A Blog about Noise.
Please contact me via the Facebook page for any info on review submissions. Purely underground stuff, mostly Power Electronics, Noise and Experimental releases are reviewed here. I prefer physical formats to review, I'm not interested in reviewing mp3s.
Many kind thanks to Daniel Overberger for taking and selling me the digital pictures of the outside of North Fuller avenue to use on my blog.
Saturday, 8 June 2019
Harsh Noise London. The adventures of Choppy Noodles and the epic package they sent him!
Active since 2016, Harsh Noise London
is a unique label, their web presence is based around their Facebook group,
where they and others can post in the group about other or their own Harsh
Noise releases. The label frequently does releases which are on recycled
cassettes of all different sorts on which different artists from around the
world are put together on a cassette, I like the massive distances in Geography
between the artists on each tape. I know the recycled cassette concept was made
famous by RRR, but I like it all the same. On this review I am going to look at
a few of their recent releases.
Noise London Recycled Tape Series #6: Really Good.
Brazil’s God Pussy contributes an ‘Untitled’
track, which is all hiss and crackle building up to farting deceptive walls
that distort, break down and falter into assaultive noise. Sharp harsh bleeps
and waves of static fight and dance around each other. The interruptions are
strong and use original hum which I haven’t heard in ages, the use of wavering
feedback is strong too and there are some impressive shifts in under bass that
rise to the surface at times to dominate what’s happening. The temporal nature
of the walls come and go in the work and allow shifts, mixtures and fights to
happen between the different noises - it functions like an ever-shifting blast
Fecal Vomit is from Serbia and has
been active since 2009 under the Nundata and Fecal Vomit monikers. Samples and
break downs of sound build ‘Vomit’, I thought my player was mangling the
cassette up or the ghost of the tapes previous recording, but it is a
combination of classical and noise that gradually explodes into a sonic fight. The
noise isn’t as harsh as God Pussy’s but is more nuanced which allows the
contrasts with the classical work to be effective. The distortion, hum and
sharp noise play together effectively as the samples periodically breath
through and work in conjunction with the noise. The noise wavers, warps and
pulsates a lot and seems to flip out at the end of the track to dominate and
Fecal Vomit begins the B side with ‘Vomit
Too’, News reports and distortion fight each other, the samples shift from
different aspects of TV. Genres of music shift in the background to work with
and over the voice samples. The distortion is left to do the noise work, the
shifts and chop in samples combine with this. I admire how the samples are left
to take prominence at times and allowed to work by themselves as they playfully
shift into something else. Fecal Vomit demonstrates some excellent experimental
quality, Low-Fi brilliance.
A Raja’s Mesh Men is a prolific
London based project. ‘The End is Nigh’, begins with a dense wall of low-end
distortion. This is a bass heavy wall that crackles and demonstrates tonal shifts
inside, whilst the outside remains dense. There’s some tickling sharp crackle
that’s vague and peppered over the top. The bass roar is deep whilst the light
crackle is more effective as it isn’t too sharp crackle reliant, which can sometimes
be tedious in other walls. This is a good wall with strong shifts within, not
lazy, just right.
Noise London Recycled Tape Series #8: The Shard.
Vilgoc is Sebastian Harmazy from
Poland. Twierdza is a slow, low bass end wall piece which gives off a good deep
crackle with soaring hisses of sound that jutt out of the wall at times. These
give several layers to the work; the higher levels of crackle appear to peel
off the wall and simultaneously rebuild as if constantly morphing itself. The
hiss really kicks off later in the wall as if to shift the wall into two
separate forms that work away at the same time. The sharper wall eventually
takes the lead whilst the deeper sounds are consistent in the background. A
third wall tone builds making for a group effort of sounds working with each
other, to form Twierdza into a very layered sound that pulsates more as it
builds up. I like the growing complexity of this piece.
Hooked Talons is a Richard Ramirez
project, he is originally from Texas and now operating in Pennsylvania. Along
with the Rita, Vomir, Macronymphia and many others, he is one of the key
figures in today’s HNW movement. This project has been releasing since 2011, it
is one of many Ramirez projects. This starts off warm, deep and low with a lot
of explosive sounds cutting in, it’s fractured and deep immediately. This wall
shifts a lot into more eruptions of noise, it isn’t steady, there’s a lot going
off at one time. There are interesting background drones behind everything in
contrast to the deep back rumble of Vilgoc’s work. At one point it seems to die
off only to rebuild itself again descending into a vortex that seems to build
in order to collapse in on itself and rise again. This is an immense, massive
and shifting piece of work.
Overall this tape is two artists
demonstrating two, strong contrasting pieces. Both at the top of their game,
Based in Vienna, duo Fall into Dry
Lungs take an original and exciting approach; their sound is improvised
percussion and harsh noise and it is really refreshing to hear as the two
sounds play off each other brilliantly. It’s very ‘basement’, but the raw
factor adds magic to the work. I love how the drum changes rhythm at will, it
sounds like the chaotic, insane drumming on early chrome records, full of
character and leading and following the noise at random; they work together
well. The noise, like the drums shifts and changes a lot, it doesn’t allow for
things to get boring. It isn’t a noise rock type project, just two elements
creating abstract rumblings. At times the voice of the work, shifts between the
two elements with one taking the lead and passing it on continuously. I am
unsure if the sales dialogue at the end of one side is part of the album, or
what was on the tape before. This project has been very exciting to discover; it
is another gem/highlight of 2019.
