Music Reviews



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Artist: Custodian (@)
Title: Toil and Waste
Format: CD
Label: Syzmic Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this artist before I received this disc in the mail. Evidently, this artist hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been putting out stuff since 2008, generally in CDR and cassette tapes ' this seems to be his first major CD release. The label describes this disc as 'Bleak, inhospitable works that flow and mutate between screeching japanese influenced noise, HNW density, and churning industrial loops.' All I know is that this is exactly the kind of noise music I like - straight up in your face wall of noise noise music. Everything is distorted beyond belief and overdriven to the point of sonic destruction. It's crunchy, it's static filled, it sounds like he is destroying everything in his path. Metal clanks and rumbling bass walls. Hell yeah! Out of the three discs Syzmic sent me, this is the one I would say is essential listening for noise aficionados ' no small feat considering he is up against long time noise artists like Inhalant. There are no pretentious titles here ' Just Toil and Waste, parts 1-9. You can get a sense of what you are in for at his website, but really - if you like noise and are looking for the next generation of noise artists, I get the sense that Custodian will be one to watch for. This disc weighs in at around 28 minutes.
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Artist: Mortuor
Title: I’m Waiting For You…
Format: CD
Label: Syzmic Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this project, but evidently he is also the man behind Subklinik, a project I had not thought for almost 10 years when I acquired Dawn of Desekration from Live Bait Recording Foundation. He has been fairly active since that time and this seems to be a new project, with only two releases and as many compilation tracks (one of which shows up on this album). His website proclaims: 'The stale state of experimentalism has forced this, the union of sickness and sound. A tribute to the forerunners of power-death electronics. Pure emotion. Pure sickness. Pure power. Nothing compromised.' Let's see if he lives up to this. One thing I will give him is that he is all about atmosphere. There is still the static wave and the pulsating electronics, but this is not really noisy. That said, it is also not really oppressive sounding, but there is an ominous undertone here. This makes sense, as this release is 'dedicated to the memory of Marco Corbelli and the Italian Death Industrial movement.' Marco Corbelli was better known as Atrax Morgue. With song titles like 'Dead Love,' 'Whore on the Floor,' 'Skalpel Inzertion,' we can see this influence. The vocals are more distorted spoken word rather than the typical screaming one would expect. When you can understand the lyrics they are fairly dark 'your mother gave up on you,' and 'nothing to live for,' for example. If you like atmospheric power electronics that skirts the line with dark ambient, this is your disc. This disc weighs in at around 34 minutes.
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Artist: Inhalant
Title: Save Our Souls
Format: CD
Label: Syzmic Records (@)
Rated: *****
If you are not familiar with this Texas-based artist, Inhalant is harsh noise. I had not heard much from this project with the exception of once being on the same compilation, but I had heard much about him so I was quite interested to hear this. This album comes packaged in a nice A4 folder. Now to the music. 'All or Nothing' is a bit too heavy on the high pitched noise spectrum for my tastes, but the use of sampled voices seems to fit well into this track. 'Death is Laughing' seems to use completely obliterated voice to punctuate the static hum that permeates the track. This is much closer to the power electronics side, except for the fact the voice is completely unintelligible. Yeah, I know the same can be said for most PE stuff, but in this case, it seems to act more as an instrument than a voice. 'No Surrender' is a more rhythmic, syncopated venture in a similar vein to the previous track, but I can't help feeling that it seems a bit thin. It's harsh, but a bit too sparse for my tastes. 'Body Trap' goes back to the old school of noise, with grinding, staticy goodness. This is much more complex than the previous tracks. Like the others, there are vocals at the end that are completely unintelligible. One thing you have to love about noise albums is the fact that you can pretty much put any title on a track. This leads to some gallows humor at times and 'Lick the Dead' is no exception. This goes back to the PE/Noise hybrid that he is throwing down. 'Save Our Souls' puts forth the strongest track, with waves of static washing over a sea of noise. Intense and heavy and nicely done. Overall, if you like the aesthetics of power electronics but wish they would just shut up and get with the noise, Inhalant is your man. This disc weighs in at around 37 minutes.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Music for Personality Disorder
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
This is simply a label sampler, but with a nice twist. You can get it from Beta-lactam Ring Records for one cent. I will refrain from doing too much with the individual tracks because all except one of the Earthmonkey tracks have already been released and several of these albums have been likely already been reviewed in Chain DLK. I have personally reviewed the discs of Aidan Baker, Sand Snowman, and Seven That Spells ' all of which were quite good. If you are interested in Beta-lactam Ring Records and want to get a taste of what they have been putting out, this is a very good opportunity to find out. If nothing else, you certainly get your money's worth. This sampler weighs in at about 79 minutes.

Here is the tracklisting:

1. Sand Snowman 'Hemlock Garden' from Nostalgia Ever After
2. Pepe Wismeer 'A Lie In Heckleness' Between Sheep & Pigs
3. Aidan Baker 'Feed Me Yr Kiss' Songs Of Flowers & Skin
4. Earthmonkey 'New Cheese' from Alms of Morpheus
5. Edward Ka-Spel 'The Beast With Six Fingers (edit)' from The Minus Touch
6. Sand Snowman 'Wide Awake' from Sleepers Hide and Seek
7. Pepe Wismeer 'Devilame (edit)' from Between Sheep & Pigs
8. Edward Ka-Spel 'Lines (edit)' from Chyekk, China Doll
9. Earthmonkey 'Ahmet Another' unreleased track from Alms of Morpheus sessions
10. Seven That Spells 'Terminus Est' from Future Retro Spasm
11. Ilitch 'La Quantique des Cantiques' from La Maïeutique de la Quantique
12. Nadja 'Skywriting (edit)' from Transmit Acoustique Abstraction One
13. Expo '70 'The Gathering' from Sonic Messenger
14. The Silverman 'This Side Of The Door (edit)' from Time On Thin Ice
15. Tecumseh 'Apophis (edit)' from Return To Everything
16. Else Teicher 'Near Dead Pachycephalosaurid on I-75 (edit)' from Whored
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Artist: Kruno Jošt and Gijs Borstlap
Title: Quasi Quasi
Format: CD
Label: Narrominded (@)
Rated: *****
As is often the case when I get a package to review for ChainDLK, I had not heard of these artists. Here's what Borstlap had to say about the disc: 'In Quasi Quasi we slowly build something through improvisation, but then we let that building collapse and start to build again on its remains. And so on. In this project we can experiment and improvise without boundaries and without resorting to traditional modes of rock and jazz.' Fair enough. This disc is all over the place while still remaining rooted in the idea that music should not only be constructed, but deconstructed. The first three tracks throw down some nice guitar noise while still remaining listenable and engaging. 'Sensitive Sayings' and 'There Is No Obstacles,' on the other hand, are a bit more minimalist providing a nice counterpoint to the earlier tracks. 'Boat to Bristol' changes it up bringing in a pulsing, pounding wall of sawtooth waves. Overall, the disc shifts back and forth between noise and almost peaceful guitars ('Why Not Doing it Again'). If you are looking for guitar improvisation that doesn't quite cross the line into straight noise, this would be up your alley. I would definitely recommend this for fans of Nels Cline and the like. At any rate, you can download it for free at the label's website, so it is certainly worth checking out if all of this sounds even remotely interesting. This disc weighs in at around 36 minutes.
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