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Sunday, 5 December 2021

Various Artists – Beside You in Strength

 

Various Artists – Beside You in Strength – Chthonic Streams – Digital Download – 2021

https://chthonicstreams.bandcamp.com/album/beside-you-in-strength

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thomas-garrison-battle-prostate-cancer

http://www.chthonicstreams.com/

         1.    Purgist – There’s Been an Accident.

         2.    Lkerr – Hollowed.

         3.    Like Weeds – Operative.

         4.    Wilt – The Place of Dead Roads.

         5.    T.E.F – Subsurface Survival Refiner.

         6.    Subklinik – Deadend.

         7.    Hollow Earth – A Bleeding, Eyeless Socket.

         8.    En Nihil – Untitled.

         9.    Auditor – This Hex Upon Our Heads.

        10.  Envenomist – Phantasmagoria.

        11.  Theologian – The Uninvited.

        12.  Sistrenatus – Greyness Clinging.

        13.  The Vomit Arsonist – Why Have You Come For Me?

        14.  Filth – The Mind’s Eye.

        15.  Vitriol Gauge – Collapsing New Creature.

        16.  Xiphoid Dementia – Corridor Fatigue.

        17.  Murderous Vision – Strike the Body Electric.

        18.  Compactor – Rage Restrained.

        19.  Gruntsplatter – On a Tuesday.

        20.  Swollen Organs – Amygdala Throbbing.

        21.  Gnawed – Volution.

        22.  The [Law – Rah] Collective – Bound and Rebound.

        23.  Sickness – I’m Not Waving, I’m Drowning.

        24.  Hive Mind – Cold Smoke.

        25.  Iszoloscope – What Occurs at the Boundaries of Two Aeons.

        26.  Thoabath – Honeycomb.

        27.  Cock E.S.P. -Facepalm Death.

        28.  Straight Panic – Dog Ear’d (For TG).

 


 

In the field of Power Electronics and related genres, Thomas Garrison's CONTROL project exemplifies the upper echelon in terms of sound, quality of output, and respect. In August 2021, Thomas was diagnosed with Stage 2 Prostate Cancer. Anyone familiar with the state of the US healthcare system knows that any serious illness is massively expensive. Although a charity drive was launched immediately by our mutual friend Marcus LaBonté (Cloister Recordings), donations have predictably waned. Thankfully, due to the aforementioned respect, many of Thomas' peers were ready to show their support, not just monetarily, but also by creating exclusive tracks for this compilation.

This is not music full of sweetness and light. The artists here have not shied away from expressing negative feelings related to Thomas' situation or echoing their own experiences with other loved ones who have had to bear similar burdens. But this makes perfect sense while showing support, admiration, and love for a peer who unflinchingly exorcises his own demons on record and stage.

Label Statement 2021.

I’d first heard the work of Control on The California 10 LP Box Set 15 years ago in 2006. I was impressed, years later a friend sold me a bundle of Control albums and I reviewed a few recent releases here as I have been hooked on his work ever since. Control has been releasing albums since 1999 with a strong series of live and studio albums. From emails between myself and Thomas Garrison, I got to know a lot more about the project and I like his outlook on life on a strong personal level. This massive compilation is 28 tracks by different artists - for Mathematical reasons, I will review 7 tracks per paragraph.

Beside You in Strength opens with lush transient synthesizer drones of Purgist, before all hell breaks loose and a chaotic Harsh assault explodes everywhere, running in fast paced shifts of electronic sound that screams and shouts at me. The synth drones return to break through the chaos like rays of sunlight through a sudden storm – There’s Been an Accident is a beautiful, powerful track. Deep, powerful, rumbling drones that flex their depth form Hollowed by Lkerr. This track has the feel of sounding like it came off an old Death Odors compilation (I just had to check in case it did) and it’s that good. Changing the direction, Like Weeds uses hostile beats and noise as a sound assault. I like how this feels like someone conducting a Science Experiment; it is cold, precise, clinical and I can see why they would relate to Control. Operative has a slow sound that continually mutates around its own axis. Those Death Odor vibes return with powerful ambient rumblings through Wilt’s Place of Dead Roads, I am keen to check out more work by Wilt in the future. The album continually changes style yet tracks frequently tie into each other as demonstrated by T.E.F.’s contribution which does a similar thing to the Purgist, truly battering the eardrums with a loaded high-speed attack of noise and evocative, percussive instrumentation. Subklinik’s sickened, hostile ambient really resonates nausea, impressive work bolstered even more so by looking at Chad Davies’ Bandcamp – he looks as bleak as his work sounds, so I give a big thumbs up for that. Subklink makes me realise how I am very aware of the quality of Death Ambient bleakness on this compilation as does the project’s impressive release history. This feeling continues when I hear Hollow Earth’s Bleeding, Eyeless Socket. The sound here is layered and massive, noises play out alongside the deep pulsating bass whilst a rich beauty runs alongside the darkness.

