Monday, 15 April 2019
Ritual Chair – Brock Turner (Download, 2018) – Ashamed – (Download, Cassette, 2019).
A noise project based out of Pomona, CA. An ex-sorority girl who didn’t fit in, a girl who is trying to piece together how to move on through PTSD and depression. Taken from Ritual Chair Facebook page.
I discovered Ritual Chair through a recommendation of her tape Ashamed on Facebook. This led me to the Bandcamp of the project that has a mass of Ritual Chair recordings to play and download, which lead me to the Brock Turner recording amongst others that she’s done.
Brock Turner – 2018. What’s effective in this recording is samples from the news coverage of the Brock Turner’s rape case are layered over noise. 20 minutes of action is the term Turner’s Father used in his reference for his son to the judge, that got him a reduced sentence of 6 months of which he only three months. The entire recording focusses on how Turner’s 20 Minutes of Action virtually ruined someone’s life, yet the defence turned this round claiming the incident ruined the rest of Turner’s life and his dreams rather than that of the victim? The use of noise throughout, creates tension and anxiety over the samples which emphasise the horror and effects of rape culture, white male privilege, Frat culture and flaws in the justice system.
The use of noise mocks and emphasises the words on the recording, the noise is the presence of the creator of Ritual Chair throughout. This highlights the hypocrisy and real-life horror of what happened. It demonstrates impressive use of Death Industrial noise; the drones are powerful. The infected hiss says plenty, it is a blade that rips open the law or society’s hypocrisy where rape is concerned and it is as hard hitting and effective as noise can get, this is a brilliant recording.
Rape again uses narrative and no noise, it is entirely reliant on Ritual Chair’s spoken word. It highlights Rape through intoxication, blurred persuasion and the taking a condom off during sex without permission. The recording creates horror through description of real life events, it isn’t a character created, but a real person’s trauma and pain. The narrator questions herself, his actions, explains the aftermath, hopes for his death and so do I.
The direct nature of these and many recordings on the Ritual Chair Bandcamp are powerful and very personal. They highlight the results of the horror of some people and their actions. The use of noise on these two recordings is fairly minimal, it can be a lot busier on other recordings and vocals can be layered into the noise too. Here everything is precise and often well considered. Looking at the project’s Facebook, the live shows are well presented, punishing, intense rituals and they differ greatly each time. On one show a massive crescendo of noise is overtaken by dialogue, Ritual Chair comes from behind the equipment desk and gets right up to the audience. My main criticism is that leaving this project to the realms of Band Camp is like leaving something to the mercy of MySpace, I hope there will be more physical releases over time. The more I investigate this project, the more I’m blown away, is all I can say.
Choppy Noodles 2019.
Blood of Chhinnamastika – The Promise of Delusion - Cassette – Fusty Cunt – 2018 – FUC202.
3. Old Beliefs.
5. I Am No Self.
Blood of Chhinnamastika is an anonymous California based noise project that has done three releases throughout 2018 on Fusty Cunt and The Pet Goat Records. I don’t know if the project comes from another unit, or this is a first-time artist. The Promise of Delusion is a five-track cassette and their latest release.
Tortured, screeching sounds and vocal noises come in from the distance to introduce the cassette, which is an immediate hellish nightmare. The pulsating electronics of Master throb repetitively, to break up into a vortex of noise that is cut into with sharp noise before vocal chaos erupts. The vocals are an incoherent noise that blasts away. I like how the electronics keep dying off and faltering suddenly only to burst back with more vigour. The faltering increases to become a key component, the vocal noise is impressive; I’d like to see how this act copes on a live front. Old Beliefs demonstrates impressive, choppy, Harsh Noise. This builds into a massive noise assault, sounds are jacked, choppy and the work continually cuts itself up. Where as Master had a more occultist /Blackened feel, this is more ‘Fuck yeah!’ type noise that gets more beastly as it progresses and erupts to an end.
