Harsh Noise London – 10
CDR set – 2020
Harsh Noise London have done
their most ambitious set yet, 10CDrs by different artists all housed in unique
artwork with linear notes in DVD cases. Some are regulars to the labe, some are
new, this is a list of the said releases.
#35 - Niks – Nihilism.
#36 – Harsh Noise Movement –
Digital Cunt Ripper
#37 – Animal
#38 – James Shearman – At the
Bottom of a Deep Hole.
#39 – Gen26 – Euromutation:
#40 – Francesco Terrini –
#41 – Grey Smoke – The Great
City Is Dead Now.
#43 – Wolvestribe – The Early
#44 – Mutations – One Thousand
#45 – Dosis Letalis – Mon
NIKS – Nihilism – Harsh Noise
London #35 – CDR – 2020
NIKS is a Tom Rushton project
that has been releasing since 2016, recordings are described as having no
changes and done in one take. This, due to the release order has the pleasure
of being first to be reviewed. NIKS is HNW and here at 1208 North Fuller Avenue
we are into that as we’ve been digging in seriously for a few years now.
Nihilism is presented as Part One and Part Two.
Nihilism is immediate, when
play was pressed, I was immediately in the middle of NIK’S Distortion blast. The
sound is consistent in pitch and tone, yet there is movement through the
wavering of the crackle. It is difficult to tell if this is repetitive or
spontaneous movement. There is a warm background roar behind the crackle.
Contradiction exists, the no changes, one take ethos coupled with the Nihilism
title suggests a coldness, yet there is a warmth to the sound as if the
distortion were flames.
Nihilism Part two has a
sharper, crisp sound that seems to rhythmically falter behind the sharp
distortion. There is sharper hiss within the sound, this combines to give it a
more pointed crunch. Part 2 also seems to push outwards as if to resonate more.
In parts the sound seems to have a scraping drag that replaces the faltering
and this gives it a torturous, spikier feel and far less warmth than part 1. It
ends as if it was never there.
Both Nihilism’s add up to
seventy minutes, it has been a long seventy minutes. Both tracks differ from
each other, this is what I would call sharper wall work with raw sound, and the
power of the title to spurn the imagination as the work plays out. This is a good
Harsh Noise Movement – Digital
Cunt Ripper - Harsh Noise London #36 – 2020
Harsh Noise Movement is one of
these projects that have somehow stretch back to the early 80s in the earlier work
of its creator Ade Rowe, but officially started in the 2000s sometime. I
reviewed their split tape on Harsh Noise London last year.
Digital Cunt Ripper is an
extreme title, the humour is bleak, but it sets a tone, this is a piece of a big
jigsaw, that jigsaw is the massive discography of Harsh Noise Movement. I’ve
been playing this in the car this week and I was immediately impressed by the
variation and the overall badass quality of the sound. Eye for an Eye has
insane shifts and rises, I am unsure if there are vocals in there, but the
noise is so articulate, at times I feel I am being screamed at. This is all
acted out on a wall of distortion, so it is like a wall that throws bricks out
at you. You have the texture of the wall and a ton of bad attitude thrown at
Lip Service is echo heavy dialogue
that forms a sense of mid song psychedelia. What I am beginning to see here is
a project that doesn’t stop at spikey Harsh Noise, it goes off in different
directions, I look at the mix of artists they have work with and realise this is
an oddball project that does Harsh Noise too. Chemobrain goes off on a drone
tangent, where frequencies rise and distortion crackles away in the background.
The texture of the crackle shows and goes through shifting passages of contrast
against the droning frequencies.
Tracks and ideas flow through
each other on Digital Cunt Ripper the Lip Service Dialogue appears in the
opener Eye for An Eye and Fucking George builds on the simmering of Chemobrain
– here the distortion rises, and the drones have a bigger scope. Fucking George
is the longest track on the album, causing a longer act out of sound to happen.
There are passages of playfulness in the noise, as if the noises talk amongst
themselves. These come and go quickly as you become aware of them, they are
gone. This becomes creepy and ghost like, the sounds are like death.
Crazed variations of wall and
Harsh noise form Cow Zone 2, the noise is just slightly submerged in the wall
of distortion as if to pull your focus into the work. Hellish frequencies
collide in this strange passage of murk. Chemobrain and Cow Zone 2 are really
depressing, bleak passages of Harsh Noise and that vibe carries through on the
second album epic Cwmbran; this takes the form of a bleak wall assault of distortion,
death by bleak texture.