EN Nihil delivers a powerful performance of throbbing electronics – the sound on this one is huge. Their Untitled track is a dominant Synth riff, repeated over explosive electronics. This bold track echoes the amazing production that Control frequently delivers. Auditor gives a strong delivery of spite via This Hex Upon Our Heads, the whistling electronics are ugly, whilst the back drones are rich, with a classical feel. The spoken vocal rises to a shout at times, this truly controls the track’s tension through a precarious balance of elements. Ominous ambient drones induce anxiety on Envenomist’s Phantasmagoria. This gem is typical of the bleak ambient qualities continually demonstrated on this album; the atmosphere is made up of rich instrumental, abstract sounds that play off each other as the echo away. I like the initial early weirdo Industrial vibes of Theologian, the repetitive loops and keyboards build an amazing, luscious sound. In the past I have been dismissive of Theologian’s work – today The Uninvited leaves me seriously revising that opinion the more it intensifies and builds up. This is one of several amazing demonstrations of ‘use a big sound to its full extent’ on this album. Sistrenatus truly pulls things to raw on Greyness Clinging, they do a raw harsh noise thing that is bolstered by explosive PE drones and shards of Metal abuse. Greyness Clinging juggles elements well to make a strong whole. Thick, rumbling drones with a feedback sidekick build until clanging and roaring distorted vocals form The Vomit Arsonist’s contribution - Why Have You Come For Me. This is further dense atmospherics that seem to compete against each other for greatness a stand-off of sound buried within the album. It almost serves as a long intro for Filth’s The Mind’s Eye which is urgent and explosive. I like how they rip the sound down to allow the vocal to burst through. The up tempo beat that suddenly appears throws the noise in other directions which is ace. The Minds Eye seems to evolve several times from noise to dance and into a hybrid of the two.

Vitriol Gauge manage to truly demonstrate a commitment to slow, dragging sound on their track Collapsing New Creature. I admire the concentration of filling the sound with a variety of sonic details, this is really good work that open Death Industrial vibes that continue on Xiphoid Dementia’s Corridor Fatigue – this is an accomplished modern day Death Industrial that is pushed to a futuristic sound that lies elsewhere – amazing work. Corridor Fatigue is a dramatic soundtrack that forces itself into overdrive, never melting down, just going to new limits. The screwy bleakness of Murderous Vision becomes apparent on Strike the Body Electric, the creeped-out tinkering’s are effective and nightmarish. The croaking, voice like sounds odd adding other worldly presence to the work. Things feel digitally intense on Compactor’s Rage Restrained, a cut up vocal plays over the top of the repetitive loops, this is effective and nauseous. Echoing noise cuts into the work, shifting it considerably. I know of Gruntsplatter, but this is my first time really listening to the project. I have talked about massive sounds a lot on this review and Gruntsplatter seems expert at that. On a Tuesday is a mournful, pulsating track that subtly increases in sound as it progresses – there is something very expert about this track, I like it. Swollen Organs is busy Power Electronics that moves at a fast pace whilst crashing drones provide a back rhythm that keeps the track grounded whilst the electronics shoot off. The vocals enter as the track enters a high speed; they have a strong shriek that cuts through the noise. Hellish Nightmares in Surround Sound return with Gnawed; Volution is like a hallucinogenic soundtrack to a long descent to hell. The sound forms and moves slowly, operating on its’ own timescale. Strings, drones and slow, crunching distortion combine to form the sound.

A clinical Death Industrial bleakness radiates from the [Law – Rah] Collective’s Bound and Rebound. Subtle details enter the sound and move it along without affecting the slow pace. Sickness accelerates the pace with rapid shifts of noise, the crunch is thick and the sharp sounds are ear splitting. I got an album by this project off the back of the Noisextra podcast, the work is impressive due to the clarity of sound and attention to detail. Ambient sounds go off and sound like they are happening in a tunnel on Hive Mind’s Cold Smoke, the Synth throb is intense as it pulsates in the background, gradually shifting to the foreground. Asif in competition for Death Industrial clarity Izoloscope really build tension on What Occurs at the Boundaries of Two Aeons. I like how the project holds onto the tension in the track and really plays with it, manipulating and increasing its force. Nastiness returns a plenty as Thoabath kicks off, unsettling, raw loops and blasts of vocal really go off, this is a well delivered explosion that becomes a massive sound. Full on greatness. Cock E.S.P. is having none of it and kicks off with choppy chaos that restrains certain elements whilst others seem to have free rain. Facepalm Death is short and sweet. Last but not least, the great Straight Panic makes an entrance, like a diamond diva ending the show. Straight Panics allows vocals to be delivered through samples, there may be actual vocals in there too, this plays off from the drones and crackle that form the body of Dog Ear’d. As you’d expect from this modern-day master it is an excellent, finale – I couldn’t ask for better.

Works tie into each other through some similarities of approach. I have loads to go of new names to check out. This is an amazing compilation in its’ own right – a brilliant show of support for a great artist. Well worthy of purchase, I hope this sees a physical release due to how amazing it really is. Great work.

Coventry Soul 2021.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Ordeal by Roses - Red Death

Ordeal by Roses – Red Death – Black Ring Rituals – Cassette/Download – 2021

https://blackringrituals.com/album/red-death

https://ordxxlbxrxsxs.bandcamp.com/

      1.    Blood Was Its Avatar, And Its Seal.

      2.    Grave Cerements and Corpse-Like Mask.

      3.    And The Flames of the Tripods Expired.

      4.    And Darkness, And Decay, And the Red Death Held Illimitable Dominion Over All.

      5.    God’s Whip with Which to Punish the Nations



Red Death is the fourth release by Welsh Power Electronics project Ordeal by Roses. As you all know, I have followed this project closely and have been impressed by all three previous releases. I type this without having heard the release yet, even the titles have weight and depth to them – I hope the work has the same impact.