Hum falls right in with the violence of earlier tracks, there is a sense of esoteric noise to the background noises as chaotic contrasts of noise overlay it. Like earlier tracks (Master) this does dramatically keep dying off to allow the noises to reconfigure themselves and erupt. This eventually dies off into minimal squeal. I am no Self is very choppy, with deep Harsh Wall crackle that is continually broken up by a choir of noises, this shifts to use repetition, raging vocal noise and urgent noise to become something else entirely. This is the most violent display on The Promise of Delusion, delivering a big finale.
Promise of Delusion continues the tradition of American choppy noise, whilst maintaining an esoteric, occasionally blackened feel. It varies itself well, becoming impressively harsh at times. The work shifts rapidly throughout, cutting everything up as it just manages to hold all its ideas at once, allowing for a wider identity to the project. Good release.
Choppy Noodles 2019.
Saturday, 13 April 2019
Live at the Brellfest – Recorded in 2016 at Clisson/ France – 22m 07s.
Live at HY! Festival – Recorded in 2017 at Copenhagen / Denmark – 22m 43s.
I am feeling the blog pressure, after I reviewed Entre Vifs and L’eclipse Nue on here for Aussaat, I got sent a vinyl of the new Le Syndicat Faction Vivante live album. This is my first free vinyl album (courtesy of Aussaat) for the blog, I feel special. The sophistication of some recent releases by Entre Vifs, Abysse and Tetsuo has really opened my eyes to new stuff from our French neighbours, I sure hope Brexit doesn’t happen as these little pangs of brilliance make me long for an (easier) visit to France. The blog got a little political there, I hope you all stay with me.
I know jack all about Le Syndicat (the syndicate), all I have is the excellent, choppy, violent tracks that are on this year’s main birthday present for me - the Broken Flag Box Set (2012). They have been releasing work prolifically since 1982, I also know there is a loose link with the amazing Entre Vifs whose cd I reviewed recently too. For this album they are ‘Le Syndicat Faction Vivante (The Living Faction Union.) This album compiles two live sets from 2016 and 2017.
The first set starts with churning repetitive noise as waves of wall like distortion and samples make things chaotic, causing a rise in intensity. Urgent, interruptions of noise and high-pitched squealing noise cut in and disrupt the prominent sounds. The work does cut itself up and shift into other areas rapidly, this functions to break the work up into different categories so monotony can’t cloud the proceedings. The work also raises in violence frequently and quickly falls to allow curious conversations of noise to occur, aside from being noise, there is an avant-garde quirkiness that overshadows the work.
The second set is a lot more murky, menacing and vocal; it uses some impressive digital sounding noise. The sounds are way more conversational with each other, vocal noises are inaudible but add to this. The work simmers in quieter regions a lot, taking it back into menacing territory when things get playful, this also frequently allows for minimal passages of sound to play out. There then seems to be a lot of dramatic shifts in speed and it seems as if noises are dragged backwards across themselves after they have played out, so that they can repeat in a different context.
This is a quirky, consistently interesting, strong live recording. I really like Le Syndicat, like other French projects in my radar, they demonstrate a unique, sophisticated approach to noise.
Choppy Noodles 2019.
Thursday, 11 April 2019
The G.R. Orchestra – The Infernal Kitchen Scandals - 2019 - https://thegrorchestra.bandcamp.com/releases
1. Fuckin’ Disaster.
2. Fuckin’ Critical.
3. Fuck Yourself.
4. Don’t Call Me Fuckin’ Mate.
Denmark based G R Orchestra’s ‘The Infernal Kitchen Scandals’ was originally recorded in 2016 by Per Najbjerg Odderskov. It will be released on CD in April 2019. Its theme is foul mouthed TV celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, known for his aggressive verbal outbursts and confrontations that frequently erupt on most of his Television programmes. There have been enough Ramsay TV confrontations to provide this project with enough sample material for a very large discography. I am unsure if all the samples are Ramsey based or if there is cross contamination with other sample sources.
