Sunday, 5 March 2023

Cementimental - Episodes of Simultaneous Door Opening.


Cementimental – Episodes of Simultaneous Door Opening – CDR/Download – Self Released – 2023.

1. Lumpishes of Honorariums, Arks, Toms, Duped, Bang.

2. The Scats of Firers Joke a Slat out of Lung Slate.

3. Shops-Doged.

4. The Petrifier Dole.

5. Inarticulately Pterodactyled.

6. The History of Grey Book.

7. The Ocelot Soothed Jolly by His Woven Hair.

8. Arrogant Dice.

                                                    Image from artist's Bandcamp, link above.

Dr Age’s Harsh Noise, Circuit Bendery project Cementimental has been active in the UK since 2000AD. Cementimental is also linked to Isn’tses and Disgusting Cathedral and has played around the England, Wales, Scotland, France, Denmark and Holland. The project is now a mainstay of the London \Noise scene playing at many events and festivals around the UK over the last two decades.

I am immediately hit by an assault of trebly, sharp harsh noise on Lumpishes of Honorariums, Arks, Toms, Duped, Bang. This has a fresh crackling sound to it, it isn’t bass heavy at first, this seems to come later in the track. The project seems to use recognisable Harsh Noise elements, whereas others come from somewhere else. Probably the home-made synths that Drage makes and sells. The Scats of Firers Joke a Slat out of Lung Slate rips out sonically, the warped sounds and circuit bending truly flex muscle on this track as it is the longest on the album. I feel as if I am being pulled through a dense collage of technology at hyper speed. The trebly heavy assault breaks down into faltering distortion for a time until the crispy, sharpness returns with a vengeance.

The Chernobylizer Synth off artist's Etsy store, link above.. 

A Thicker, choppier assault is used in Shops-Doged short lifespan, guttural noises bounce off this. A larger, full sound is captured during The Petrifier Dole, this sounds like a painful, electrical malfunction. The sound goes through a whole spectrum of warped, psychotic, barking, rage. Thick texture, accelerated choppiness and roaring distortion build Inarticulately Pterodactyled. Due to the longer length of this track, the work goes through a lot of shifts, it chops and changes dramatically. Again, this demonstrates a muscular sound, it flexes, bulges and throbs across 11 and a half minutes.

The sound of The History of Grey book is fast and gasping. It sounds like it is being choked and shaken to make the core noise, this progresses to a scraping, drag that is cut into by waves of distortion. The Ocelot Soothed Jolly by His Woven Hair is a short track that rapidly shifts through different passages of sound like the longer tracks, the hyperactive nature of the project is most apparent here. The palette shrinks dramatically on the final track, glitches and squealing, tiny noises play off each other like an abstract cartoon of noise.

This hyperactive album is fun and powerful at the same time. Projects like this demonstrate Harsh Noise at its’ best. The CDR is available from Cementimental’s Bandcamp in the links above.

Choppy Noodles, 2023.

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Pholde - To Favour the Occurence

Pholde – To Favour the Occurrence – CD/Download – Absurd Exposition – 2023 – AE76

Paul Van Tright Artist page

1.    Adjust One’s Desires.

2.    Accompanying the Onset.

3.    The One Intended.

4.    Take In Order.

5.    As a Result of Action.

6.    In Order to Gain.

7.    The Process of Forming.

Artwork from Absurd Exposition Bandcamp

Pholde is a project of Alan Bloor of Knurl; there have been Pholde releases since 2001.

To Favour the Occurrence is an interesting album as it explores low level noise that seems to be sourced from contact microphones and metal scrapings. It isn’t Ambient or Dark Ambient in what it does due the obvious physicality of the sounds and there is a strong exploration of a quieter use of noise and its inner workings. The noise cuts into the silence gently as if to slightly disturb the layer of tranquillity and the sound is incredibly subtle in its’ workings. The titles Pholde uses seem to imply personal context as if relating to the artists life or events around his life. This contrasts to the Piece numbers of his work in Knurl greatly.

In recent reviews, I am starting to see a lot of use of quieter sounds used in work that I am sent. This often uses the slight disturbance of silence or minimal use of noise used to create bigger holes in between sounds. There are what I’d see as leaders where the subtle disruption of the quiet using sound is particularly strong, those are Small Cruel Party and Spoils and Relics, but I would add this project to that equation too.