When I play the first track, the suspense is killing me, the importance the project has to me is why I can’t hide that fact in this review. The sounds go off until depraved vocals echo through the noise, this is illegible screaming that forms a black hole of sound. The increased agitation of the metal abuse manipulates the track’s ambience and build up intensity. Slow piercing feedback whistles at the start of Grave Cerements, this plays with the space of the sound whilst antagonising the listener as it shifts and winds through itself. The vocal that fights with this noise emerges, guttural and full of echo - it is a different approach to previous vocals demonstrated by the project, if anything this is a purer type of Power Electronics vocal, inhuman and horrid. So far, I feel a step up, the antagonistic hellishness demonstrates a new approach: as the tones wail, emotion can be felt. I that feel at times, the sounds are doing the talking, not the voice.

Bingo, track three onward shifts into the higher gears as all (And the Flames of Tripods Expired) explodes and the sound is humming and distortion colliding in a wall like manner to make a guttural blast – it talks lots. Resonating, expansive synths throw melancholy everywhere as a vocal rant goes off on And Darkness, And Decay.. those synths dominate bigtime. The rant continues behind a massive blast of Industrial noise for the final track God’s Whip… , here the vocal is enraged and desperate. The sound is huge and the vocal clear in its diatribe until noise takes over and really cuts into the track to allow for the shouting to return, it clears space. This is where the project really goes off, the rage explodes, the sound dies and we are left with the lone whistle of feedback.

The range of sounds the project uses has shifted in many new directions, whilst the intensity never lets up. Just hearing this new album has made me happy and secure in the knowledge that to me, Ordeal by Roses is now a key voice in contemporary Power Electronics.

Coventry Soul 2021.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Luxury Mollusc – Shameless Sack Rusted Stream

 

Luxury Mollusc – Shameless Sack Rusted Stream – Cassette/Download – Base Materialism – BSM#075 -  2021

https://luxuriousmollusc.bandcamp.com/album/seamless-sack-rusted-stream

https://basematerialism.bandcamp.com/album/seamless-sack-rusted-stream

https://www.facebook.com/luxurymollusc/



New album by Luxury Mollusc – on UK tape label Base Materialism. This has two sides of 12.45 length noise.

Things creak into life slowly for the churning ‘Seamless Silken Sack Lain in the Wall, Ink Black Leather Chord Untied’. Slow ambient pulsations throb as restrained screeching noises drag across the track, cutting lines through it. The sounds that pull across the forefront seem to sharpen their pitch as the rumbling noise gets deeper as the bass increases. This has a sense of background, ambient terror throughout. The vocal screams that happen periodically are unnerving as they replace the harsh noise to cut across the rumbling fog. This is a slow nightmare, that tries to evolve whilst stuck in the horror of its own confines.

A hellish inferno sucks the air out of the room to fuel its own fire and make ‘This Cold Rusted Stream for Forgone Dreams, Arcing Stain, Descending Drain. Untied.’ The slow roar of ambient depth is a lot more prominent here, it surrounds the listener as the noise seems to stay on the outskirts of the roar. The dynamics are the opposite of the tape’s other side in how the harsh noise is kept back this time, the thicker, atmospheric fog mostly dominates the proceedings. However, this is equally as bleak as Seamless Silken Sack… Depraved vocals run through the noise again before falling off into the noise that is going off, as if to confuse.

I felt as if I was trapped inside the darkness of this recording, good work.

Coventry Soul 2021.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Outsider Art Batch October 2021

Outsider Art, 4 Cassette batch, October 2021.


https://outsiderart.bigcartel.com/

Natural Orthodoxy – Industrial Athletes – Cassette/Download – 2021 – OA084

https://outsiderart.bigcartel.com/product/natural-orthodoxy-industrial-athletes

https://naturalorthodoxy.bandcamp.com/

Manchester’s Natural Orthodoxy is one of the newer UK Power Electronics to be producing high quality work, having previously released tapes on Outsider Art, Total Black and Phage Tapes since it began 2017.

Natural Orthodoxy utilizes accelerating drones, clatter and voice samples for ‘Living for The Weekend by Hard Fi Plays In Headphones While Antique Revolver Is Loaded’. These three components play off each other perfectly, there are some impressive, nasty loaded undercurrents buried within this work. However, they pop to the forefront as further revving drone, noise and vocals square up to each other in ‘This Workplace is a family/Terminated Without Severance for Failing to Meet Delivery Quota’, the vocals add real impact to this track.

I am impressed by the ominous drones and sharp frequencies, even more so when I read the title, ‘Coordinated Assassination of Middle-Management Tyrants Across the UK’. What I feel is happening here is PE based on the impact everyday work life has on a person and that is great - the horror of the day job amplified through this work makes me delirious and grateful at the same time. By the time we hit ‘Our Employees are Strictly Forbidden from Urinating In Bottles on the Workshop Floor’ I am impressed at the spite being spat back out at everyday life.

