As I began writing up my reviews for the most recent offerings from Inner Demons, I noticed that Dan Fox has managed to curate quite the international set of musicians. In this case, Suture hails from Italy, which has a long tradition of noise and experimental music (Luigi Russolo, the O.G. of noise music comes immediately to mind). Suture stands on the shoulders of giants and manages to live up to this legacy. Now let’s get into the music.
“2..” kicks it all off with low, quiet, rumbling wind noise interspersed with samples of distorted voice seemingly taken from a shortwave radio. “3…” is more shortwave in different languages (I think I recognized some Spanish in there) and bits of quiet noise, and the sounds of sonar. Half way through, it becomes a bit more musical, but this is the sounds of a carnival on mescaline, only to go right back to disjointed tones and noises. Everything shifts over and over. I really like this. Ear-piercing high pitched tones with bits of crackling static open “6……” up. Wow - this is not one for headphones. Learn from my pain. “7……..” is harsh rumbling noise, like the sound of riding in a metal subway car right over the engine. “8………” has pulsing tones that later reveal more radio noise beneath that slowly takes over and comes to the forefront. Suddenly, it is all over and you are keenly aware of the silence that is left in its wake.
This is great stuff. There is a lot going on here and Suture throws everything at you. This is the kind of music that keeps you guessing, as it suddenly shifts without warning. If you like noisy experimental music, this is one to get. Really well done.
I’m enjoying the international scene that Inner Demons is bringing together in the latest offerings. So where are we going today with this 2x3" split release? According to his Bandcamp location, Drago Katzov resides in the Philippines and Shallower hails from Australia so let’s see what’s happening in Oceania and Asia.
Drago Katzov provides the sounds on disc 1, opening up with “Elegy For Loyal Eight.” This is raw, seemingly guitar based noise with a lot of feedback and field recordings. Kids yelling in the background, people talking, and random noises over someone playing a pleasant song. If you like it unprocessed, this is one for you. I like it. “Twenty Years In The Sand” is synth drone with field recordings and what sounds like someone unsuccessfully trying to start and engine over and over again. Also interesting stuff. “You Will Find Me Between Breaths” is another Synth based track with a nice rhythm running throughout it. Later on, it shifts into a pleasant, if distorted, melody that keeps the rhythm going. I like how raw these tracks are. It's like listening to someone trying out ideas. Experimental in the true sense of the word.
Shallower gets things going on Disc 2 with “Delphis,” a pretty synth line buried under rumbling noise. This is a nice juxtaposition and different elements come though keeping it interesting. Really nice. “Totem Pole Joe” is heavy beats with noise and synth. Suddenly in the middle, it calms down with a lilting flute ditty before coming back with the beats. There's a lot going on here to keep you listening for what comes next. Eventually it all dissolves in a wall of siren-like feedback. “Ethanol Drinker” closes out the set with a really well put together noise wall, with warbling noises that would be right at home in a 1950's sci-fi movie. Everything is coated with a nice layer of static. A synth bass line emerges toward the end before everything suddenly ends.
Overall, this is really enjoyable noise and experimental. Both of these acts are well worth checking out. Limited to 42 copies, so get it while you have a chance.
Like many of these artists, I was unfamiliar with Ghost (not to be confused with the many other bands named Ghost). I could not find much about this artist, so we may as well get right into the music. This opens with synth buried under crackling static and rumbling noise. The synth keeps shifting and is quite pretty. Kind of reminds me of some of the more droney aspects of Lycia, with unsettling heaviness mixed with absolute beauty. The wall of noise keeps rumbling on, remaining largely static, over the top of this composition. I really like the juxtaposition. This is well worth checking out. This disc weighs in at 19:38, and is limited to 42 copies, so get it while you still have a chance.
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, and sent several of his recent releases in this batch to review. This is a 2xCD3 set that consists of 4 tracks of 11 minutes each. Let’s dive in and see what he hears when you talk this time. “I” is rhythmic, crunchy noise. It's almost like there is a synth line keeping the beat, because it is almost musical. Keeps it interesting. “II” is a nice crackling, squeaking, and rumbling wall of noise. This is the sound of a factory burning down with the machines still running inside. “III” is a dark, droning synth composition. Heavy and ominous. This is really good. Not what I expected from this project, but it works with the other tracks. “IV” brings it to a close with more synth drone, this time with a grittier edge and a vaguely martial feel from the drum beat buried beneath the drone. This would be right at home alongside some of the noisy dark ambient offerings from Cyclic Law or Malignant. This is also really good drone. Overall, this is some of the best work I have heard from this project. Think of it as having a harsh noise disc and a dark noise disc. For me the standout was disc 2, but both are worth checking out. This set weighs in at 44 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.
Cathedral is a single 34-minute experimental piece comprised solely of solo saxophone and prominant feedback from Swiss-based Christian Kobi that will put off many listeners within the first five minutes thanks to the early squealing, shrieking sounds that jars right through your teeth. If you can’t stand the sound of nails down a blackboard, you’ll be reaching for the playback stop button very quickly. And that would be a shame, because if you’re willing to hold out until (or skip to) around the six minute mark, things settle down somewhat and the lower, slower textures of the sax begin to shine through. By the twelve minute mark, it’s positively sedentary, beautifully recorded to show the expressive husky reverberence of a saxophone in extreme close-up detail.
A second lease of life comes halfway through, with the sax jumping from almost trad-sounding jazz, to more squealing and dog-frustrating sounds (don’t say I didn’t warn you), down to lowest-register drone hums, in fairly quick order.
It was recorded in 2019 in the former Swisscom high-bay warehouse- “probably the largest underground space in Berne”- and officially it’s the last part in a trilogy, after releases in 2010 and 2013. I haven’t heard those other two releases though so can’t comment on its effectiveness as a triptych. However I would say that 34 minutes seems just about right for the concept, and it neither overstays nor understays its welcome.
In old-fashioned avantgarde fashion it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, to put it mildly, but if you have the high tolerance required to get past the initial gateway, it’s certainly worth delving into for half an hour.