Music Reviews



FFI Digital: 180125

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 09 2018
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Artist: FFI Digital
Title: 180125
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I quite enjoyed the last FFI Digital release that I reviewed, so I was interested to see how this would compare. For those of you who missed the last one, this is the work of Dan Fox, who has many other projects (including Loss, Fail, and This Is What I Hear When You Talk) and runs Inner Demons Records. The insert notes that “This album was created with only freeware / shareware instruments and effects, plus plugins packaged with Cubase.” With that established, let’s get into the music. This disc consists of two tracks at just over 10 minutes each. We start with 180125, which is a well put together composition of grinding noise over a thudding, metallic beat, which brings to mind the rhythms of older Test Department. This is not put together haphazardly, though, and everything fits well together. Later in the track, we have harshly distorted unintelligible vocals as the track slowly grinds to a close. 180125 (180305 RMX) gives us a sense of what the track sounds like with a month or two of distance from the original recording. The opening is far more stripped down, with the beat taking the center stage, before bringing the noise. This sounds a lot more mainstream industrial, kind of like Fox is trying to channel Front 242 through his own music. It’s much different from what I am used to hearing from him, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The vocals may be the same (you can’t tell in the remix either), but otherwise they are very different tracks. Overall, this is well done and quite enjoyable. This album weighs in at around 21 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.

Nightmare Park: Box Of Teeth

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 09 2018
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Artist: Nightmare Park (@)
Title: Box Of Teeth
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
Nightmare Park hail from Connecticut and describe themselves as “Blackened Harsh Static and Noise Walls, sounds sourced from Horror films that I like. . . . HELL IS REAL.” I suppose that this gives us some sense of what we are in for, especially when we take a gander at the disc titles. This set consists of three 3" discs neatly packaged in a small box. We begin with the first disc, which consists of one 20 minute track entitled, “I Am the Devil.” This is a crackling, rumbling wall of noise that consists of a nice blend of low-end rumble and choppy white noise static. It shifts slowly over time, but remains the same idea throughout. It’s honestly kind of soothing. Disc two is one 18 minute track, titled, “And I'm Here To Do The Devil's Work.” This opens with heavy low end bass and some quiet crackling static, making you think that this will be similar in approach to the first disc. However, at about two minutes in, the static suddenly becomes much louder, kicking in with more force. This is a much more involved piece than “I Am the Devil,” and the evolution of the track is more interesting. Grinding and scraping noise mixed with distorted low end bass. Disc 3 brings the noise with one 18 minute track titled “An Interview With Evil.” This is a more complex track than the other two, and much noisier, as if the first two were simply a warm up for the finale. This is like standing next to a blast furnace in a sheet metal factory. Overall, the tracks keep a similar feel throughout and hang together well as a whole. At times I wish that it would have had some more variety, but the overall effect is oddly soothing and hypnotic. One may expect the standard horror movie samples and over the top “check out how evil I am” from the titles, but thankfully Nightmare Park resists this impulse. Instead, we have solid discs of straight wall of noise. If you like your noise with a lot of low end, this is worth checking out. This set weighs in at just under an hour and is limited to 42 copies.

Mariela Rossi: RF-545L

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 09 2018
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Artist: Mariela Rossi
Title: RF-545L
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Mariela Rossi, and other than finding out that they are based in Essen, Germany, I could not find much on this project. Looks like the music will have to speak for itself. This disc opens with “Manual Tuning,” which is a heavy slab of low-end rumbling staticy goodness. It moves along until it completely disintegrates into a wall of static and feedback at the end. “The Quiet Space” begins as a much more subdued composition, but about 3 minutes in begins to unload with high pitched screeches of noise. The piece crescendos and decrescendos throughout, making good use of dynamics to keep it interesting. At times there are heavily distorted voices that emerge in the maelstrom, but you can’t make out what they are saying. The entire piece is held together by a bed of crackling noise. This one also ends in sustained high pitched squeal – definitely an experience in headphones. Overall, this is well done noise and worth checking out. This album weighs in at around 18 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.

This Is What I Hear When You Talk: Untitled

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 09 2018
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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: Untitled
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
This Is What I Hear When You Talk is the work of Dan Fox, also known as Loss, Fail, and the man behind Inner Demons Records. This is his harsh noise wall project, so let’s see what the wall looks (and sounds) like this time. This disc consists of one track, entitled “HADRON_COLLIDER->FX70->PS-5->FX69B->MIMIQ->π²->OPERATION_OVERLORD->EM600_≈21” (how’s that for a radio-friendly title?). This is a rumbling wall of noise that at first glance seems to stay the same throughout. Perhaps it is like the Kanizsa triangle illusion, in which your brain begins to fill in the implied missing elements, but it sounded like other elements were beginning to come into the composition as it moved along. The result is a rather hypnotic piece that lulls you into it. I could definitely see this working as part of a live sound installation as well. As I noted in my review of the last disc by This Is What I Hear When You Talk, I tend to lean more toward noise with more variety, but I found this to be pleasant listening and if you prefer more static walls of noise this is one to check out. This album weighs in at 21 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.

Red Boiling Springs: Choked Transmission

 Posted by eskaton   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 09 2018
cover
Artist: Red Boiling Springs (@)
Title: Choked Transmission
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
I was unfamiliar with Red Boiling Springs, but their bandcamp page states that they hail from Portland, OR and the Discogs page identifies this as the project of Matt Sullivan, who also runs Nailbat Tapes. The description they provided for this album explains that “Choked Transmission is an exercise in signal interference, with each track containing manipulated samples ranging from radio frequency crossover to a wireless hotspot impeding onto magnetic tape.” Sounds promising, so let’s get into the music. This disc consists of four tracks, starting off with “Interference.” The opening is kind of minimal, consisting of a lot of ground noise with bits of static interspersed throughout. It is not harsh, in your face noise, but it is noisy in a clinical way. Partway through, it shifts gears, with heavily reverbed feedback and (unintelligible) screaming in what sounds to be a parking garage. For me the screaming detracted from the well-constructed feedback noise and static, which is quite enjoyable. Next up, we have “Waste,” which is a short excursion in rhythm and noise. A rapid clicking beat punctuates heavy bass noise and more slightly distorted screaming. Third, we have “X-Ray,” which has some really nice low-end rumble and the sounds of an engine which totally reminds me of the drums at the beginning of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” (and there is a line that I did not think I would ever write in a review for Chain DLK). The voices in here (if they are actually voices) are distorted beyond comprehension and work well. Overall, this is an excellent track that really keeps things interesting and for me is the strongest track on the disc. Finally, we have “Cleared,” which opens with a throbbing bass line; crackling static, random voices, screaming, and cookie monster growling punctuate the track throughout. Perhaps I am a noise curmudgeon, but for me the screaming just didn’t seem to work and detracted from the overall works. I would have preferred it to be much more distorted and processed to become part of the composition, but here it felt like someone recorded some excellent noise tracks only to have the recording session interrupted by some crazy guy outside the studio screaming at people. I don’t know enough about Red Boiling Springs to know if this screaming is a trademark of their work of it is a one-off experiment, but I hope it is the latter, because the noise underneath it all is really solid. Your mileage may vary, however. This disc weighs in at around 18 minutes.


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