All the tracks use the said Ramsay samples to provide a verbally violent sample base for each track. These are then coupled with massive Death Synths, Power Electronic noises and distortions. Samples are looped, placing emphasis on shouting and arguing to the point of insanity; making for aggressive, tense landscapes of noise and samples.
This recording demonstrates a unique use of mass media sampling that isn’t themed on the usual criminal interviews, disaster newscasts, victim statements etc. It does have a quirky avant-garde quality to it through its playfulness and humour in how the samples are tweaked and looped - this shifts the sample context a lot and contrasts with the consistent tension in the work. It also in parts, strips itself down to a minimal use of sound and can move into some ambient territory at times; along with the areas of overload allows for the samples to be consistently effective. I found it very tense and hard to review at the same time. But still, this is a good, well thought out fuckin' recording!!!!!!!!!
Choppy Noodles 2019.
Monday, 8 April 2019
Treriksröset – Kristen Musik Från Rågsved – Harbinger Sound – LP – HARBINGER179 – 2019.
Filantropen (irate, peeved).
Kristen Musik Från Rågsved.
As of yesterday I now own a Tommy Carlsson record. All I knew of him prior to this receiving the Treriksröset record was the outspoken interview he did in Special Interest magazine a few years ago*. He also ran a label called Segerhuva that re-issued the RJF album a decade ago as well as contemporary noise acts such as Government Alpha, Sewer Election and Incapacitants amongst many others over an eleven-year period. This, his latest 12” record was also recorded in Mono.
Humming resonates as voices (possibly sampled) converse in the background, a grey wall of distortion and feedback go off, the mono aspect makes it bleaker in sound. It’s like an alpha male Harsh Wall, solid, dense, thick and virtually impenetrable. We only hear the background noises we’re allowed to, it’s as if strictly controlled beyond belief. Layers of distortion are introduced throughout, until it dies off to an end. This is a bold, firm introduction to this work.
The second track begins as choppier bits of noise, it seems to be demonstrating how to use machinery and feedback to make good noise, words* put into practice. As the wall of distortion begins to rise, the electronic noises argue defiantly. Like the first track, the wall seems dominant, allowing certain sounds to come through the wall and others to enter from the outside - a fight of sound if you like. It is as if the creator is playing around with the walls of noise as they shift around continuously, dramatically faltering and accelerating.
The longer title track forms the B-side of the record, it’s immediately thick and clogged by grey noise. Sharp itches of feedback noise struggle in the background, the wall dominates; this track is the most suffocating work on the album. Due to its length it seems larger in sound, as if making full use of the time it has. The work strips itself back so only the wall of distortion radiates allowing for a clear definition of the sound interruptions, it then gains momentum as if to force itself into overdrive until it melts down again. Density increases as the work exhausts itself for minimal elements such as low hum feedback and hiss to dominate. Things splutter and fight until a locked groove signifies the end.
The dense mono sound blackens and greys the work throughout, but the work continually fights against the restrictive mono which makes for a very effective sound. This is a masterful, dominating piece of work, another highlight of 2019.
Choppy Noodles 2019
Saturday, 6 April 2019
S.T.A.B. Electronics - Enemy of Pigs - 2019 - LP/MC - Unrest Productions.
I was on the phone to someone tonight talking about music, we got to talking about the S.T.A.B. gig last Saturday and why I like S.T.A.B. so much, I didn’t do a good job of explaining why. So the purpose of this review is to persuade you to get this album and explain why S.T.A.B. is so good. I am feeling the pressure.