I once read how Power Electronics is ultimately an impotent sound form, this someone’s core feelings made whole – a common occurrence on Outsider Art releases. Listening to this on headphones, I feel empowered and got a good buzz of this release. Natural Orthodoxy continues to go from strength to strength.

Soulsdue – Neon Sucking Caterpillar Mask – Cassette/Download – 2021 – OA085

https://outsiderart.bandcamp.com/album/neon-suckling-caterpillar-mask

Neon Suckling Caterpillar Mask is the debut release from Brighton based project Soulsdue.

This one is interesting, it has immediate parallels to Ritual Chair’s Ashamed release from 2019 through its’ vocal narrative, but those die off well as the spoken dialogue is repeatedly punctuated by different blasts of noise – I am impressed by the contrast as the dialogue is clear and the noise is pure and raw. This is a simple formula, but it is sounds fresh, original and most importantly - very effective. The pure and raw components spark off each other perfectly, I almost feel excitement at what is going to happen next throughout the whole release.

I will summarise this as a piece of work that is Steven Jesse Bernstein level brilliant and I excitedly, truly hope that there will be more to come. This is a brilliant release and one of this year’s best.

Tired Out – DJG & Playworker – Cassette/Download – 2021 – OA086

https://outsiderart.bandcamp.com/album/tired-out

https://danieljgregory.bandcamp.com/


DJG (Daniel J. Gregory) and Playworker’s (Dean Lloyd Robinson) collaboration begins as ominous contrasts of sharp pitched, screeching noise, blasts of distortion and cluttering sounds forming Torn Out. It is as if the three sounds conflict with each other and the speed of this conflict is in a constant state of flux. Shifting away from this, Ripped Out uses high-pitched feedback as its lone intro whilst clutter and humming drones eventually appear in the background.  This uses noise that has a rawness and aggression that is in line with Soulsdue, interweaving links between the different tapes. Sounds take on different meanings as things go quieter and play off in the large sense of space that is formed from doing this. This is a temporary quietness as the sounds explode again and the resulting Cacophony is immense.

Burnt Out feels more in line with wall noise, but it retains a clear definition of each element (feedback, clutter and sharp pitches of noise), I admire the difference between each Out. Space felt through minimal noise returns for the title track Tired Out as the experimentation continues when blasts of feedback, clutter and twanging interrupt. This piece goes through a lot of shifts in sound compared to other thacks.

This work is four tracks of shifting, experimental aggression. This is a strong release of well delivered ideas.

Kuebiko – Hemlock, Fool’s Parsley or Cowbane – Cassette/Download – 2021 – OA087

https://outsiderart.bandcamp.com/album/hemlock-fool-s-parsley-or-cowbane


I have been lucky enough to see this project do some amazing live shows over the last few years. I have a lot of high hopes for Kuebiko and really want this release to be good. Hemlock… is Kuebiko’s second release for Outsider Art.

Experimental playfulness forms as strings and field recordings fill out the sound. As the piano enters the track, it is like rays of sunlight bursting through heavy clouds. Flute, tapping and further field recordings of chatter and conversation blend until noise throws bad vibes over the hope. Untitled Continued has a sound that is more cohesive with drones and vocals. Field recordings of a different environment emerge, but are less defined and piano burst remerges, throwing beauty across the work. As deep rumblings emerge under the piano melody, it is near perfect.

The progression the project has shown is impressive and I am excited to see how this will be translated into a live setting. Funny enough Kuebiko is playing live next week so I will find out. Either way this release is another Gem of 2021.

This batch is the most experimental that I have heard from Outsider Art and easily one of the strongest. It would be hard to pick a best one out of the four as each of them shines in their own unique way. All are well worth getting - support this label. All titles are available from the Big Cartel link above.

Coventry Soul 2021

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Disgusting Cathedral – Besieged Defenders

 

Disgusting Cathedral – Besieged Defenders – Download – 2021.

https://disgustingcathedral.bandcamp.com/album/besieged-defenders-2

I feel like watching the film – ‘A Chinese Ghost Story’ tonight, playing Besieged Defenders, the new album by Disgusting Cathedral reminds me of that film in parts. This is described as Dungeon Synth, but I feel it is Dr.Age in his synthesizer fun element. He uses a lot of quirky sounds and home-made circuit devices that echo his work in the duo Isn’tses and Cementimental - this is what I associate with Dr.Age, a key player in quirkier, glitched electronics within the UK. In some ways if you can imagine members of SMEGMA had children, left them somewhere with their stash and forgot about them - you’d have Isn’tses.

The sound of the album uses keyboards in the quirky, space like sense mixed in with a mournful, funeral style. What I am going to focus on is that I like to research my noise/PE history from time to time to widen my historical knowledge of the genre. The Dungeon Synth sound is hailed as coming from a range of artists including Burzum being its key influences. This kind of mournful and tinkering synthesizer usage goes right back to the 80s, buried within some later 80s Power Electronics and Industrial acts that leaned a little too far to the right. Dr.Age is seen as a well-known anarchist leaning artist within his commentaries and personal conversations that I have had with him. From knowing him, I see this as taking back those elements from various factions and going somewhere else with it, a reclamation of sound of sorts.

