Music Reviews

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Artist: Corephallism (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Lascivious Aesthetics / Apop Records (@)
Most people in the Noise/Power Electronics scene have likely heard of Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck. Now Shane Broderick, one member of that trio, is here with a solo project called Corephallism. And lest you think that this is a better name for a project, consider that a quick google search reveals that Corephallism is a “Rare term for anal sex with a young girl.” Here’s how the label describes the disc: “On this debut recording Mr. Broderick offers a brief glimpse into his struggle with personal demons of hereditary mental illness, sexual addiction and depression which serve as subject matter. Analog synth meditation, pulsing ambience, and bleak soundscapes lead to relentless monophonic buzz saw worship.” This is a three inch disc, so it is by definition short, but this was over almost too quickly, weighing in at a grand total of 7:31 for the two tracks. Both tracks are noisy, but it is not overly harsh. In fact, Speaking in Tongues, the first track, starts out almost like dark ambient before becoming diving into slowly pulsing noise waves. “These Scars Will Last a Lifetime” also begins with an ambient feel before kicking into noise. Although there is some underlying texture to it, the shifts are a bit too subtle for my taste. The track ends abruptly with what seems like silence, but really it is the sound of a female sobbing, recorded at a very low volume. Overall, not too bad for an intro to the project.
Artist: Raxinasky
Title: The Anti-apopathodiaphulatophobicoustical Days
Format: CD
Label: Heart & Crossbones (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this band from Belgium, but the press sheet that came with the disc promised “a sonic battlefield of nihilist prog-core, slanted death metal, deranged NO-WAVE and mutant grindcore revolts.” So far, so good. The disc is broken up into six “Anti-apopathodiaphulatophobicoustical Days.” On putting in the disc to Day 1, the first response is “Holy crap!” but in a good way. The disc starts off with screaming and noisy guitars and percussion. However, there is a kind of logic in the music, with rapid staccato starts and stops. Day 2 starts off a bit more mellow, but then kicks into freakout rock. There is screaming and fast moving guitar. If Sun Ra had a rock band, I imagine it would sound something like this. Day 3 is a 39 second mellow guitar solo that leads into Day 4, which follows a similar trajectory to Day 2, until it slides into a slow, mellow groove, then resumes into a spastic maelstrom of sound. Day 5 is a pleasant stripped down guitar piece which only lasts 2.19 before kicking into noisy guitars and percussion again on Day 6. The back and forth tension of harsh and mellow can work well, but in this album the mellow interludes are so short and fleeting as to seem almost out of place. The main problem with this disc is that it begins to all sound the same. The recommendations include the Flying Luttenbachers and Cephalic Carnage. I would also add Seven That Spells as a possible point of comparison.
Artist: The Process Void (@)
Title: Staat Des Zerfalls
Format: CD
Label: Green Mutant Recordings
Rated: *****
The Process Void throws down some old school electro. Musically, the main comparison that comes to mind is Mentallo and the Fixer. One thing I like about this album is the atmosphere that runs throughout it. However, there are some downfalls. For example, on “Social Disease,” it seems that the band decided to throw in some bad goth vocals. I wondered, “When did Andrew Eldritch join this band?” “Viscious Circle” also suddenly drops the vocals an octave and decides to go death metal on us. But when they are good, they are amazing. I could not get “Death Warrant” out of my head for a week. That song alone made sure that the disc logged quite a few hours in my car stereo. “Skyro” is a nice instrumental track with a good beat and an interesting atmosphere and “Vacuum” continues with the same music, adding vocals. These tracks work well. So overall, the disc is a mixed bag. I get the sense that they would put on a pretty good live show, but it seems that they are still trying to find their sound. However, they seem to have gone on indefinite hiatus, according to their website.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: What Pleasing the Lord Looks Like Marriage: Extreme Noise…and Terror from Japan and Israel
Format: CD
Label: Heart & Crossbones (@)
Rated: *****
