noise

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

Abscheu – Pretense (mc 2017)

Unrest may not be a guarantee for a good release, but of the labels that I (relatively) recently discovered, Unrest has a descent success rate.

Here we have the second release of Abscheu, both tapes on Unrest Productions. I do not know the debut, but judging the new tape, it may be a good idea to get a copy. “Pretense” is limited to 141 copies though, so perhaps “Breviary Of Chaos” might well be sold out.

Similar to other Unrest releases, Abscheu presents great tracks and not-my-kind-of-noise tracks (chaotic, high frequencies, etc.). The thing is, there are some great death industrial things here, perhaps even reminding of Ex.Order. Other tracks have a bit of that structured noise sound of Am Not, the project that acquainted me with Unrest Productions.

Perhaps I should make some sort of Unrest playlist with the good tracks and leave out the ones that I do not like, because the good tracks can be great and this can be said for “Pretense” too.

Links: Abscheu, Unrest Productions

Am Not ‎* The Developing World (cd 2017)

In 2015 Unrest Productions release the superb Am Not album “Unpunished”. There appeared to be an earlier album (“First Morbid Vibrations” 2012 Unrest) which is descent, but not as good as “Unpunished”. Now Tesco picked up Am Not to release the third full-length.

I do not remember how I learned of this project, but with the previous and the latest album, this project rapidly rises to being one of my favorite projects. Tamon Miyakita combines elements that I enjoy in music. It is dark, structured, emotional, but most of all, he seems to have something to say. Just music for the sake of music (or anti-music in the case of noise) can be entertaining, but I like it a lot when the artist seems to be concerned with more than just music. Am Not actually has lyrics, lengthy ones too sometimes. Not just the shouted one-liners of many similar artists, but lyrics that make me wonder what the artist means with them. A track opening with a sample of a man telling about him torturing black people, ending with “Leopold reigns today” (on the previous album), a stance against racism, as Leopold was a Belgian king who had a terrible regime in the then-colony Congo?
The new album seems to have more “1984” type lyrics, complaining about the almighty bureaucratic system that is more powerful than politics and a “child” that is summoned to “come home” with what appears to be a dangerous regime.

I do not mind that the lyrics are not ‘clear’ or even if there appears to be something there that I agree with or not, but this underused element of extreme electronic music definitely adds something for me.

The music then. Just as the previous album the music is pretty dense and noisy. The vocals are more often heavily distorted compared the previous album. Some tracks are more power electronics in sound, others somewhat less extreme, but “The Developing World” is certainly no easy-listening. It is abrasively dark though and, I said it before, I have a thing with extreme music with vocals. The new Am Not is, once again, pretty damn good!

Links: Am Not, Tesco

Uncodified * Maybe All Is Not Completed (cd 2016)

I ran into Uncodified because I checked to see what Unrest Productions were available from the Tesco mailorder. Uncodified proves to be a productive producer. There is even a more recent album on the same label.

“Maybe All Is Not Completed” starts with a tranquil beat, but soon adds some noisy samples. Even though the opening track gets harscher towards the end, it can best be described as “ambient noise”. Nice, moody, dark and a bit ‘filmographic’.
The second track is more of a typical noise track. It is not too chaotic though and an alright track.
More of a “death industrial” sound comes at the third track, a great wall of noise.

This variety of ‘styles’ describes the entire album. It never gets really extreme, there are no “power electronics” here, but you still have to be able to stand some noise to be able to enjoy this album. I especially like the somewhat industrial tracks with low frequency rhythms over a wall of noise.

A pretty descent album. I will try to find some more releases of this very active individual who is also involved in varies other musical outlets.

Links: Uncodified, Unrest

Iron Fist Of The Sun ‎* Blush (cd 2016)

Like the other IFOTS album that I reviewed, “Blush” contains older material. “Blush” was previously released in 2010 as a cassette on the same label.

The other album that I reviewed was released on Cold Spring, just like Unrest Productions from the UK, but broader and bigger a label. Again like the other album, “Blush” has a mixed, musical approach. It opens very noisy, but the second track is more an ‘ambient noise’ kind of track (with one clear sound). The rest of the album mostly has fairly simple and repetative tracks, sometimes very noisy, sometimes less so. The vocals are almost absent and there are not really tracks that I like a lot. The best track is probably the closing one. The album is alright, but not really my thing.

Links: IFOTS, Unrest Production

S.T.A.B. Electronics ‎* Day Of The Male (cd 2015)

A while ago I was playing the great album “Unpunished” by Am Not and I wondered what other releases Unrest Productions would have. I listened to the tracks on their Soundcloud account and liked the track of S.T.A.B. Electronics, like Am Not (and like the label) from the UK.

Nowadays when I want to ‘try out’ a band, I just see if they are featured on Deezer or if they have a Bandcamp or Soundcloud page. Not everything is available online (which is perfectly fine with me) and I did not find much of S.T.A.B. Electronics. So, just as in the old days, I just bought a cd of a project I was curious about.

