Prurient – Arrowhead (Editions Mego) 2008

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2016 by noisenoisenoise

Arrowhead

Well Happy New Year and all that shit. In my time proven tradition I try to start each new year with some good intentions to post regularly. From logging into this blog again after an absence of 12 months it appears that there are still a shit ton of you out there popping by to read my confused ramblings on records. In tribute to the diehards, let’s see how I go this year. As many of you know my review mojo has been exhausted over at The Antidote Podcast but due to our inexact release schedule I have missed talking about a ton of records that have made an impact on me over the past few years,

Lets’s start with an oldie. Prurient’s Arrowhead has a bit of a reputation as being one of Prurient’s defining works. As you probably know Prurient is the name used by Dominick Fernow for his nasty, transgressive, noisy musical output. This year he released the epic Frozen Niagra Falls, a sprawling double CD of darkwave industrial goodness which appears to have been universally ignored in everyone’s best of lists for 2015. I think the problem that people have with Fernow (I think the attitude transcends into his other projects such as Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and Vatican Shadow) is that he’s a bit of a caricature – like a goth art school major with a flair for the dramatic. I’ve been guilty of ragging on him from time to time. I may have even stated that “I was done with him” during a rather tiresome tirade on the podcast. At the time of that statement I was a bit tired of Prurient’s embrace of darkwave forms in his records. Yet in 2015 I began to embrace this side of Prurient’s work. A decent noisenerd should only consideris whether the record is good, and not some semantic argument about whether such and such record is as good as (insert particular band’s name here)  their old stuff.

But whatever anyone’s views on Fernow as an artist the man has made some fantastic records over the years and this critical sniffery from many reviewers (hey I’m just as guilty –  OK) in some ways diminish the fact that he is an important artist in the intersection between noise and industrial music.  Few of his albums give me as much pleasure as Arrowhead. I bought this last year and gave it a cursory listen on the day it arrived. It didn’t start well – a sadistic drone of high pitched microphone feedback ala Roman Shower. I wasn’t in the headspace for it at the time and I moved on to something else. Just before Christmas I gave it another try and discovered that the feedback of the track, Sternum,  is accompanied by minimal drum strikes and some tonal interference which gave the track texture and created tension. The second track, Ribcage, embraces the  feedback once more but here it is supplemented with Fernow’s patented cries of anguish to scale up the creep factor. It is the final track, Lungs, which tickled me the most though. A four minute race of tribal style drumming being immersed in washed of feedback. It may be the closest Prurient has come to a noise banger.

Arrowhead delivers a bucketload of noise goodness in just over half an hour. If you’ve become a recent adopter of Prurient’s laterstuff go back and have a listen to this. It won’t disappoint.

Regler – Noisecore / Free Jazz (Turgid Animal) 2014

Posted in Mattin, Music, noise, Regler with tags , , on January 24, 2015 by noisenoisenoise

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Happy New Year and all that shit. It’s been pretty hectic at DBS as I’ve moved into Daddy Daycare mode for the summer holidays. My chances to listen to music have been somewhat compromised as a result hence the lack of posts. So to kick off the New Year I wanted to bring to your attention this epic two disc release from Regler.”Who are Regler?” I hear you ask. Well  many of you may be aware of Mattin, the Basque experimental musician who warranted a significant story in The Wire a few years back. I’ve written about him when I covered a record by Billy Bao (you can find it by using the  search thing on the site – too lazy to link).

Regler is a duo he performs in with Anders Bryngelsson from the epic Brainbombs. Henrik Andersson also joins the duo on bass and on the Free Jazz disc Yoann Durant provides sax. Essentially this release is too hour long  tracks of uncompromising, play as hard as they possible can, noise. Many listeners might find listening to this a test of endurance, but my experience with it has been one which is oddly hypnotic. I preferred the Free Jazz disc only because there is a little bit more variation. For the part the sax of Durant seems to be subsumed by the unrelenting forces of the bass and guitar attack but there are textures scattered throughout the din that deserve the listener’s attention. In fact the longer the tracks go the more interesting they become  and I think much of that has to do with the fact that  Bryngelsson gets a bit tired and either has a break completely from drumming or simply slows it down a bit (listen to Noise Core 21 minutes in to hear what I mean). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it is folly to judge the tracks by the first ten minutes of each. There is texture, movement and progression here. Listeners who stick with it will be pleasantly surprised.

