Music Reviews

Kakawaka: Ein fröhliches Lied auf den Lippen den Wandersmann kann nichts erschüttern

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 13 2013
Artist: Kakawaka (@)
Title: Ein fröhliches Lied auf den Lippen den Wandersmann kann nichts erschüttern
Format: Tape
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
When you see that the instruments used in the release include 'hunting horn, pan lid, monkey drum, toy keyboard, human voice, rain, computer, laundry rack, door,' you know that you're in for a noisefest. And that's what we start with on side A, 'Ãberall nur widerlicher Schmerz.' Weird heavily processed droney sound source combine with heavy slabs of harsh noise for an interesting juxtaposition. There are lots of analog machine noises mixed in for good measure. Fun stuff. Side B, 'Immer diese Schuld,' lays down some drone and ambience, but this is somewhat unsettling after the previous excursion into noise. You keep waiting to get blasted, but the wall of noise never comes. It gets a bit more raw, but mostly keeps with the weird wailing drone that reminded me of Lustmord's work. Overall this is a good tape and you can pay what you want for it on his Bandcamp site if you want to check it out. It's worth doing so. The tape version is limited to 100 copies and weighs in at around 20 minutes.

Marc Hurtado / Vomir: 2011

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 12 2013
Artist: Marc Hurtado / Vomir (@)
Title: 2011
Format: CD
Label: Tourette Records (@)
Rated: *****
Marc Hurtado is one half of elder statesman French duo Ãtant Donnés. I was not familiar with VOMIR, the project of Romain Perrot who the label describes as an 'International Master of the Harsh Noise Wall genre, which described a monolithic static harsh sound.' Hurtado describes the album as 'a raw and savage album elaborated in total freedom with no consideration for time or space that surrounded us.' When I put this in the player, I realized that these are people after my own heart. We begin with crunchy, rumbling low-end bass noise interspersed with the screams of the damned. On some tracks (Ciel, for example, or Chaine, with its pounding thuds), it becomes a bit repetitive, but rather than becoming boring it becomes hypnotic. That said, it does begin to all sound too similar toward the end. The standout tracks for me are Feu, a constantly shifting slab of atmosphere, which eschews the in your face noise approach and Lumiere, an amazing tour de force of droney noise woven together with distorted voice. This reminds me of the kind of noise that has come out of the California noise scene over the years; if you like that kind of sound, this is definitely one to check out. This album weighs in at around 74 minutes.

Emptyset: Recur

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Nov 22 2013
Artist: Emptyset (@)
Title: Recur
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
A sequence of clangorous prick and collapsing noises which repeatedly pierces the silence on "Origin" opens the third studio album by Bristol-based project Emptyset by sound artists James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas, whose reinforcement of the sound they've already showed down on previous releases, a constantly expansion of that neat line between noise and music tunnels through further recoinnaissance of the overlapping between pulverized and pure sounds on one side and structures which seems to be built by a perpetual crumbling away of other framework whose tensile strength sounds mirrored by the emphasized asperity of sounds. You could have the impression that each track renders the friction between two opposing forces, which stress respective intensity in order to have the upper hand so that listeners can almost perceive the sonic translation of the troublesome ignition of a ginormous engine on tracks like "Fragment" or "Lens", naked flames which loses their heating transfers in the middle of an arctic storm on "Absence", core drills which meet more resistant metallic layers on "Disperse" and so on. This cranium-clastic parade of harsch compressions and sudden rarefactions till the reaching of saturation or breaking points is going to delight the lovers of the most strident intersections of industrial and properly technoid sonorities.
Artist: Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall (@)
Title: Monstrance
Format: CD
Label: Touch (@)
Rated: *****
Some fine-tuned hits on vibraphone and other metallic objects on the initial "Alloy Ceremony" precede the electromechanical heartbeat and the chafing wails on corrosive guitars of this brainchild by a guessed partnership between Finnish industrial prodigy Mika Vainio and Swedish noise artist (as well as iDEAL label owner) Joachim Nordwall, whose artistic partnership could be imagined as a proper alloy due to the theme of the release. The focus on metals from the sonic and compositional viewpoint rises to an epic, or I'd rather say sacred and religious, height as the title together with the general atmosphere of the record seems to suggest: monstrances are those elaborated and finely chiselled vessels that priests use to display relics or for the so-called transubstantiation and this sacramental analogy sounds clear if you carefully listen the detailed sonic sculptures by these Norse blacksmiths. This devotional ascension, which culminates on the final "In The Sheltering Sanctus Of Minerals", where Nordwall's Hammond organ ignites a sort of quasi-melodic catalepsy with no obtrusive noisy interferences or pleatings, unfolds by means of a series of drones, minimal electronic poaching, oxidised guitars, rasping acoustic sounds and metallic percussions, which chorally oscillates between the squeaky cacophonies of "midas In Reverse", the withering hammer blows of "Irkutsk" and the earsplitting magmatic casting of "Live At The Chrome Cathedral", whereas the tracks dedicated to two lanthanoids sounds like the real whimsies: in spite of the appearance of abrasive guitar blowing, the first one, "Praseodymium", could be thought as a sinuous sinter, while the bizarre sequence of plucks and crapes on "Promethium" lends a weird and somewhat theatrical guise to metals.

Matter: Biorhexistasy

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 06 2013
Artist: Matter (@)
Title: Biorhexistasy
Format: 12"
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
Ukrainian label Kvitnu proves to be one of the best operator nearby the stylistical fizzled and foggy frontlines where flooding techno cracks, rythmic noise and breakcore splinters burst industrial's banks by means of another excellent release which comes from the drilling sonic machines of Italian producer Fabrizio Matrone aka Heidseck, who leaves his second sediment in the guise of Matter on Kvitnu's intriguing catalogue. Matter's wide weaponry of crumbled low frequencies, scraped metallic samples, convulsive knitting, acid hot springs, creaking noises and sequences of compressions and tractions which often mirrors batch processing and give rise to amazingly obscure technoid - or I'd rather say rhexistatic - movements ("Phases", "Biostasy", "Exposure", "Attrition"), which could vaguely resemble industrial-techno corrosive anthmes by sound artists like Riou Tomita, or menacing industrial mechanics ("Sub Soil", "Dominance"), lies on a guessed source of inspiration, the so-called Biorhexistasy theory by pedologist Henri Erhart, who tried to describe the climatic conditions necessary for pedogenesis divided by different periods of soil erosion. Such a geological conceptual framework has been superbly translated into sound by Fabrizio while underlying a semantic transposition of this slow and perpetual mutation into social, psychological or physical terms, so that have this theory in your mind in order to better appreciate the listening experience this Bologna-based sound artist gathered while digging grooves.

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