Music Reviews

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Title: Counterattack of Shine-Shine-Dan/Dr. Freudstein
Format: 7"
Label: Dada Drumming
Rated: *****
I've probably lost touch with the extreme noise scene over the last few years, but I think that the flood of records by Japanese noisemakers is not as intense as before. Well, this is surely a much anticipated release for harsh noise freaks, as Third Organ and Government Alpha are without doubt two of the best projects in the field. The 7" comes on marbled pink vinyl, but most of all, there's a bonus printed cd of live material (recorded in October 2003), so it's quite a massive dose of noise for your ears. As for me, the vinyl record wins the comparison: mean, brutal noise mess as expected by them. No frills, just a minor dose of theremin and bowed strings (!) on G.A.'s side, and that's it. Nothing new under the sun, but it literally pulverizes all the mediocre, heartless digi-noise by avantgarde wankers I've listened to lately. This hurts for real. As with grindcore, the limited length of a 7" keeps it short and violent. The bonus live stuff is mastered at a ridiculously high volume, but as expected from lengthy pieces, it also has weaker moments. Anyway, this is Japanoise to the bone... If you browse Lasse Marhaug's exquisite site and go to the photo section, there are a couple of great shots of Yasutoshi Yoshida (G. A.) in action - in one he's standing on a table, tweaking on a series of pedals, in the other I think he's showing a theremin which looks like a space weapon. Rock'n'roll intensity, man! Here, his side is titled after Lucio Fulci's masterpiece "House by the Cemetery", and dedicated to the master of Italian gore, so he immediately was in my good books. Instead, Third Organ's cover looks like a demented collage of various b-movies (but is that a picture from "The Brood"?). So the record is a winner in the visual department as well.
Title: Astral Walk
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Distributor: Nail Records
The Plastic Spider Thing duo has been active over the last few years with strong ritual/sexual performances, often in relationship with Coil, who also endorsed their debut cd. "Astral Walk", released by the new-born Italian label Final Muzik, was actually conceived as a soundtrack for "Plastic Spider Thing Part XXII". This could explain the fact that the music is at times very static and repetitive, and one feels the lack of visuals; but as a whole, the 9 pieces, titled as orchestral movements, are intense enough to keep your attention focused. The cd begins with a rhythmic loop, first as light as dripping water ("Entrata Lentissima"), then gradually getting heavier like military drumming ("Marziale") - along the way, electronic patterns are added, reaching an ecstatic cosmic ambient symphony. From the fifth movement, the music changes quite drastically to dark, compressed techno electronica, with some natural references to post-"LSD" Coil. On these minimal beats is whispered a tribute to Soft Cell ("Macabre (Meet Murder My Angel"), and the dedication to Derek Jarman sort of closes the circle. Surely a complex and, at times, demanding release, with plenty of good sounds, but also some less focused and engaging moments.