If your interested in getting a copy head over to mutant-ape.co.uk. It’s one of the few places you can find it.

 

The Rita – The Voyage of the Decima MAS (Troniks) 2009

Posted in noise, The Rita with tags , on November 17, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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In the past few months I’ve dipped my toes back into some old school noise. I’ve been trolling Discogs for old Wolf Eyes, Aaron Dilloway and Sick Lama CDR’s and have managed to snap up a few. When I scroll through a Discogs noise seller’s inventory there is invariably a coupe of The Rita CD’s up for grabs as well and I suspect that these records probably haven’t necessarily got the attention they deserve.

I’ve got a fair few The Rita records and this is one of my favourites. For those of you who haven’t heard of him before, The Rita is the pseudonym of Sam McKinlay, a Canadian noise artist who specialises in that most specialist of noise sub genres, Harsh Wall Noise. HWN is pretty well described by its title. It is usually identified by tracks consisting of thick walls of static with very little or absolutely no compromise to anything that may comfort the listener by way of any recognisable musical forms. There are certainly no beats or homages to industrial noise – the sound can either be overwhelming or strangely trance inducing and on occasions exceptionally boring.

I can assure you that The Rita and specifically The Voyage of the Decima MAS are not boring. The Decima MAS were an Italian frogmen unit formed during the second world war. McKinlay references the subject matter by interposing snorkel sounds that he recorded in Vancouver Harbour as breaks in the walls of static that he conjures up. It’s not the first time he has used nautical subject matter and related field recordings, his Thousands of Dead Gods CD from 2006 used recordings of a great white shark dive cage to weave through all the static. I suppose the reason I like both these records so much is that unlike most harsh wall noise, my listening experience has been active rather than passive as I anticipate the use of the field recordings.

This record is pretty great but if you decide to pick up a copy expect something brutal, harsh and noisy.

Merzbow – Takahe Collage (Handmade Birds) 2013

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise with tags , on November 13, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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Look, when you neglect a blog as much as I have in the past few years it can be easy to forget what I’ve posted on and what I haven’t. For some reason I was under the impression that my thoughts on Takahe Collage  had been published. Nup – found it sitting in draft form consisting of a number of mean references to Merzbow’s  13 Japanese Birds. Screw that review I thought – time to listen to this again with fresh ( although increasingly degraded) ears.

Merzbow has seemed to go a bit quiet in 2014.  He’s released a few bits and bobs but nothing like the pace he has set in the  past. I’m actually a bit sad about that fact because  Merzbow, ever since the end of the 13 Japanese  Birds Series, has been releasing some of the  records of his career. I’d go so far to say that you can’t really go wrong with any of them. I think most of  CD’s he released in the past four or so years are covered on this site except for the mighty Kibako that I also found in draft form (and which I’ll publish soon).

Takahe Collage is a great example of prime Merzbow. Three lengthy tracks (32, 29 and 12 minutes respectively are on offer. The first track is indeed a bit of a collage, degraded beats give the entire track a post-industrial feel. The second track is my favourite – it starts as one of those Merzbow pieces that create layers from scree, static and noise to form a brutal soup of sound in which no recognisable instruments or form can be detected. I actually forget how much I love it when he just lets loose.  The beats come back with a vengence for the final track. It starts off as a trance track for the damned and never really lets up. It’s great and one of the rare moments where I’ve started bobbing my head to a Merzbow track.

All in all a great Merzbow record and an extremely good noise record full stop. Noise nerds won’t be disappointed.

Secret Pyramid- The Silent March (Students of Decay) 2014

Posted in Drone, Secret Pyramid with tags , , on November 7, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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Students of Decay released one of my favourite records of all time, Peter Wright’s At Last A New Dawn. That was all the way back in 2007 and since then they have been releasing appealing slabs of drone, ambient and experimental electronic music out into the world. This year I had the good fortune to get myself a copy of the shimmering beauty that is Kyle Bobby Dunn’s The Infinite Sadness of Kyle Bobby Dunn which if you haven’t head it is an absolute treat for those of us who enjoys our trips to the drone/ambient sector of experimental music.

A record that doesn’t stray too far from the drone ambient axis is this mesmerising dose of loveliness. Secret Pyramid is the name used by Canadian musician Amir Abbey. The Silent March was originally released in 2011 on cassette by a small Canadian label however after releasing Secret Pyramid’s Movements of Night last year Students of Decay thought it may be a good idea to give this a wider release.