To Favour the Occurrence has served as my introduction to Pholde and I am very impressed by the work that I have heard.

One and alone, 2023.

Dodge Jones Rage - West Coast Power Outage V


Dodge Jones Rage – West Coast Power Outage V – CD/Download – Absurd Exposition – 2023 – AE75

1.    Power: Conundrum

2.    Power: Luxury.

3.    Power: Absolute.

4.    Power: Bizarre.

5.    Power: Disaster.

This trio release each of their albums as differently numbered West Coast Power Outages since 2022. So far there have been 5 of them including this one. The trio are linked to a multitude of projects and labels, but as you will see, the uniqueness of this work deserves to be the focus of the review.

The album begins with a blast of what I would deem to be Hellish Wall. Melody seems to play in the centre of it but it is masked by the blast of the distortion. I like the overall, short effect of Conundrum. Luxury in comparison feels tropical and warped, noised and samples swirl around, the shift in tactic is impressive. Absolute is immediately darker as it farts into action. Churning drones and cut up distortion form a dance of noises as a supporting cast of quirky noises fall into the rhythm and rhyme. Veiled melody plays in the cacophony and it works well. As the piece reaches full flow it truly makes an impressive racket.

Juddered electronic sounds send a fractured signal to form Bizarre which uses discordant keyboard notes amongst the sonic chatter. When they keep doing that, it works very well! Power: Disaster is the longest track on the album and begins with wailing noise, backed by chaotic shifts between electronic clunking and distortive waves blasting over it. This feels as if a moog is used in the distance of the sound, the listeners focus can zone in and out of the different elements presented on Disaster. The sound is dark and unique as the elements of sound gradually intensify, screaming and wailing utter bleakness.

This is a brilliant album that sounds like nothing else that I have heard before.

One and one alone. 2023.

Knurl - H2T.


Knurl - H2T – Absurd Exposition –Download/CD - 2023 – AE71 

1.  Piece 1.

2.  Piece 2.

3.  Piece 3.

4.  Piece 4.

5.  Piece 5.

Image from Scream and Writhe Bandcamp.

Knurl is a Canadian noise project operated by Alan Bloor that has been active since 1994. Hotel2 Tango is a recording and performance venue that is run by the Godspeedyoublackemporer folk in Montreal, Quebec. This recording was recorded there on July 7th, 2001. Knurl has released on many labels including RRR and Obscurica, who are a personal favourite old label of mine, RIP. Bloor has also played live with members of Sonic Youth.

The sound has an immediate acceleration as if moving at high speed. Layers of noise and distorted roar overlay on Piece 1. Once everything is in full mass, things pulsate and throb, whilst higher pitched distortion screeches over and through the entire sound. At different points it feels as if the sound is trying to slow down, but moves at such a high speed, this creates an abrasive friction that rubs alongside the main mass of noise.  This is very, expertly put together and delivered.

Effective restraints control the flow of Piece 2, which isn’t so out of control. Bloor uses a minimal array of sounds here and allows different sounds into the forefront at different times – stop, start, stop, start. High-pitched feedback ends up dominating the work in its’ final stages. The squealing noise continues into the 3rd Piece leading other elements of sound to join in the movement. A deeper bass roar is intermittent and adds a thicker depth to the sound and is pulled away like a tablecloth at times to let the sharper sounds cream where there was a roar. The thickness of the sound increases as the bass deepens; this gives a good texture to the work. The texture of the sound changes gradually whilst the elements move quickly, it is like a steady undercurrent to the work that gives structure to the abstraction like the background colour on a painting whilst the lines and drips interact over the work. For example the cloudy mist in the background of a Lydia Dona painting whilst the diagrammatic drawings and lines interact with degrees of detail and colour. This is the longest Piece and allows for a longer, gradual shift in sound that can adjust speed where it is appropriate. Like the first track this reaches a high speed and trying to affect this speed gives off pulsations of friction that squeeze the sound and accelerate it further when released.