Sampled Dialogue forms Back
Shoes as a line of tone noise backs it. This weaves back into Lip Service. The
backing sounds get more playful as the work evolves (creepy, dark playful mind).
Serene Fusion Serene Fusion is a fun jam with loops, noise jazz drums and
saxophone that end the album nicely. A bit of Jazz at the end really works.
A unique, Great recording.
Animal Machine / Clusterfuck –
Harsh Noise London #37 – 2020.
Animal Machine is an Erenesto
Bohorquez project that goes back to around 2006, this is his most prolific
project, he is also a part of current Heavyweights Wolvestribe who as you know
keep blowing poor me away every time. Animal Machine has been reviewed several
times on here before. The project is often very experimental and choppy, more
manic. I tend to pay a lot of attention when Erenesto sends me something to
Each title is simply dated, so
the feedback kicks in and we are straight into 02.11.2017, this really embraces
sharp, hissing noise and crunching distortion. It wavers as the back space
(silence) seems to overtake the noise and push it to the distance before it
comes back, it’s minimal as it uses the finely woven noise and silence as its’
main components until some sort of digitizer mixes over the twine to give it a
machine gun rapid effect. This manic pyrotechnics of this focussed noise is a
typical display of raw Animal Machine.
The second 02.11.2017 seems to
up the ante on the first, the sound seems to intensify, I didn’t think that was
possible, but it is. The sound gets more treated so that as the treatment
intensifies, so does the sound. This never stops, it is as if this is three
takes as the third 02.11.2017 manages to build on the last one, a brief massive
explosion of noise outburst.
The final track shoots us back
to Poland in 2009, with 15.04.2009, I like this as the intensity of 8 years
later is there but he muffles it as if to cause a constant feeling of
suffocation to the sound, it’s brutal as the sound tries and tries to break out
of this, I am unsure if this is bad sound recording or genius? As the sound
picks up and really rises, I am inclined to think genius. Animal Machine is
pure discipline and thought.
Clusterfuck is interesting, it
is a collaboration between Bohorquez and Jared C. Balogh. You have Jared’s
drums with the noise of Animal Machine and it works! Like the jazz at the end
of Harsh Noise Movement, this totally provides a massive shift of sound. It is
an improvised jam as the drums are freeform and shift around a lot, so the
noise has to do exactly the same. Both elements weave and shift around each
other, I do really like this.
Five of the six tracks are short
jams, short blasts of improvisation. The last track VI is a lengthy session at
20 minutes. This is where Balogh settles into longer patterns and the dialogue
between the two has more contrast and drama, at time they are one and at
others, one takes over and goes solo.
What I like is that this isn’t
metal drumming as I have seen that on noise and it is stupid. I see all this
Black Metal, Power Electronics mix and 99.5% of the time doesn’t work, the
genres are similar, but the subtle differences are there. In my eyes having a
BM side project when you are a noise musician is often dilutes itself, this is
a plague to the scene. The drumming here is chaotic yet simultaneously
intuitive and a perfect example of the instrument used successfully.
Skullflower’s Fucked on a Pile of Corpses is the only other release I can say
has ever demonstrated this to me.
I can easily write about any Erenesto
Bohorquez project, but all I can now say is go forth and check any of his
projects out. Excellent split.
James Shearman – At the Bottom
of A Deep Hole – CDR – Harsh Noise London #38- 2020.
James Shearman has been
reviewed on here as his pseudonym A Raja’s Meshmen once before in June 2019’s
big Harsh Noise London review. Shearman is another prolific sound artist whose
noise work seems to go back to 2013/14.
At the Bottom of a Deep Hole
is one long continuous 65-minute wall track.
Crisp is a word that
immediately comes to mind when thinking of the texture of this wall. There is
what I would call friction laden, creaking noise in play that really pops out
at you as if the sound is continually peeling itself down, remerging and
breaking down continuously. There is a strong bass boom that seems to form the
core of the wall, while the snap, crackle, pop shoots out at you as if in a
state of constant eruption. The lead elements shift as well, sometimes peeling,
scraping, or popping, the back bass consistently wavers, all of this creates a
lot of movement.
I think this wins the award
for the longest wall that I have ever reviewed.
Gen 26 – Euromutation: Live –
CDR – Harsh Noise London - #39 – 2020.
