Music Reviews

Jun 15 2014
Artist: Reinhold Friedl/Franck Vigroux
Title: Tobel
Format: CD
Label: Alamuse (@)
Rated: *****
Premiered at NK Berlin and at Anis Gras le lieu de l'autre and re-recorded in Luc Ferrari's studios La Muse en Circuit, National centre of musical creation, in Paris, "Tobel" is the first collaborative recording by German experimental pianist Reinhold Friedl, also known as Zeitkratzer, whose name appeared on our space on the occasion of another collaborative project, P.O.P, together with Denseland's bassist Hannes Strobl, and French avant-arde electronic musician and guitarist Franck Vigroux. They let meet their different sonic languages - Franck's eectronics and tape recorders and Reinhold's acoustic instrument and prepared piano techniques - in an imaginary ravine ("Tobel" is the French word for this small valleys caused by streamcutting erosion), which got rendered by sudden uproaring crashes, uneven electric gales and claps of thunder on almost thready ultrasonic drones, screaming metals and menacingly rasping undercurrents. Even if such a collision could sometimes five rise to stifling and harsh sonorities, "Tobel" is a really adventurous listening experience.

Candor Chasma: The Key

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 09 2014
Artist: Candor Chasma (@)
Title: The Key
Format: CD
Label: Old Europa Cafe (@)
Rated: *****
Named after the unexplored canyon of Valles Marineros on Mars, the biggest one on the Red Planet, Candor Chasma, the collaborative project of Sardinia-based sound artists and musicians Simon Balestrazzi (T.A.C., Dream Weapon Ritual, Sarang, A Sphere Of Simple Green) and Corrado Altieri (Uncodified, Monosonik, TH26), despatch their second sonic transmission on Old Europa Cafe after their debut album "Rings", by digging brightly obscure industrial sonorities out of a fascinating conceptual framework, which ideally retraces the most meaningful moments of the adventurous life of Madame Blavatsky, the Russian noblewoman who co-founded the Theosophical Society together with Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge and remarkably influenced Western occultism. Named after some of the most important stages of Blavatsky's biogrphy - from "Hyde Park (August 12, 1851)", where she met Mahatma Morya aka "M", the mysterious initiate that she already met during her childish visions before meeting him in person on the day of her 20th birthday, to "Adyar (1882), a village nearby Madras in Southern India where the founders of the Theosophical Society bought a farm which became the headquarters of the group, from "New York (1877)", where J.W.Bouton issued the first sold-out edition of "Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology", the masterpiece of esoteric philosophy by Madame Blavatsky, to "Calcutta (1855)", the first place she visited in India - the eight tracks of this sonic journey condense abrasive analog noises, electric discharges, otherworldly resounding entities, field recordings, vocal samples and subcutaneous piercing pricks over a captivating crossbreed between power electronics and industrial canons, whose psychedelic intensity gradually grows and reaches the mesmeric acme on the two parts of "S.S.Eunomia" and "Adyar", where this electronic duo seems to give voice to the spirit guides that supposedly opened the gates of the high spiritual gardem and the psychic realms that Madame Blavatsky let espy by means of her life and her rich literary production.

Severe Illusion: Deliberate Prefrontal Leucotomy

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 23 2014
Artist: Severe Illusion (@)
Title: Deliberate Prefrontal Leucotomy
Format: CD
Label: Complete Control Productions (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
It's new to me that the both Severe Illusion peeps are going to study brain surgery. Their last year release 'Psychosurgery', a 5-track-EP physically available in a hard-to-get limited edition of 100 exemplars, fits thematically perfect and can be seen as the ideal preliminary degree examination. 'Deliberate Prefrontal Leucotomy' now represents their examination and delivers an ongoing conceptual release on 8 tracks. The musically expression of Fredrik Djurfeldt and Ulf Lundblad has changed rather in minor dimensions to their earlier works, but that was to expect. Compared to the last studio album 'No More Alive Than You Deserve', this new opus sounds harsher and more grinding; just like the right soundtrack to one of the most perverse themes committed in post-modern psychiatry. Their ability to spread salt in open socio-critical wounds is unbroken and I have to admit that to read about the theme of leucotomy and especially the 'ice-pick lobotomy' performed by Walter J. Freeman in the 1940's in more than 3000 cases has been shocking. The chorus of praise for Severe Illusion is well deserved, as they often tap our minds on barbaric past things of mankind, which nowadays fall often into the abyss of oblivion. The music delivery the typical harsh, cold, and noisy attitudes this duo is so well known for. 'Louder Than Words' and 'Postsynaptic Receptor Disruption' are both mid-tempo tracks with monotonous bass-lines and the hefty distorted vocal performance. 'Discontinuation syndrome' then offers some voice-samples based on the conceptual theme thrown into a noisy thunderstorm - it's a more Powernoise- / Experimental-minded tune than all other tracks available here. 'Hole' differs a lot to almost all tracks on 'D. P. L', because it is a lighter, very dancefloor-compatible tune with flute-like synth-pads. The most exciting track I discovered with the raw and nightmarish produced 'Tardative Dyskinesia' - already the starting metallic clanks leave scorch marks in my ear-channel! The one and only complaint on this fine and absolutely authentic sounding album is once again the far too short playing-time. C'mon guys, you've got more disturbance-stuff in your holster than to stop after 33 minutes only! It is nevertheless a must-have album filled with oppression presented in all 8 tracks.

