Music Reviews

Artist: Porch Nap (@)
Title: Antidot (Selected Works 2007-2017)
Format: CD
Label: Fulldozer Records (@)
Distributor: Zhelezobeton
Rated: *****
For this artist and release, I really have to reproduce the lengthy quote from the labels: "During the last ten years this moderately active figure of the St. Petersburg underground has been engaged in acoustic research, almost invisible for most people but passionate in its cosmologic nature. The result of these experiments turned into a fusion of seemingly incompatible genres of modern music – techno and improvised noise. However in the interpretation of Porch Nap this paradoxical combination sounds quite natural. The album features selected tracks of Porch Nap dated 2007-2017, most of which were reworked in recent years. For five compositions additional parts were recorded by honored figures of the Russian experimental scene: Fedor Svolotch, Alexei Borisov, Kryptogen Rundfunk, Brompton's Cocktail, as well as by the famous American noise musician Phillip Klingler aka PBK. And the final track "Intelligent Noise Monday" was remixed live by Alexander Zaitsev, known as a member of the band EU. The edition is released in 2 versions: Regular edition includes: CD in digisleeve with two cards. Limited to 175 copies. Special edition includes: CD in digisleeve with two cards, bonus mini-CD-R in cardboard sleeve with an alternative version of the title track Porch Nap feat Fedor Svolotch "Antidot" and two additional compositions, Porch Nap "Ordo Ordinans" audio-tape (reissue of the 2001 album), all packed in white rag bag with silk-screen printing. Limited to 35 copies."

I will be reviewing the regular edition because that's what they sent me. Yes, this is deep underground St. Peterburg experimental electronica. The techno aspect surfaces more in the rhythms (when present) than anything else, with repetition playing a major role in that regard. A good portion of it could be called industrial. The temperament of the ten pieces on this album ranges from curiously intriguing to excruciatingly annoying. The opening and title track "Antidot" is a subdued exercise in techno minimalism with a soft electronic kick tone carrying the beat while fussy and fuzzy electronic noises fill in the gaps. Fedor Svolotch is featured on this one. Kryptogen Rundfunk's electronic contributions on "Verisimilitude Recurrences" makes for very uneasy listening, and at over 9 minutes you're going to need all the audial stamina you can muster. On "E nego Rework" all sonics seem processed around the beat with liquidy, squiggly bird-like sounds. "Freq Out," a lengthy track at over 10 minutes features PBK and sounds like some automated wire brush scrubber feverishly working over a filthy tank in an alien workshop environment. "Anti-Social Ultra-Pop Pt.1" is a cute little rhythmic number that sounds like processed finger-thrumming with electronic embellishments. It isn't hard to imagine what "Non-Linear Bass Metronome" might sound like for it's title; just add pitched noise and you're good to go. "Signal" is the lengthiest piece on the album at 11:48, and for over half of it, the most difficult one to listen to- a seemingly endless bleep-tone repetition with interjections of squeak and squeals until it morphs a bit into something else but still maintaining the monotonous rhythm. "Cliffhanger' featuring Brompton's Cocktail is my favorite piece on 'Antidot' not only because its the most musical of the lot, but also because it offers dramatic tension and a relentless drive that could easily lend intself to cinematic uses. Alexei Borisov contributes voices, noises and guitar to the monotone beat "Granular Liminal Beat" but you will have to listen pretty closely to catch it as that rhythm overides nearly everything else. Final track, "Intelligent Noise Monday" (Alexander Zaitsev Live Remix) is a scattershot affair that goes through numerous, sometimes awkward changes underscored by a constant beat, but as it was done live, it's really not too bad. 'Antidot' is an uneven album but considering it is representative of a span of 10 years work, that's understandable. Those who enjoy noisy experimental electronics with beat and rhythm will be happy with this one. Those who don't just won't.

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