The fourth piece demonstrates some excellent Death Drones that dominate making the screech a background element every time it rears up. The sharper tones make a comeback and take the lead whilst the hum of the drone controls the thickness of the sound. The die out of the sound allows background noise and feedback to play off each other. The sound rebuilds itself for the final work, Piece 5. This track pushes the under drone and the wailing noise together to sharpen the focus point of the piece. The lower end feels like it is punching the sound in the stomach whilst the higher tones go for the head, a double barrelled assault. The deeper hum on this track is very strong and really bellows when it is allowed to. The track drops into a scattered no mans land of intermittent noises, it is as if Knurl kills the underlying structure to allow the work to fall into chaos. This passage only lasts for a short time until a finely honed precision takes hold to the work’s end.

This was my introduction to Knurl, despite hearing the name mentioned for years and I very much enjoyed it. The disc is limited to 200 and available from Scream and Writhe in the link above.

One, alone, promoting the scene for three decades now. 2023.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Niku Daruma - Love Is an Excessive Thing.

Niku Daruma – Love Is An Excessive Thing – Orb Tapes - Cassette/Download – 2023

       1.    My Healing Angel.

       2.    I Only Want to be Nice.

       3.    An Excessive Thing.

       4.    The Equation of Eternal Love.

       5.    If a Great Wave Shall Fall.

Niku Daruma have a dangerous edge, I like them a lot and they might even be my Power Electronics heroines. I watched some live footage as a break to this review to inform it better. The live show is in part scary, in part funny – two women delivering 100% art. However, there is no humour in the recordings, bleak assaults and cold delivery as the exploration of the self is laid bare as fact.

Sampled, distressed dialogue opens the album, feedback and buzzing rudely interrupt, the noise lacks manners. The Noise becomes a pulsating, fractured assault and then the screaming starts. Incoherent, hysterical dialogue is thrown through pedals and becomes noise itself. Wailing drones sustain until the vocal noise erupts again. A bigger assault of sound goes off, it is forced back as the hysterical screaming goes off. That was My Healing Angels.

A restrained distortion and high-pitched drone play out over sampled dialogue, this is broken up and fractured until it is allowed to explode before further restraint and cutting into. I Only Want to be Nice feels as if it is being suffocated with a pillow for a time. As clarity of sound emerges, of electronics that are allowed to surface; it shifts through many different passages. Clear, broken electronics combine on An Excessive Thing which shifts a lot like the last track. Silence and the impact of singular electronics resonates around the sound space. The breakdown of the sound allows for silence to be punctuated by whispered vocals and hiss.

A field recording of a conversation plays, big electronics go off into hyperdrive, the key sounds are churning and droning here. Cheeky electronics cut into the main base sounds. There seem to be a shift in timeframes across the noise, sometimes it feels like something from the early 80s pulling me back in time - The Equation of Eternal Love makes for an exciting title track. The final track starts as silence interrupted by movement of recording gear until deep, bleak drones hum, feedback and tonal shifts blare out. Music plays as noise hums over it, this is an example that parallels the lives how where noise is allowed to play out on its’ own as the fighting occurs. This album has lots of long passages of noise that do the work of the work until the vocals go off.

Love Is an Excessive Thing experiments on itself, ideas collide, interact and form new ideas, it is an ever-changing entity and I like where the project is going.

Army of One 2023.

Monday, 20 February 2023

Inner Demons #20


Inner Demons #20

British Misery – Untitled – 3”CDR/Download – 2022 – [IND126]


1.  I Am of the Opinion That the Void Can Be Terribly Wearing at Times.

2.  Literally Everything is Shit Since David Bowie Died.

Image from Inner Demons Records Bandcamp.

British Mystery is an anonymous project, I may or may not have the right Bandcamp link above, who knows? If this is linked to Jettenbach, this project has released before in 2020.

The first track, I Am of the Opinion That the Void Can Be Terribly Wearing at Times, has foggy atmospherics, it feels like you are lost at sea as some beats eventually emerge and play in the background. Melodic drones play as the track slowly wakes up and comes to life and feels as if it is now a journey on a beautiful day. Is this subversion to the void, Inner Demon’s challenges that notion all of the time, so we’re good.

I like the title, Literally Everything is Shit Since David Bowie Died, how people felt about him, I can see this being the case for some. Deep, resonating drones have a mournful feel here. It has a sense of gradual shift moving through different subtle changes to the composition. The beats return in the background, they are managed perfectly, they don’t ruin the feel, they work well as another element to the track’s shift.

