Sunday, November 9, 2014

ALOCASIA GARDEN - Skin Of Ash And Veins Like Wire REVIEW



ALOCASIA GARDEN - SKIN OF ASH AND VEINS LIKE WIRE

The personal and emotional aspect of noise is one that should never be overlooked. Already a prolific and aesthetically-conscious genre, noise - and most of if not all of the subgenres it encompasses - also possesses such an allowance of invasion from its performers. More often than not, artists allow, want - or perhaps force - their own independent worlds of personal turmoil onto the listeners. Many projects adhere to this philosophy of self-release, but few do it with as much conviction as ALOCASIA GARDEN.

UK synth noise outfit ALOCASIA GARDEN has graced listeners once again with a short, yet soaring release. Borrowing sounds from Ramleh, Puce Mary, and even some of Prurient's more melodic work (think "Pleasure Ground"), this project releases some of the most tortured and depressingly beautiful synth-noise this reviewer has heard in years. 

Composed of 2 tracks, this release starts strong with "Skin Of Ash". Starting off with what almost sounds like black metal influence, the track's melodic soundscapes soon soar and swoon and incorporate a static, piercing assault of electronics. The next track "Veins Like Wire" picks up where the last track left off, with a more brittle, thin sounding synth chord before the tracks grows and grows, incorporating low, dissonant hums and claustrophobic atmospheres complemented by harsh electronics in the vein of Japan's Hijokaidan. 

Exhibiting restrain and proper execution, this is a personal and mature piece of noise music. ALOCASIA GARDEN prove once again that the UK has some of the most promising and engaging acts in the modern scope of noise. Do not sleep on this project. 

Listen: https://alocasiagarden.bandcamp.com/album/skin-of-ash-and-veins-like-wire-c20


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

GRIEF WORSHIP - Mirrored Interference REVIEW


GRIEF WORSHIP - MIRRORED INTERFERENCE

Australian harsh noise / power electronics outfit GRIEF WORSHIP has presented us with a truly entrancing and crushing release. Borrowing moods, aesthetics, and textures ranging from everything to Knifedoutofexistence, Masonna, and Puce Mary, GRIEF WORSHIP release a brooding and transcendentally abrasive yet artistic release. 

From the artwork to the aesthetic and power of the release itself, GRIEF WORSHIP creates dread and excessive aural abuse in a near-flawless fashion. Definitely challenging contemporaries, this international noise dynamo is a force to be reckoned with. 

This tape starts off with the powerful "Ice Pick" and from there the listener knows what to expect. A complete aural assault and crushing expression of noise within the likes of Swallowing Bile and Methlab Explosion. Every track on here is concise and conceptually complimentary and truly makes this release organic. 

Released through Palinopsia Recordings, this release shows promise from this noise artist. Mirrored Interference is a truly crushing yet serenely confident release. 

GRIEF WORSHIP.

listen: https://palinopsiarecordings.bandcamp.com/album/mirrored-interference 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NOG RECORDS HIGHLIGHT // TAPE MONSTER INTERVIEW






PORY NOG/TAPE MONSTER INTERVIEW


Pory Nog is the head of DIY label NOG RECORDS and the man behind the harsh noise project Tape Monster. He agreed to let us interview him and this is what unfolded: 


GRVD: When did you start NOG? Is this the first label you've operated? 


NOG: I started in May of 2012. It is the first label I operated but I attempted to help be a part of the Piranha Party netlabel but by that time the label had already died. For like a year and a half NOG was a digital only label. Then I started doing releases like crazy in about August of last year, but there was a CDr release released prior to that which I still count as the first physical NOG release.  

GRVD: With underground music and labels seeming to be gaining more and more momentum today, what would you say is the importance of underground DIY culture, labels, zines, and ethic?


