Music Reviews



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Artist: Rachika S
Title: Themes For A Film
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Loveless Records
Described as an EP, this 9-track, 30-minute mini-album is a collection of work originally written for a Loveless Records re-scoring of the anime Tekkokinkreet, and it’s certainly ‘soundtracky’. It’s purely instrumental, as plaintive, slightly twangy electric guitar plucking blends with rough-hewn mangled electronic environments, pulling contrasts between purer and more conventionally emotive melodic work and harsher, tense environments.

Pieces like the end-credit-friendly “A House By The Ocean” border on instrumental pop and have a notable but not dominant vein of positivity and hope, while other tracks like “Killing Machines” push the melody back (but not out completely) and bring darker, glitched and processed, thoroughly effected experimental noise to the fore.

It’s one of those soundtrack works that feels like it perhaps needs to be sided with the intended visuals in order to be appreciated fully, with some of the tracks seemingly left short to suit the film cut rather than being allowed to breathe. But nevertheless it’s an interesting and fairly introspective work that marks out a composer worth looking out for.
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Artist: The Flesh, Full Of Black Sand
Title: The Door is Open
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
The Flesh, Full Of Black Sand hails from Tyler, TX and is the work of one Dakota Snaketail. They describe themselves thus: “Minimalistic droning dark ambient. Listen with headphones while you're falling asleep.” Sounds good, so let’s see how it plays out. This disc consists of one track, “The Door is Open,” and consists of deep, low end drone. This is music for subterranean rituals, and listening to it with headphones gives some sense of the layers in the music. It never really gets too intense, but it keeps shifting ever so slightly, which keeps it from sounding like someone just looped the same drone for 18 minutes. Slow-moving synth washes peek out here and there, almost imperceptibly at first, then coming more to the forefront. Overall, this is pleasant dark ambient that makes me interested to see what they could do with a full album. Well worth picking up. This album weighs in at around 18 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.
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Artist: FFI Digital
Title: 180125
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I quite enjoyed the last FFI Digital release that I reviewed, so I was interested to see how this would compare. For those of you who missed the last one, this is the work of Dan Fox, who has many other projects (including Loss, Fail, and This Is What I Hear When You Talk) and runs Inner Demons Records. The insert notes that “This album was created with only freeware / shareware instruments and effects, plus plugins packaged with Cubase.” With that established, let’s get into the music. This disc consists of two tracks at just over 10 minutes each. We start with 180125, which is a well put together composition of grinding noise over a thudding, metallic beat, which brings to mind the rhythms of older Test Department. This is not put together haphazardly, though, and everything fits well together. Later in the track, we have harshly distorted unintelligible vocals as the track slowly grinds to a close. 180125 (180305 RMX) gives us a sense of what the track sounds like with a month or two of distance from the original recording. The opening is far more stripped down, with the beat taking the center stage, before bringing the noise. This sounds a lot more mainstream industrial, kind of like Fox is trying to channel Front 242 through his own music. It’s much different from what I am used to hearing from him, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The vocals may be the same (you can’t tell in the remix either), but otherwise they are very different tracks. Overall, this is well done and quite enjoyable. This album weighs in at around 21 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.
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Artist: Nexus Monkey
Title: Enjoy Irresponsibly
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
St. Petersburg, Florida based Nexus Monkey brings us 10 short tracks, titled I through IX and a final track named “Smells Like A Tool Shed When I Come Around.” The title made me laugh, so I hope it lives up to my expectations! The disc opens up with a weird mix of pleasant drone, harsh static, analogue bleeps and squalls, and heavily processed instrumental music, all thrown into a blender on the frappe setting. Who knows what that setting is supposed to do anyway? The rest of it goes along the same lines, with different ratios of ingredients. At times it is heavy on the melancholy drones (II, IV) mixed with 8-bit analog, other times the analog dissonance comes to the forefront (V), and other times it is a brilliant mixture of all of the above in equal measure (VI). And I know you’re wondering what “Smells Like A Tool Shed When I Come Around” sounds like. Take all of the above, but put a grinding heavy metal guitar rocking out over the whole thing. It was like Xome did a collaboration with my teenage music collection. It was beautiful. All of this to say that this disc is absolutely wonderful. If you like it noisy, this is one to get. But please remember to listen to this irresponsibly. This album weighs in at around 22 minutes and is limited to 42 copies, so get it while you can.
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Artist: Nightmare Park (@)
Title: Box Of Teeth
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
Nightmare Park hail from Connecticut and describe themselves as “Blackened Harsh Static and Noise Walls, sounds sourced from Horror films that I like. . . . HELL IS REAL.” I suppose that this gives us some sense of what we are in for, especially when we take a gander at the disc titles. This set consists of three 3" discs neatly packaged in a small box. We begin with the first disc, which consists of one 20 minute track entitled, “I Am the Devil.” This is a crackling, rumbling wall of noise that consists of a nice blend of low-end rumble and choppy white noise static. It shifts slowly over time, but remains the same idea throughout. It’s honestly kind of soothing. Disc two is one 18 minute track, titled, “And I'm Here To Do The Devil's Work.” This opens with heavy low end bass and some quiet crackling static, making you think that this will be similar in approach to the first disc. However, at about two minutes in, the static suddenly becomes much louder, kicking in with more force. This is a much more involved piece than “I Am the Devil,” and the evolution of the track is more interesting. Grinding and scraping noise mixed with distorted low end bass. Disc 3 brings the noise with one 18 minute track titled “An Interview With Evil.” This is a more complex track than the other two, and much noisier, as if the first two were simply a warm up for the finale. This is like standing next to a blast furnace in a sheet metal factory. Overall, the tracks keep a similar feel throughout and hang together well as a whole. At times I wish that it would have had some more variety, but the overall effect is oddly soothing and hypnotic. One may expect the standard horror movie samples and over the top “check out how evil I am” from the titles, but thankfully Nightmare Park resists this impulse. Instead, we have solid discs of straight wall of noise. If you like your noise with a lot of low end, this is worth checking out. This set weighs in at just under an hour and is limited to 42 copies.
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