Archive for the Music Category

Phil Blankenship & David Reed – Rhinestone (Troniks) 2012

Posted in David Reed, Music, noise, Phil Blankenship on June 6, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Troniks, the label of Phil Blankenship best known for his work in The Cherry Point has been a bit quiet.  For a good many years Troniks was releasing some of the best noise records around. One of the first noise records I tracked down was the extraordinarily brutal Live At Camp Blood, a ferocious work out between The Cherry Point and Yellow Swans which in the past few weeks I’ve been coming to terms with after a few years break. Troniks was also behind the release of one of my favourite noise records of all time, Lasse Marhaug’s The Great Silence. If you head on over to the Troniks site right now you’ll find a ridiculously good deal where Phil will send you five CD’s for $20 with shipping included anywhere in the world.  That is one  hell of a deal and if you take him up on it I reckon you should make Rhinestone one of your five because it is just fantastic.

In the past few years the US noise scene  has taken a side step with the most influential bands breaking free of the constraints of noise. The nice thing about artists like Richard Ramirez, Sam McKinley from The Rita and Phil Blankenship is that their noise vision has remained undiluted and that my friends, suits me just fine.

On Rhinestone  Phil Blankenship teams up with David Reed a man whose various projects have been released on Troniks in the past. The single 30 minute track is a noise nerd’s wet dream. The thing I really liked about it was that the static wall of noise which is used by many Troniks artists as the main game is only a supporting player here. That wall of static provides the bedrock to all of the other tricks and noise that gets piled on top. Everything from the sounds of a set of suitcases being thrown down some stairs, some guitar style feedback, Merzbow-esque maximalism, amp buzz and Wolf Eyes post industrial rust belt chic to name a few are messily placed on top of each other  to create what I think may be the first great noise record of 2012.

Mike Shiflet – Gutter Divas (Dokuro) 2010

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on June 5, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Mike Shiflet has had a great run of releases recently and I promise I’ll get around to posting on them soon but I really wanted to write about this one. Gutter Divas was a cassette only release from 2010 which appeared in very limited quantities on an Italian label, Dokuro. There are still copies floating around on the internets but you need not  worry about such things because for  couple  of bucks you can get your own copy straight of Mike’s bandcamp site. I actually find it extraordinarily difficult to write about Shiflet’s music. He has graciously agreed to an interview but  for  a man who makes a living  cross examining witnesses I’m really struggling to come up with a set of questions that don’t sound lame.

Anyway, Gutter Divas is a two track release which focuses on static-heavy drone. The first track Gutter Divas uses sudden changes in volume to, I don’t know, raise  the tension and  … look what I think he does is smash the passiveness of the usual listening experience that tends to be the fall back position of people like me who are huge fans of the meditative qualities of drone. Drone is an overused term on this blog  and it has a many variants as any other genre but I suppose what Shiflet achieves is a more restless, industrial, overt form which is like a caffeinated ambience. The second track, They Don’t Have The Heart to Tell You is the type of straight up drone record where the subtle insertions of other frequencies and sounds and variations in volume keep the track from being purely static. Although it feels like much less is going  on than the first track, it is far more aggressive in the fact that the drone used is the type that changes the  listener’s ear pressure (which I actually like a fair bit). Gutter Divas is the Shiflet record I listen to the most and a pretty neat starting for those that have never heard him before.

CM Von Hausswolff – 800 000 Seconds in Harar (Touch) 2011

Posted in CM Von Hausswolf, Drone, Music with tags , , , on June 4, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I the last few years of his life, Arthur Rimbaud, lived in Harar Ethiopia where he made his living as a coffee merchant and arms dealer. It was the place where he first started suffering the symptoms of cancer which would later claim his life at the age of 37. A playwright, Ullrich Hillebrad sent Swedish sound artist and composer  CM Von Hausswolff to Harar to record sounds for some music that he wanted Von Hausswolf to develop for a play based on a letter written by Rimbaud.