If this is Jettenbach, it says ‘zero talent’ on his Bandcamp, that isn’t the case I can assure you. I think that this is a very good release. I think it is another Gem from the label and a good artist to watch, links to both are above.

Going to have a better day today, 2023.

Circle of Shit - Almost There Now.

Circle Of Shit – Almost There Now – CD – Aussaat – 2022 – Aussaat 25

1.       All The Happiness Felt.

2.       Cherry Pulsus at Night.

3.       Fucking Amateur.

4.       In B-Low Fidelity.

5.       Watch It Rise!

6.       Insulting The Lonely.

Finish project Circle of Shit has been around since 2011, their first release was Perseita, Perseita, Perseita on Deep Lake Records in 2013. Since then, they have released on Void Singularity Recordings, Nil By Mouth Recordings, Freak Animal Records, Aussaat and Phage Tapes. I’ve reviewed them before and liked what I heard. The CD of this album comes with a booklet, that has impressive artwork that seems to focus on the individual and their relation to the city environment.

A dirge like, slow-moving atmosphere builds on All Happiness Felt. It sounds like field recordings, drones of different pitches and metal abuse combined together. A vocal speaks underneath the sounds, you can’t make it out, but it is there.  This track is an excellent demonstration of control over tone and texture, constantly manipulating both to keep the work captivating. A slower build up begins the album’s longest track Cherry Pulsus at Night, I like the control exhibited over the low-level noise. What I see as infected distortion is used and it hisses across the track gaining increasing prominence in the sound. The metal abuse returns to distort the ambient feel of the track, turning it into abstracted clutter. As low level slowed down noise, I think this is an example of a group completely mastering the technique so the slightest shifts can have a big impact in the work. When the work intensifies in volumes it is armed with full sonic impact.

Fucking Amateur begins like a field recorded riot, a fight complimented by feedback and distortion in the background. A vocal eventually talks over everything and it shifts across the stereo range, left to right and back again. The use of field recording in B-Low Fidelity makes it sound like Circle of Shit are playing in a busy street, kicking off as passers by go about their business, it is as if the band becomes a factor in an environment. The electronic noise sounds like it is alive, like an animal making noises as if to contrast yet simultaneously be part of the environment. Is it noise becoming a life form? The use of wall distortion amongst other noises is good, when it is left on its own, the track becomes a wall. As a wall the track shifts and changes well, it isn’t lazy wall at all. Wall is well, so to speak. The work mirrors different aspects of life and how it relates to it across different tracks.

Circle of Shit masters Death Industrial tinged ambient terror on Watch It Rise. This shows discipline of composition in how it communicates and develops. The rise in sound is controlled, it is never allowed to rip out, the sound doesn’t lead it is executed tightly, consistently. There are sounds in this work that give a Spiritual Sci-Fi feel. The highest volume comes at the end of the track, as if that is what the work was building up to.  A murkier dirge dominates Insulting the Lonely, I like it and want to Dick punch it at the same time. Warped screwy sounds flow through the river of distortion, feedback screams at everything too. This successfully balances the flow of low noise and the chaotic higher pitched elements well. It ends in a recording of people singing with melodic instrumentation.

This album is a demonstration of excellent power, discipline and skill. Another cracking album from artist and label.

I sulked at work today, all on my own 2023.

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Inner Demons #19

Inner Demons #19

Dardis – A Chain Reaction of Various Cracks – 2x3”CDRR/Download – 2022 – [IND132D]

1.       Ankle Grinder.

2.       Ankle Grinder (Redux).

3.       A Crack in the Redux.

4.       A Persistent Echo Heard Through the Rain.

Image from Inner Demons Records Bandcamp.

My last Inner Demons review was Colin Dardis’ Funerealism release on Inner Demons so his work is no stranger to this blog and I liked his work. He also writes and releases books of his own poetry along with his own music. He is based in Northern Ireland, his work is influenced by his own experiences with Asperger Syndrome and Depression. He has performed at events, been shortlisted for prizes and ran workshops with his work.  This album was created during the first lockdown but couldn’t be completed until afterwards.

