Music Reviews



Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis / Ripit: split

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jul 09 2015
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Artist: Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis / Ripit
Title: split
Format: 7"
Label: Ångström Records (@)
Rated: *****
Some digital fury over French-Belgian label Angstrom comes on this split release, where the three sound artists that got involved offer an intensively visceral listening experience between digital hardcore, noise and pure brutality. Side A of this 45rpm 7inches vinyl that features a fine cover artwork by Line Vangrunderbeeck, gold silkscrren on heavy black paper, got occupied by Brussels-based video artist and composer Aymeric de Tapol and brilliant French experimental vocal performer Joachim Montessuis; their track "Protozaurus ", whose title seems to quote "Talking with a Dinosaur", an album by Aymeric de Tapol that got released in 2011 on Angstroem, spurts angst and agony from any piercing second of playing, where Joachim's excruciating voice claws the rough surface of a drone-like heavily distorted low frequency. On the other incendiary side, you'll find two short digital deflagrations - lasting about one minute -, whose elements (head-banging hits in-between the noise of helicopters and machine-gun fire, swirling electronic sequence and aggressive chiptunes) got exacerbated on "Deflagrator 2", by Nicolas "Ripit" Esterle (you won't believe he's one of the founder of Fujako in this noisy guise). The third and the fourth deflagrations include vocals respectively from Herbert Bourreau and Otto Von Schirach. If you consider this kind of stuff as the acoustic equivalent of a surgical operaion without anesthesia, don't worry, it's quite quick, but I can't say it will be painless at all...

Iron Fist Of The Sun: We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jun 25 2015
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Artist: Iron Fist Of The Sun
Title: We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This project is presented as "melancholic, cold industrial" by his label but it sounds as a sort of intelligent noise music i.e., noise as a proper sound source than deserve musical treatment.
Above a menacing low soundscape, the resonant metallic beat of "Pride" introduces the listener into a musical universe where noises and distortions are used to create musical movements rather than walls of sound. "The Disappearing Chair" juxtaposed layers of small noises until "Trapped In Amber" reveals his duty to some classic form of noises with voices while "Cold Wet Skin" uses a cinematic noise and a filtered voice until the synth develops them and "Insignificant" returns to a sort of wall of sound. "Born Of Snake" is subtle in his use of noise as a soundscape for the voice and the creation of an atmosphere while "The Only Thought Is Mine" closes this release closer to experimental music as it's able to develop a sort of sonata for noises until a beating noises ends the assault.
Undoubtedly more clever than the average noise releases, it's a project to closely hear as it's even better on handphones rather than full volume stereo. It's really worth a listen.
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Artist: Simon Balestrazzi
Title: Ultrasonic Bathing Apparatus
Format: CD
Label: sincope (@)
Rated: *****
Since the opening "First Immersion", this new release by Simon Balestrazzi sounds like the sonic report from a sort of altered state of consciousness which makes the brain experience reality as a close web of interferences, resonances, brainstem feedbacks and electromagnetic fields, an augmented perception that listeners catch as if it's inside a Faraday cage; the title of the release, which follows the last amazing act as Dream Weapon Ritual - another artistic alter-ego of former T.A.C. pulsating brain -, could let you surmise it could just be a sort of representation of technology-driven human perceptual prophylaxis by quoting ultrasonic cleansing, an electrochemical process that got extensively applied in jewellery, optics, dental and surgical cleaning and electronic musical instruments as well. The buzzing low frequency that saturates most of the release is quite similar to the noise that devices for ultrasonic cleaning usually makes, but besides undefined metallic objects, Simon seems to soak organic field recordings and foggy vocal radio broadcasts as well as a pile of instrumental parts from prepared toy psaltery, tsimblaty, tabletop guitar, horizontal steel cello, bulbul tarang, a prepared piano and even a broken metronome that appears on the meaningfully titled track "In My Own Transfigured Time" into his ultrasonic pool. The alternation of ablutions (three immersion before the last one) and three risingly hypnotical interplays ("Oscillation", "Osmosis" and the above-mentioned "In My Own Transfigured Time") seems to suggest he wisely follows a sort of gradual purification till the thirteen rarefied minutes of "Last Immersion" where the residual sonic impurities and memories keep on resounding in between cavitation bubbles.