Like may listeners I like to discover stuff that I haven’t heard before, but sadly with a good percentage of Death Industrial and Power Electronics I often arrive after the party and a lot of the older acts that still exist today are a parody tribute to their former selves and I can’t be arsed anymore paying daft discogs prices for that stuff. And what’s the point of spending all my cash doing that and going to all these fucking US and Euro Industrial Fests to see the best acts and line ups - I prefer to hold out for a stronger local scene instead. Reading a recent interview in Special Interests that you’ve all no doubt read, led me to S.T.A.B. and I took the dive and bought two S.T.A.B. albums. It was exciting for two reasons, the standout tracks on Day of the Male absolutely blew my head right off, it is a now project, next level and better than most stuff from back in the day and now if I'm honest. Finding a good, present day act is a massive reward to me as a listener. Months later I’m in London in a crowded room while S.T.A.B. shouts in my face, it wasn’t glamorous, it was raw, real, now and it seemed to happen at me. As soon as the gig was over, I went back to the hotel and wrote my review, I could have made lots of new friends and connections, but I really wanted to hold on to what I saw and heard. As soon as I got home the next day, I played Enemy of Pigs through twice and was really surprised.
Repeated vocal samples of ‘Mother, Mother Mother, please’ form the base of High Infant Mortality, whilst drones radiate ominously, and the vocals rage away from the background to the foreground continuously. The drones do tease slightly at the past while the vocal is anchored in the present; I feel in the middle of the elements experiencing the dialogue.
Slugs delivers aggressive, threatening humming feedback and faltering wall noise while the vocal is way uglier and more direct. The vocal is more like what was spat in my face last Saturday so it subconsciously seems directed at me whilst the electronics try desperately to interrupt the diatribe, they try, they don’t give up, but they don’t win either. I don’t know if I am taking this personally or happily reminiscing.
Her Dead eyes is horrible, overly descriptive to me it seems to describe the horror of extreme porn/sex, but it makes you think, it really challenges you, everything yet nothing is revealed, the high-pitched squealing vocal is less effects laden than previous recordings, it raw, rank and very real. This is the end of the first side, it’s muddier, yet vocally a lot less effects laden than earlier work and retreats into the murk to deliver a horrible, harsher dose of reality.
Of Misandry is sampled dialogue that serves as a bass for massive drones to spread their horror as the vocals distort in the background, by doing this, you’re forced to concentrate on the vocal. The drones are as radioactive as they can be, as if diseased and echoing death. The gender war continues within S.T.A.B.
Sic Semper Tyranis (Thus always to tyrants) radiates sickness as the drones intensify continuously and the vocal spews and curses away from foreground to background. The electronics are simple and effective. Violent Reprise boasts an inhuman, grotesque vocal and sicker electronics, the album is intensifying continually. Prayers form I am going To Die (And so are You), they’re temporarily eclipsed by urgent, repetitive electronics as the vocal really comes to the forefront, it’s as if the best is saved until last, vocally. The sample’s continual re-emergence amplifies the songs context massively.
Enemy of Pigs isn’t dominated by a few Standout tracks, it is consistently strong and I’d argue that the vocals don’t reach the same levels of intensity as Day of the Male did (barr I am going to die). In a way it steps back to find a solid continuity and really defines S.T.A.B. as an act in its’ own right - there’s way less Homage on this album. There are newer, interesting vocal techniques demonstrated throughout – Sic Semper and violent are key examples. Here the act moves on, progresses, it’s stripped back reinforced by some conceptually strong sampling and dirtier, muddy electronics. I’d say its way more depraved from the inside, rather than projecting outside themes, but that’s been ongoing too. In some ways this is a person becoming the performance, the self’s past and present are the theme, but done in an original way. S.T.A.B. was in the right circles from the outset (Unrest, Urishma, Filth and Violence) from looking and listening it got better until it got this good. But is this radioactive, headfuck slab of vinyl S.T.A.B.’S best or one of its best? Time will tell, but for now, it is stuck in my head and I can’t stop listening, I really wish I could, but I can’t. Let’s see if anyone matches it this year.
Choppy Noodles 2019.
Sunday, 31 March 2019
S.T.A.B. Electronics, Iron Fist of the Sun, Antivalium, Active Denial. The Castle, London, Saturday 31st March.