I have never not been
impressed with a Gen 26 release and I have had a lot of them over the last year,
the sounds and dynamics within the work are often strong enough to come through
well on the recordings of the show – Gen 26 releases many of his live
recordings. This Slovenian act has become a big name on my radar, Dr. Matjaz Galicic
has a clean take on Harsh Noise that allows the clarity of noise to really work
whether it is simple stripped down sounds resonating or very detailed layered
work that can literally scream at you when in full assault. I can’t say that I
have had a bad release from Gen 26 yet.
Euromutation is four live
performances from 2016, 2018 and 2 from 2019.
The first performance is from
Brno Noise Fest 09/10/2016. It subtly starts from restrained sharp noise which once
unleashed is like a massive screaming tantrum, the sounds are at times like
screams which is parallel to the work of Harsh Noise Movement in that respect. As
the screaming noises intensify, this coupled with the distortion gives the
impression of rain, as if the performance is a storm of rage. This performance
is an effective violent Harsh Noise outburst where the sound seems manipulated
and controlled to full effect.
Full wall, textured distortion
blasts out at Mrož Fest 26/10/2018 – this is very dense blast and crackle seem
to form immediate depth. As the shifts in the elements begin, I feel as if I am
in the core of a small planet, this is good wall work with a big roar. The wall
seems focussed on the inner movement of the sound. As the wall progresses it
seems to gain density in its’ sound. Gen 26s wall work is great. The
performance at Hlukova Mysteria on 13 – 14/09/2019 begins with sampled
dialogue, as this plays out a rain of distortion grows over it, sharp blasts of
distortion join this. It becomes about the two elements forming an effective
wall that contrasts that of Mrož Fest greatly by radiating a shrill, hostile
The last performance is a sad
one for me, it was the last Harsh Noise London festival on 23/11/2019, other
commitments meant that I could not go. This excerpt is at first, shriller than
the other performances, it sounds like an electricity storm hissing and
blasting severely as sounds go off in the background. This does seem to have
some sort of broken melody core that is masked. The sound thickens as it
accelerates towards the end forming a dense wall as sharper hiss seems to
bounce on top of it.
This is a good collection of
Gen26 performances, I feel as if I have happily travelled to different noise
festivals around the world as I listen to these.
Francesco Terrini – Hell –
Harsh Noise London #40 – 2020.
The Plague Exiting from the horses.
Labyrinth of the chosen undead.
Mystical Warfare of the ancients.
Conjuration of Astaroth’s Seal.
This Philippines based project
is Chester Masangya (Coalminer Recovery Centre) and seems to have been active
since 2019. There is a wealth of material on his Bandcamp page, there have been
splits with Mai12 and many other projects in the last 2 years. Hell is the
first full length recording of Francesco Terrini.
Haunted is how I’d describe
the first track; it uses ambient sound and noise to create The Plague Exiting from
the Horses. This seems to hold back and exist in existential terror. Fractured
Sphinx is slightly more aggressive, the restraint is still there, but the sound
is impressive as it pulsates whilst a warped vocal begins a log dialogue, this
is good Power Electronics, very impressive in fact. It is infected, disturbing,
and radioactive in sound. The vocal increases its’ mania on Labyrinth of the
Chosen Undead, the sound intensifies accordingly as it pulsates with nauseating
loops. The vocals seem to flip out as if lost in the subject and the
performance. At this point the psychedelics of the sound become very apparent
and as the vocals become increasingly pained, I realise parts of this work are
a nod to early Ramleh. Mystical Warfare of the Ancients pulls into further
depravity and the sound has gone from a simmering Power Electronics to a murky
Death Industrial, the last track is dying murk that eventually kicks off and
kills the album off.
This is an excellent album, an
impressive debut full length and a project to watch.
Grey Smoke – The Great City Is
Dead Now – Harsh Noise London #41 – 2020
Night of the Death.
Dawn of The Insomnia.
Day of the Sickness.
“In the last weeks we’re
living hard days. Quarantine, Isoloation, fear, contamination, viruses…. Looks
like a horror movie directed by George Romero.”
