Category Archives: ambient noise

Moral Order – Freedom Locked (2018)

Discogs.com

Tesco has found another wonderful noise project. “Freedom Locked” contains a nice bunch of industrial noise tracks. Droning sounds, raw rhythms, brutal vocals. Dark and moody. It is a sound that we hear more often lately. Think Ausströmen or the recent Tesco release of Deathpanel. This is not too bad, since I love the style, but it is starting to get hard to keep projects apart.

“Freedom Locked” is not too long (about 40 minutes, 12″ length) and it is certainly good. I do not have a whole lot more to say about it. When you like the other projects that I mentioned, you can safely buy Moral Order’s debut. There seems to be another album, “Wrath Of God” which comes in a wooden box, limited to 45 copies and released by Gradual Hate. I hope a better accessible version of it will be made available too.

Links: Moral Order, Tesco Organisation

Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die (2018)

Discogs.com

I was looking around for music to add to my “women in extreme music” playlist when I ran into a name that did not ring a bell. Lingua Ignota appears to be a classically trained artist who released two albums by herself. The second album has been rereleased on a label that I did not know, Profound Lore, which does have releases by artists that I do know.

“All Bitches Die” opens with noisy and pompous electronic music which is accompanied by the tortured screams of Ignota. The music leans a bit towards martial industrial, but heavier, especially because of the vocals. Then about halfway the music goes over in piano music with normally sung vocals. Towards the end of the 15 minute track, mayhem returns.

The second track is lot shorter, just below five minutes. It contains singing and some organ on the background. Then follows a longer track, also with singing over piano, but with a noise-backdrop halfway. The screams return in the next track, but more muffled over what could again have been part of a martial industrial album, an organ and dark ambient tones. The last track is more tranquil again.

Like Diamanda Galás we here have a woman wandering through the darker parts of music and using her powerful voice in a variety of ways. I especially enjoy the darker tracks of this album and “All Bitches Die” made me curious about the debut album called “Let The Evil Of His Own Lips Cover Him”.

Links: Lingua Ignota, Profound Lore Records

Am Not – Unpunished: Appendix (10″ 2018)

Discogs.com

The appendix to the excellent “Unpunished” album comes as a beautiful 10″. It has cards with the lyrics and an A5 booklet with an interview between the label and the project.

The appendix contains four tracks. They are more of the wall-of-sound type than some of the tracks on the cd, but excellently moody and layered like we are used to from this great project. 

The 10″ opens with a monologue from “The Singing Detective” slowly going over in a death industrial type of low frequency noise blasts. The vocals are screamed and hardly understandable. 
The vocals are even more muffled on “Dark Star Kinshasa” which is really a wall of noise. 
Over on side B follows the only obvious link to the “Unpunished” album (track-wise) with “Extremophilia II”. Where this is a short track on the cd, we now get a longer, pounding track with screamed vocals.
Closing with the instrumental “State Funeral”, which is relatively tranquil and a not too interesting track, we close this way too short album. But not to worry, by the time this piece of vinyl arrived, I had heard of a cassette released by Zaetraom, so I guess I better be quick. There was a tape version of “Appendix” limited to 24 copies, so how many copies will there be of “Incursions”? 

Three magnificent tracks. Am Not remains perhaps the best new noise project of late.

Links: Am Not, Tesco

Operation Cleansweep ‎– Release Now! Apathy Induction (12″+7″ 2018)

It does not happen often that Operation Cleansweep releases new material. In 2012 there was a cd of a ‘side project‘, in 2006 a split release with Anenzephalia and Inade and then we are already back in 2003. The last full length (2003) was released on the Italian XN recordings and for this label we can also say that it does not happen often that there is new material. The last release is over 10 years old!

XN releases are always very limited and come in luxury hand-made covers. “Release Now!” is not as luxury packed as the Proiekt Hat / Brighter Death Now split 7″, but it comes in a tasteful, hand-made sleeve that you have to cut open in order to play the release for the first time. The package contains a 12″ and a 7″. There are 86 red vinyl versions and 200 black vinyl versions. Because they are hand-made when ordered and this takes a while, my guess is that they were long gone by the time I got my copy, but it can never hurt to ask the label.

The 12″ has two times four tracks. The 7″ has one track on each side. The opening track is relatively soft, but in the second track we already get a glimpse of the noisy industrial style of Cleansweep, but this track is by far not as dark and extreme as it can get. Again a bit more of that we can hear in “Hunters”, but less so in what follows, especially side II is quite tame and there are (almost) no vocals, not even many samples. Until the closing track of the 12″ and the opening track of the 7″ that is, this is in the style that I love Cleansweep for, especially the latter.

The music certainly is not easy listening though, but when you put this music against “Fuck Your Brains Out” or “Powerhungry”, you have to imagine another approach. A couple of ‘alright tracks’ and a few good ones. Not my favourite Cleansweep release, but still nice to hear some new material after all this time.

Links: Operation Cleansweep, XN Recordings

Ausströmen – Immobilise (cd 2018)

A pre release review!
A while ago a young lady posted a couple of tracks of this British noise project in Haus Arafna related Facebook groups over a period of time. Especially the first tracks were pretty mindblowing wall-of-sound type noise with aggressive vocals. I shared the tracks on the Tesco Facebook page and like to think that this helped to get Ausströmen on the Projekt Neue Ordnung II compilation.