I went to this gig alone, upon 10 minutes of my arrival I’d met Phil from W.I.P., Lee from Iron Fist of the Sun, Keith from S.T.A.B. both guys from Active Denial and Winston from Shift/Unrest. It was great to meet the faces behind the projects that I love. The occasion was S.T.A.B.s first live gig in 3 years to celebrate the release of Enemy of Pigs on Unrest Productions, I’m playing it now on my turntable.
I’ve reviewed both Active Denial tapes in the past and I was keen to see them in a live context. I believe they haven’t played a lot of live gigs prior to this. The set up was simple vocals, keyboard and four Walkman portable players that all into a mixer. Adam Apple screamed and shouted into the mic, got right into people’s faces throughout their set. Sometimes both Apple and Bucorvus Leadbeater did vocals together, the noises were primitive like those used on their recordings. For a moment I felt it waned briefly, but sudden a strobe pointed at the audience and a resurgence of rage pushed things up another few notches. I thought this was a great performance that set the bar high for the evening, the rage seemed endless: The Summer of Hate was back with a vengeance.
Antivalium came dressed in suits and masks, their stage presence and image were strong. Their brand of synth dominated industrial noise with beats was good and it shifted a lot in sound. At times it was hard not to dance when they became more animated as beats took prominence. There was an air of deep broodiness throughout an impressive set that really stood out - the excellent taste in vintage microphones certainly helped this. Their sound and intensity were different to the other acts and stood out most as the odd act out, still great and this seemed to allow the differences between all acts to shine through. When researching after, I found out they were both in KnifeLadder with the late John Murphy as well as Black Light Ascension which is impressive, but Antivalium stands as a strong project, this was demonstrated by their performance - I look forward to investigating their work more.
The gig did have an air of sadness as it was to be the last performance from Iron Fist of the Sun. I love this project as I reviewed a lot of his work over the years and have most of the releases. This is a top tier project of present day that I know can deliver live and on record. As he began it was crisp, concise and everything was delivered with precision. He shouted with his back to the audience at the rear wall of the venue or sideways to the audience and it was effective as he became angrier and the sounds intensified massively. The way the vocals weren’t as in the faces of the audience as the other acts seemed to allow for it to really project outwards at the audience. The sound and set up he had was complex and wouldn’t have worked so well in less competent hands, he then flicked a switch and the familiar, powerful death drones of Smile Like Sword kicked in to cheers and shouts. The vocals were great, he shouted and screamed and had some effect that doubled the vocals up when it was used – amazing wasn’t enough to describe it. His set became choppy, chaotic and noisier at the after Smile Like Sword and made for an effective contrast that died out to an end to be greeted by huge applause and enthusiasm from the audience. I’d only ever seen IFotS live once this was even better than that. To end on such a high with a consistently solid, evolving body of work is noble. However, my personal view is the integrity of the project would have kept it great for a long time to come, but greatness is as greatness does.
The night seemed like a series of championship fights and S.T.A.B. continued to up the levels of intensity with a savage, manic performance. He was continually right in our faces shouting, the mic seemed to die out at one point, and I am not shitting you, it made no difference to the vocal levels at all, he continued to yell over the electronics until the mic worked again - vocally S.T.A.B. continues to be next level. His personal, nasty take on Death Industrial was complimented by videos of violent gang fights and sadomasochistic penis abuse. The images of a guy continually being ball punched by a Dominatrix made me hold my balls in protective fear whilst S.T.A.B. seemed to continually grab his balls hard to raise the pitch of his vocals. The set was mostly newer material as I am recognising a lot of it as I play my copy of the excellent Enemy of Pigs; there was a lot of really, muddy, murky noise that was dominated by the louder than loud vocals, the level of performance used to work the vocals from the background to the forefront repeatedly was something else. Height wise he was huge, which amplified his stage presence, he was all over the stage in the audience’s faces, yelling and gesturing; the intensity and menace never let up for a minute. I’ve been listening to the S.T.A.B. cds I have a lot over the last 6 months since discovering the project, this live performance was even better than I imagined it would be and the new album ups the ante.
Four solid performances made for an excellent night.
Choppy Noodles 2019