NOG: It's important to support one another and not to take it too seriously. Mutual support is what will help the DIY underground survive, and lack of it is discouraging to say the least. A lot of people who run labels or make diy music just seem to only care about whoring out their own brand which is entirely okay, but then you'll ask them to check out your stuff and they'll just blow you off. I think it's great that so many labels are emerging, many of them by friends of mine. Physical music is great and the DIY labels are helping fight against the monster that I call digital download prices. There's literally nothing wrong with paying for music, but I refuse to do it in digital form because that's just silly. But I digress. It's important to mutually support one another, respect one another, and to have a great time. Throw cool DIY shows and create cool cassette releases. Keep the culture alive.

GRVD: NOG covers quite a variety of artists. Do you think having that sense of variety is important for a label - both artistically and economically? 

NOG: It really depends on the label. I personally won't release anything by someone I'm not friends with at this point because there have been a few releases in my library that once I released them, the person behind it hasn't talked to me since. I won't name anyone because it's bad to slander people, but it has happened more than once. That's why the people I'm close friends with have more releases on the label than anything. Because they've supported moreso. Genre hardly has anything to do with it, but I do only release stuff I like, which is pretty much any cool genre. I haven't really found a genre that's lucrative, maybe a release here or there sells fairly well, but I don't mind that because I'm not doing it for the money. Some genres generally don't sell well period like anti-music, most noise, noisecore, and weird stuff like that. All in all, it's all for the artistic purpose, a vast library of lots of cool genres and music by my close friends is all I really wanted.  

GRVD: As an individual who has always wanted to set up a small label myself, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of the job? 

NOG: The satisfaction of getting releases done, the idea of just having a distro in general, and when people actually want your product. Not to mention when a person you release something for gets really stoked on it. It's maddening and stressful at times, I won't lie. But I would rather do it than not do it overall. 

GRVD: Any advice for someone just starting out with their DIY label? 

NOG: Acquire cool releases by cool people and offer to give it a physical run. Tapes.com is a beautiful website that you can get all your CDr and cassette needs from for great prices, and the service is wonderful too. You'll have to keep an eye out for other formats (mini CDr, business card CDr, floppy, or perhaps if you have a desire to explore more obscure formats), vinyl I couldn't give advice on because the first NOG vinyl isn't out yet and that shit is pricey. Maybe when the label makes more sales in the future I'll do vinyl runs here and there. But my advice is, just do it. keep the DIY spirit alive!

GRVD: Now, you also make noise under the pseudonym Tape Monster. How did that project come into being? 

NOG: It started in mid 2012 under the moniker Seagulls Fucking Seagulls (which has over 60 releases or so, and there's still 1 or 2 that haven't come out yet that still might one day). I just wanted to make noise, and not anti-music garbage as unfortunately memorable as it may have been to spectators. I played a bunch of shows in 2013 as SFS, namely a warehouse space that friends and I had for about 7 or 8 months opening for some cool acts that we organized shows for such as Crank Sturgeon, PCRV, c@, Nequam Sonitus, etc. Eventually that died down, the space died sadly (but it had its issues for sure), and I started getting less shows. After a few more shows, I kind of developed a permanent style for my live setup, so I appropriately changed the name of the project to Tape Monster since that's exactly what it is. As far as the audio, just making weird noise which I've actually kind of lost a feel for because I don't know what new things to do.

GRVD: Describe a Tape Monster set. Would you say it lives up to the chaotic and spastic nature of your music? 

NOG: It does, TM has only officially had five sets in the new era and it's not looking like I'm going to be getting more, which is why TM is probably going to be ending soon unfortunately as it's a primarily live project. blahblahblah negativity etc but my live sets used to be me just like breaking things or harassing people or just doing weird things. I harass people who go to shows with the intent of sitting outside during people's sets and not support as well which is cool.

GRVD: I have to ask, how did you come up with the name Tape Monster? 

NOG:



GRVD: With 2014 coming to a close here pretty soon, do you have an idea of your album of the year? 