Von Hauswolff manages to  get a large number of field recordings from his stay in Harar as well as some notes from an ethiopian string  instrument called a krar which he then creates into pieces of the most exquisite minimalist drone. The first two tracks, Day and Night,are like a perfect amalgam of two of my favourite records, Russell Haswell’s Wild Tracks and Kevin Drumm’s Imperial Horizon.  The remaining two tracks are not quite as strong as the two openers, but the third track Alas! is what I reckon Stars of the Lid would sound like if they scored a horror film. Glacial tension if you can imagine such a thing. I suppose another way to hear it is  as an interesting link to Von Hausswolff’s interest in EVP’s and other  spooky things.  The final track is much more challenging.   A Sleeper in the Valley is an oscillator overlaying a morse code rendition of one of Rimbaud’s poems. Awesome? Shit yeah! And pretentious as fuck I might add but when the record sounds this good I  don’t really care.

Dave Phillips – ? (Heart and Crossbone) 2010

Posted in Dave Phillips, Music, noise with tags , , on May 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Late last year I was posting about some record or another and several loyal readers began speaking very highly of Dave Phillips. At that time I had never heard of him yet after those comments I started to see his name everywhere. Phillips was one of the co-founders of hardcore group, Fear of God, and after their break up has been producing solo work under his own name.

If  my house caught on fire and I could only save ten of my CD’s I reckon this would probably be one of them. Phillips has moved along way from any semblance of hardcore on ?. This is a record that is all about embracing field recordings and sound collage in a, quite frankly, terrifying way. Much seems to have been written about the third track which to me sounds like a light bondage session with Satan. Nurse with Wound would often insert prurient sounds into their tracks but I don’t think anything comes close to the sheer and utter filth that Phillips puts together on this one.  Yet bum slapping, demonic grunting  and female moaning aside, the manner in which he fuses multiple layered bird calls, static, a loud and persistent heart beat, a swarm of flies, street sounds, accordion, doom piano and other goodies will have your average filed recording nut in fits of pleasure.  It’s like Daniel Menche, Nurse With Wound and Russell Haswell’s Wild Tracks all blended together to create something that is both challenging and accessible at the same time. ? is well worth your time.

Pete Swanson – I Don’t Rock At All (Three Lobed) 2011

Posted in Drone, Music, Pete Swanson, yellow swans on May 15, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

This short album by former Yellow Swan, Pete Swanson, came out as a bonus disc for those who bought a 4 x LP Three Lobed compilation. There were only 500 copies of this made and I was lucky enough to snaffle this on Discogs. As many regular readers may know, Yellow Swans were one of my favourite bands. I loved the shit out of them whether they were in their nasty noise mode or their cascading emotional drone guise.  I’m being honest when I say that that I was a little depressed when I found out a few years ago that they were splitting up. Yet Peter Swanson has been releasing some fine records since his former band’s swan song, the majority of them coming out on vinyl. For those of us who don’t own record players, I Don’t Rock At All is one of the few releases that  have come out on CD. The three tracks on this record are slices of shimmering guitar drone which expand, in a much simpler form, the emotional experimentalism of the last few Yellow Swans records. Swanson’s music is warm and moving without ever descending into sentimentality. This record is absolutely fantastic. I checked Discogs just now and there are copies available. It is worth your money buying a copy of this. Experimental guitar music doesn’t get much better than this.

Chord – Gmaj7 (Mie Music) 2012

Posted in Chord, Drone, Music with tags , on May 14, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Chord last made an appearance on this blog several years ago when they released the superb Flora. That record was one of my first experiences with post-doom drone metal. Chord are a  bit of a Chicago drone super-group with members of Pelican and the drummer from US Maple. Chord’s method is to use a single chord and explore it harmonically. The two tracks on Gmaj7 offer very different interpretations of the chord in question. The first track Stasis had me asking myself whether drone could actually be aggressive. For the most part those who explore drone musically end up with a passive, meditative work.Although there are several layers of drone in the track the  top layer felt like it was  being pushed to an extremity, so much so that the drone actually lost form at some point to start reverberating.The most startling moment was around 10 minutes in where everything faded to white and the creep factor set in. It created a truly remarkable effect and only got better when after a few minutes the band’s metal roots began to show as a darkening doom spread through the rest of the track. The second track Kinesis is  much more rock orientated with a great live feel. Drums make an appearance and the repetitive guitar phrases make the track feel much more accessible than the first. There is a quasi post-rock flavour to it that is particularly engaging without being corny in the slightest. I prefer Gmaj7 to their earlier work on Flora. Chord have a wonderful sound that doesn’t pander to fashion or tries to be deliberately obtuse for the sake of it. In fact Stasis may be my favourite instrumental track of the year so far. An album suited to teh long Antipodean winter ahead.

