Archive for the Russell Haswell Category

Haswell & Hecker – Blackest Ever Black (Warner Classics and Jazz) 2007

Posted in Florian Hecker, Music, noise, Russell Haswell with tags , , , on June 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

The location – Warner Classical and Jazz Corporate Office, London 2007

Phil: Thanks for coming everyone. As you know this meeting has been called to discuss the first quarter releases. So what have you all got?

Debbie: I have some great Ray Charles reissues.

Phil: Great – they’ll sell like fucking hot cakes. What else?

John: I’ve got a new 18 year old cello protegé from Malaysia.

Phil: Sounds good. Is she fuckable?

John: Hell yeah!

Phil: What do you have Bill?

Bill: Well I’ve been reading the Wire and there are  these two guys called Florian Hecker and Russell Haswell and they are into sound art and shit.

Phil: I’m listening …

Bill: See what they do is feed pictures into Xenakis’s UPIC machine to produce sound and music. It is totally off the charts! It sounds like electronic squelches and drones and stuff. It’s  a total mind fuck.

Phil: It may be the amount of PCP I’ve just had but that sounds like an absolute winner.

Bill: They may not be fuckable but the sound totally fucks with your mind so same same if you get my meaning.

Phil: You had me at “may”.

Fast forward three months later

Phil: Bill can you come in here for a second.

Bil: Sure, what’s up?

Phil: You’re fired. Get out.

* I quite liked it by the way.

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Russell Haswell – Wild Tracks (Mego) 2009

Posted in Drone, Music, noise, Russell Haswell with tags , , , on October 14, 2011 by noisenoisenoise

Russell Haswell is not exactly a prolific artist but when he manages to release a record it is usually something worth tracking down. Since my early adventures into noise and experimental music I have been fascinated by the use of field recordings to create something that can be brutal or beautiful or simply unrecognisable. The later work of Daniel Menche is a  brilliant example of this approach. I’ve always found Haswell’s approach  a much louder, more difficult but no less rewarding experience. Wild Track is tremendously interesting. Here Haswell allows us to hear to his source recordings. Exceptionally Loud Propane Gas Cannon Bird Scarer and Helicopter Trip are exactly that. There is no editing or overdubs. My favourite was the recordings of an ant colony which almost provide the perfect organic  drone track. These type of recordings are probably not for everyone but for those of you, who like me, have a strange fascination for such things, Wild Tracks is experimental sound heaven.

Review: Russell Haswell – Value + Bonus (No Fun Productions) 2010

Posted in Music, noise, Russell Haswell with tags , , , on August 11, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

Russell Haswell has produced a rather odd record. The first nine tracks on Value are merely tonal and sound-texture tests for want of a better description. Sub Bass Test is exactly that and only that. There is no trick to it. Sine Wave/nO!se @-10.2 Db RMS gives you a fair idea what that track sounds like. I suppose if you were interested in noise building blocks then the first nine tracks have some interest but I found it all a bit perplexing. The question is- is this merely noise onanism? Is this an indication that Haswell thinks of his art so highly that it should be dissected and analysed? I don’t know what the answer is but after those nine strange tracks, Haswell goes on to produce a fantastic racket which would satisfy any noise fan.  The eleventh track (Trk 4) is a melting pot of distortion, futuristic pulse, Wiese-style cut ups and reversals and grinding noise circa 1994 Merzbow. Acid nO!se is where glitch meets noise and made for the most hardcore Rave ever held. Coventry is my favourite track-   It begins as a lone .snd style beat mixed with a noise that is oddly reminiscent of a field recoding of a jet taking off before morphing into a harsh beat-fest. Thursday Afternoon 15102009 is all jack hammer noise nastiness. The second disc Bonus comprises two tracks. The first, Nocturnal Playlist Edit + Wave Repeat Variations combines what might be field recordings of birds with  the sound of the beach underneath it before being slightly processed to make something much more unpleasant. I thought it ws pretty intresting that even a minor tweek in the field recording can make something go from peaceful to the exact opposite. The hour long final track says it all really Roberts R871 FM/MW/LW/SW 1-12 Unedited Radio Scan Solo (after Michael Snow, Consumer Electronics,Toshiji Mikawa).

I’ve had this for three months and I still don’t think I’m any closer to revealing its secret. I enjoyed it but it’s not one of those records you can just dip into. I found this an all consuming record (and at times overwhelming). But the ride was way more fun than I though it was going to be. Haswell is one of the more interesting noise artists out there at the moment. Value is worth checking out.

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