Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Music Reviews

Istochie: Snake Source

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Artist: Istochie
Title: Snake Source
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I’m enjoying the international scene that Inner Demons is bringing together in their latest offerings. So where are we going today? Russia, with Istochie and a heavy slab of harsh noise for your listening pleasure. "Snake Source" kicks it all off with a heavy, rumbling harsh noise wall. Everything is overdriven and distorted to oblivion. Well done. Now on to "Death Place." I have to admit that at first it seemed like it was the same track as the first. But on closer listen, there are differences but they are incredibly subtle. It is pleasant listening for those who like noise, but I would have liked more variety. This disc weighs in at 20 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.



Mai 12 / Veronica Moser: Split

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Artist: Mai 12 / Veronica Moser (@)
Title: Split
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
Time for some international noise on this 2x3" split release. Mai 12 and Veronica Moser both hail from Greece, so let’s see what the Greek noise scene has to offer. Mai 12 kicks it off with one 22 minute track titled “Noise Gets Harsher Just Before Extinction.” Walls and walls of noise. I would have liked a bit more going on here, but this is exactly the kind of walls I like. Heavy, rumbling noise with just a bit of static.

Next up, we have three tracks by Veronica Moser with 1, 2, and 3 as the titles. “1” is a wonderful track that features low bass noise with a kind of rhythm to it and some analogue synth underneath it. Kind of teases you by cutting to complete silence occasionally. “2” continues the mix of synth, static, and completely overdriven noise. “3” shifts gears a bit, and almost borders on noisy dark ambient. More passages of sudden silence, but it didn't seem to work as well with this track, and almost became a distraction. A lot more atmospheric than the other tracks.

Overall, this is interesting work and provides a good introduction to both of these artists. I will be interested to see how they progress. The Greek noise scene seems to be in good hands.



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Artist: Poisonous Cure
Title: Container Home Dream
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I could not find much about Poisonous Cure, and the Bandcamp page seems to be defunct, so let’s get right into the noise. Container Home Dream opens up with noise, but this is the kind of track that slowly builds over time, rather than coming out swinging. It’s a bit heavy on the high end for my tastes, but they certainly know how to keep everything moving along and interesting. This is not static noise where someone turns on a TV set to the static channel and records it for 20 minutes while they go out for lunch. There is a lot of variety in here, even as the base of the track stays similar for much of the time, holding everything together. The end is a wall of hiss and static that remains until the end. This is solid noise, and well worth checking out. This disc weighs in at 18:06, and is limited to 42 copies.



En Nihil: Existence in Reverse

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Artist: En Nihil (@)
Title: Existence in Reverse
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
En Nihil has been recording for the past 25 years, but this is one project that I never managed to pick up. Then again, with the sheer number of noise artists that have come and gone over the past two decades, I suppose that I could be forgiven for this omission. However, if this release is any indication, this was a gross oversight and I should remedy this lack sometime in the near future, because I have been missing out. Let’s get into the reasons why. The disc opens with a grinding, pounding composition that brings to mind a hive of wasps being carried by an infernal army marching towards your destruction. There are a host of power electronics bands who wish they had background noise this good. It suddenly gets quiet after 5 minutes of this and becomes a lot noisier and more abstract. After 9 minutes, it begins with a low, quiet rumble with a nice dark ambient feel. Of course, this is just the calm before the storm, when at almost 17 minutes in, we are blasted with a wall of harsh noise. You can faintly hear the synth line from the beginning through it, giving it a nice sense of continuity. Finally, around 19 minutes in, it becomes a lot more raw, with what I like to think of affectionately as "junkyard noise." Metal clangs against metal, as synth buzzes over it. This is really well-done noise with a ton of variety. Highly recommended. This is limited to 42 copies and weighs in at around 22 minutes.



MATA: Archipel{o}gos

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Artist: MATA (@)
Title: Archipel{o}gos
Format: CD + Download
Label: ONLY FUCKING NOISE records
Rated: *****
The trio called MATA, consisting of Alessandro Bracalente (Electronics, Guitar, Vocals), Emanuele Sagripanti (Drums, Electronics), Mauro Mezzabotta (Bass, Synth) created a raw, dark and aggressive eight tracks album, impressively recorded/mixed by Manuel Kopf and mastered by Eraldo Bernocchi. It has a length of 40 minutes, sticking with a very conclusive artistic/compositional concept and a defined, crystal clear overall sound throughout the whole record.
"Archipel{o}gos" is MATA’s second release (October 4, 2019), following their first EP named "ATAM" (2017). The musical language and expression of the trio, which was introduced with the EP, got even more concretised, much harsher and darker in style and more international in communication (from Italian to English chant).

If Sepultura’s album "Roots" could be translated into industrial/electronic/noise rock music, "Archipel{o}gos" could be its match in regards of harsh spirit, raw power and percussive intensity.

Skillfully and artistically composed, arranged and produced, with a strong emphasis on drum sounds and rhythms. The bass drum – partially acoustic, partially electronic – is placed as the centerpiece of the album: carefully sound processed and delicately sustained by electro-percussive sound constructions and noise, and rounded-off with sparse, yet all the more piercing and cleverly put vocal parts, low hums and distorted guitars.
The trio set stark contrasts throughout the whole album (for example: compare "A Maltitude" with "What’s your Cover?"): from rampant energies such as big earthshaking bass drum stomps and strong distortions to the finest particles of sound such as fragile and minimal pulses, noises, chirps and hisses – everything is carefully put in order and well-defined in sound. Not to forget other tracks such as "M&D", "Underwater", "In The Pool" and "The Block" which unite these contrasts and dynamics as compositional entities.

Sometimes, I felt like listening to some kind of percussive "Mandelbrot Fractal Zoom" melting into an electronic soundscape extravaganza, then again it felt like being catapulted into a hammering steel machine which is creating some kind of strong, tribal drum tremors.
The musicians and engineers put so much love for details into drum sounds and into the sound production that it deserves a 5-star rating from my side. The devil always lies in the details, and it's obvious that they all put a lot of focus on exactly those. This takes time, passion and dedication and the result is truly impressive.

Introducing the album with "Message no.1" and to exit it with "Message no. 29" was a smart move to get to the heart of the album's content from the start and to top it off with an extra shot of raw, dark brutality. My tip for a first listen to catch an impression of the album’s spirit: "A Multitude".



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