NOG: I couldn't just choose one! So many awesome releases. Some that stuck out (as a rule, I'm only naming non-NOG releases):
Bubblegum Octopus - Critters
Watabou - Plasticity
Rent Strike - RENT STRIKE!!!
Ghost Dads - Next To The Water Heater
Styrofoam Sanchez - Coastal Run 2014 tour tape
Crank Sturgeon / PCRV - Future Steps For An Ancient Fever
Sordo / Chainsaw Squid - Split
Corvid Canine - Eviscerated, Exsanguinated, I Am Hollow
There's probably more but I'm forgetful and whenever I think of a sick release I realize it's something older that I just happened to get recently.

GRVD: Anything you'd like to leave us with? 

NOG: m...miss u

Support: https://nog-records.bandcamp.com/




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MINOY - Godcunt (1993) REVIEW


MINOY - GODCUNT (1993)

Minoy was the pseudonym for the underground electronic music icon Stanley Bowsza. As arguably one of the most prolific and influential American noise and electronic artists, Minoy's unreleased material was highly sought-after after his death in 2010. "GODCUNT" is one of these releases, and it is without a doubt still solidifies this artist's impeccable influence and power over the modern electronic music/noise scenes. 

The sounds on "GODCUNT" are demented, disheartening, personal, dissonant, and at times borderline disturbing in their eerie ambiance. Recorded in 1993, this piece showcases a wide variety of different textures, emotions, and auditory experiences. The use of samples is extremely complimentary to the tracks, and never feels forced. The production here is top notch as you would expect, with Minoy's tortured soundscapes being presented with such artistic vigor and integrity that even individuals who may not be fans of this genre will be able to appreciate the artistry presented here. 

Composed of 13 untitled tracks, the album is anything but repetitive or redundant. The sounds are constantly interesting and engaging, and the soothing and haunting quality of Minoy's work is incredible. One truly experiences quite the sense of euphoria when listening to this piece. It is challenging, interesting, disturbing, and extremely inspiring. 

I know the concept of a record being "ahead of its time" can sound a bit loaded, but this record does not sound dated by any means. If this were released today it would fit right in with works of KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE or any number of GENOCIDE ORGAN-worship projects. Perhaps "ahead of its time" isn't the right concept, but this work is truly timeless and is a required listen to any fans of Minoy's work or minimal electronic music. 

"GODCUNT" is a record of torture and rage - melancholy put to tape. Inspiring and daring, Minoy's legacy will surely live on in the underground community, and with good reason. 

RIP. 

Listen: https://minoy.bandcamp.com/album/godcunt-1993



Monday, October 6, 2014

METHLAB EXPLOSION INTERVIEW


INTERVIEW

METHLAB EXPLOSION is the power electronics project of midwest noise-maker William Olter. I recently got the opportunity to interview this harsh noise dynamo and see where the project is heading.


GRVD: When did Methlab Explosion start, when did you begin making noise under the moniker, and what prompted you to create this style of noise? 

M/E: Methlab Explosion started in mid 2009 when my good friend John and I decided to start a noise/ grindcore project separate from our main band Faction Disaster. We recorded a Harsh Noise demo and a couple grind songs for a comp and pretty much ended after that.John moved across the country and I wasn't really interested in doing it anymore. In late 2012 I decided to start doing it again, so i pretty much kicked it into full gear and started pumping out sounds at an almost constant pace.

GRVD: Was Methlab Explosion your first project in the genre, or had you flirted with it at all in the past?

M/E: I had little projects and Noisecore bands with my friends as far back as maybe 2002. I've played in a good handful of Grindcore bands as well, but this is the first project i've done seriously as far as Harsh Noise / Power Electronics goes. I've always done most, if not all of the noise on any of my other band's releases and I've collaborated on Noise with lots of Michigan Harsh Noise brothers.


GRVD: Let's talk about your most recent release "Odium". What would you say were the biggest influences, musical or not, going in to this record? 