Little is known about Grey Smoke,
my immediate impression is that they specialise in truly aggressive head
abusing noise. This like Hydra (RIP)or Dosis Letalis and others; it is
obnoxious and headfucky, if you don’t get into it and pay attention, you’ll
hate it. The first track Night of the Death totally replicates its’ title,
antisocial repetition, and subtle shifts within it make wall noise seem
pleasant and meditative. This exists to assault your ears and has a negative
Dawn of the Insomnia is
nauseous Psychedelia that creates middle finger music. I have heard of people
making antisocial music and I know I have used this term twice, but this really
is. I like that, people making antagonistic, negative noise that lacks the
security of genre cliché and hip association. In some ways the sound is like a misuse of
early BBC Sci-Fi sound effects to make a confrontational soundtrack to early
Sci-Fi films that were themed around disaster and the end times. Grey Smoke is
Power Electronics more horrible cousin as they meditate on their antisocial
repetition of sound.
The traditional Death Synth
sound is abused and made into a loop for Day of Sickness. I feel like whoever
is the creator of Grey Smoke, creates music for themselves and nobody else,
this track really reflects that. It is as if they have looped two sounds and
allow them to interact interfering occasionally. The methods and sound seem to
reference Harsh Noise Wall and Power Electronics and go elsewhere with it. This
focuses on itself brilliantly, it pulls itself in and radiates outwards
Grey Smoke sounds unlike
anything else to me, this album is great and easily makes it to my top releases
that I have heard this year.
Wolvestribe – The Early Years
– Harsh Noise London - #42 -2020.
Power Electronics is an odd
one, how do you stand out? Which labels do you release on? How is your angle
going to be original? So many barriers must be negotiated to stand out. There
is always a lot going on, lots and lots. Discovering Wolvestribe was like a
punch in the face to me, some oddballs from London, playing their own gigs and
releasing their own albums; to me they were a lightning bolt that made its mark
on me immediately.
This compilation is basically a
physical release of their digital debut, The Paths to the Formation of Symptoms.
It is sharp, cutting, and
brutal straight after the opening manifesto dialogue. Warped vocals wade
through the sonic outbursts. The use of electronics is very raw and chaotic. I like the grinding sounds that rip across
tracks as if to cut them up into separate areas of noise. However, the vocals
cut through the grind to create another area of noise, this makes for a very
choppy recording. The bonus track is like a plague of locusts bursting out of
I translate this album as the
last gasps of society, the continual breakdown of things and essentially the
war within the self. I am thrilled this has made physical release. All I can do
is marvel at this one and urge you to check out Wolvestribe’s excellent work.
Mutations – One Thousand Dead
Swans – Harsh Noise London - #43 – 2020
Another Falling Out of Love with the World.
The Song Must End.
Ebb and Flow.
Toward the End.
The slow progression of this
album is impressive, it starts from clicks and tics. It builds to something
that has part HNW delivery, but this is woven into other noises and is very
much about the textures and sounds produced. It is done well, the sounds are interesting,
and the work retains a sense of mystery. Mutations demonstrates complete control
with a lot of interesting interplay going on between the sounds.
As the tracks progress the
sound builds up to immense noisy distortion heavy displays, particularly on The
Song Must End. In contrast Ebb and Flow plays off high pitched screeches and
chimes. The Song Must End, takes on a more industrial feel to its’ sound. Mutations
has an anonymous coldness to One Thousand Dead Swans, but the language and
interplay of sounds is strong. Toward the End seems to accelerate into noise
overdrive layering up and stripping down its’ sound repeatedly. Swan Song is by
far the albums’ most violent display of sound.
This is a well textured,
Dosis Letalis – “Mon Creation”
– Harsh Noise London #44 – 2020
Prolific Serbian, France based
project Dosis Letalis has been active for 5 years across a wide range of labels
releasing many split and solo releases.
Dosis Letalis lurks at the
more challenging, antisocial end of Harsh Noise, never one to please the ears.
On Mon Creation he delivers a scraping wall that drags and scrapes with its’
sound. The distortion is consistently spluttery as if it is coughed out. The
work seems to be barley alive as it drags itself across the length of a CDR. This
is an intense recording that does not stray from Dosis Letalis’ usual,
challenging ear torture. One track of what I would call a broken wall, that
stays broken. The Creation does focus within itself focussed on the crackling detail
of the sound. It is Harsh through its repetition and refusal to change for such
a massive amount of time.
Mon Creation stays true to the
challenging nature of Dosis Letalis as I would expect this was the hardest
release of the batch, but also one of the best.
Euphoric Bullshit Vibe of the
Sonic Deathwish Posse 2020