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ambient noise

Consumer Electronics – Surge (2024)

Just as with “Airless Space” (2019), the new Consumer Electronics leaves aside the extreme power electronics of old and instead focuses on minimalist industrial sounds and spoken word. That still does not exactly make this easy listening though. The opening track, for example, first has Philip Best in a very calm voice describe the workings of a serial killer, while in the second half he -in the same tone- instructs “Michael” how to make a snow angel. Indeed, CE remains an extreme project even when the sound became less so.

The following tracks are usually odd noisy or industrial soundscapes with Best sounding like he is reading from a children’s book. Most tracks are quite ‘enjoyable’, ‘ambient noise’ perhaps. Towards the end comes a somewhat more extreme “contaminent” and a more noise title track, but nothing compared to a track such as “Come Clean”.

All in a descent album.

Links: Consumer Electronics, Dirter Promotions

Post Scriptvm – Eisstoß (2024)

Both the discography and the time that I know this Russian/American outfit go back 25+ years. But, the first release that I got of him was from 2002. Post Scriptvm is back on Tesco for the fifth (if I am correct) collaboration.

“Eisstroß” comes as a luxury vinyl and -of course- as a digital release. It opens with a somewhat noisy ambient piece with highly distorted ‘power electronics’ vocals. What follows are mostly the weird industrial ambient soundscapes that we know Post Scriptvm for, but often quite noisy again (fortunately!). The third track is a superb death industrial track, some of the best noise I heard in a while.

Overall the album contains perhaps a bit too much soundscapish material with too many high frequencies for my liking. The often used vocals give a bit of a ‘Gnawed feeling’ which is a plus.

Weird as I know him, dark as I like him and one sublime outburst. Overall a descent album.

Links: Post Scriptvm, Tesco

Xal – Spirit Breaking (2024)

Tamon “Am Not” Miyakita has a new project. According to Cloister Recordings created together with (the unknown to me artist) Mollusk King: “this tape explores tendency cinematic/dystopian-electronic/ rhythmic industrial to convey the harowing experiences and processes described in the text”.

The opening track is a rumbling piece of noise that shows the hand of Tamon. Then follows a more atmospheric (yet still industrial) track. What comes after indeed reminds a bit of Propergol at times. The tracks are more of a ‘noisescape’ type with samples giving that ‘cinematic feel’. Even though some sounds are known from Am Not, the overall sound and atmosphere here is different. Not as extreme, yet still dark. There is also a reference to the “Auto” 7″ with a track called “Bioluminesence II”.

“Spirit Breaking” is a nice ‘ambient noise’ release.

Link: Cloister Recordings

Sutekh Hexen & Funerary Call – P:R:I:S:M (2023)

The long running Canadian Funerary Call teamed up with the relatively new American band Sutekh Hexen. In three decades, Funerary Call went from “ritual music” to dark / ritual ambient to more noisy material and soundscapes. Sutekh Hexen goes from experimental doom to blasting black metal and also an occasional soundscape. What would the combination bring?

The opening track is a soundscape with a noisy start. Other tracks can also be described as “soundscapes” or sometimes perhaps “noisescapes”. Some tracks are dark and tranquil. At other times the tracks are more noisy. Mostly, there are stretched sounds and vocals giving the material a bit of a ‘ritual feel’. Here and there there is a blast. There are not many metal elements. In the opening track there is some guitar and in “Towards The Eastern Gate” screeching guitars set in about half way, but I would not have mind if that happened more often.

The album is descent, but not the best material of either project in my opinion.

“P:R:I:S:M” has eight tracks and almost 54 minutes running time. The album comes on cd, double lp (red or black vinyl) and through digital means.

Links: Sutekh Hexen, Funerary Call, Cyclic Law

Ausströmen – Intersection (2023)

The debut of this UK noise project from 2018 was launched through Soundcloud, had a few physical releases and ended up on Bandcamp. The second album is now made available on Bandcamp and I have not heard of upcoming physical releases yet.

“Intersection” is quite like “Immobilise”. The noise is not too extreme, there are the typical ‘nagging’ vocals (but not in a negative way) and most tracks have some sort of rhythm, either in beats or pounding industrial. Ausströmen has a distinctive style, so it is not easy to throw in another project name to give you an idea of the sound. But, since both albums are on Bandcamp, you can just listen to them and decide if you want to buy them.

What may be somewhat different this time, is that “Intersection” has more ‘noisescape’ type tracks, which are alright. I prefer to wall of noise type tracks better and they are once again excellent. Also the more industrial tracks are again great.

