Music Reviews



Antigen Shift/Detritus: Conjugate

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 09 2002
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Artist: Antigen Shift/Detritus
Title: Conjugate
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
DETRITUS/ANTIGEN SHIFT-"Conjugate" Split CDFrom the ever creative ambient minds of Flesh Made World comes this pairing of two unique artists, which makes for a great sampler of the two bands.Detritus’ side opens up with a stream of heavy bass beats and snares, over a nearly muted wall of sound effects in the back and a even more quiet keyboard line in the back. Track 2 is another beat driven work with the sound effects and samples being brought more to the front, and the keyboard lines being brought more to the front. The keyboard line is very skillfully layered over the beats as to give an emotional and ambient mood, bringing to mind Delerium’s "Spheres" CD, but more driven by beat and dance ability. Track 3 is where the neo classical pieces mentioned on the FMW site are talking about (I was scratching my head on that one thus far), mostly driven by a violin line (I have no idea whether it’s sampled or not) and a very quiet beat for the first couple pf minutes, and again the beats take control, but not enough to overpower the violins and synths in the back, plus the gentle plinking of the synths, sounding much like chimes. Track 4,"Penitence" I like the best thus far, because of it’s lack of beats. It shows that Detritus’ strength lies in composing more so than making drum-oriented tracks. It has a very Cold Meat Industries type feel to it, very dark and again reminding me of an empty monastery at night, or something from a horror film (i.e., Suspiria or City Of The Lost Children). Track 5 is the nightmarish remix by Antigen Shift, which turns the first track "Equilibrium" into a DJ’s nightmare mix of distorted beats and such.Antigen Shift is a much more dense story, one more fixed on dark sounds as opposed to Detritus’ more ying/yang sound. The first track "Bio-Imperative" is a sharp cacophony of sounds blistering and chaotic, with a drum pattern that must have came out of the head of a tweaker at a rave stomping it all out. The sound reminds me of latter day Whitehouse at times, but even more disturbing at times. "Esbat" sounds like another soundtrack to a Lovecraftian dream, with it’s slithering, distorted beats snaking about the dense mix of multiple drum patterns and haunting ambience. The heading drum lines on here sounds like fucking gunshots on the second verse, then just get louder from there and even more distorted! I love the quality in this one that it never stays the same for more than 30 seconds and is always sifting around. Weirdly enough I could picture this being played at an industrial club, as it does have danciness to it, but it’s the chaotic rhythms and haunting sounds that may make that difficult. The same chaotic shift continues throughout the CD, even with the remix by their lighter counterpart, Detritus. I like both, but it’s Antigen Shift’s strange charms that won me over on this one. It’s like the bastard child of Gridlock’s "Further". Rating:10. Very good CD from two bands and a label that specialize in the avante garde in both ambient and industrial. Also recommended is Gridlock’s "Further" and "Trace".

NORDVARGR: Awaken

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 09 2002
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Artist: NORDVARGR
Title: Awaken
Format: CD
Label: Code 666/Eibon (@)
Nordvargr (the mind behind MZ.412, the now defunct Folkstorm, Toroidh, Hydra Head 9 and the eponymous project, plus probably a few more) has been particularly prolific over the last few months. I really can't count all the recent releases of his, considering the several different projects, an anthology ("Enter Nordvargr") and a massive ltd boxset containing I can't recall how many cds... crazy. "Awaken" has just been released - in a limited edition - by Eibon, this time teaming up with Code666 (www.code666.net), an Italian label mostly active in the post-black metal field (Aborym, Void of Silence, Thee Maldoror Collective, Ephel Duath...); one more sign of the rising connection between extreme metal and some forms of industrial and electronics. "Awaken" (8 tracks, 55 minutes) plunges you deep in a pit of anguish and despair. Obsessive dark ambient drones with a Lustmord feel, but pushed to even more extreme territories; cold and oppressive, powerful and obstinate in its solipsistic nightmares, dissolving and absorbing filtered voices, painful samples of screams and rattling noises, sparse orchestral parts and military drummings. Closer to the brutal approach of industrial noise and power electronics rather than academical ambient music, "Awaken" is a realistic representation of a total absence of light.