The electronics go screwy, melting down as they twist and bend in all directions – not staying in one place for too long. Shifts back into mournful, meditative territory are frequent. I like this, a good recording that truly reflects the playful, humorous character and intentions of its’ creator.

Coventry Soul 2021

ANTIchildLEAGUE - Brain Waves

 

ANTIchildLEAGUE – Brainwaves – Endangered Species – Cassette – 2021 – ES022

https://www.endangeredspecies.biz/

https://hagshadow.wixsite.com/antichildleague



Since 2017 ACL has slowed down to a halt on promoting gigs in the UK so, because of that there have been regular ACL releases every year. The focus has paid off, with ACL honing closer attention to its overall sound and finer details – the improvement is constant. Along with Hellworm and the early singles, the work of the last Five Years is amongst ACL’s best. I liked the trilogy of albums that came, but the new work is a massive step up.

The vocals throughout the album sound warped; they are basically a female voice pushed so far beyond its limits that it becomes completely androgynous as it spits out hateful venom. This latest sermon from ACL is a diatribe of sonic poison.

The electronics are kept at just the right number of components, without there being too much; elements are allowed to play off each other. The overdrive is very controlled and appropriate to the work. The sense of space in the sound is felt throughout Brainwaves. The distortion forms full assaultive walls punctuated by the vocal, in contrast to this sound is broken into minimal noise as it plays out.

The dying aspect of some sounds gives a morbid stench to the album, it is as if there is a big push to connect to the Italian death sound unique to that area in recent decades. In contrast to the solid electronics demonstrated, there is an Undead feel to the work even if the natural hatred given off by the project masks this.

This is Power Electronics with an excessive barrage of nastiness and a menacing undercurrent of Death Industrial, it will really appeal to fans wanting a more punishing listening experience. Brainwaves is another gem in this continued stream of good work by ACL.

Coventry Soul 2021.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Inner Demons #15

Nightmare Park – Box of Teeth – 3 x 3” Cdr/Download – 2018 – Inner Demons Records – IND029B

https://innerdemonsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/box-of-teeth-ind029b

https://nightmarepark.bandcamp.com/

     1.    I am the Devil.

     2.    And I’m Here to Do the Devil’s Work.

     3.    An Interview with Evil.



Nightmare Park is an anonymous Harsh Noise Wall project based in Connecticut USA that has been active since 2018. Box of Teeth is the projects first box set and comes in a small cardboard box with artwork printed on it, this contains 3 3” Cdrs.

A low bass boom and sprinkly over crackle plays out for I am the Devil. The deep bass boom and sprinkled distortion seem to contrast against each other giving the wall a layered effect as if constantly in a state of fractured movement pulling your attention from element to element. This is all thought out so that it isn’t all one bland blast – this is typical challenging wall material that Inner Demons Records seems to favour.

Two minutes of silence is the intro to the second disc – And I’m Here to Do the Devil’s Work, until a dense wall appears. This wall has a lower bass frequency that is solid whilst the forefront crackle is thicker than the last track, this wall is solid because of an additional hum. A creakier distortion begins to cut in as if to undermine the wall’s dominance, this is two main bodies of noise conversing between themselves through rises and falls in prominence - it isn’t really a wall focus at this point. This too continues the Inner Demons traditions.

A manic density erupts for An Interview with Evil, the energy in this track jolts the elements around. The chaotic bass boom splutters around, so the sharper harsh noise does the same in different directions and the listener is presented with Harsh Noise that has the energy of a Jackson Pollock painting, sounds seem to shoot everywhere. At times the bass boom dies out for longer periods allowing the screeching feedback to dance alone until the sound rebuilds.

This is three well planned, well executed different passages of Harsh Noise that are all testing, stay with them and they deliver the goods. Box of Teeth is a credit to both artist and label.

Coventry Soul 2021.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Satori - The Brutal Truth.

Satori – The Brutal Truth – CD/Cassette/Download - COD Noizes – 2021 – SHUM36

https://codmusicdistro.bandcamp.com/album/the-brutal-truth

https://satori-industrial.bandcamp.com/

     1.    False Prophet.

     2.    Poacher.

     3.    The Way of the Warrior.

     4.    In Isolation.

     5.    Hypodermia.

     6.    Morphia.

     7.    I Will Shake Your Hand and We Will Talk.

     8.    God and the Human Spirit.

     9.    Black Light.

     10.  Kuru.

     11.  No One Cared.

     12.  Walking In a Straight Line.

Satori was part of the second wave of Power Electronics, around the time of Grey Wolves and Con-Dom. During that time Satori was Dave Kirby and Robert Maycock, later members included Justin Mitchell and Neil Chancy. Satori originally released on Broken flag and Maycock’s own Mindscan Tapes who also released several important compilations of British Electronics at the time of which there were 5 volumes. After various line ups, Satori is now the solo project of founder member Dave Kirby. Since Kirby came back – there have been a series of new releases on labels like COD Noizes, Cloister Recordings, L-White and Outsider Art. You can’t miss the news about how Satori has stepped up in recent years. The Brutal Truth, their latest release comes in an attractive card wallet with inner sleeve, the presentation and artwork are impressive. COD Noizes have done a great job with every aspect of this release as we shall see.