Ankle Grinder starts with drones, they feel like lighthouse beams shining through fog on the edge of land surrounded by a big ocean, I like the atmospherics at work here. Lately on the blog, I have talked about artists using noise in a quieter setting, although this leans into ambient territory heavy, the subtle use of noise is good, it keeps my interest. The redux version of Ankle Grinder uses deeper, sorrowful drones to build its sound. I like the immersive quality that the work gives off. A Crack in the Redux is the most sinister of the three tracks on the third disc as it uses echo on sounds that spread across the track like ripples in a puddle. I feel a quality akin to Scott Walkers songs on Nite Flights present in this work, the strings whether they be actual or sampled have that affect. It occupies an ambient territory that resonates beauty and a sense of drama subtly played out.

The final track occupies an entire disc, A Persistent Echo Heard Through the Rain. This starts with the bleakness of the Ankle Grinder tracks. I have to add while the pre-Spring sun shines on me through my blinds, this work is an amazing soundtrack. This work is busier than the other track, subtle busy, but still busier. The shifts across the work from sound through to sound demonstrate this. A persistent Echo uses deeper sounds that feel as if they were sourced from human voices, it feels immersive as if the listener is floating t in the work. This is very good ambient work, I like how it is themed from the above description, it relates to the enforced solitude that some had to experience during these times.

Being an artist that works across genres can be a liability with noise or ambient work. It often requires a lot more commitment as it can just be the sound side project and be a bit shit. I have seen this a lot when reviewing the multi-dimensional artist’s shit HNW project or sound art project that has no depth. Not here, the sound work of Dardis on Inner Demons has so far, proved to be excellent, I like this work a lot. This is well worthy of purchase.

Alone and one 2023.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

David E. Williams - Get Me a Ladder... Get Me a Ladder.


David E. Williams – Get Me A Ladder… Get Me A Ladder – CD – Self Released DEWed001 – 2022.

1.    The Well-Tempered Actuary.

2.    Get Me A Ladder.

3.    Plane Crash People.

4.    Body Parts In Birdbaths.

5.    Gangrenous Nebula.

6.    The Man Who Invented Ketchup.

7.    Girl, Go Forth!

8.    A Seed Is Scurrilous.

9.    Hats Off to William Frawley.

10.  We the Ill are Not So Well.

11.  Testosterone Is Poison.

12.  Throat Wound.

13.  Eucharist V. Leukemia.

14.  This Is My Play’s Last Scene (John Donne).

15.  Things.

Image from artist's Bandcamp.

The work Of David E. Williams goes right back to 1987 when the Pseudo Erotica 12” was originally released on Red Dog Records. Williams is the most prolific artist to have come from the label. Across 5 decades, there have been many solo albums and collaborations released on labels like Old Europa Café, Storm, Tesco USA and Cthulhu. In that time Williams has collaborated with artists such as Deathpile and Rozz Williams. Williams has played many shows around the world and is part of the projects: Destroying Angel and the Muskets. William’s soundtrack work to Norman Macera’s Strike Zone in 2001 is impressive. The tribute album to William’s work, The Appeal of Discarded Orthodoxy was released by Old Europa Café in 2007 and featured a range of artists covering William’s work. This was a work of art within itself, well worthy of purchase. Adding to this, in 2018, Tesco USA released Women Sing Williams, Songs of David E. Williams in the Female Voice.

Ahead of reviewing Get Me a Ladder and reflecting on the artist’s impressive discography it is hard to believe that this album won’t be brilliant. This self-released album comes in digipack with a booklet.

The Impressive Discography, collection of the reviewer. 

Keyboards and sampled dialogue serve as The Well-Tempered Actuary. The odd, dark, dungeon  pop that Williams has perfected over the decades is evident on the title track, creepy vocals play off each other throughout the track. The screwiness of the title track follows through to Plane Crash People, which is brilliantly odd, combining, keyboard drones, melodies, heartfelt vocals and excellent guitar work by Erin Martz. Sinister keyboard skills and harmonies are the sinister Body Parts in Birdbaths, a sinister America is always depicted in Williams albums. Lloyd James of Naevus features on this track. Gangrenous Nebula demonstrates what an excellent pianist Williams is.