Five years after a smashing debut (I still play it frequently) there now is a great follow up. Hopefully there will be a physical release again this time.

Link: Ausströmen (Bandcamp)

Gruntsplatter & Underneath The Deadlight – Predation Monoliths (2022)

Gruntsplatter I have known for a couple of decades. Underneath The Deadlight is a new project to me, and (I think) a new project in general. Discogs has only one release listed which is also from 2022 (and released on Gruntsplatter’s label Crionic Mind!). The project’s Bandcamp has six. Discogs has them listed as “dark ambient, industrial”.

A quick scan shows that UTD makes guitar based drone noise, so I guess that explains the amount of guitar on “Predation Monoliths”. The guitar wall of noise with stretched sounds and highly distorted vocals is actually pretty damn good. Perhaps this release is should be more lined with bands such as Khost, Sutekh Hexen or Gnaw Their Tongues than with the ambient death industrial of (early) Gruntsplatter.

There are several platforms where you can listen to the album before deciding whether or not to buy it. I may need to listen to the other releases of UTD as well.

Links: Gruntsplatter, Underneath The Deadlight, Annihilvs

Dødsmaskin – Herremoral | Slavemoral (2022)

I noticed an announcement of a new Dødsmaskin and just as before I thought ‘right, that’s that project that made a very descent ambient noise album’. Well, no ‘ambient noise’ on the new album!

The new album starts with a very rough piece of noisy industrial. Loud blasts, metal clanging, distorted sounds. The second track leans a bit towards death industrial and then we go to some sort of technoish rhythmic noise that ends ‘ambiently’. More tough industrial, ambient that goes over into ‘wall of noise’, downright noise, this is mostly pretty damn good too!

Industrial noise lovers beware, you may have to check out the latest Dødsmaskin.

Links: Dødsmaskin, Ant-Zen, Malignant

Sutcliffe Jugend – The Deluge (2020)

I do not remember having heard (registered) that Jugend is no more. It seems that as a final blast, they had a few releases. There is a 4 cd box called “Relentless” (2019 Death Continues) and two releases on the Singaporean label 4iB. A double cd called “Slaves No More” (2020) and “The Deluge”.

“Slaves No More” seems to be a compilation of material that has been available before, but not combined. The other two releases are newly recorded. Judging the description of “Relentless” this is an extremely brutal release. This certainly cannot be said of “The Deluge”.

“The Deluge” spans 65 minutes, about half of which is taken by the excellent title track. The opening track is a bit of an instrumental soundscape, but in the title track you get threatening industrial noise, but not very extreme. There is much focus on the lengthy lyrics. The track hums and drones, here and there peaks in some noise, but nowhere gets anywhere near to the extremity that Jugend can reach. It is a great and moody track.

Then we get a much shorter and not very interesting soundscape again after which follows an almost atmospheric track with vocals which even include singing. The closing track is another soundscape type of track.

Basically “The Deluge” presents a very long and excellent track and four 3 to 14 minutes tracks which are a lot less interesting.

The three panel digipack looks great and the booklet contains the lyrics.

Link: 4iB

Tølerant – Advanced Exercises In Resource Denial (2020)

Indeed I have been scanning the recent back catalogue of Cloister Recordings. I have known the label for many years and even though I listen to noise more and more in recent years, I never really came to check what this label releases.

Perhaps I thought their releases were more of the chaotic, extreme types of noise or they just were not on my mind enough. Anyway, several of their releases prove to be more ambient than I like, while other releases are in a death industrial direction, a direction that I do like.

I had never heard of Tølerant. It appears to be a new project with only releases in 2020. Four releases!

As with other projects, what you get here is dark, low frequency, minimalist industrial noise with highly distorted vocals. Not very innovative perhaps, but moody and decently made. This sure is a style of industrial that I like.

Link: Cloister Recordings

Westendhall – Reluctant Resistance (2020)

This is not the first release of Westendhall, but the project is new to me. It appears to be a project of the same man who makes music under the monicker Code Neda.

Code Neda makes mostly ‘noisescapes’. Initially I thought the same style filled “Reluctant Resistance”, but it soon becomes clear that Westendhall leans more to the death industrial type of noise with highly distorted vocals.

The music is quite minimalist, perhaps even a bit ‘ambient’, but with low frequencies and heavy blasts, so the result is more ‘death industrial’. The sound reminds a bit of Gnawed. Though not as good as the American project, “Reluctant Resistance” is a descent noise release, especially for those who -like me- like the darker types of noise.

Links: Westendhall, Cloister Recordings