False Prophet builds with samples from the film, There Will Be Blood. It starts quietly, as if simmering and slowly rising in temperature. This bubbles ominously with an infected feel until the distortion explodes, and the layers of the noise cut each other up, building a mass of anger that introduces Dave Kirby’s screaming – the guy really cuts it live and is naturally disturbing to watch. It feels like Kirby is in the centre of the noise projecting outwards at intervals whilst at other times happily buried within the hiss.

Similar methods are used for Poacher as distant noises and samples play out, tension is increased via feedback as rumbling and distortion grow like a distant threat that becomes impossible to ignore. The vocal sample that punctuates the distant noise has a menacing Dalek tone, this seems to rattle the noise to blast up to the forefront of the sound, a wall that pulsates outwards, the noise is particularly savage here. Kirby’s vocal spits out on this one, he seems reinforced by the noise he makes.

Chanting and Electronics collide to form The Way of the Warrior – this has the feel of a ceremony as different electronics introduce themselves to the ritual. The vocal comes in and out, it is muffled and whispered within the sounds, a sense of screeched depravity gives it a weapon like feel as it now punctuates the noise as both climax. In Isolation is a quieter track, with dark, infected tones and a guttural growling vocal that adds a real ugliness to the sound. Continued ominous growling and bleak atmospherics serve as the introduction to Hypodermia until the sound gets big, despite restrained eruptions, this allows for a sickened vocal to return and spew dialogue over the proceedings.

Morphia plays with the same atmospherics as Hypodermia and explodes periodically allowing for the sound to fill the space and reach outwards at the listener. When Morphia isn’t erupting, it plays with tribal drums and ambient landscapes. Slow drones then playout along with deeper ominous drones over the top of this for I Will Shake Your Hand and We Will Talk as Reggie Kray samples menace over this - this is bleak. It doesn’t stop there, God and the Human Spirit features samples of Alex Jones, which is nastier and less subtle than the Kray samples of the last track. This really allows the samples to be the nastiness, the noise behind serves to highlight it.

Ambient atmospheres and samples form Black Light which progresses to demonstrate pulsating noise that uses a slow rhythm whilst Dark, ranting vocals deliver the sermon with impressive shifts in noise building to its delivery. The shifts I mentioned included what I saw as a very Death Industrial synthesizer, that has that sharp ‘EEEEEEGH!!’ type resonance, this is brought through to Kuru and they are more ever-present throughout the track and build up a lot. The vocal is a sharp, cutting rant which I feel is the best vocal performance on the album. The sharpness of the vocal is continued at a sharper pitch with distortion heavy electronics on No One Cares, this is occasionally caged in by the noise as it kicks off into demented rage.

The ritualistic ambient sound that runs through all The Brutal Truth builds Walking in a Straight Line as it plays with off a wall of distortion, both battle for prominence. This features Neven M Agalma, I am unsure if he is just the vocal or part of the noise that erupts and buries the track to its’ death, bringing the album to an end.

I think that this is a strong modern day Satori release that doesn’t play on any past glories; I feel Kirby still has something to prove and is constantly trying to do it – he can’t stop. I feel he is achieving it yet suspect he doesn’t feel that he is. If that’s the case, keep trying as the results never fail to impress me. Having seen how this project delivers live and what I keep hearing, I am a fan for sure and rate this release highly amongst this years best.

Coventry Soul 2021



Sunday, 1 August 2021

Inner Demons #14 – New July 2021 Batch.

 

Inner Demons #14 – New July 2021 Batch.

https://innerdemonsrecords.bandcamp.com/

THIS NOISE KILLS FASCISTS.

Inner Demons.



Following on from my recent interview with Dan Fox who runs Inner Demons Records, I have received the latest batch of releases by the label. In this one, there are 11 recordings, all are housed in the familiar Inner Demons 3” CDr format with Dan’s Black and White artwork – the obsessive eye to detail of the formats the label demonstrates impress me a lot. I believe that this may be their biggest batch of releases so far.

Over the last 15 years, Inner Demons has stayed true to its own ethics and done close to a hundred releases of different artists from around the world. The label has established itself as a leading light in the present-day noise scene. Inner Demons #14 is an overview of their latest batch of 11 new releases.

 

Yasuyuki Uesugi – Untitled - 3” Cdr/Download – [IND091] – 2021.

https://yasuyuki-uesugi.bandcamp.com/

      1.    Untitled – 20.17


Yasuyki Uesugi is a new Japanese Noise artist who has been active since 2019, his single Untitled track begins as a sudden explosion of distortion that creates a wall of Harsh Noise. The texture of the sound is thick with a sharper blast that undulates around the main body of distortion. A fluid medium roar creates a subtle shift in sound as it becomes a part of the texture later on in the track by altering the layers that create the whole sound. The energy of the track splutters erupting menace and danger. The ripping blasts of distortion alter throughout the Untitled track.

There is a feeling of the past in the sound as if on an old rail journey many centuries ago, the creaking of the noise does this, yet the roar contrasts it as if on a high-speed, modern-day journey. Solid contrasting HNW delivered, good work.