The work comes out of the dungeon and embraces quirky pop for The Man Who Invented Ketchup, it is jolly and upbeat in comparison to earlier to earlier tracks. I like how the track goes of into an ambient passage of sound through different synthesizer effects. The happiness doesn’t last as Girl, Go Forth is dark and mournful. This progresses to sinister on A Seed is Scurrilous which is bleak balladry. The mood comes down further on Hats off to William Frawley, the darkness continues We the Ill Are Not So Well, black humour flows from each song.

Testosterone is poison begins as a song, the tempo is more upbeat, Erin Martz provides some amazing guitar work. The track then morphs into experimental sonics, the guitar makes glitchy chat as drone shoot everywhere. I realise that it is Williams’ old collaborator Jonathan Canady of Deathpile playing here, he continues Throat Wound. I like the breakdown of the album into ambient terror that happens here. The familiar bleak balladry returns for Eucharist v. Leukemia, this is dramatic and funny. Experimental instrumentation returns on This Is My Play’s Last Scene. Song returns for Things, William’s laments change and brings the album to a beautiful end.

Another solid addition to the discography, great work.

Choppy Noodles 2023.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Yana - Fou


Yana – Fou – CD – Aussaat – 2022 – Aussaat 24

1.       Jamais Vu.

2.       Trephination.

3.       Mesmerism.

4.       Mantra delire.

5.       Metrazol.

6.       Spectre.

7.       Aphasia.

8.       Diagnosis.

Image from Artist's Bandcamp.

Yana is a noise duo based in Finland, they have been active since 2016. The project has released on labels such as Freak Animal, Total Black and Narcolepsia amongst others. There is little information about the duo online. However, Aussaat seems to find these heavy acts from all over the world and quietly be amassing releases by them over recent years. Will-I-Stasch used to run Cthulhu in the 80s and 90s, they were heavyweight, Aussaat is even more so in that they seem to specialise in modern experimental, Harsh Noise and Power Electronics that performs to high standards.

Haunted noise plays out on Jamais Vu, shuffling, crunching sounds act out in the background. This goes on until a mass of distortion with metal being hit and dropped takes the track’s lead. Spooked drones resonate underneath all of this. The noise is physically pulled to the foreground and the background of the track throughout. A faster, abrasive assault of Harsh Noise goes off over further haunted drones for Trephination. I like the shifts in noise that occur throughout this track, it demonstrates an excellent delivery. The artists handles the speed of the track as it accelerates and gets busier. As with any good noise, the higher pitched sounds can be mistaken for screams as they reach a certain pitch.

The Haunted atmospherics of Mesmerism play out until cluttered noise kicks in as if recorded from a speeding vehicle. What I think Yana does well is bring dark atmosphere into work with ease. When noise kicks off, this is used to add bleak undertones to whatever is occurring. Mesmerism develops and shifts rapidly; the methods and ingredients are always on the move. Mantra delire feels as if you are in a place of worship, bells and chimes fill the sound. What I begin to realise is how this project can really grasp bleakness in a similar way to how Stabat Mors could, the atmospherics here also pull in the methods Cremation Lily did in earlier releases – the combination of both styles makes an impressive experimental sonic spectacle.

Metrazol uses atmospherics combining distortion and field recordings that clash with each other at a rapid speed to form the core assault. As this is altered and tampered with, we get a rapid movement of sound. There are recognisable types of electronic noise used, but the experimentation on other methods keeps it original - I can’t just say a savage display of Harsh Noise from Finland as it is a lot more than that. Further bleak resonating drones collide with distortion and noise on Spectre. It explodes and then dies off; drones and feedback return to allow a further build up of cut up noise to occur. Samples of shouting and screaming really accelerate Aphasia’s intensity. Things go off, events happen from within the noise. Dialogue is sampled on Diagnosis, people talk, scissors cut, humming feedback plays over it. I feel as if I am witnessing something, I am inside the album as it ends.

Finland has a strong reputation in noise. I don’t know who this duo is, but they are brilliant at what they do.

Choppy Noodles 2023.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

S.T.A.B. Electronics - Instrument For Operating on Mutant Women.


S.T.A.B. Electronics – Instrument for Operating on mutant Women.

