Monday, January 18, 2021
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Music Reviews

Endif: Falling Into The Sky

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Artist: Endif (@)
Title: Falling Into The Sky
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Manual Control Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: * * * * *
It has taken 12 years until Jason Hollis could decide to return with a new album of his IDM / Ambient-Electronica / Rhythmic Noise music alter ego Endif, his third so far. Since it has been a while back let's bring his earlier works back into your memory, when Jason has counted to best signed projects of such renowned labels like Crunch Pod (album “Meta” out in 2006) and Tympanik Audio (album “Carbon” out in 2008). Once highly praised and named in a same row with such outstanding projects like Terrorfakt, E.S.A., Alter Der Ruine, Pneumatic Detach, Cervello Elettronico, C/A/T, Caustic and/or Manufactura, Jason surely had his heydays in the mid-2000s, just in those days when the Rhythmic-Noise movement became relatively popular.
He now presents us under his own Manual Control label this new album which is sort of a collection of the things recorded in between. The time span of these tracks includes the years in between 1999 and 2015 and these tracks have been constructed in different cities (Reno, Seattle and at least Minneapolis, where Jason nowadays lives).
The first impression was a bit strange I have to admit and it took me a while until I noticed that artists tend to develop instead to repeat themselves over and over again. Same has happened to Endif plus it also has to be noticed that Jason seemingly produces differently than before, I guess the “Everything-on-this-album-was-sequenced-and-assembled-in-Fruity-Loops-edited-in-Cool-Edit-Pro”-times of the “Meta” album are gone for good.
“Modularism” is magic word of Jason's creation processes and the booklet gives some interesting summaries how each of the tracks have been constructed. It's a rather more glitch, experimental-minded Electronica outlet, much lesser straight oriented than on the both albums before. The often pronounced European Electronica influence with which Endif has been often confronted has almost gone, abstractly produced but still densely installed Ambient-Electronica-layers leading the scenario appointed by a massive and crunchy poly-rhythmic percussion feast.
Asides the dark voice samples in “Blind Angels” you'll get a real projectile-like bombardment placed into the wide stereo field blown through your head (use a pair of good headphones!).But since this albums extracts its content out of different time epochs, I strangely found the oldest one “City” with its massive interruptions of the complete song structure as being one the outstanding tune on here (“Antiquated time-stretch algorithms and photoshopped beats fillet superheated Moog blasts and Mono/Poly blips. It's a feature, not a bug” - so the info of the artist). And with “Dislocation” and moreover “Grain Of Sand” he finally returns into that area of a more accessible style, even if the latter one ends in a another anarchistic sound chaos.
What still impresses is the crispy and crystal-clear sound production out of Jason's studio, this meticulously mastered by Michael Dietel. Even if this album as a whole needs some more spins to get completely via the ear-drums into the brain, this is for sure one of the state-of-art albums in this rather experimental kind of modern IDM / Electronica-music.



Walrus Noise Wall: s/t

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Artist: Walrus Noise Wall
Title: s/t
Format: 3" Mini CD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: * * * * *
I had previously reviewed WNW (Wonky Noise Wall that time) and enjoyed it. I like some variety in my noise, so some of the noise wall stuff doesn't quite work for me. This, however, is different from Fox's This Is What I Hear When You Talk, which is much more static. Plus, you really have to love that he doesn't take himself too seriously with a name like Walrus Noise Wall. Perhaps he needed to inject some humor into his music as a counterpoint to his recent spate of furious TIWIHWYT releases. With some idea of what we're in for, let's get into it.

All I can say about the first disc is "Holy Analog-O-Rama, Batman!" "Boat" warbles and pounds its way through the track with a ton of repetitive pulsing throughout. But like the other WNW project I reviewed a while back, this one changes over time, shifting little by little. Suddenly it all stops cold.

On to "Dicks," which is like a bunch of people hammering in a corrugated drainage pipe as people run bandsaws and various shortwave radios in the background. If you like it noisy, this is one for you.

What makes this set work is that it all functions like a wheel that is just slightly out of true. As it keeps turning, it becomes increasingly off-balance. It never quite falls apart, but it keeps shifting and changing. Both discs weigh in at 20 minutes each and are as much fun as the titles suggest. This is a nice addition that sits well next to Wonky Noise Wall in the collection. I'll look forward to the next W in the series.




This Is What I Hear When You Talk: Eviscerate Your Local Fascist

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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: Eviscerate Your Local Fascist
Format: 3" Mini CD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: * * * * *
This Is What I Hear When You Talk is the harsh noise wall project of Dan Fox, the man behind the Inner Demons label. He has been pretty busy lately with this project as of late, and much of it is topical and timely. Let’s see what this one is like.

Disc 1 is titled "I." Heavy, low end rumble mixed with crunchy static. Bits of whistling feedback are buried underneath the noise, but so faint that I had to stop the music to see if it was part of the music or if something was happening outside. This is subtle in movement, but it does shift and change, even as the rumbling static remains similar. Nice to kick back and relax to (if you like noise, you know what I'm talking about). It's almost peaceful, despite its title.

Disc 2 ("II") keeps the same rumbling theme going, with a lot of underlying scraping and crunchy static. This is a lot more variety in texture than a lot of the other TIWIHWYT stuff that I have heard. In much the same way that a good artist can create a wide variety of shading with an ordinary pencil, Fox manages to create a nice palette of textures with static. Like disc 1, it's subtle, but not too subtle.

If you like your walls of noise crunchy and heavy on the bass, this will be 44 minutes well spent.



This Is What I Hear When You Talk: TuckFrump I

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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: TuckFrump I
Format: 3" Mini CD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: * * * * *
This Is What I Hear When You Talk is the harsh noise wall project of Dan Fox, the man behind the Inner Demons label. He has been pretty busy lately with this project as of late, so let’s see what this one is like.

Disc 1 is titled "Thank You For Completing Your Assassination Eligibility Paperwork" and is a huge slab of rumbling noise wall. You kind of get the feeling that Fox is a bit agitated here, right? This is heavy, and has a nice low end rumble. If you have heard any of the other TIWIHWYT, this follows the same formula: Find a nice noise and keep it going for a long time. The result is that over time you start noticing the little changes in the wall of noise, kind of how you start to notice patterns in television static over time. Nicely done. I think this is a wall that we can all agree on.

If midrange noise is more your thing, then Disc 2's track, "A Garbage Bag Made Of Skin," is what you're looking for. This too keeps it going with subtly shifting noise until it suddenly ends without warning. Both of these tracks really work well in headphones.

This is some well done harsh noise wall and well worth checking out. Each disc weighs in at 22 minutes, giving us a total of 44 minutes.



This Is What I Hear When You Talk: TuckFrump II

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Artist: This Is What I Hear When You Talk
Title: TuckFrump II
Format: 3" Mini CD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: * * * * *
This Is What I Hear When You Talk is the harsh noise wall project of Dan Fox, the man behind the Inner Demons label. He has been pretty busy lately with this project as of late, so let’s see what this one is like.

This disc contains one track titled "Trumps Are Finally Sick, So That's Pretty Neat," which is 20 minutes of harsh, overdriven noise wall. If you want noise that is relentless and covered in a thick layer of distortion, this is what you've been looking for. I can't explain how he did it, but this was just perfect.

If you like harsh noise wall and have been trying to figure out which of the many many releases to start with in the ever-growing discography of This Is What I Hear When You Talk, I would suggest this one. Solid and highly recommended. This disc weighs in at 20 minutes.