Aderlating: Gospel of the Burning Idols

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (8182)
May 05 2014
Artist: Aderlating (@)
Title: Gospel of the Burning Idols
Format: CD
Label: Black Plague (Malignant Records) (@)
Rated: *****
Aderlating is a side-project of Maurice (Mories) De Jong's Gnaw Their Tongues, along with Eric Eijspaart, aka Mowlawner. 'Gospel of the Burning Idols' is some My-T-Fine black metal and hellish industrial black ambient noise. 'Opening of a Tomb' foments with a sub-current of low staticy noise, while a kind of keening sound can also be heard. A hoarsely croaking voice (perhaps a lich?) rises up amidst subtle electronic ambience and voices of the dead and begins an incantation. If this was some type of Ghost Hunter reality show, you boys and girls are going to seriously regret opening that tomb as the doom drums and processed cymbals in the background and the intensity of the sonics reveal a nightmare world unlike any you have ever experienced. Too late to stop it, too late to run as the terror washes over you. 'A Vulture's Tongue Disease' begins with that necromancer's croaking voice over a low drone but soon morphs into the chaos of clattering drums, crashing cymbals and unearthly voices. You are plumming the absolute depths of darkness here my friend, as your immersion in this demonic madness is inexorable. 'The Burial Gown Reeks of Semen' (what a title!) might be the weirdest, creepiest track so far, with its palette of disparate noisy sonics, low drone tone, screams from the deep, and a gibbering processed voice raving incoherently about'¦well, you figure that one out. 'Dragged to the Smouldering Pits of Infinity' is just too ineffable to describe; there is so much going on here, so much frenetic dark energy that pandemonium doesn't even begin to describe it. 'Bondaged in Shame, Disgraced in Fear' is a bit easier to convey. As with most of the tracks, it begins minimally, a squealing metallic sound, some drone, electronic noises and echoed sounds, mournful church bell, maybe some rain, then the chaos drumming begins. Buzzing, squalling electronics, processed cymbals, an electronic storm winding down into a puddle of despair. 'Spewed On By Slave of Inhumanity' begins with a rhythmic pounding while electronic ambience and processed whispers creep in. A heavy metallic drone with noise takes over while a processed voice raves in the background. While this intensifies, percussive bashing and clatter are added. Noise hiss, controlled feedback, and other deeply chambered sounds add to the mélange until it all fades away. 'Gospel of the Burning Idols' begins with squalling electronics (oscillators gone wild) adding dark, low drone that occasionally changes pitch, and processed sizzing noise, until it ends. Most unpleasant. All in all, it's pretty good black metal industrial ambient noise, but I detect that it lacks some focus, especially in the last couple of tracks. If the object was simply chaotic doom, then 'Gospel of the Burning Idols' succeeds in that, but if there is supposed to be some deeper meaning, I didn't find it. Still, this should please most ambient black metal enthusiasts.

Himiko: Dethnoizzz

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (8169)
Apr 28 2014
Artist: Himiko (@)
Title: Dethnoizzz
Format: CD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
If you've followed the evolution of Japanese electronic music artist (and sometimes jazz pianist) Himiko, now based in Alberta, Canada, you know that she's gone from the beautiful to the absolute hideous. If you're only familiar with her early work on such albums as 'Mai, 'Mungen', and 'Shippo o Tsukame' you'll be in for quite a shock with 'Dethnoizz'. While her stint with Heavy Metal Jazz Concepts was an interesting exploration of fusion, avant-garde, free jazz infused with heavier rock elements, it doesn't even begin to approximate what you'll hear on this recording. Even as noisy as 'Heavy Metal Wannabe & Electronic Jazz Cat' was at times, it never approached this. 'Fuck Off' (2011 DTrash), her deconstructed thrash metal mashup EP was at least listenable and weirdly amusing, but 'Dethnoizz' has taken a left turn off the beaten path into sonic mayhem of the most extreme kind.

There are 11 tracks on 'Dethnoizz' but it blurs the line between album and EP because the tracks are so brief and it's over so quickly. Take Digital Hardcore, Speedcore, Death Metal, Grindcore, Goregrind, Gabber, and Breakcore, toss in a blender and set to puree, and you'll only begin to get an idea of what's on this recording. Himiko's vocals here are a mix of processed barks and shouts, and vomitous screams. It is indeed frightening stuff. If I didn't look into Himiko's musical background prior to this review, I would have slagged this off as the worst shit I've ever heard in my life. (Even my cat ran and hid when the sound hit the speakers!) But now I get the idea of what it truly is ' anti-music, and actually very well done anti-music at that. Himiko rips apart every pre-conceived notion you ever had about music, chews it up and spits it back in your face. With track titles like 'Fuel Rods Up Your Ass', 'Butchered, Mended and Butchered Again' and 'Raped, Killed and Raped Again' you can imagine this is going to be one fucked-up terror trip, and it certainly is. Brutal as the music may be, it takes a lot of work to slice, dice and shred it into something as explosive and corrosive as this, and I respect that.

I can't say I'm a fan of this kind of sonic torture, but I know there are those out there that really dig it, so I have to rate it on its merit, not my own personal taste. For what she's trying to achieve on 'Dethnoizz' Himiko definitely succeeds. Although I much prefer her earlier work, you can't fault an artist for veering off the straight and narrow and following their experimental vision. Even Himiko's look has changed from demure Asian beauty to Goregrind Diva. No doubt there is a limited market for this kind of material, but one wonders, where does she go from here? With Himiko, you just don't know until she gets there.

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