S.T.A.B. Electronics – Instrument for Operating on Mutant Women – CD – Unrest Productions – 2023 – UNPRCD17


1. Instrument for Operating on Mutant Women.

2. First Her Then Him.

3.  Aggressors.

4. A Little Transgression.

5. Ex-Fat (For S.G.O.)

6. The First 45.

7. Defaced (Burnt with Acid).

8. Nothing More I Can Give (Marco’s Lament).

S.T.A.B. Electronics has been releasing since 2010, but had been around since around 2007, forming from the ashes of Einheit 731. In that time albums have been released on Unrest, Filth and Violence, Antipatik and Urashima, which builds a good cv. When I listen to this project, I hear a streetwise aspect to the sound which really came through in the project’s London live performance for the release of Enemy of Pigs. I also feel Stark/Bagman treads a parallel path to that of S.T.A.B. Electronics. Aspects of the self are woven into the discography along the way. 2019’s Enemy of Pigs is in my opinion and one of the best examples of the Death Industrial genre as it stands today and Day of the Male before that is pure destruction of the self and their enemies made sonic.

Recent years have been busy with several reissues of earlier S.T.A.B. releases, new recordings such as the Perdition Trilogy on Unrest (the final part is coming this year), a split release with Maskhead, appearing on Resonance FM, many compilation appearances and numerous live performances.

Instrument for Operating on Mutant Women was originally released on vinyl LP, it was limited to 99 copies on Urashima in 2014. The album took inspiration from the film Dead Ringers, the spate of Acid Attacks in London around that time, leading to the idea of turning somebody from beautiful to ugly so no one else would desire them at all, media manipulation of the self-image of young women and men, jealousy and gang warfare. AS you can see there was a track to mourn the death of Marco Corbelli of Atrax Morgue in 2007, an event that saw the immediate beginning of S.T.A.B. Electronics as a project. Unrest have re-released Instrument for Operating on Mutant Women in a digipack CD format.

Vocal samples masked by buzzing drone  introduce the album’s opening Title track, the depraved vocal takes over the vocal dominating the humming the noise stands no chance as the dialogue is spat out. As far as the original family of Unrest artists, I thought Iron Fist of the Sun was the master of concise, calculated electronics, but this is equally successful at those methods of control. I like the bile of the vocal too as it is easy to mask a vocal in PE voice effects, but the rage of the dialogue never stops. Precise methods continue First Her Then Him, the vocal is screamed out here in contrast to the opening rant. A minimal palette of noise is executed in a calculated manner and the vocal is never killed by the sound.  Aggressive orders are barked out by sampled dialogue, noise hums and meows over it, a warbled vocal steps in as lead performer. It is noteworthy that the assaultive vocal on this album had several targets in the sequel to this album Day of Male that had a clear hate running throughout it, this isn’t far off that, this is Aggressors. At this point I find myself asking which tracks are drawn from the artists real life and which are themed from outside topics, it is hard to tell as each track’s performance is consistent and convincing. The vocal is surrounded by noise and drops into it during silences between lines and then explodes out of the noise on A Little Transgression. It is as if the vocal uses the noise to fill gaps and explodes out of it. The resonating shouting that erupts as the track blows up was a frequent weapon in later albums, the fits of temper make S.T.A.B. veer into inhuman sounds.

Sampled dialogue re-enters, it is female and less aggressive, but the humming drones that eclipse it are. Cut up shouting screams over everything, it is as if each noise element wants to eclipse the next. The vocal on this (Ex-Fat) is the angriest yet, the way it is cut into makes it seems like an angry stuttered rage of diatribe. Powerful drones feel like waves of energy cursing through my head as The First 45 goes off, screeching echoes cut over the drones and the shout uses this as a platform, this is mildly treated with effects in comparison to the previous tracks. On this the vocal and one element of the noise eventually end up fighting each other, which doesn’t lessen the vocal, it only emphasises it more.

The news broadcasts of Katie Pipers story is sampled on Defaced (Burnt with acid), I always thought she stayed beautiful and radiated a beauty that eclipsed her attackers intentions, she showed strength beyond strength (to me, she became perfection.). This track takes on the disturbed mind of the perpetrator and the sickness in the vocal mirrors the possessiveness that brings out the worst in people – it is effectively disturbing. Through the samples it shows her individual strength wins out in the end. Nothing More I Can Give (Marco’s Lament) seems to have a spiritual radiation to it as the vocal chants in the background and the looped synthesisers resonate. The lead vocal barks over this, I never saw this side of S.T.A.B. on another album other methods can be noted on other albums or were developed, but this track is a complete one off.

