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
I 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
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
However my musical masochism grew in the last decade, I am still not a big fan of chaotic, unstructured noise terrorism, especially not when a lot of high frequencies are used. As far as I knew, Sufcliffe Jugend is one of these projects.
Sutcliffe Jugend has been around since 1982. It is one of the early projects that started to make a very extreme form of the upcoming industrial music. Of course, with them having been active for so many years and me having been involved in uncommon music also for quite a few years, I had run into this British project a couple of times. Still, inspite of a growing likeness of noise and even a bit of power electronics, Sutcliffe Jugend remained one of these projects that were a bridge to far for my taste. I did see them at the Wave Gotik Treffen a few years ago though. I do not remember much of the show…
Recently I accidentally heard a few tracks that I actually like (or did I hear the same track a few times?). They are probably part of some playlist or came by when I listened to a ‘similar artist radio’ or something. These tracks show that Sutcliffe Jugend also has tracks which are more of the ‘wall-of-sound’ type noise (that I do like sometimes) with completely insane vocals with normal and high-pitched screaming. Guessing that this could be a new direction, I decided to try the latest album of Cold Spring (but now I see that two other albums are already listed after it on Discogs!)
“Offal” opens with a wall-of-sound type track only not with the typical screamed vocals, but for the rest a track track that I expected from this project, just perhaps a little less extreme. The track is not great, but certainly not bad.
Then we go to “Howl” which turns out to be an impressive and truely brilliant track! The vocals are very atypical. They are a bit TV-preacher like, but also with the more typical screams. There is a slow, industrial rhythm and an increasing wall of sound. Oh how do I like noise with vocals sometimes! This is the type of noise that gets the hair on my arms straight up.
Another great track is “Slice”. A track with a faster rhythm and a bit of ‘orchestral squak’ or how should I describe the sound? After a while the vocals set in. This tracks is good and dirty.
The last track has again a faster rhythm. It start with a monotous kind of talking, but after a while they are again more like the American TV-preacher who after a while starts to swear and scream. The music is simple but effective, rhythmical, noisy and a little bit odd and also this track is great.
Four, long tracks. Two of which are great, one is very good and another is just good. Perhaps I have to dive into the fairly large discography of Sutcliffe Jugend afterall.
Cold Spring Industries, Sutcliffe Jugend
The title suggests that this album is a look back at a 17 year career. In a way it is, but in another way it is not.
“17 Shameless Years” contains old and new material, but all old material has been reworked into the ‘new sound’. The music became a dark piece of industrial, wall-of-sound power electronics with lots of vocals and samples. Institution D.O.L. already were pretty loud, but the new sound might please lovers of death industrial perhaps more than people who like the noise of the old days. But, like before, there are also more ambient tunes and more ‘industrial disco’ type tracks to be found on this album and one track could just as well have been of Control.
Perhaps not so much changed afterall. I guess I have to play their previous (2007!) album again some time to compare.
In any case, vicious music with not too many unstructured high frequency noise, a descent dark atmosphere. Yep, a kind of noise I can listen to.
Links: Institution D.O.L., Klanggalarie
Tesco ‘went Bandcamp‘ so there is now a whole range of releases that you can buy cheaply to download or play through the Bandcamp app. But not only old releases are available, also new ones.
Ebola Disco and Rope Society are two projects I was curious about and now they released a split 12″ that I can conveniently buy the Bandcamp version of. Both projects are from Australia and Tesco describes them as “two of Australia’s hardest industrial acts”. Indeed, the music is not exactly popmusic, but none of the tracks is so unstructured and harsch that I do not like it.
Ebola Disco contributed one 17 minute track that starts as if the artist’s equipment malfunctions, goes over in dark death industrial with extremely distorted vocals and then continues with the more chaotic not-my-kind-of-noise. Fortunately the end is death industrial again so I can say that this track is quite alright.
Rope Society, then, made slow and minimalistic noise which halfway the first track has fits of power electronic mayhem. The other track is very noisy, but not too extreme and also pretty nice.
So indeed I quite enjoy this release. Now I have to think if I like it enough to get me a copy of the vinyl as well.
Links: Ebola Disco, Rope Society, Tesco
In a couple of weeks I am finally going to see Thorofon live. Thorofon is not the main project of the show I am going to though, Control is. I did not really know Control. The name did not really ring a bell and it is hardly distinctive enough to look for music. When I noticed that Ant-Zen releases material of this American power electronics project, I had found out that it is a pretty brutal noise act. “Transgression” starts with a pretty dark piece of electronics, “noisescapes” so to say. There are more of these ‘resting points’ on the album, which is for the better, because when Thomas Garrison lets go, he makes an extremely brutal heap of noise with extraordinary harsch and distorted vocals. The more ambient tracks are good and moody, the brutal parts are a bit too unstructured for me, but also moody in a way sometimes (but I know better ‘wall of sound’ types of noise).
I wonder what Control is like, bearable or ear-cracking. I will know in a few weeks time.
Links: Control, Ant-Zen
This is a very interesting compilation (that is for some reason not listed on Discogs) that I must admit I mostly bought for the contribution of The Musick Wreckers. The Musick Wreckers contributed two very nice tracks in their ‘industrial disco’ style, nicely dirty and still catchy. The other tracks are all quite good ‘ambient noise’, except for the two ‘power electronics’ tracks of Control at the end. I did not know the opening project Tardive Dyskinesia but their tracks are good. Also Atrox did not go to the extremes that they sometimes reach and Leiche Rustikal did not contribute tracks in their rhythmic noise style. A nice cd available for a very nice price at the Steinklang sales-action (if not sold out by now).
I find this Finnish project a difficult one. STROM.ec can make a sublime ‘wall of sound’ kind of noise and they have great parts of very dark ambient, but also parts of noise that are too extreme for me. On “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” the music itself sounds good to great, but there are tracks with almost constantly extremely brutal vocals in a way that apparently do not appeal to me. More interesting use of a vocal effects is in tracks with some kind of ‘doubled voice’ and a dramatic sounding effect. STROM.ec makes an industrial kind of noise with continuing walls of sound on the background which can be nicely dark. The vocals make the sound quite extreme and there are also moments in which the noise goes in directions that I am not very fond of. Like with other releases that I heard of this project “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” contains great moments and parts that I would rather ‘fast forward through’. They have the potential to become a second Ex.Order in my opinion, but a few rough edges have to be polished. Yes, I am a noise-wimp!
I do not have a whole lot of material of mr. Nordvargr. He has made music that I like under monickers such as MZ.412 or Folkstorm, but he has made much more music that I do not like, also under the named monickers. Now I could get a cheap 2cd from Steinklang with a variety of projects of the man, so I decided to give it a try. CD1 contains tracks “From the Folkstorm archives”, which can be old tracks, unreleased tracks, alternative versions or live recordings. One track “…was not included on the “Victory of death” album due to its provocative use of old German speeches.” The larger part is the chaotic kind of noise, the kind that I do not really like. However Nordvargr uses a lot of low frequencies and sometimes industrial rhythms (elements that I often do appreciate) the first cd is mostly not for me. On the second cd we have “Nordvargr with friends”. The music is more varried, but still there is a lot of harsch noise. Worthy of mention are the technoish track under the monicker “D.I.N.” and a weird punksong as “Lorv”. There are some other names that I never heard of, but again I am afraid that most tracks are not meant for my ears…
Links: Nordvargr, Old Europa Cafe