Music Reviews



Sister Iodine: Blame

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 01 2014
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Artist: Sister Iodine (@)
Title: Blame
Format: 12"
Label: Premier Sang
Rated: *****
I hope that French band Sister Iodine, one of the greatest exponents of emperimental noise scene, will forgive me for the fact that the smouldering noisy progress of the initial "Blanc Domaine" make me think about the terminal phase of some sick person while fighting against grievously maddening haemorrhoids - just have a listen and tell me that my idea is too hare-brained! -. A cruel amd iunusual punishment for such a supposedly hasty imagination comes on the following piercing shrill of "Druga Blaze", which is going to join with your voice Charles Lavenac shrills, and on the offbeat lashing of "OÌ". The well-sculpted sonic torture by Sister Iodine, where impressive guitar excoriations by Lionel Fernandez and wise mastering by Chris Le Dantec play their important part, carry on more agonizing atonal dsintegration, which reaches the best moments with the scary dismemberment of "Obscurity Call", the corrosive acid bath of "Odd Devaste", the powerful "Emprise", which features a masterly supply of drumming tremors by Florent Barbier, and the disruptive brutality of "Cuntre". My opening hallucination seems to find confirmation by "Ambulance" and above all by the final "Zone Anemie / Main Ocean" - another highlight of this release -, where I feel like allowed to imagine that ailing hero at death's door...

Jeff Carey: [3:30]

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 28 2014
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Artist: Jeff Carey
Title: [3:30]
Format: CD
Label: Forwind (@)
Rated: *****
According to his website, 'Jeff Carey makes hardcore digital noise music with a joystick, a gamer keypad, and an array of strobe lights. Computer based synthesis, noise, and improvisation combined with a no-safety-net aspect of gestural control makes his music totally physical and visceral. No overdubs and no backing vocals.' The liner notes likewise proclaim that there are no synthesizers or guitar on this album. Sounds like my kind of experimental music. This is experimental noise and it's done very well. The longest track is 'Phosphor' at 4:22, so none of them go on long enough to wear out their welcome. This is intentional because, according to the press sheet,' [3:30] takes its inspiration from that cornerstone of pop music ' the three to three and a half minute pop song.' There is a lot of digital noise, as would be expected, but there is also a lot of low bass drone and dynamic variety here. This is not in your face wall of noise stuff, but rather noise that makes you aware of both presence and absence. That's not to say that there isn't harshness here; there is and it is wonderful. I listened to this disc once in my car and found that it made a perfect soundtrack to the freeway noise that surrounded me. The staccato blasts of noise melded well with the siren of a fire engine, the hum of the road noise from my tires, and the sound of the wind coming through my open windows. Listening to it at home in headphones is a different experience, but you get a sense of Carey's sense of detail. Even if there is some element of chance in his music, it certainly doesn't sound that way. This album weighs in at around 21 minutes.

Cadlag: Cadlag Live Tape

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 23 2014
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Artist: Cadlag
Title: Cadlag Live Tape
Format: Tape
Label: Pharmafabrik
Rated: *****
Available on tape, VHS and 5" tape reel, "Cadlag Live Tape" is the second album by Cadlag which is released after a three track album available digitally and several compilation tracks. Recorded live, as the title states, in 2013 at Ljubljana Noise Festival and at the Trbovlje New Media Festival, "Cadlag Live Tape" brings to the lovers of industrial noise, two intense performances. Formed by members of PureH, Dodecahedragraph, TGWFYTD, Extreme Smoke 57 and Earslaughter, Cadlag on the seventeen minutes of "Infundibulum" composed a suite that starts with ambient drones just to reach its climax after the fifth minute. Here we have a mix of controlled feedbacks, electronic noises and hisses. Just when you thought the noise was at the maximum, Cadlag rise the level adding more drones and noises with treated guitar sounds. At this point we have a sort of magma which almost reaches the pink noise level. At minute 12, the effect disappears like fog and leaves a pulsating noisy drone with small distant noises that come and go. This is the part I prefer as there's a lot going on between the apparent calm. The track get noisier again just to end soon after. "Speculum" is the second track and it starts like a sort of early Lustmord tune: tense and menacing but kinda calm. This state ends soon as after three minutes Cadlag open the gates of hell by adding noisy drones. The effect isn't much cacophonic as on the previous track, probably because of the frequencies used. Based always on live manipulations and noise eruptions, "Speculum" seems a dying snake which rattles with spasms. This is stuff to be handled with care. You can check the tracks here http://cadlag.bandcamp.com/ and you can watch the performances on the Cadlag's Youtube channel here http://www.youtube.com/user/cadlagTV