Yasunao Tone / Talibam! / Sam Kulik: Double Automatism

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 10 2015
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Artist: Yasunao Tone / Talibam! / Sam Kulik (@)
Title: Double Automatism
Format: 12"
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
A solid bridge betwen generations of freeform-noise shapers with an incursion of an instrument - it won't sound so strange the moment you'll understand what I'm going to introduce - move the cogs of this "Double Automatism". The first connection is the one that the polymorphic avant-rock band Talibam! made when they invited the legendary noise-shaper Yasunau Tone, one of the most corrosive and evergreen (he's 80yrs old, folks!) footslogger of the so-called Fluxus neo-Dadaist movement, who shows a lucidity in destroying sounds off that could be compared to the destructive/deconstructive instinct of a baby. Talibam!, who have already hacked up many free-jazz and noisy blood on some of their past releases (the ones who know the sonic loose cannons by Ed Bear, Kevin Shea and Matt Mottel could imagine "Double Automatism" as a sort of digital transubstantiation of some ideas they collected on "Ordination Of The Globetrotting Conscripts") met the Japanese mastermind when they were asked to re-interpret Tone's graphic scores and game pieces on the occasion of the Japan 195570 avantagarde exhibition at NYC MOMA. Six months after that meeting, the trio invited Tone to record session and in order to accelerate the entropy of the possible final result, they also asked to trombonist Sam Kulik to join the session. Kulik's trombone sounds like the secret spice of the explosive fluid they made: on the first track "Op Apsis", the dampened tones coming from his instrument sound like an Alka-Seltzer in the devasted guts of someone who ate an entire buffalo who, in turn, ate contaminated grass growing over a landfill of computar parts, while it sounds like get up the guts on the following "Spome Trope" on B-side, a likewise corrosive track on the tight rope between wonder and total madness, where some electronics seem to make way for some phrasing by Sam Kulik. "Double Automatism" is one of those once-in-a-lifetime listening experience that should be tested by any kind of listener, a little bit like bungee-jumping! I assume no responsability for any permanent damage to your central nervous system. Terms and conditions apply!

Theologian & STROM.ec: Hubrizine

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 02 2015
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Artist: Theologian & STROM.ec (@)
Title: Hubrizine
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
Collaborations can be a mixed bag. Sometimes they come out sounding like one or the other, making you wonder why they collaborated in the first place. Thankfully, this is not one of those cases. For those unfamiliar with these acts, Finnish band STROM.ec lays down some amazing power electronics and Theologian is the more recent project of New Yorker Lee Bartow who was previously known for Navicon Torture Technologies. He also runs Annihilvs Power Electronix and seems to be one of the hardest working people in the experimental scene. I was familiar with both of these acts, so I was interested to see what they would come up with. This collaboration consists of source material by STROM.ec that has been 'reinterpreted and re-engineered by Theologian in celebration of a shared appreciation for the works of Philip K. Dick.'

'Involuntary Dilation' kicks the album off and it was not what I expected from either of these artists. In fact, it was almost peaceful, with echoing piano and gritty, pulsating drone that becomes almost hypnotic. But then 'EM-19' brings it closer to familiar territory. The swirling ambiance, distorted vocals, crackling static, and some processed guitar added for good measure makes for an interesting juxtaposition to the first track. 'Ubik' keeps it going with distorted vocals, gritty ambiance, and subdued percussion. The mellow music mixed with harsh vocals definitely keeps it interesting. Next up, 'Hubrizine' reminds us that it takes some time for Theologian to build up a good head of steam, and at over 18 minutes, this track delivers the goods. This is the kind of noisy droning that made me fall in love with 'The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel On My Face.' There seems to be vocals here, but they are so distorted and processed that they serve more as another source of noise. Toward the end of the track, it suddenly becomes quiet, like standing outside of a humming factory, before walking in to hear everything in all of its rhythmic glory, complete with angry vocals. 'Exegesis' is an odd track with the typical Power Electronics vocals over music that reminds me a lot of Coil ' like Strom.ec meets 'The Halliwell Hammers' on 'Worship the Glitch.' Interesting. 'World War Terminvs' has an almost mournful ambiance that shifts into a nice synth-based composition. Even without knowing the title you get a sense that everything is really over. Very pretty; like something you would hear on a Cyclic Law release. 'Flow My Tears' brings it to a close with lurching, throbbing analog synth mixed with an angelic choir that makes for an interesting combination, but then again this entire album has been about mixing disparate elements to make something great.

In short, this is one of those occasions where synergy actually happened and you get something unexpected. If you like solid power electronics, this is definitely one to pick up. This album weighs in at 58 minutes.


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