Last week Ausströmen put the forthcoming debut album on Soundcloud. The debut will be a self-released cdr available in a limited edition of 50 copies from April 20th.

Where the first tracks that I heard were (as I said) wall-of-sound type noise, later tracks were less extreme and more rhythmical and industrial in approach. On putting on “Immobilise” the album seems to have that ‘new approach’. If you know the contribution to the said compilation (it is available on the album too) you have a good idea of the style of a large part of this album.
The tracks vary from descent to very good, sometimes relatively tranquil, sometimes harsher, but always fairly dark and usually with vocals. These vocals are not always the distorted and screamed vocals common to this type of music, but also talking and something that is closer to singing. As the album continues, the sound gets even more noisy and even though the selling line says that all tracks “were recorded around the same time as the well-received “Pornography Of Violence” track” I have the idea that my first encounters are to be found at the end of the album.

“Immobilise” lasts for about three quarters of an hour. Most tracks are good to great, three are less convincing to me. If you want to get a copy of the debut of this promising debut, be quick.

Links: Ausströmen / Faktion

Stromstad – New Devoted Human (cd 2017)

I actually ran into this on Bandcamp, a website that I rarely use to look for music. I was pretty impressed by the quick scan of the album.

Stromstad proves to contain members of Strom.Ec and Kristoffer Nystrom’s Orkester (hence the name, I guess).

“New Devoted Human” contains industrial and raw noise. Not too extreme, with good pulsating rhythms and rough vocals. These tracks are pretty damn good. On vinyl the last track of side A is a dark ambient track and the last track of side B an ambient track. These two tracks are the least interesting of the release, especially the closing track, and the release is only 36 minutes.

A couple of great tracks, but not not for a long spanning time.

Link: Malignant

Code Neda – The Death Of Neda (mc 2017)

Another debut on Unsound. Code Neda makes what you can describe as “noisescapes”, a slightly noisy type of soundscapes. According to their Soundcloud page, this project comes from Germany.

As regular visitors of these pages will know, I am usually no fond of soundscapish / monotonous music and I am afraid that Code Nera is not an exception to this. The slow rhythms and samples on the background are alright, but overall this is too monotonous for my liking. Towards the end comes a somewhat harder track that reminds a bit of Ex.Order and which is much more to my liking though.

Links: Code/Neda, Unsound Recordings

Exitus – Treatment Plan (mc 2013)

I thought I bought a couple of recent Unsound tapes, but this one proves to be a couple of years old.

“Treatment Plan” opens with a monotonous track that is almost dark ambient. Then follows another fairly tranquil track with a soft rhythm, but with a wee bit of noise that gets more noisy as the track develops. The last track of side A is another track with a slow rhythm and which becomes more of a typical noise track later on.
Side B opens with two tracks that are somewhat alike, but also the more interesting of this release. Low frequencies, an industrial rhythm and developing to something close to death industrial.

Like the other Unsound tapes, six tracks divided over both sides of the tape and with a total running time of about half an hour. Also the packaging is comparable to other (also later) unsound tapes: a cardboard slip.

This is still Exitus’ only release. It is not a masterpiece, but it is alright. If the project continues, I hope it is in the style of tracks 4 and 5.

Link: Unsound Recordings

The Grey Wolves – Exit Strategy (cd 2017)

So does my taste shift towards power electronics legends, or does their sound shift towards my taste? For decades I have known, but never liked, the noise outfits that started in the 1980’ies, but only recently projects such as Consumer Electronics and Sutcliffe Jugend released material that I do like (but I still do not like their entire back catalogues, so perhaps their music is shifting towards my taste). Now The Grey Wolves comes with a great album too. What is too bad is that this is their last album.

“Exit Strategy” does not have the typical TGW sound. There is no earcracking, unstructured noise with brutal vocals. Rather, there is an ‘ambient noise’ type of sound with distorted film samples and here and there a noisy outburst. Some tracks reminded me of Propergol and then I saw that Jérôme Nougaillon indeed produced the album.
Should I make a comparison to Propergol, mostly think of his “United States” (2000) / “Regegade” (2001) period to get an idea of the sound of “Exit Strategy”.

Not all tracks are great, but most of them are. Available from Tesco on vinyl or cd.

Link: Tesco

Ex.Order – The Place Of Dead Roads (cd 2017)

The new Ex.Order is not a new album. It is a compilation with ‘old and rare’ tracks, just as “War Within Breath“. But the tracks are not really that rare. They are mostly of compilations that I have, probably bought because Ex.Order is on them. “Juche” (2008), Zugzwang” (2010), “Heilige Feuer II” (2002), “Collapse” (2000), “Resistance” (1999)and “Don’t Hunt What You Can’t Kill” (2002). Then there are two unreleased tracks from 2008 and 2010.

The tracks vary in style like we are used to from Ex.Order. Some tracks are not-too-extreme noise (what I often term “ambient noise”), sometimes they even lean towards dark ambient. There are also extreme “death industrial” walls of sound with aggressive vocals and/or samples. Back in the days I was not fond of these extreme sounds (just read back my old Ex.Order reviews), nowadays I think such tracks are the best. Especially when they are as structured and ‘moody’ as Ex.Order can make them.

Indeed, the new album that is named after a book by William Burroughs, is a wonderful release of one of my favorite noise projects. I would not mind a release with really new music (or a compilation that includes material of the old 7″s), but I have another great album to play while laying on the couch with a glass of whisky and a book!

Link: Power & Steel (Loki Foundation)