Wicked King Wicker: Evolving

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 17 2014
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Artist: Wicked King Wicker
Title: Evolving
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Named after a quotation of a 1973 horror film on a handwritten letter that Daily News columnist Breslin received from American serial killer David Richard Berkowitz, New York-based extreme doom-hooked noise project by Jim Gibson and Logan Butler adds another headsquashing ring on their heavily thunderous chain. "The Devil Must Learn The Limitations of The Host" deserves an award just for his quirky and somehow guessed title; it cannot but influence listener's imagination while his/her eardrum got stricken by corrosive landslip of wobbling noise who dwarfs the voice to the point that it's really difficult to understand what he's saying so that you cannot but imagine those words could come from a pleading possessed man who tries to persuade his devil who is getting a hold of his body that he should not exaggerate by his bedevilments! The following "A Prayer For Death" where piercing high-pitched squeaks, noises of supposedly dying combustion engines and sinisterly rising limping whirls got carried in procession over an obsessively offbeat knock. Don't ask me the reason why listening to "Zen And The Art Of Nihilism" let me imagine about a mad electrician who torture a mouflon on a self-made electric chair while tinkering a tamagotchi, while the final "The High Exalted Nothing" makes me think about the reasonably rancorous reaction after an overrated festival of Neapolitan melodic song by expats in Little Italy, as the opening sample (did they record it from a pirate radio station broadcasting from a pizza store?) seems to suggest.

Skullflower/Mastery: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 15 2014
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Artist: Skullflower/Mastery
Title: s/t
Format: 12"
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of the truly radical appeal of their releaseas, I honestly hadn't imagined this split release that Cold Spring released some months ago by joining together two interesting names of (deeply) underground industrial scene would have almost stealthly ignored by more cutting-edge "indipendent" zines or bloggers, whose manifest excitement after listening to anything that could be marked by some beasts could let you surmise they drink a glass of milkshake with virginal menstrual blood drops or crucify an innocent domestic cat before writing a review. I'm not really accustomed to write exegetic essays or in-depth analysis of records like this release, as I prefer to consider them as the fruit of a somewhat parodist kind of gloomy humour or just interesting crossbreeding of noise-shaping and "esotheric" lexicon within some more or less accessible conceptual meaning under the full awareness that hell, heaven or supposedly good or evil entities are less intangible and otherworldly than one can think. On the first side of this record, Skullflower, the long lasting band by British musician Matthew Bower, makes another step towards noisy netherworld of free-form noises by breaking a papule of distraught guitar layers, distant metallic clangors and eruptive noises on "Wolf Age" before blowing onto the same elements a sequence of subtly withering whiff on the following "Red Crystal Serpent", which turns into siniserly disturbing vocalizations over ominous strokes on the final "Black Sunshine", which sounds quite similar to previous experiments (particularly "Shiny Birds Of Doom"). The striking juxtaposition of this triptuque with "Europe after the rain, drowned ruins, sunken dreams" where "spiders run across harpsichords in deserted schlosses and chateaus, doors slam and phantom demon choirs are summoned at seances by Blatavskian crones, whose impenetrable china blue dolls eyes open onto Tibetan vistas, terrible, ancient and remote" sounds guessed to me. On the other side of this split release, that kind of Anubi on the cover artwork by Kivios and Abby Helasdottir ushers in a 17-minutes lasting track by Mastery by let his jackal-like mask (and arguably his head) fall: I really never heard about Mastery before, but his bizarre combination of suffocated guitar arpeggios, brutal metal influences, expectorating guitars, breakcore-like puncheons and fearsome sonci tumbles is quite original and headbanging (for mortal beings as well...).


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