Trouble Books – Concatenating Fields (Mie Music) 2012

Posted in Music, Trouble Books with tags , on April 29, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Good Lord this is a great record. Trouble Books are a  husband and wife duo from Ohio. Last year they released a record with Emerald’s Mark McGuire from Emeralds that seemed  to have been very well received. On Concatenating Fields they display a lot in common with Mark McGuire’s style of music but Trouble Books embrace  a much more pop aesthetic. I am an absolute sucker for great experimental pop. Trouble Books remind me of an amalgam of the melancholic, ambient, psych pop of another era. It  reminded me of Drop Nineteens, Black Dice, The Postal Service, Animal Collective, Emeralds – you get the idea. For the most part it is glorious pop music that challenges and mesmerises.You know, I very rarely listen to records that have a tune anymore but when I hear records like this I can appreciate pop music on a new level. A record that is like a warm hug for the soon to hit antipodean winter.

This is a limited release  from Mie Music. Pick it up here.

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Bruce Russell and Roy Montgomery – Split (Grapefruit Records) 2012

Posted in Bruce Russell, Music, New Zealand Bands, noise, Roy Montgomery, The Dead C with tags , , , , on April 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

This vinyl release is coming out on Grapefruit Records. a subscription style label in the vein of Three Lobed. On this release we find two of the towering giants of the New Zealand underground. The Pin Group’s Roy Montgomery and the Dead C’s Bruce Russell. My love of the New Zealand  avant garde music scene should be of no real surprise to regular readers but I had very different reactions to the two tracks on this album.

Lets deal with the track that confused me. Bruce Russell’s track is titled Mistah Chilton, He Dead. I’ve listened to it a stack of times. In the car on the way to the tip, through headphones on a long walk and at the supermarket and a few times after my kids have gone to sleep and the house is quiet.  There is no doubt that it is a tricky track to write about let alone come to terms with. There is a squealing, frantic quality to the sound that during its earlier stages reminded me a little of some of John Zorn’s more brutal outings. It sure as shit ain’t the Dead C. It has a bit of the lo-fi about it, it’s not exactly drone but it is not noise as many of us understand it. It has its charms (especially the last seven minutes) but I didn’t a great deal of pleasure from it. And goddamn it, if there is no pleasure in noise then what is the fucking point. I felt the same way about Russell’s work in A Handful of Dust. I just didn’t get it. I am obviously the wrong audience.

The flip side by Roy Montgomery is a very different sound altogether. This is pure chiming guitar drone pleasure. Emotional melodies float over the top to create quasi folk-like psychedelia. It is absolutely gorgeous – an avant garde take on emotion and bliss. Pure pleasure.

I am keen to read other reviews of Bruce Russell’s track. I may be missing something. I’m just not sure what it is.

Heroin in Tahiti – Death Surf (Boring Machines) 2012

Posted in Music with tags , on April 26, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Worst-band-name-ever but what a cracking record. Death Surf  is one of the latest releases on the Italian label, Boring Machines. This is a record that channels the Spaghetti Western sounds of Ennio Morricone and updates them for the spooky hauntology generation. This record manages to sound amazingly familiar yet with an extremely sinister edge. In many ways it has a similar vibe to Earth’s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method record of  a few years ago but it also combines Morricone, Surf Music and Sun City Girls/Cramps – style guitar motifs. It somehow manages to channel a morbid bleakness through twanging surf guitar and the sounds of waves breaking on the beach. A mondo-doomo beach party for the chronically depressed. I am loving the shit out of this.

Mike Shiflet & Joe Panzner – Split (Rubber City Noise) 2012

Posted in Joe Panzner, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , , on April 25, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

This year Mike Shiflet has turned up on my noise radar in a serious way. I had no idea the guy even existed until he teamed up with Daniel Menche on the mighty Stalemate. I’ve now become a bit obsessed. Shiflet’s bandcamp site is a treasure trove and if you haven’t heard his record of last year, Llanos, then you are missing out of something very special indeed.

