Music Reviews

Artist: Sult / Lasse Marhaug
Title: Harpoon
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Conrad Sound / Pica Disk
Acoustic improvisers Sult are a three-piece taking guitars, percussion instruments and contrabass and abusing and misusing them in a visceral chaos of tortured scrapes, crashes, wood being stretched, and metallic awkwardness. It’s as though their mission is to make the most unpleasant recorded noises possible from traditional instruments. This is a wall of difficult, unpleasant noise abstraction which at times is akin to fingernails running down a blackboard. Extreme stereo separation at times allows you to listen to two independent pains at the same time.

Sound artist Lasse Marhaug collaborates with them on “Harpoon”. Underneath the agonising squeals, only half audible, are drones and other found sound hits, but it’s difficult to ascertain where the crossover of responsibility lies. Regardless, Marhaug’s presence is certainly not a tempering one.

Two equal-length halves, “First” and “Second”, change and shift over time but without any clear sense of identity or progression. The result is a 35-minute affront, one of the most uncomfortable and unwelcoming pieces of audio you’re able to deliberately buy on a record label. And while ChainDLK revels in the avantgarde and the dark noise-battles where sound and art argue loudly, this release is perhaps a stretch too far. One for the audio-masochists.

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