M/E: Sonically, I'd say I wasn't really influenced by anything in particular. I'd been listening to lots of M.B., Nikudourei and Anal Cunt around the time I recorded this which, aside from M.B., doesn't really translate into the sounds of the album. I'd say "Odium" mainly came from where my mind was at the time of recording. It wasn't even recorded that long ago, but I was in a different place mentally where a lot of stuff wasn't making sense and there was this overlying sense of pressure on everything. I've always been depressed, but this past year I've started to address it more and use music/ noise as an escape from it, so alot of that went into "Odium".

GRVD: You've released many splits with some very solid noise acts. Would you say you prefer the creative atmosphere of a split release or an independent EP/full length? 

M/E: They're both great to me. I like doing EPs and Full Lengths because they allow me to let sounds breathe more and the recordings as a whole sound more complete and well rounded, but I like splits because for one, I get to share a tape/ CD/ Record with someone I truly admire, but it also puts me in a position where I have to try and get the same ideas I'd put together for a Full Length out in a much shorter time, so it's kind of a challenge.

GRVD: Do you have any musical projects in addition to Methlab Explosion? 

M/E: Yeah, there are a few haha. Faction Disaster/ Erotic Stepdad/ UNEQUALTOYOU/ CxPxSx and there are a few I know I'm forgetting about. I do lots of one off recording projects so after a while it gets hard to keep track of all of them.

GRVD: When can we expect a follow up to "Odium"? What can fans and listeners look forward to on future Methlab Explosion releases? 

M/E: I'm actually starting the next Full Length in the very near future, like maybe the end of the month. I've got lots of splits coming out, some collaborations and some solo tapes etc. I'll be playing a few shows at the end of November with Isolation Order and I, Benign from Canada. Both solid guys and David from IO's band Disleksick is some of the sickest North American Noisecore. Also doing a bunch of more traditional band Methlab Explosion stuff with Mike from Pizzahifive on drums and myself playing bass, noise and vocals. Looking forward to that. Think Suppression meets Seven Minutes Of Nausea with some Masonna thrown in. I'm just going to keep on the path I've been creating this last year or two, try and expand on it and see where it takes me.

GRVD: Anything you'd like to leave us with? 

M/E: Thanks for taking the time to interview me. I didn't think anyone out there was actually listening to my stuff, haha. Midwest Noise rules all. Hail Cock ESP and Patrick Harsh.


Listen: http://methlabexplosion.bandcamp.com/

Sunday, October 5, 2014

RAPE-X // PLATINUM COLLAR - S/T Split REVIEW


RAPE-X // PLATINUM COLLAR - S/T SPLIT

Deciding to write this review at 3 a.m. was quite a fantastic idea - because this is exactly what I needed to hear at 3 in the morning. On this split release we see two noise artists who have quite the reputation and a bit of hype surrounding them release one of the strangest, most captivating and harshly satisfying splits of the year on Cincinnati's impeccable INFINITE UNDOING label. Each artist here is given roughly 10 minutes to completely destroy the listener, and each artist does so mercilessly. 

I'll start with the RAPE-X side. RAPE-X is a group I just keep seeing more and more of, and for good reason. Everything I've heard from his band has been demented, powerful, sadistic, harsh, and extreme in every sense of the word. Here, RAPE-X gives us one almost-ten minute track composed of two separate recordings. The first being what sounds like a live recording of a very dissonant Throbbing Gristle meets Deathpile kind of harsh drone, which at times is actually very calming and soothing yet downright creepy. After this track ends, RAPE-X attack us with their spastic onslaught of harsh power electronics and manic vocal delivery. This side was quite interesting and unexpected, but ultimately very satisfying. 

Now for the PLATINUM COLLAR side. This track is one of the harshest walls I've heard in a while. It's just fucking relentless and Earth-shattering. It just builds and builds with such emotional strength before climaxing and breaking that the listener is honestly sent into a trance - the mark of any good HNW track. The vocal are buried in the mix, which complements the wall perfectly and differentiates itself from other side of this split quite well. My only wish is that this track was a bit longer and perhaps ended on a more resolving note, but it's a fantastic HNW track nonetheless. 