I was pretty happy when Rubber City Noise (the label that released the fantastic Cane Swords record last year that would have easily been in my top three releases of last year 2011) sent me a copy of Shiflet’s split release with Joe Panzner, a fellow mid-western noise guy. Each artist contributes a 22 minute track. Shiflet’s is titled Recollect and may in fact be the most accessible thing he has done. It is a stunning piece of ambient drone work which begins as a beautifully meditative composition until the comforting tones are stripped away to reveal its desolate heart. An amazingly emotional track from Shiflet which abandons the austere distance of some of his earlier work.

Joe Panzner’s track is titled Reconstruct and begins as a jittering, stuttering noise track that recalls Jazkamer at their Merzbow like best.  Yet lurking under the barrage of fuzz, feedback and static is a Stars of the Lid style drone. It takes a fair bit of active listening to hear it but as the barrage dies down and brief glimpses of calm return the drone shrinks away. It is one of those tracks which combines everything that is wonderful in drone, noise, experimental weirdness. It is a remarkable composition. Utterly amazing.

Both of these tracks contain some of the finest experimental sound you will hear all year.  Rubber City Noise is in danger of becoming one of the best labels around right now and you’d be mad not to get a copy of this. Another absolute winner.

Gate – The Dew Line (Mie Music) 2012

Posted in Drone, Gate, Music, The Dead C with tags , on April 11, 2012 by noisenoisenoise


Gate is the name used for the Dead C’s Michael Morley’s solo output. A few years ago I was lucky enough  to get a copy of his remarkable electronica infused record, Republic of Sadness. That record was a strange yet totally compelling blend of Morley’s wonky, codeine-infused, lo-fi vocals with almost Hot Chip style electronica. On paper it shouldn’t have worked but it was one of my favourite records of 2010. The excellent Mie Music have taken it upon themselves to re-release The Dew Line which originally came out in 1994 and is a very different from his most recent work. Mie Music have put a lot of thought into rereleasing this record and it now appears as a double vinyl set, remastered, with its initial seven tracks expanded to twelve to include some other previously unreleased material recorded about the same time. If you are a Dead C fan there is a treat in store with the unreleased tracks because three of them ended up as Dead C tracks  including the almighty Bitcher (from 1995’s Whitehouse)yet on The Dew Line  appear in a prototype form. This record has a great deal in common with the Dead C’s material from the same time period which I have always considered to be among their best. The Dew Line find Morley exploring his repetitive guitar lines and outsider vocals which no one could mistake for anybody else. Yet throughout these utterly unique songs  there are glimmers of Sonic Youth style tunings  and even a little Pavement-like song craft. Beyond those thoughts it very difficult to describe this claustrophobic, chaotic, almost on the brink of collapse experimental rock music. It is music that has to be experienced to appreciate and I recommend you do just that. The Dew Line is  an absolute pleasure from beginning to end and is well worth tracking down in it’s remastered form.

Vampire Slayer – Dumb Death (Indian Gold) 2012

Posted in Music, Vampire Slayer with tags , , on March 19, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I may have become a little obsessed with bandcamp over the past two weeks. It has become my favourite late night time suck. I came across Dumb Death about two weeks ago and well let’s face it, music not withstanding, album has to have the best cover art of any record ever in the history of music.  Here is yet another absolutely wonderful slice of hypnogogic electronica, this time from Valentin Torres, a self taught musician from Mexico who is also the cofounder of Indian Gold Records. This is like one of those great records that Not Not Fun release every now and then. Dumb Death is like  a giant day-glo chill-mix of Dan Friel electronics, Oneohtrix Point Never style synth love, DJ Scotch Egg computer game dub, Mego ambience and even a pinch of Roni Size drum and bass. I can’t recommend this enough. One of the great records of 2012.

You can get it here.

Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller I (Clone Classic Cuts) 2011

Posted in Drexciya, Music, Techno with tags , , on March 18, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

At the end of 2011 this popped out through an obscure Dutch label. Techno/Electronica is not something  I usually don’t post on Techno but it is something that  I listen to a shit load. I need white noise when I work to achieve anything. It helps me concentrate  and is probably one of the reasons I like noise so much. But when I put on Surgeon, Basic Channel, Robert Mills,Robert Hood, Luciano, Zomby, Rustie, Vladislav Delay and Gas my productivity goes through the roof. Yet I don’t think I’ve been any more productive in the past ten years than when I chucked this on the ipod.

Drexciya has been mythologised in the past ten years in the same manner in which they created a myth around their own work. When they first released their records on labels like Tresor and Underground Resistance, the people behind the band were a mystery. The mythology was that Drexciya was an underwater Atlantis type city full of people  who were the unborn babies of the pregnant African slaves that were thrown overboard on their way to America. The theme of the underwater city flows through all of the tracks on Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller which in its self is combined tracks from many of the band’s EP’s which have been unfairly out of print for years and exceedingly difficult to come by.   The tracks are placed here without the context of their original EP’s in a non-chronological order and if I hadn’t known that I would have been none the wiser. I love stuff like this and this is one of the best compilations released last year. I’m a bit excited that this is merely the first instalment of a series of Drexciya compilations. Bring it on.

Max Bondi – Convolution (Tartaruga) 2012

Posted in Drone, Max Bondi, Music with tags , , , on March 13, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Tartaruga records make beautifully packaged CD’s of weird electronica and experimental goodness. Max Bondi’s Convolution is their latest release and is due out on 28 March 2012.  Convolution is Max Bondi’s second full length and is another reason why 2012 is  starting out as one of the best years for experimental music. Records like Convolution are difficult to pigeon-hole. Each of the tracks explore a single theme. The first two give variations to low end, slightly animated electronic drone but track three, Overcoding, give a burst of Oneohtrix-style bubbling synths. Other tracks explore dark ambient drone (Ori) and the hard to define electronica of Tim Hecker. All of the tracks are tightly defined, you won’t find anything hidden in the layers here but each track seems to build on the one that has come before and the album is most successful on tracks like Faltung which combines constantly repeating synth lines with undercurrents of drone. Repetition is one of the big themes of Convolution and it may be why Boomkat compared this record to the abstract minimalism of snd. There is a lot here to enjoy and if your thing is challenging electronica then Convolution is well worth a listen. If you are keen to hear what all the fuss us about you can listen to Convolutions here.

Gyps – Den (Self Released) 2012

Posted in Drone, Gyps, Music with tags , , on March 12, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Sorry I haven’t been around but I’ve been a bit preoccupied with trolling through bandcamp looking for undiscovered gems. This is the first record I want to bring to your attention from my new obsession – Gyps amazing record, Den. Gyps is the side project of  Xander Witt, a musician based in Athens, Georgia. Xander also plays in the very fine Muuy Biien (which is also worth your time tracking down). On Den, Xander manages to concoct a glacial, guitar based drone in a similar vein to Stars of The Lid. But whilst Star of The Lid manage to evoke a feeling of calm, Gyps creates an atmosphere of shattering sadness. He is also not afraid to abandon the formula half way through a track to pile more emotional bleakness and a certain dark ambience. If you love the style of drone that Stars of the  Lid produce you are going to wet yourself when you hear this. Den is already destined to be one of my picks for 2012. A shockingly, brilliant, strange, sad record. You can pick it up here.

Merzbow – Green Wheels (Self Abuse Records) 1995

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise with tags , , on February 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Green Wheels is one of those Merzbow records that has  a special place for a Merzbow tragic like myself. The packaging is wonderfully mid-1990’s with the CD and a 5′ vinyl record being housed in a cheap plastic video case. It’s another one of Merzbow’s fetish objects and now ridiculously difficult to find. Every now and then they pop up on ebay and I think this is where I tracked this one down.

Like much of his mid-1990’s period Green Wheels is an uncompromising cascade of brutal noise. Somewhere between Oested and Pulse Demon. It’s extremely good and if you ever see a copy I recommend you consider nabbing it.