I like noise music, although I am always a bit amused when seeing “terror” thrown into the description. However, this seemed promising, especially considering the vibrant noise scene in both Israel and Japan. I was a bit surprised when I put the disc on to find Ryokuchi kicking it off with some slow sludge. This wasn’t the noise I was looking for. Not bad, but I was expecting something else. Cadaver Eyes follows this with some nice intense bass drone. Heavy on the low end with just a bit of buzz in it. However, this is marred by some drum and cymbal bits and yelling that seem a bit out of place. This would have been better as an instrumental. Zenocide brings in the obligatory Cookie Monster vocals and slow metal guitar. At this point I was starting to wonder where the noise was on this disc. LietterSchpichDiet gets us closer to the promised noise with a wall of sound and someone beating the crap out of cymbals. Grinding noise and tortured vocals with a lot of processing. Now we’re getting somewhere. MONEYI$GOD brings us ritualistic rhythmic drumming and wall of warbling electronic noise punctuated with short bursts of vocals - sort of hypnotic. About halfway through they completely let loose with the noise. This is what I came to hear! Poochlatz supplies some power electronics with heavily distorted shouting, a good background of droning electronics, and a lot of variety. For me this is one of the standout tracks on the disc. Remesh offers up an incredibly noisy track that builds slowly before unloading with both barrels - pulsing and punishing. This was amazingly good, and not simply from a comparative standpoint. Nerveless lays down the longest track on the compilation at 19:13, with a grinding electric guitar track. However, adding a lot of distortion does not really make it noise. It becomes noisier as it goes on, with what sounds like wind on microphones, but Nerveless had the misfortune of following Remesh, which was a tough act to follow. Moreover, this track went on for about 10 minutes longer than it needed to. Overall, this is a mixed bag. If you are looking for noise, there are a few tracks worth checking out here, but I would say that it would probably be better to just find a full length release from Remesh, Poochlatz and MONEYI$GOD. The disc weighs in at 67 minutes.
May 05 2010
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Artist: Empty (@)
Title: Surfacing
Format: CD
Label: Aphotic Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The ongoing lack of sales of physical CD’s may doesn’t allow a music project to wait nearly 6 years for the release of a first full-length album. But as usual, those things differ with Australia’s EMPTY, as they still rely on their very own talents regarding production, releasing and distribution under their Aphotic Audio label. After three well recognised EP releases (”Open Aeon”, ”Aeon Xpand”, and last years’ ”Never Get To You”) and a digital-only instrumental soundtrack-like collection freely available from their website, they finally could get it ready - a real full-length album. Whoever knows, if this one would been ever released, if there wouldn’t have been so much unexpected positive reactions on their last EP ”Never Get To You”. Somehow this release has been a kind of trigger for Daniel Brunet and Aaron Potter, as they had initially installed newer and more refreshing elements into their arrangements. The usage of Clicks ‘n’ Dubs, Breakbeats, lighter synth lines and lesser fx-processed vocals especially on ”Never Get To You” has seemingly left influence on all of their newer compositions - finally it has only taken a year after the EP, until this album was ready to get dropped on their audience.
EMPTY are always, and have always been, quite aware to sound unique, and at least to experiment with this rather untypical and IDM-related sounds and patterns has offered them the needed doze of self-confidence into their own abilities. Their music remains to be Dark Electro, but there’s no PUPPYan bone-licker copycat-syndrome recognisable. ”Surfacing” therefore picks up exactly that path, which ”Never Get To You” has started - better said, it refines those ideas without altering their musically origins. Stereotyped thinking has been always with them to describe their sound, and I remember, that I named quite often DISMANTLED as being a reference - but that can only catch a small part of their meanwhile grown musically spectrum, they nowadays like to produce.
Already the starting instrumental track ”Deprivation” presents a lot, but not all of their musically influences, by combining detailed and dark-minded synth sweeps with diverse rhythm patterns. Both, ”Never Get To You” and the already discovered b-side of that EP, ”Forgotten Dreams”, got included too. ”The Centre” then can be named as being the centre of attention, as this track comes out with a heavy bass line programming and again a rather IDM/modern Electronica-sounding rhythm work - highlighted by the slightly vocoderized, but catchy vocal performance, which offers this track a high recognition value. Then the tempo turns down and the synth pads got even more icy, but also melodic produced with true and epic Dark Electro components, ”Drift” turns in and leaves you breathless. Definitely their best tune so far, although it draws the nearest relations to earlier works like ”Ghost Besides You” for example, available on ”Open Aeon”. Again spectacular - the usage of their typical vocoder effects on the vocals. At least, that lyrically quite hopeless track ”Frames”, featuring Tessa Zynik as being the female vocal counterpart, impresses with a sad mood and light piano drops.
”Surfacing” offers one remarkable tune after another and if you would decide, to spin it the 25th time, you would still find some new and extra-ordinary content worth to discover. This album seemingly gets never boring - which other release out in this year can offer the same impression like this one? A must-have release!
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