 

Platonoff – The Grapes of Wrath - 3” Cdr/Download – [IND093] – 2021

https://platonoff.bandcamp.com/releases

      1.    Communism Great Construction Projects.

      2.    Railway Gulag.

      3.    The Grapes of Wrath.

      4.    Wunderwaffle.



‘To hell with politics, Gestapo will die by itself )) There is no other way here.’

Platonoff 2021.

Platonoff appears to be a new project based in Russia. I get the impression members may be linked into other projects.

Having checked this and their Uno Lump album from 2020 on their own Bandcamp, this really differs from anything I have heard on IDS before. Their work is rhythmic, heavy industrial, noises collide for a time until a slow rhythm kicks in and guides the sounds into order. The noise seems to either stay as disciplined as the rhythms or suddenly go off and flood the proceedings with mayhem. Tracks seem to find a solid rhythm and then go off on screwy tangents, warping themselves so that they become something else entirely - this can be drawn out slow moving ambient landscapes for which the distanced beat becomes a faint pulse. At other times complete noise mayhem goes off over the pulsations so everything is reduced to a distant broadcast from wherever the chaos takes the sound.

The hypnotic gem of a release that is Grapes of Wrath is spread across 2 Cdrs, creating a long, shifting journey worthy of further listening.

 

Dragon and Jettenbach – Roche Limit – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND094] – 2021

https://meektapes.bandcamp.com/album/constraints   

https://edgewood112.bandcamp.com   

https://jettenbach.bandcamp.com  

https://lessthanone.bandcamp.com/music

    1. <●>°•    

    2. ○)°)•

    3. ○)) ●))


The Roche Limit: The point at which one celestial body can no longer maintain its own gravitational self-attraction and disintegrates due to the gravitation and tidal forces of a second celestial body.

This album is a collaboration between two UK based artists DJ Peter Adjobia (Dragon, Edgewood) and Paul Jetten (Jettenbach) working together for the first time.

I like this release from the outset, it has the feel of a soundtrack casting pleasant ambient landscapes as drones play out. The three tracks flow into each other beautifully and the sound is like a gorgeous dreamscape, Roche Limit is slightly sinister, rich ambient music, at times I think of Nite Fights era Walker Brothers. It is impossible for me to be critical about this album, I think it is amongst the best that the label has produced.

 

Gen 26 – Recessive Gene Mutation – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND088] – 2021

http://matjaz.jezakon.com/

      1.    Recessive Gene Mutation I.

      2.    Recessive Gene Mutation II.

      3.    Recessive Gene Mutation III.


I am a fan of the explosively consistent Gen 26 and it is great to see a release on Inner Demons by this Slovenian heavyweight. Gen 26 has produced a body of impressive Harsh Noise over its’ two decades. Here we are presented with 3 passages of Recessive Gene Mutation. Each Mutation is a blast of distortion in wall form with subtle differences spreading across the tracks in the examination of tone and texture. The Inner Demons Records format of 3”Cdr works well for Gen 26 as his sound explorations tend to be short maintain interest and allow comparison between different takes. The first two are crisp in their sound, the third has a muffled restraint creating strong contrast against the other works. Great work as you’d always expect from Gen 26.   

 

eR_Ka – NoisegrinDrtitch – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND092] – 2021

http://napalmed.cz/

      1.    Gojko Mrvitch.

      2.    Laco MrtWitch.


A fear comes over me as soon as I hit the link provided in my presearch I know what I will be reviewing! A side project of Czech noise terrorists Ein Stunde Merzbauten of whom I have reviewed quite a bit of stuff. Like other Czech noise projects, it (visually) appears funny, like a comedy project but the delivery will always be very thought out and serious - the name throws you off balance.

Goiko Mrvitch rains distortion on the listener, the sound is fast and shifts around a lot within its own parameters to keep attention focussed on the work. The sound is also slightly restrained to contrast the adrenalin fuelled delivery and this creates a real tension throughout the track. Laco MrtWitch uses similar methods to the opener but seems to function at a sharper level playing with choppier noise and hitting highs of screech and feedback a lot more. NoisegrinDrtitch is top tier Harsh Noise delivery like a fast ride in a speeding car.

 

This Is What I Hear When You Talk - TUCKFRUMP IV – 2 x 3” Cdr/Download – [IND086D] – 2021.

      1.    Nope.

      2.    Also Nope.


This is What I Hear When You Talk, the name implies personal and political connotations depending on the release, the TuckFrump series really leans the name to the political. This is one of Dan Fox’s projects, many of the releases can be found on the Inner Demons website. This is the fourth TRUCKFRUMP release.

Wow, ‘Nope’ has an impressive use of loud bass within its roar, there is an immediate tension between this and the distortion that drags across it. The depth of the sound feels as if I am in the middle of surround sound – I feel contained within this. Nope is energetic, loud and unchanging.  Also Nope uses a restrained bass that seems to be cut into, it also has a bounciness as a crackling distortion plays over it. This track is like broken techno masked by the crackle: the first track also has this, but it isn’t as easily recognisable whereas Also Nope sees to revel in it. Both tracks are strong and differ from each other - this is another impressive album by This Is What I Hear When You Talk.