When I first started ducksbattlesatan (or noisenoisenoise as it then was) my focus was to try to write sensibly about my interactions with more experimental music and describe the sounds from an outsider’s perspective. As I started to listen to more difficult and noisier records I became interested in coming to terms with other people’s reflections and writings on noise but those excursions have all been disappointing. Listening to a record like Green Wheels after a decent break from Merzbow had me reflecting on a quote from Alain De Botton who said that ugliness is the the material manifestation of a crooked soul. So if the quote is correct I’m scared to follow the reasoning to analyse noise as a genre. If noise is the most ugliest of sounds what does it say about the souls of those who enjoy it. Am I a deeply crooked or abhorrent soul?  I suppose it highlights in some way, that writing about noise as a musical genre and it development over the years always has some problems. Every essay or analysis I read on noise seems to miss a fundamental point. If noise itself is left over sound or valueless then where does the aspect of pleasure in noise come from. It can’t be simply an appreciation for the transgressive and it surely can’t be a reflection on my nature. I think it reveals that noise has value – that to say that it is left over sound misses the point.  Or maybe what gives noise value is the context. For instance a 30 minute recording of a jack hammer has no value but that same recording of a jack hammer when covered with layers of fuzz and other sound may be a highly meditative experience which I as a listener give value to. So intrinsically the sound may have no value but with context it’s worth is secured. And this is how records like Green Wheels have worth and how people like me  derive pleasure from them.

Cane Swords – Big Warmup In The Mouth Of Eternity (Rubber City Noise) 2011

Posted in Cane Swords, Drone, Music, noise with tags , , , , on February 20, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

At the end of last year I stopped posting as much as I should have. I’m not sure why. It may have had much to do with the lack of sleep that my kids inflict on me on a regular basis. So sometimes I feel a bit of a prick because there are records that get sent to me that really blow me away. When I first heard this I emailed the  band to get some further info. I certainly don’t post on everything that gets sent my way but I do listen to all of it. Cane Sword’s Big Warmup In The Mouth Of Eternity was a record I fell hard for and one that should have been in my top five of last year. So I feel really shitty that after telling the band how much I dig their record I didn’t end up posting on it – and that was March 2011. Again, I can’t stress this enough, I feel like a prick.

So, anyway, with that out of the way lets talk about Cane Swords. Cane Swords are the “house band” of Rubber City Noise a record label/performance space/equipment manufacturer run by Curt and Karl from Akron Ohio. Big Warmup was originally released on cassette but you can download it for free from here (and while you’re there click on all of the  Black Unicorn stuff – amazing). Cane Swords record their material live and in one take. They have some idea of the theme when they start  but the sound is built through live experimentation. In my email exchanges with the band they pointed to the strong cathartic and hypnotic thread and when I first heard it I was reminded of the Yellow Swans, the sci-fi B movie records of Merzbow and maybe a bit of Oneohtrix Point Never. But that only tells part of the  story because Big Warmup contains influences in drone, noise, experimentation, dark ambience, pop and  hypnogogic electronica. It is a complex, immense record which contains everything I like about experimental music. I may be a prick for not posting earlier but you’d be a prick not to hear it.

Hypsiphrone – And The Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes (Black Plagve) 2011

Posted in Doom, Hypsiphrone, metal, Music with tags , , , on February 19, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I haven’t listened to a Dark Ambient record or some time. But when this little ripper showed up from Malignant Records sub-label, Black Plagve I thought,just based on its title alone, it was worth a spin. One of the first mistakes I made was to read the press release which spoke of virgins bathing on their own blood and other such crap that I have absolutely no fucking interest in. Does anyone actually write this crap without giggling to themselves? The fact is that what is done here is excellent but creation of  a lame mythology detracts from the greatness of many of these tracks. I’m probably the wrong guy to review this because black metal imagery is always funny to me yet I like to wallow in some dark/black/death ambient/metal records from time to time. I’m no expert but if you like Sunn O)))’s Black One or anything by Lustmord then this will be right up your alley.

Hypsiphrone is a one  guy project from Greece and this record  is pretty consistently great. Lots of evil wails and hammer-horror neo gothic death metally goodness with wonderfully absurd  titles. It’s fun though probably not in the way Hypsiphrone meant. There is one dud track on this and that is a track which begins about half way through which cuts up media broadcasts about necrophilia. How fucking transgressive. Why it is actually on this is a bit of a mystery and kind of made me angry. It’s inclusion just felt that he was trying a bit too hard. But hey, Mamuthones made one of my favourite records in recent times and the initial track on that sucks. It happens and shouldn’t be fatal to you buying this.