Harsh Noise London Recycled Tape
Series #13: Brutalomania & Gen 26 “Collaboration”
Brutalomania is Manuel M. Cubas,
based in Spain and Gen 26 is Matjaz Galicic based in Slovenia. This tape begins
as a crusty wall, very crackly with a mid hiss with distortion. This is
complimented by screeching echo that builds up with background tones. The noise
accelerates and falters at times, for the wall to regain a different composure,
a shifting, wavering one. The breakdowns become more frequent and it becomes an
exciting broken wall that blasts and dies off continually. Part 1 shifts and
morphs continuously, as it breaks from just being pure Wall it gets better and
Sharp, shifting harsh tones introduce
the second side as distortion rages, slightly muted in the background. This
shifts into lower level noise territory using a partial wall that morphs it’s
use of distortion whilst back noises echo through this. It contrasts well to
Part 1, the levels to rise and lower periodically. The distortion when it
builds moves in a cascading way, rocketing and tumbling as pitches of feedback
also rise and holler.
This is a good release, with strong
shifts that keep things varied so they never get boring.
Harsh Noise London Recycled Tape
Series #15: Clove.
Vomit Cop: Hope was never an Option (10:00)
This is a larger Split with four
artists contributing. Manila City, Philippines
based Slay Your Boyfriend delivers some crackling lower wall expanded with
sharp and whistling pitches of noise. The interruptions of whistling noise are
curious and interesting, it’s as if it is a wall that doesn’t hide its
background noises at all, it lets then roam free. I like this wall, less dense
and very interesting.
Noise overload in a mass of over
input way defines Japans Hiroyuki Chiba, I like the merciless digital assault,
it is very reminiscent of French stuff like Entre Vifs and Le Syndicate that
I’ve been listening to lately. I like the relentless shifting and retuning that
makes the work move so rapidly. The work moves from area to area, it doesn’t
stay still for long. The overload strips back quickly to keep things
interesting and allow for greater contrasts between noise elements which is
good. The sound gets choppier as the tracks progress, the shifts become
aggressively rapid and choppy. The sounds become slightly depraved in an
abstract way, the work sounds like it is being stretched beyond coherence, the
speed accelerates and drags, the work sounds like it is being tortured and
warped beyond belief. It is an insane digital battering that comes with many,
I’ve never heard London’s Wolvestribe
and it’s refreshing to hear some pukey drones over Death Industrial sludginess,
things are down and dirty in this performance. This is very ugly, and I like
it. The performance has echoes of a bad hangover, droning feedback radiates and
shifts nauseously. I like this work as it isn’t just macho electronics, there
is a gutter like ambient bleakness that serves as the base of the work. It’s
like streetwise Death Industrial, this is horrible, it seems to reinvent ways
to make the sound become sicker as it progresses – even as it dies off. The old
school tinkering that pops up through beeps and tonal abuse is ace - I am keen
to investigate this project further to see if there’s a new heavyweight contender
on the block. This, Active Denial and Ordeal by Roses are the UK’s most
exciting new PE projects that I've stumbled across this year.
Michigan’s Dystopian Cop Vomit seems
determined to outdo Hiroyuki Chiba’s violence in a more repetitive streamlined
manner. It uses raw repetitive echo noise to maximum effect. This is very
minimal with crackles of distortion to contrast the repetition; this work is
immediately strong. This is older in its stylings to, ‘It Only Hurts Forever’ it
is just raw sonic noise. ‘Hope Was Never an Option’ is more wall like in its delivery
but has the same relentless noise leanings in part as the other track. This is
a Noise project in the rawest sense, I like that someone cares enough to
perfect this form of delivery – Dystopian Cop Vomit is obscure brilliance at
Harsh Noise London Recycled Tape
Series #17: Paternoster.
NODOLBY I like, it’s the murkiest
recordings in this batch, in that they play with quieter noise, through this
you’re forced to listen intently. This has a more avant-garde/experimental/
feel coupled with a bleak Industrial twinge at times going on. I feel the noise
and the pull back on levels makes the work experiment a lot to avoid formulaic
clichés. The noise structures build and act out for long periods of time and I
think there’s a strong mastery of noise evident as the experimental use of
noise can work in conjunction - the work has a dominant solidity and combined
playfulness happening at the same time. As the work progresses the Bandcamp
‘Junktronics’ description becomes irrelevant, this is fine Italian noise.
Ohio’s BEGRAVD has an immediate large
sound on Follow the Trail of Blood, blasts of distortion and arching overtones
combine to build a massive, cold wall. Humming resonates just behind the
distortion, so tightly that the two merges, as the distortion falters the hum
holds things together. There is other submerged noised lurking in there. At
times the wall does drop, only for everything to slowly rebuild itself, this
does feel very worked, not lazy; elements can communicate with each other and
take stage at times. I feel the works coldness isn’t a contrived coldness (e.g.
with Black Metal aspirations), it’s just natural to the work. The density of
the work increases in consistency as it progresses, giving it a full sound
after breaks and falters happen earlier in the work. This is good HNW work.
Harsh Noise London #16, Vomir
“Untitled for Harsh Noise London” Floppy Disc.
I feel the need to confess
immediately here, no lies: when I received this, I couldn’t play the floppy
disc as I have no Floppy Disc player, I had to email the label to get mp3s of
it, I ripped the mp3 to disc to play on my blaster. The plot thickens, when I
saw the running time on the disc, I thought it was an hour and 10 minutes, it’s
one-minute and10 seconds.
So, when I played this work, it has an
immediate Vomir sound, I have got somewhat lost in walls throughout the last 2
years and have begun to pick up on various traits in different works, stylings
and methods. So, I recognise this as very Vomir in its fullness and takes me
back to both the gigs I have seen him play live at. The depth and splatter of
the distortion’s crackle is unique. What I like and find unique is how this
wall repeats itself straight away, so it can be as long as you want it to be,
you choose when it stops, the looping is clever it sounds like a wall faulter
before the work repeats itself.