“Day Of The Male” opens with a descent ‘death industrial’ track with rumbling and noisy rhythms and screamed vocals. Perhaps ‘power electronics’ is a better description. However I do not entirely like the vocals, this track is a nice one.
Then follows a screeching noise track that I do not like at all.
Things get better with the title track which is again more ‘death industrial’. What follows hereafter is brutal power electronics, in one case pretty extreme: the great track “Marquis Complex”. The other tracks are nice to good, so overall I may conclude that “Day Of The Male” is a good power electronics album.

Links: S.T.A.B. Electronics, Unrest Productions

Grunt * Myth Of Blood (cd 2015)

Discogs.comI have known the name of this long-running, Finnish power electronics for a long time. Mikko Aspa has been making earcracking noise for over two decades. The reason that I never really listened to Grunt is that this is (or I expected it to be) not my kind of noise.

Recently I heard a really great track, an aggressive power electronics wall-of-noise with extreme vocals. I liked the track and tried to listen to a few more tracks. Apparently I thought to like them enough to buy an album.

Well, my older assessment is true: Grunt does not make my kind of noise. It is unstructured, has a lot of high frequencies and (to me) lacks atmosphere (caused by the lack of structure). Too typical noise terrorism for me. I like the more (death) industrial type tracks better, but overall this is not the kind of noise I enjoy playing.

The artwork is nice though.

Links: Grunt, Freak Animal Records

Alfarmania * At Ulleråker (cd 2005/2015)

I thought this much spoken of Swedish project was a recent project of the active artist Kristian Olsson. On the contrary, Alfarmania has put out material since 2004.

I also thought I bought something more recent, but “At Ulleråker” has been released on a cassette 10 years before this rerelease on cd. It is a live recording spread over two half-hour tracks.
I guess now I have to see if Alfarmania has developped in style, because like with many projects that like to use the ‘old style’ of noise music, Alfarmania is largely too chaotic for me. The sound is not as brutal as some power electronics projects, it sounds more like ‘noisescapes’ with here and there a sound that is more ‘death industrial’. Most of the time you will just hear an evolving wall of sound, though, with no vocals or rhythm.

Links: Alfarmania, Old Captain

Murderous Vision ‎* Hidden Histories (mc 2014)

Once upon a time there was a label called “Somnambulant Corpse“, later “Somnambulant”. This is one of the few labels that sent me promos (which is fine btw). There was a bit of a problem though. Many Somnambulant releases were soundscapish dark ambient, often not really my cup of tea. This caused the contact to water and I not think the label has existed very long either. Typical for the label were the DVD box packages. Somnambulant has released (launched?) some classic artists like Post Scriptvm and Murderous Vision.

When Somnambulant released a split cd with Kuru in 2003, I had already known Murderous for four years. “Blood-Brain Barrier” was the first (and one of the few) real noise album on Somnambulant. However I do not believe I was much ‘into’ noise at the time, I apparently liked the album. Listening to it now, I would say that it is rather chaotic, but the slow rhythm, low frequencies and extreme vocals make some tracks a ‘fun’ listen.

Apparently Murderous Vision kept recording, not on the least labels either (L.White, Annihilvs, but mostly on Live Bait Recording Foundation, the label that acquainted me with this American project in the first place).
When browsing through the catalogue of a distro with a lot of noise, my eye fell on this 2014 tape and I wondered what Murderous Vision would sound like today. I got myself one of the 100 copies.

“Hidden Histories” opens with great low-frequency noise. Deep rumbling rhythms, here and there vocals. Minimalistic and fairly monotous, but I like it nonetheless. One track is more industrial, another goes more in the direction of power electronics. An enjoyable tape indeed.

I will have to listen to some more Murderous Vision. Deezer has one album, “Life’s Blood Death Embrace” (2006 Live Bait), this one is more dark ambient. There seem to be plenty of other releases to hunt down though.

Links: Murderous Vision, Impulsy Stetoskopu

v/a * Epicurean Escapism II (cd+dvd 2013)

Epicurean Escapism is an ‘extreme media’ festival and this release looks back at the second edition. There is a cd with tracks from Ke/Hil, Anemone Tube, Post Scriptvm, Trepaneringsritualen and Dieter Muh (the last is a 20+ minutes track). Compared to the DVD all these tracks are ‘easy listening’. Dark, noisy, industrial, ambient and quite enjoyable too.

Then we go to five videos recorded by Con-Dom from 1983/4 and one from a decade later. The videos are mostly shots of photos and images taken with a shaky camera. Some footage has been montaged in between. The videos are accompanied by Con-Doms most uncompromising sound. No ‘easy listening’ for sure! In fact, I do not really like this side of Con-Dom. The videos have been remastered and they are interesting ‘for archival reaons’. They give a peek into the early extreme noise scene.

The packages is DVD box sized and made from cardboard. A booklet is glued to the last panel and contains an essay and photos of artwork that was on display during the festival. The concerning artists are Alex Tennigkeit, Andrew Liles, Carmen Burguess, Dennis Rudolph, Philip Best and Rudolf Eb.er.

I like the more ‘overall approach’ to this release, but personally I find the cd part the most interesting.

I see that volume III was also released a few months ago.

Links: Silken Tofu