You can pick this up from the excellent Malignant Records site.

Werewolf Jerusalem – Confessions of a Sex Maniac (Second Layer) 2011

Posted in Music, noise, Richard Ramirez, Werewolf Jerusalem with tags , , , on February 13, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

One of the  things that has struck me about noise is that for a genre that encapsulates useless or left over sound, noise artists seem to get a kick out of documenting their output with elaborate box sets. Kevin Drumm, Jazkamer, Incapacitants, CCCC and of course Merzbow have all released quite significant box sets in recent years. The question is why? What makes the tracks that are placed on these discs representative or more significant than anything else they’ve done. The answer is that they, for the most part, are not. There is of course some significant noise pieces on some of these discs, Kevin Drumm’s Organ on Necro Acoustic comes to mind but in the case of Merzbow for instance why is Timehunter a box set and 1930 not. The answer may be in Merzbow’s rather famous interview with Edwin Pouncey in the Wire from 2000. In that interview Merzbow’s fascination with transgressive sex and the erotic are explored. Had it not been for that interview (and the Merzbook)I would have missed the whole erotic nature of noise recordings because, frankly,  it is all a bit lost on me. Merzbow was a bit of a perv in the day and he described a box set like the Merzbox as a fetish object. Now that is something that any record nerd can relate to because these box sets with their well thought out liner notes are fetish objects for people like me. Am I ever going to listen to Merzbient again? The answer is probably not – but would I ever sell my copy? Shit no!

This now brings me to Werewolf Jerusalem’s Confessions of a Sex Maniac. My lovely wife ordered it from Second Layer for  me for Father’s Day at year. Nothing says Happy Father’s Day than listening to a few hours of Richard Ramirez’s static harsh wall noise project. Over its four discs, Ramirez explores the manipulation of something which can only be defined as pure noise. This is not a project where you listen to it over and over again  to  tease out the layers to reveal hidden sound and recognisable forms. This is noise in its most primal and dense form.

There is a great essay from Sam McKinlay in the booklet which accompanies Confessions. In it he says that after listening to one of Werewolf Jerusalem’s early works … that release led myself and other in the constantly evolving harsh noise scene to firmly believe that texture and concentration itself can mean violence, drama and even dynamism within the crackles and crumbles.

I absolutely love the idea of deep concentration of noise, free of layers and distractions can lead to a subtle yet violent variant of drone. The texture and tone of the noise might change but the intent is always the same. Sound which  carries this much violence should not be as calmly meditative as it is.  Everything on these four discs is pretty essential for any noise nerd especially the collaborations on Disc 4 and the packaging is like a sugar rush to a noise fetishists such as myself. This was one of my favourite releases from last year and deserved more attention.


Thomas William vs Scissor Lock – Jewelz (New Editions) 2012

Posted in Australian underground, Music, Scissor Lock, Thomas William with tags , , on February 5, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I have become a bit obsessed with the New Weird Australia site. This is another cracking release from their label New Editions and their first one for 2012. Thomas William and Scissor Lock are two Sydney based producers. I’ve never heard their work as individual artists so am in no position to compare how Jewelz fits in with their signature styles. What I can tell you though is that Jewelz is four tracks of difficult electronica. Things start of with Cadillac which smashes quasi-wheezy victoriana carousel sounds with something a bit Matmos like before bursting into shimmering drone and a vaguely Sigur Ros-style vocal. The themes of shimmering drone and electronic day-glo overload make an appearance on the self titled track Jewlez but here  are counterbalanced by layers of slightly  sinister noise bubbling underneath. The third track Omega is my favourite and brings a reverse looped ambience before shifting into oompahpah electronic and layering with it all with ethereal vocals before the drone asserts it’s dominance.  The entire thing is rounded out by the shimmering bliss of Qusqu, a track that comes the closest to a traditional sense – like Sigur Ros mixed with Pimmon with Birchville Cat Motel producing the most wonderful chill out experimentronica. I love this sort of music – both transcendent and challenging, Jewlez is a very fine release indeed.

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