The intentions of the album are blurred, like all great Power Electronics. It maims its’ own detractors, some of its themes and continually strives to explore the wider picture. When the project goes in on its’ own experience that’s is when it is at its’ nastiest, but also reaches conceptual high points across this album and later works. I like that.

We know how great this album is, it sold out quickly, goes for high prices online and the high quality of S.T.A.B. Electronics output has remained consistent. This had to be reissued. But we need to talk about its’ new home at Unrest, formerly of the UK and now in Sweden. That label dominated the UK Industrial scene in the 2010’s. You had the label, sub label (Unsound), the United Forces of Industrial Festivals, the individual gigs and the distro. They were a powerful force in the UK with the impressive work of S.T.A.B. Electronics, Am Not, Shift, Iron Fist of the Sun and Kevlar, that’s my era that I followed and reviewed parts of along the way. I’d discovered other artists before this from Europe and America, but these artists really captured my attention. In my opinion there was a sense of menace to the label, they didn’t really network, you had to find them, they kept to their own. The label moved away and continues its good work in Sweden, will the UK ever have it this good again? I don’t know, but I now own this slab of greatness.

One and alone, 2023.

Monday, 13 February 2023

Vitauct & SOROM - IsThere Any Way Out?


Vitauct & SOROM – Is There Any Way Out? – Digital Release – Ulka Pind Records – 2023. 


            1.       Pain(t) Factory.

            2.       Boredom of Production.

            3.       Machines Desirantes.

            4.       Conveyor Belt of Despair.

            5.       Life is Full of Colours.

            6.       Corporate Thinking.

            7.       Existential Abyss.

            8.       Alienation.

            9.       Nada!

            10.   Wasted Years.

Album artwork courtesy of the label's Bandcamp.

SOROM is a Ukrainian (Odesa) project that makes experimental music, which is created using both electronic instruments and field recordings. Vitauct is also a Ukrainian noise project that combines harsh noise, death industrial and percussion industrial. They also often use field recordings in their tracks. Two projects from war torn Ukraine. Respect to anyone making noise there in these very troubled times.

Images of present day destruction in artist's hometown, courtesy of the artist.

Intense humming and clatter build Pain(t) Factory, the track intensifies via busyness, volume and insane churning, making for a severe intro. I like that there are things going off during the track, conversation, scuffling and electronic blasts. Field recordings introduce Boredom of Production, as people go about their business, electronics hiss and hum. The sounds begin to blur, what is the field recording and what is the noise? Is the shuffling part of the performance or is someone tidying up a mess? A harsher squawk resonates Machines Desirantes as drones rush through the sound, it is raw and effective. The sound is chaotic and vocals seem woven into the sound, it has that early Power Electronics sound and is great because of this. A louder frontal assault is delivered for Conveyor Belt of Despair, I feel this is a rapid shift from an early Grey Wolves type muffled chaos to a more modern-day Unrest Productions type clear, precise assault, I am realising a gem dropped in my inbox now. Metallic wailing scrapes and screams at me and Life is Full of Colours.

Drones and warped announcements truly display power of sound, elements are controlled. everything is disinfected and precise on Corporate Thinking. I am really impressed by the drones and hiss, how they create tension and threat. The abstracted announcements are voices amongst the war of the sound. Distorted percussion and warbled noise play off each other until a dramatically warped vocal takes the lead on Existential Abyss. I like this, as it is carefully combined rhythmic Industrial and cluttered experimentation, making for good work. Feedback weaves through the track beautifully. Blasts of roaring distortion build Alienation, drones flow under the bellowing chaos. Feedback seems to eventually take the lead and wail through everything. Nada! means nothing. This feels like a field recording punctuated my roaring noise and feedback. It sounds like war as if planes and rockets soar through it, the feedback is like screams. This is terror. A deeper, lower assault with huge drones and vocal samples are the final track Wasted Years. Creepy electronics play off the drones as the track progresses, which builds a huge finale sound.

I think my Inbox got landed with a gem today, great album, impressive use of various approaches, excellent work. Stay safe and well.

Isolated and aware. 2023.