Music Reviews

Loss: You Are What Eats You

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 07 2015
Artist: Loss (@)
Title: You Are What Eats You
Format: 7"
Label: Spectre (@)
Rated: *****
It's not often that one is able to so clearly trace the evolution of an artist, but in this 7' release, we can hear the missing link between 'A Letter That Will Never Be Sent' and 'I Kill Everything.' Gorgeous symphonic synth? Check. Distorted vocals? Check. The label says that these two tracks are 'abrasive, eroding, mindblowing and emotionally very intense. Maybe they're even more mentally disturbing as his earlier material.' Intense, yes; disturbing, no. This is what I like about Loss. His pain is real, and yet he has somehow managed to turn lead into psychological gold. If you can track this down (since Spectre seems to be no more), it's worth getting. This comes pressed on heavy transparent yellow vinyl in special sleeve with a vellum insert and is limited to 252 copies.

Decondition: Sukellan Tuntemattomiin Syvyyksiin

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Nov 15 2015
Artist: Decondition (@)
Title: Sukellan Tuntemattomiin Syvyyksiin
Format: CD
Label: Force Majeure (@)
Rated: *****
I was not familiar with this Finnish artist, but Force Majeure is a sub-label of Nuit Et Brouillard, so this gives some indication of where this is going. Decondition is the work of Helsinki-based Arttu Laine, who had previously released a cassette on Freak Animal Records. Now for some, this may not be the best pedigree coming from a label best known for releasing music celebrating incest and pedophilia, but Decondition is not that kind of musician. This is no small feat in power electronics, but it is always good to find them when you can. The cover art provides a hint of want we will be hearing. This is industrial, in the sense of 'factory assembly line.' Only in this case, the factory has long since been abandoned, but no one bothered to turn off the machines. Parts have begun to rust and creak, but still they go on. Oil drums serve as percussion and everything is awash in static. But this is not all in your face. Tracks like 'Dark Clouds Over My Innerlandscape' show an admirable sense of restraint. Some lack vocals, letting the noise speak for itself, unlike some PE, which is content to have some fuzzed out noise that they can yell over. But where Decondition really shines is toward the end, where the tracks become less agitated and more musical. 'River Of My Emotions Unfolding,' for example, is almost melodic in a harsh sort of way. Sort of how the desert has its own austere beauty. 'Aistiharhojen Luoma Todellisuus (Sukellan Tuntemattomiin Syvyyksiin)' continues this trajectory until we reach the end with 'Deep Sleep In My Dreams,' which has more in common with dark ambient music than power electronics (albeit a gritty kind of dark ambient). In this respect it reminds me a lot of Loss, who creates gorgeous symphonic power electronics. If you're looking for power electronics that pays as much attention to the music as the vocals, this is one to pick up. This album weighs in at around 62 minutes and is limited to 497 copies.

iVardensphere: Dark Science Trilogy - Part 1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 12 2015
Artist: iVardensphere (@)
Title: Dark Science Trilogy - Part 1
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Almost synchronized with the recent release of their awesome album "Fable", Canadian duo iVardensphere, the brainchild of Scott Fox and Yann Faussurier,tries to scout different stylistical area and sonic declension on this relatively minor release - the first part of Dark Science Trilogy -. Both some obscure references - there are many similarities with the framework of the above-mentioned "Fable" - and the heavily scorching industrial wire drawing of their sound endure this skin-shedding output, but forget any grasp by means of what could resemble the form of a song as well as furious tribal drumming and EBM shredding and grating: even if the guessed voiceover, which is similar to the ones of more or less tendencious video-documentary or educational videoclips for science classrooms, is an element they used in Fable, the dirty metallic sounds of initial "Aether" move towards a sort of distorted dubstep and the disquieting choirs on "Blight" are similar to the ones you could hear in "Millian Year Echo", the opening track of "Fable", whose trait d'union seems to be the dystopian vision both tracks evoke, but those choirs sound like a disturbed interference in between the harsch distorted electric buzzes of "Blight", a track which prepares the ground for the gargantuan burp of "Lapse". I'm curious about future steps of the forthcoming chapters.
Oct 23 2015
Artist: Zeitkratzer (@)
Title: Column One - Entropium
Format: 12"
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
Reinhold Friedl-led electroacoustic ensemble Zeitkratzer keeps on venturing in the revamping and reinterpretation of miliar stones of noise and industrial culture; after the amazing remake of Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" and the likewise fascinating remake of some stuff by William Bennet's Whitehouse, Zeitkratzer retrace the sound of the Berlin-based post-industrial collective Column One, the brainchild of Rene Lamp and Robert Schalinski, whose challenging sound, which often deranged sonic contemporary cliches to feed thought-provoking pills by means of really interesting dadaist collages (think about outputs like "Classic Chill Out Rhythms 2" and "Doubt" on Moloko+,"Cannibalism" and "Dream Time" on 90% Wasser or the more experimental/esotheric injections such as "Unrealizer", one of their masterpieces in my opinion, on Marco Koch's imprint Stateart), should not be considered as a merely fanciful deviant. I'd rather say that many sonic outputs by Column One are more like somehow benevolent viruses that try to contaminate the already sick cells of contemporary western culture, where the final outcome (health or death) is uncertain... The title of this revamping by Zeitkratzer seems to link the nihilistic idea of entropy, the medical condition in which eyelids fold inward known as entropion and "Introitum" (a Latin word which also refers to an entrance fee or a gain for companies), the title of a suite that Column One recorded at DIe SIBIRIScHe Zelle in Berlin in 2004 (released by Drone Records in 2013) by assembling the sound of Schalinski's saw together with the obsessive tapping on a "salad bowl" by drummer and percussionist Peter Hollinger, which could be matched to the typical electroacoustic improvisations by Zeitkratzer, whose path already intersected in the past as Schalinski already gave many chamber-noise compositions inputs to the ensemble. The most interesting aspect of this transplantation into an electroacoutic dimension is the fact that Friedl and partners-in-art wisely transected a wider sonic register by tuning different inputs in one-single session: the decadent and extremely cacophonous sonic debris of "Sol", that followed the scary brief introduction "Panthera", flows into "Vide Navareseke", the sinister and painful flaying of Column One's "Berta Navarseke 1919", while the twelve minutes of the fourth part "Haendhilse" manages to twirl tape-music nuances, chamber music and claustrophobic industrial churning, which could let you imagine a group of dangerous felonious psychopaths grouped together for an ensemble after killing some sadistic nurses of a crumbling mental hospital. Animal longings and shrill noises from found objects got melted in the final dissonances of "Lade".
Artist: Isolat Pattern
Title: Clinical Ambience
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
"Clinical Ambience" sounds like a guessed title for this output by one of the recent discoveries of Kotra's imprint Kvitnu, which came from the sonic wit of Berlin-based sound artist Benjamin Harris, which didn't received so many feedback despite the considerable quality of sounds and their layering. The wisely forged noises that Isolat Pattern pull out of his machines got inoculated in both spacey and claustrophobic pad-synth-rendered empty spaces: nervously whirling electronic trimming beats, artificial lacerations, piercing low frequencies or digital puffs come to life inside the narrow electric tunnels of "BLK.HSE", the cryptic whispers and the widely reverbered clashes of "Darkness Curves", the fascinating void of "Die Charmante Verlockung", the intermittent patterns of "Glitterer" , the abyssal recesses of "Purestate" and the industrial sikholes of "Twinning". It comes on a carefully designed artwork by Zavaloka, who wrapped this awesome release by means of exclusive glittered black cardboard and two inner prints made on metallic translucent and marbled papers.
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