Quite the listen at 3 a.m., these are two great noise artists you can not let yourself sleep on. Support them and the fantastic label. 

Listen: http://infiniteundoingtapelabel.bandcamp.com/album/rape-x-platinum-collar 

Friday, October 3, 2014

FULL OF HELL/MERZBOW - Gordian Knot TRACK REVIEW


FULL OF HELL/MERZBOW - GORDIAN KNOT

Pennsylvanian Sludge/Grind/Blackened Hardcore/Noise outfit FULL OF HELL and Japanese Noise Legend MERZBOW, if you haven't already heard and are living under a rock, are teaming up to release what is bound to be the most extreme musical collaboration of the year. On this track we see the two artists (more FOH in this particular track) pushing the boundaries of their sound. FULL OF HELL brings the ferocity and rage of their past releases, but intensifies it to an unheard of extreme for the band. The band seems to be heading into a much darker, death metal/death grind direction, which they do exceedingly well. 

As for the noise legend MERZBOW, we see Masami Akita more in the background for this track, but I think we can all rest assured that his trademark harsh noise will be incorporated and complimenting to FULL OF HELL'S utilization of the power electronics genre. 

This collaboration will be the heaviest, most extreme and crushing noise/grind record of the year. The anticipation is grueling. 

UPDATE 10/14

I'm trying to start updating this blog daily or every-other day. Submissions are encouraged and appreciated, but there are no promises I can review everything I get sent my way. 

Also, I am currently working on the new GRVD full length and organizing some splits which will hopefully all be done by the end of this year. 

If you want to keep updated on more things, you can follow me on tumblr, twitter, and facebook. 

http://grvd-noise.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/grvd_

https://www.facebook.com/brentxwasteoflife 

MIDWEST DRONEVIOLENCE FOREVER

ERASERHEAD - Romance REVIEW


ERASERHEAD - ROMANCE

ERASERHEAD - while also being one of my favorite films - is the Harsh Noise Wall / Power Electronics / Sound Art project of musician Jake Howard. Punishing, minimal, distorted, raw, and visually and aesthetically striking, ERASERHEAD is one of my favorite modern HNW projects. On this release, we see the artist bringing the listener a wall of disheartening and disturbingly unpleasant sound, while bringing with it a sense of remembrance, love, and pain. 

The cover image is apparently the work of Japanese visual artist Nobuyoshi Araki. The only liner notes present on the release state: "Rest In Peace to one of the greatest Japanese Visual Artists who ever lived". The image is striking and compelling, and seems to represent a theme in the wall of sound itself. It seems to embody some feelings of pain and romantic desire - lust perhaps. 

A powerful and strong 30 minutes of blistering HNW. A highly enjoyable listen for fans of the subgenre. 

Listen: https://eraserheadhnw.bandcamp.com/album/romance

ALEXANDER BAZZI - The House Itself Isn't Haunted, It's Just The Way The Light Hits Its Walls REVIEW


ALEXANDER BAZZI - THE HOUSE ITSELF ISN'T HAUNTED, IT'S JUST THE WAY THE LIGHT HITS ITS WALLS

Noise is a genre built upon textures. Empirical and existential, noise is a genre that embodies the idealism behind self-expression and brings the artist's inhibitions to radical conclusions. Here, we see an artist beginning his promising chronology with a release of experimentation, ingenuity, influence, and confidence. Alexander Bazzi's debut effort is a release that demands attention in the world of noise. 

A fellow Michigander like myself, Alexander Bazzi brings listeners multiple textures, emotions, tempos, sounds, atmospheres, and senses of calmness and calamity. A chaotic and spastic example of the power electronics genre (reminiscent of the best names in the Japanoise sublabel), this noise artist never lets the listener become comfortable with one sound of one context for too long before hurling them into a new landscape of beeps, feedback, scratches, frequencies, and harsh abrasive attacks. Skillfully mixed, and coupled with top notch - yet not overproduced by any means - production, this release is grating to ears, yet pleasing at the same time. Composed of two tracks and clocking in at just over 20 minutes, this release doesn't overstay its welcome and is a short but intensely chaotic power electronics recording.

