Monday, 16 September 2019

Vitauct/Crepuscular Entity - Vitauct/Crepuscular Entity split

Artist: Vitauct/Crepuscular Entity
Label: Basement Corner Emissions
Catalogue no: KV&GR/RECS #465

     1.      Crepuscular Entity – Right Hand Black
     2.      Vitauct – The Diabolical Mechanism
     3.      Crepuscular Entity – Electrical Storm in an Electrical Storm
     4.      Vitauct – End to all Alive
     5.      Crepuscular Entity – The Spring Floweth Forth
     6.      Vitauct – The Exodus of the Soul
     7.      Vitauct – Madhouse

Basement Corner Emissions is a small but extremely busy little noise netlabel operating out of Portland, Oregon, which does a mighty fine job of promoting the noise genre in general, and Ken Jamison’s Crepuscular Entity in particular (as well as his label). However, Jamison doesn’t hog the glory for himself alone: most, if not all, of BCE’s releases are split recordings, meaning that other bands get to share the exposure and we get to discover some great material. In this one, Crepuscular Entity team up with Vitauct to bring us a seven track album of wildly varying noise textures, putting the lie to the notion that noise as a genre hasn’t progressed beyond relentless blast.

Dealing with CE first (as I am relatively familiar with his output), on his first contribution ‘Right Hand Black’ we’re initially battered with crashing waves of harshness in classic noise assault style, the forerunners of a much bigger and more solid tsunami of blistering red heat that aims to crush everything in its path and leave nothing standing. If you’re intent on levelling entire continents then you’d better do it properly. ‘Electrical Storm in an Electrical Storm’ is a different story altogether, a granular bedrock of crackling noise upon which explosions and detonations spark and flare in rapid succession, splitting the air and releasing glowing energies. This one will leave you gasping and reeling, its concussions physical hits upon the body. His third and last piece, ‘The Spring Floweth Forth’ isn’t so much a spring as a reservoir bursting through a dam and releasing thousands upon thousands of gallons of liquid death and destruction, laying waste to whole swathes of land. It’s unstoppable and tumultuous, a crushing wall of watery demolition.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the other contributor, Vitauct. I know absolutely nothing about this project, except that I am venturing a guess that it might be Belarussian (but don’t quote me on that). There is a web address to click on the Bandcamp page but there’s nothing there to enlighten us. But, judging by ‘The Diabolical Machine’, the first of their tracks, they have a lot to offer. This first one I would categorise as almost a hybrid genre, perhaps industrial steampunk noise, what with its repetitive clanking and steamy exhalations it reminded me of some weird contraption bolted together by some mad inventor. It’s inventive, colourful, disturbing, and yes, diabolical: a robotic leviathan jangling and rattling as it staggers jerkily on its way across some vast plain. ‘End to all Alive’ is even more mechanical mayhem, a motor running a massive engine of mass destruction, trampling and stomping on all and sundry, levelling cities, forests, and mountains with equal facility. Imagine a road-crew working outside your house but multiply it by a couple of thousand: they not only ‘fix’ the road but everything else around it, until all is a desolate, empty, and denuded wasteland. ‘The Exodus of the Soul’ is whining feedback and complaining, tortured metal, sounding like a vile and bloody extraction of the soul of a human being, a meeting of metal and flesh where the former is inevitably the winner. ‘Madhouse’ is just that – rattling metallic percussion with a maniacal, rambling, screaming male voice ranting over it, a place of disorder, mental degradation, and utter insanity. Nothing makes sense here: perhaps ultimately this is what’ll happen to us once the machines take over.

A very varied menu of interesting sounds and textures, a mix of the tried and trusted classics along with a few more adventurous dishes for those who like to expand their taste horizons. Noise, it appears, has even broader definitions than even I had suspected, and this seven-tracker is an exercise in compare and contrast, attacking from both ends of the spectrum at once. It illustrates the point that all noise is music, whatever your viewpoint on the matter is – it’s just that some is organised and some is chaotic. What this also emphasises is that even within the narrow definition of the harsh noise/noise genres, there is still a vast spectrum of expressions to be explored. On that score, this is very much a textbook example of how different artists interpret what noise is, and what it can achieve.

Purchase as a download on the link:

Psymon Marshall 2019.

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