 

The [Law-rah] Collective – Live 2018 – 2 x 3” Cdr/Download – [IND069D] – 2021.

https://www.facebook.com/darkambient

      1.    Den Haag, September 28th.

      2.    Den Bosch, September 15th.


I like the idea that there is noise collectives out there,keeping a sense of community and collective creativity - it gives a sense of organised assault to the genre, The [Law-Rah] Collective  goes back to 2000.

This double live album was a surprise that shows how Inner Demons keeps variety in the mix of its output. I am very impressed by this collection of live performances. It is the kind of work that you can play and drift away with. The sound evolves and resonates in each set, it has a hallucinogenic, dreamlike quality. The second disc is a lot more ominous than the first. Things break up a lot and it becomes a distorted pulsating conversation of fractured sounds. It is difficult to write a lot about this beauty of a release as I kept getting lost in it, I am converted - this is gorgeous work.

 

This Is What I Hear When You Talk – Half of A Whole – 2 x 3” Cdr/Download – [IND084D] – 2021.

      1.    I.

      2.    II.


The second release in the batch by This Is What I Hear When You Talk has an ambiguous title, are we referring to the release or something personal? Who knows, Dan Fox’s work has many sides and dimensions to it.

‘I’ creaks into action, this piece has elements of Wall that juxtapose with Industrial and Ambient leanings. It has the dark qualities of Dan Fox’s Loss work whilst keeping hold of aspects of the wall elements of This is What I Hear When You Talk. Distortion continually seems to splash across the entire track. Along with the genre juxtapositions, there is simultaneously repetition and subtle change happening across the track.

The second disc II is immediately busy with an Industrial and Noise Wall feel, throwing a very busy, creaky, full sound at the listener. It juggles approaches again, but this time Dan seems to get it all in his hands and really pat it together into one mass. II also never seems to stop getting thicker in texture.

I like that someone is doing that, throwing big ugly masses of noise out as an abstract piece of sound, questioning and challenging their own genre continuously. I have done a lot of reviews of this project and can’t praise the work enough.

 

Noise Hangover – Event Horizon – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND089] – 2021.

https://noisehangover.bandcamp.com/     

     1.    Event Horizon.

     2.    Gravitational Collapse.


Event Horizon appears to be the third release by Russian act Noise Hangover who have been active since 2019. Apart from the two releases on their Bandcamp, Noise Hangover remains a mystery project.

Event Horizon is a dark release, breathing synthesiser heavy drones that are like a ritual nightmare. So far, I’d say this is the darkest release of the batch. The sounds seem part vocal, part synthesised as they intertwine. Gravitational collapse has a similar mood but shows a change of sound palette. This hisses with higher frequencies overlapping punctuated by restrained distortion. The sound frequently thins out to let sounds work alone or in small groups and does it well.

This is a great release that is a credit to the label and the project.

 

RaK – ElecTrick – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND090] – 2021

http://napalmed.cz/

      1.    210314_02

      2.    210314_03


On this release, I realise it is more mayhem linked to those Czech purveyors of crafted noise insanity - Ein Stunde Merzbauten. The first track on Elec Trick is a collage of electrical glitches, it has a humorous, chatty density to it. The track drops to warping drones and smaller glitches going off around it, this shift seems to clear the table and let things be rearranged again. A pulsating beat tries to bring a sense of order the process, succeeding slightly.

I talk about conversations of noise and this really does that, it isn’t like a lot of Harsh Noise where a texture is built up, this is lots of glitches, beeps and buzzes having a party. If you can imagine lots of little robots going off at each other, this is like that. In relation to the rest of the IDR batch where there is some dark, threatening landscapes or clinical experiments with sound, the playfulness of this is a contrast that makes Elec Trick stand out. As the recording moves into the second track the sound is very fractured, as if we are being continually moved to different interactions for brief periods of time, it differs greatly to the first track.

In my reviewing I have to dart around the scene a lot, checking in here and there, so I only get glimpses of artists at times. My take on Ein Stunde Merzbauten is that like Entre Vifs, Gen26 this is a focussed project experimenting in isolation with a playful, sheer focus on what it does. This one gets a thumbs up and an A* for good work.

 

Andreas Davids – Digitale Asche – 3” Cdr/Download – [IND087] – 2021

http://andreasdavids.blogspot.com/

      1.    Part 01.

      2.    Part 02.


This is Andreas Davids third Inner Demons release. Davids in an experimental musician and DJ based in Germany.

I notice the stripped back sounds immediately, this kind of noise comes on my radar occasionally, Julien Scrobek’s Tetsuo being a great example of this. This has an oscillating timer ticking whilst the drones radiate together around it. Part 01 Simmers away like this, small interactions that seem to relish space and quieter volumes. It intensifies gently through distorted hiss or pulsating electronics. There is a Science Fiction feel to some of the sounds, but in a 70s film, so I like the nostalgic futurism within each track. This album is noise that functions by playing off the space left by low volumes, it works well. I like this release.

 

Inner Demons Records never ceases to amaze me, this is a strong batch of releases that throws up plenty of surprises. This label is worth keeping on top of and I am proud to add this lot to my Inner Demons Collection. 

Coventry Soul 2021.