AXONE: Casus Belli

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Nov 25 2002
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Artist: AXONE (@)
Title: Casus Belli
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse (@)
Somnambulant Corpse/Death Aesthetics has been putting out some quality cd-r's and 3" cd-r's by newborn or more known projects, like Tugend, Bestia Centauri, Dead Reaven's Choir and Survival Unit, plus a good tribute compilation to H. P. Lovecraft. Axone's debut 3" ep (3 tracks, 19') is topped by this sentence: "Self-directed evolution is within our collective power. All that stands in our way is an obsolete ideology". "Manifest Destiny" is an ecstatic drone with manipulated vocal and instrumental (orchestral or hymn-like, I'd say) samples; quite ambient sounding and, much unlike the rest of the ep, even peaceful. "Psychogenetic Terror" changes the whole atmosphere with dark industrial thuds and clankings, a heavy distorted drone close to death industrial fields, sparse noises and even crickets (!) in the ending. "Casus Belli", my favourite track, merges a gloomy synth drone with death industrial rhythms, plus a menacing low-pitched voice; sort of a cross between Allerseelen and Brighter Dead Now. Good stuff for an ep, I'd like to hear him on a longer run.

MURNAU: Misanthropy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 21 2002
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Artist: MURNAU (@)
Title: Misanthropy
Format: 7"
Label: 220N
Distributor: Audioglobe
Great single and third release by this Belgian band called Murnau. It's difficult to judge their project only by listening the two tracks of this 7" (which is a limited edition of four houndred) but the title says it all. "Null" and "Void" are MISANTHROPY's two tracks and in eight minutes they can annihilate your thoughts for an hour. It's hard to describe what treated noise can create but these two along with the drawings of this picture disc are capable of creating a picture into your head. Eight minutes of sound sculptures which make me ask for more. This is the first Murnau's release I'm listening but I'd like to know how they deal with the lenght of a whole album. Meanwhile, I recommend to you this one...

MASAMI AKITA & RUSSEL HASWELL: Satanstornade

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 21 2002
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Artist: MASAMI AKITA & RUSSEL HASWELL
Title: Satanstornade
Format: CD
Label: Warp
Haswell & Akita's partnership started taking shape back in 1995 when the former called up Merzbow for a performance in the UK, at the Disobey Club. They started to record some material together only later, in 1999. I think you already know who Merzbow is: one of the first experimenter who mastered improvised live noise created with different devices (if you ever saw one of his early live pictures you should have noticed the amount of little effect stomp boxes and the long tangled wires). Russel Haswell has been active for about five years and collaborated live with Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, Peter Rehberg and Mika Vainio, just to name a few. "Satanstornade" contains material recorded live at London's "The Abbey" in June 1999, and the sound has been transferred directly into a Sony MD four tracks device. The four tracks of the album are noisy, chaotic and confusing. "Fend Off Your Miserable Grief" opens the album with four minutes of grinding noises interrupted by digital pain. Because of its cyclic background sounds, the seventeen minutes of "Unlock The Mysteries Of The Sun" remind me of the early Boyd Rice's experiments done using his roto-guitar, but the duo added tons of hiss and stuff. "Track 5" (which is really the third) has got a slight rhythmical structure made of bouncing noises, but along with that there's a tornado happening between your ears. The last one is the most powerful of the batch and it's called "Testicular Fortitude". With this one you've got "listening suffering" at its top: in the background there seems to be a guitar sample which is raped by an incredible amount of digital hiss, bleeps and buzz. For this release, which will hit the streets on November 25th, Warp decided to skip a bunch of catalog numbers and jump all the way to number 666. You've been warned! If you are into brutal industrial/power/noise then you got yourself a winner right here: two of the greatest geniuses of the genre for a CD that is a good as it is extreme! Don't miss out!


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