka. It’s quite the gamut of projects so it’s hard to predict what style of sound Costello will embrace for his solo project Wastelanders.
It turns out that what is offered here is slowly rotating pitched harmonic drone music. Judging on the inside photo I’m guessing most of the sounds are culled from a guitar, but honestly it sounds like an organ for the bulk …
Grunt – Someone is Watching CD
This is a re-issue of an early tape release that was also on the Force Majeure label and originally released in 1998. As Grunt’s very first release was in 1994, this is quite early in the project’s lifespan and it’s certainly interesting to hear material from these formative years. The re-mastering on the album is quite pristine which makes the quality clear and abrasive, definitely a good way to start with a re-issue.
The defining characteristic between this earlier work and Grunt’s current work is …
Songs From the Otherworld – Mycophagy 3″CDR
There are a few immediate warning signs just regarding the packaging of this release. It could be the shitty plastic sleeve that surrounds it, or the terrible type work. It could also be the photoshop filtered artwork but perhaps the most glaring thing is short explanation contained on the cover: “drone music for journeying: electronically altered reality.” Honestly I don’t know why you would have to explain something that is at the same time so meaningless, but also is something that is abstract …
Kevin Greenspon – Unveiling C25
Kevin Greenspon is a musician who focuses on guitar drone, electroacoustic, and noise. The latter two genres are a smaller percentage of his output which culminates under his own name.
What you will find here is kind of like an instrumental version of Grouper with melancholy guitar lines interwoven in ambient forms and layered, looped and affected to form sparkling stalactites of sound. The atmosphere is a peaceful but somber one yet is quite consistent throughout.
The noise elements here are few and far between but …
Funerary Call – Beckoning at the Black CD
Fall of Nature
Beckoning at the Black was originally recorded back in 2004. Now the album sees a reissue on Fall of Nature Records, the label that has already reissued The Black Root. Of course the questions that reissues always raise: What makes this reissue different from the original? Does this material stand the test of time? and finally, Is It really worth it?
With each of these questions answered it seems to lead to the next, and I can’t be too sure of …
Rale – I Sit By the Window and Watch Walls and Ceiling CD
I couldn’t help but brace myself for the excitement that the title of this album conjures. All jokes aside, I assumed this would be a minimalist, maybe ambient affair and it appears I was right. Rale is a project that is entirely new to me and they deliver some interesting quiet and soft atmospheres on this disc which totals about 50 minutes in length.
Luckily the song titles are actually much more exciting, or at least more intriguing …
Shiver – The Light Within has Turned to Darkness C20
I remember the last Shiver album to be more along a more noisy, power electronics vein, but here we have a good delivery of dark ambient/death industrial to mark a new turn in their work. I dig the packaging here with the j-card being printed on textured paper, simple artwork and text make the release have that kind of old school feel that is also recalled in the music.
The production of the tape makes it slightly more difficult to say how …
Conure/15 Degrees Below Zero – Split C60
Danvers State Recordings
This hefty split tape sees two artists whom I haven’t heard from for some time. Definitely good to see them back at it though as this is a solid showing of creative ambient/noise soundscapes. I’m not too into the artwork which is all blurry and presents a mix of ugly colors and fonts, but luckily the sounds don’t correlate.
Side A sees Conure strutting his stuff. It’s a good example of electronic ambient noise using a variety of drone textures sounding mostly as …
Vasculae – Cultural Primitivism CD
Vasculae is a side project of Jon Borges also the man behind the label releasing the disc as well as Pedestrian Deposit and Emeciator among other projects. Cultural Primitivism lays down three hefty tracks in around 50 minutes of no-holds-barred harsh noise with a small amount of experimental atmospheres.
One thing that is interesting is that the quality of the noise is much different from his other projects. It has a very crunchy and up-front sound. There is not much experimentation with space, pacing, and composition …
Massdirge – Untitled CDR
Housed in a circular metallic box with lightly rusted exterior this CDR is quite a work of art in and of itself. Luckily it’s not just the packaging that makes this release a worthwhile experience.
Massdirge presents intense industrial drone sludge which focuses on repetitive rhythmic elements and elongated guitar riffs. Normally I wouldn’t really go for this kind of thing, and I do think that some of the guitar elements even in this release are a bit overplayed. But luckily Massdirge mixes it up with a …
Andrew Quitter – Forgotten Farms C30
Andrew Quitter is a man of many faces though they all certainly share the same head. Operating under monikers such as Regosphere and Suburbia Melting he also heads the Dumpsterscore Home Recordings label which releases a wide variety of underground noise, industrial and experimental music. In summation, if you’re not familiar with his work you need to get up to speed.
When Quitter operates under his own name the auditory style usually falls into a synth ambient quality with cinematic tendencies. The compositions here reflect this …
The Black Scorpio Underground – …………Pure Hate Fuck…………… C30
This is a sickened tape from this up and coming black noise act. Let’s start with the design here: probably one of the most fucked up collages I’ve ever seen. Putting nun’s heads on porno stars, penises on children, and pentagrams on refugee’s foreheads this is some krazy shite.
Side A represents this artwork well with an audio collage of horror movie samples and awkward noise. One very noticeable thing here is that the panning is really strange and awkward not really …
Summer Scum is the second annual Buffalo, NY noise fest focused on Harsh Noise and Power Electronics. This years fest will take place at The Flesh Tunnel (1245 Niagra st) on July 18th,19th, and 20th. The lineup features over 50 acts from all over the country such as: Ferveur Noire, John Mannion, Ahlzagailzehguh, Deterge, Skin Graft, Envenomist, Gnawed, Xiphoid Dementia, Hostage Pageant, and many many more.
Summer Scum was conceptualized in early 2012 when curators Justin Lakes and Matt Goodrich decided to start doing a fest shortly after Lakes …
Mind & Flesh – Martyr Generation CD
Mind & Flesh is a project I know nothing about. Besides coming from the Force Majeure label – which apparently is yet another sub label of Nuit Et Brouilliard – the act is unknown to me. Martyr Generation is however, a pretty great introduction to the project.
What you will find on Martyr Generation is rhythmic – but not quite danceable – power electronics/industrial much reminding me of Irikarah, Haus Arafna, and Mind & Flesh’ label mates Objekt/Urian. Some of the tracks are …
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 …
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.
EUU 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, and …
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 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 is …
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 …
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 …