Music Reviews



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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: Untitled
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
This Is What I Hear When You Talk is the work of Dan Fox, also known as Loss, Fail, and the man behind Inner Demons Records. This is his harsh noise wall project, so let’s see what the wall looks (and sounds) like this time. This disc consists of one track, entitled “HADRON_COLLIDER->FX70->PS-5->FX69B->MIMIQ->π²->OPERATION_OVERLORD->EM600_≈21” (how’s that for a radio-friendly title?). This is a rumbling wall of noise that at first glance seems to stay the same throughout. Perhaps it is like the Kanizsa triangle illusion, in which your brain begins to fill in the implied missing elements, but it sounded like other elements were beginning to come into the composition as it moved along. The result is a rather hypnotic piece that lulls you into it. I could definitely see this working as part of a live sound installation as well. As I noted in my review of the last disc by This Is What I Hear When You Talk, I tend to lean more toward noise with more variety, but I found this to be pleasant listening and if you prefer more static walls of noise this is one to check out. This album weighs in at 21 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.
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Artist: Bardoseneticcube (@)
Title: DroBussy
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I am quite familiar with Bardoseneticcube’s work, and one thing that I have found is that they like to change things up on every album. I suppose this makes sense when they explain that “The most precise definition of their music is surrealism: ‘pure psychic automatism willing to express the real functioning of the reflection either orally or written, or in any other form. Dictation of mind without any control from the intellect, outside of any aesthetic of moral considerations.’” With that in mind, I was interested to see what this one would be like. The liner notes state that this disc contains “Surrealistick interpretations of the music of Claude Debussy,” so let’s see how that plays out. The disc consists of three tracks, titled “A,” “B,” and “C.” “A” kicks it off with sweeping waves of hiss and the tones of an unearthly choir as a staccato melody plays over it all. The mixture of slow-moving bass drone and frantic melody keeps it interesting. Well done. “B” takes a more symphonic approach, with synthesized versions of the classical piece with bits of analogue bleeps coming through. But it is lightly processed, just enough to give it an uneasy, sinister feel. It reminds me a bit of Coil’s more orchestral works. “C” takes us back into the ethereal realm, with everything blended together into a dreamlike wash of sound. Some percussion gives the illusion of a beat, and at times piercing tones are all that are left. It starts and stops, lurching along, until it all dissolves into nothingness. Overall, this is a solid addition to Bardoseneticcube’s already impressive body of work. Well worth picking up. This album weighs in at around 20 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.
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Artist: Red Boiling Springs (@)
Title: Choked Transmission
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
I was unfamiliar with Red Boiling Springs, but their bandcamp page states that they hail from Portland, OR and the Discogs page identifies this as the project of Matt Sullivan, who also runs Nailbat Tapes. The description they provided for this album explains that “Choked Transmission is an exercise in signal interference, with each track containing manipulated samples ranging from radio frequency crossover to a wireless hotspot impeding onto magnetic tape.” Sounds promising, so let’s get into the music. This disc consists of four tracks, starting off with “Interference.” The opening is kind of minimal, consisting of a lot of ground noise with bits of static interspersed throughout. It is not harsh, in your face noise, but it is noisy in a clinical way. Partway through, it shifts gears, with heavily reverbed feedback and (unintelligible) screaming in what sounds to be a parking garage. For me the screaming detracted from the well-constructed feedback noise and static, which is quite enjoyable. Next up, we have “Waste,” which is a short excursion in rhythm and noise. A rapid clicking beat punctuates heavy bass noise and more slightly distorted screaming. Third, we have “X-Ray,” which has some really nice low-end rumble and the sounds of an engine which totally reminds me of the drums at the beginning of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” (and there is a line that I did not think I would ever write in a review for Chain DLK). The voices in here (if they are actually voices) are distorted beyond comprehension and work well. Overall, this is an excellent track that really keeps things interesting and for me is the strongest track on the disc. Finally, we have “Cleared,” which opens with a throbbing bass line; crackling static, random voices, screaming, and cookie monster growling punctuate the track throughout. Perhaps I am a noise curmudgeon, but for me the screaming just didn’t seem to work and detracted from the overall works. I would have preferred it to be much more distorted and processed to become part of the composition, but here it felt like someone recorded some excellent noise tracks only to have the recording session interrupted by some crazy guy outside the studio screaming at people. I don’t know enough about Red Boiling Springs to know if this screaming is a trademark of their work of it is a one-off experiment, but I hope it is the latter, because the noise underneath it all is really solid. Your mileage may vary, however. This disc weighs in at around 18 minutes.
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Artist: Praying For Oblivion (@)
Title: Live: April 12, 2014: Brno, Czech Republic
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I have been familiar with Andrew Seal’s project Praying For Oblivion for many years now, so I had some idea of what I was in for. However, I have not seen him live, so this was new to me. One thing that I enjoy about live sets is that they are often more chaotic and have a raw edge to them (unless you are one of those artists who pretty much just turns on a backing track and then heads to the bar). What we have here is one 19 minute track entitled “Todesmarsch,” recorded at Noise Fest – Czech Republic at Klub Boro. If you want raw performance, this disc delivers. One hallmark of Praying For Oblivion, is that he is not an “everything including the kitchen sink” wall of noise kind of guy. His work is carefully crafted; distorted sine waves bend ever so slightly as waves of fluttering static wash over them. Everything moves slowly, but deliberately. You easily get the sense that Seal knows exactly where he wants to take the piece, as he builds intensity over time. If you are looking for chaotic noise, this is not the disc you are looking for, but if you want to hear someone who has honed his craft, this is one to check out. This disc weighs in at around 19 minutes.
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Artist: Golden Oriole
Title: Golden Oriole II
Format: LP
An energetic, backwards-looking stab at recreating edgy, experimental instrumental 1970’s psychadelic prog rock, Golden Oriole’s second release hits its apparent target. Often manic guitar-led meanderings are bolted together with analogue effects and twiddles bounce off against rigid, sometimes tribal-tinged drum work that has the consistency and sometimes tone of a drum machine, but sometimes the complexity of a complete wig-out.

It’s made of two tracks, though each track has fairly distinct parts so this seems a little arbitrary. “The Waxwing Slain”, after a particularly aggressive opening, evolves into a longer more mesmeric shifting pattern in two parts. Three minutes before the end of the seventeen minute piece it drops out completely, to introduce a high-pitched tinnitus-tickling electronic screech to either brainwash or punish the loyal listeners.

Second track “Az Prijde Kocour” kicks off with similar punchiness, which this time takes longer to abate. When it finally settles it works itself into a strangely funk-channeling stepping-groove affair, as though aimed at the world’s twistiest dancefloor.

It’s a punchy and very focussed LP that will appeal to anyone who fondly remembers (even if they’re not old enough to remember) some of the experimental-guitar excesses of the 70’s.
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