I for one am glad I did. I only received my copy a few days ago and I can’t stop listening to it. The Silent March consists of seven slowly evolving drone tracks that somehow still manage a dull shimmer under some pretty overcast sky. Sadness can be a beautiful thing in music and this record is a prime example.  The acoustic guitar based Come Down Gently mines similar (although much more subtle) territory to Earth’s recent output over the last  few years ago. It sounds to me almost like Stars of the Lid  descending into western gothic territory. Quite lovely really. I’m a sucker for this kind of sound and if you do enjoy the drone work of Kevin Drumm, Stars of the Lid, Kyle Bobby Dunn or even Richard Skelton you’ll need to listen to this.

It will be officially released on 11 November in Vinyl and download formats. If you are extra smart can i suggest the two CD set which also includes Movements of Night as well.

Sunn O))) meets Nurse With Wound – The Iron Soul of Nothing (Ideologic Organ) 2011

Posted in nurse with wound, sunn O))) with tags , , , on November 3, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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Hello blog people. Long time no write. I’ve decided to reactivate this little noise blog as a way of bringing records to your attention that Ingmar I don’t get around to covering on The Antidote Podcast. I suppose it also allows me to write about records from the past rather than the new release schedule that Ingmar and I try to stick to. So in honour of Sunn O)))’s recent collaborations with Scott Walker (I’m still putting off listening to that one) and Ulver (just ignore the last track) I thought I’d cover something I’ve been enjoying for a while.

I’ve got two copies of this. The first is a four track version I downloaded off NWW’s bandcamp page and the second copy is a three track version which appears as  the second disc in a two disc reissue of SunnO)))’s OO Void which was released in 2011. That release was a re-release of a re-release by Japanese label Daymare in 2008 which I remember my local indie record store trying to charge me $74.00 for. Out-fucking-rageous if you ask me. The original OO Void was actually recorded in 2000 and got released by Hydra Head records that year.

In 2007 some smarty decided it would be a good idea to send a nice clean digital copy of OO Void to the Nurse With Wound lads to see what they would come up with. So what did they come up with? Only the doomiest, bleakest, blackened version of Sunn O))) that you could possibly ever hope for. For the most part NWW take the doom-laden glacial metal of Sunn O))) and make it into a sinister, quite evil listen. This is less a metal monolith and more a terrifying aural journey into the heart of darkness. Absolutely wonderful. I have a great deal of affection for Sunn O))) particularly Flight of the Behemoth (featuring Merzbow yay!) and the terrific White albums. The wonderful thing about The Iron Soul of Nothing is experiencing the doom aesthetic from a non-metal source. This is less about being crushed and more about being mentally suffocated.

For the most part the collaboration (or is it a remix) is instrumental but on the wonderful Ash on The Trees (the third track) the vocals of Pete Stahl (from Washington DC hardcore band Scream) are somehow extracted form beneath the ugliness of the original record to provide a bleak prelude to a track of unrelenting fear – kind of like a black mass with power chords).

Get this from NWW’s bandcamp page for a quick fix. Essential.

Incapacitants – Eat! Meat!! Manifesto!!! (Rape Art Productions) 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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As most of the bands and artists who provided my early noise soundtrack  move away from sonic brutality to embrace creepier and more beat orientated methods it becomes almost a novelty to spend time with some old school noise. Incapacitants exist in a group of Japanese noise bands that every self respecting noise nerd needs in their collection. Consisting of two middle aged salary men, the band kind of disappears for years on end before reappearing and producing a burst of recorded material. 2011 – 2012 were particularly fertile years for the band with Eat! Meat!! Manifesto!!! being probably the last in time of those records. Coming out on the charmingly named Rape Art Productions, a Ukrainian label specialising in all manner of grot, Eat! Meat!! Manifesto!!! has a slightly different feel to the other Incapacitant records I own. The first track Eat! sounds like two separated mechanical snakes writhing and twisting whilst separated by green fields of static and proto-industrial noise. Despite its underlying brutality the track almost washed over me live a form of psychedelic ambience. The second and third  track is like the Incapacitants I’ve experienced in the past. Completely uncompromising with an absence of discernible forms. Their brand of noise is like  the ultimate expression of power electronics. I don’t enjoy Incapacitants as much as say, Government Alpha, but records like Eat! Meat!! Manifesto are like the ultimate fight club. Brutal, nasty, extreme and visceral.  Continue reading

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