A power electronics artist bent upon the power of his craft, Alexander Bazzi assaults and interests listeners in a way few artists in the subgenre can. A truly devastating and provocative listen. 

Listen: https://alexanderbazzi.bandcamp.com/album/the-house-itself-isnt-haunted-its-just-the-way-the-light-hits-its-walls

Thursday, October 2, 2014

ALOCASIA GARDEN - S/T REVIEW


ALOCASIA GARDEN - S/T

The UK never ceases to amaze me with their impressively talented and inventive noise artists. Described by sole member Reece Thomas Green as "depressive industrial synth abuse", this short but powerful and refreshing release is an emotionally-charged release of expression and rage. With the agonizing melodies and piercing lo-fi soundscapes challenging the listener, ALOCASIA GARDEN gives us a release of ugliness and beauty, a contrast of extremes, and hits the target perfectly. 

Starting off with the track "'A Man Without A Mask'", one might think they are listening to some of Lust For Youth's older material. The repetitive and beautifully docile synth melody is the calm before the storm that the rest of this record throws at us. The track winds and bends and and bleeds perfectly into the following track "Blue Figures". "Blue Figures" further exhibits a hauntingly beautiful synth melody expressed with distortion and melancholy. Majestically composed and minimal, this track compliments its predecessor perfectly. 

Closer "Howl Of Our Faith" is the harshest track on this release, building and building off of a simple fading synth rhythm. This track just builds and builds progressively until the lo-fi distorting creeps in, overwhelming and swallowing the track. Once again, this piece is executed with such wonderful precision. 

This short but powerful release is exactly what I look for in noise. Inventive, interesting, beautiful, emotional. I expect nothing but good things to come from this impressive UK noise dynamo. 

Listen: http://alocasiagarden.bandcamp.com/album/s-t

METHLAB EXPLOSION - Odium REVIEW


METHLAB EXPLOSION - ODIUM

The Midwest United States has often been a source of inspiration for many an artist. From its often times bleak and repetitive atmosphere and nature, to its aura of loneliness and emptiness, these feelings of Midwest isolation permeate the art of many musicians and creative minds, including my own. Based out of Lima, Ohio, METHLAB EXPLOSION's second full length brings the grueling, harsh ugliness of the most extreme examples of the power electronics genre, and coincides these sounds with a sense of dread, loneliness, isolation, minimalism, and ultimately resentment. 

Starting with the track "Control", "Odium" punishes the listener from the get go. Incorporating harsh piercing waves, subtle buzzes and backdropped walls of sound, unsettling dissonance and tension, METHLAB EXPLOSION manages to make familiar ideas and sounds sound original, sincere, and most importantly, angry. 

"Nauseated" is a prime example of the minimalist approach flirted with on this release, while "Piss Fetish" has an almost gothic - and strangely melodic - sensibility and atmosphere to it reminiscent of a Wet Nurse release. 

It should be noted how well-executed the differing textures on this release are. The album stylistically shifts from grating harsh noise wall, to somber, clipping power electronics, to minimalist pulses and waves that wouldn't sound out of place on a Hive Mind release. The production is top notch without being overproduced or diminishing (not surprising since this is a release on the always-pleasing Placenta Recordings from MI). 

This release is 45 minutes of brutality recorded and presented to destroy any listener in its path. "Odium" boasts its influences while understanding itself and its process. Powerful, glooming, loud, and often chilling, METHLAB EXPLOSION'S sophomore effort is a required listen for this year in noise. 

NOT ART IN THE LEAST. 

Listen: http://methlabexplosion.bandcamp.com/album/odium

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

THE CHERRY POINT - Bloodstalkers REVIEW


THE CHERRY POINT - BLOODSTALKERS

The Cherry Point have always been a group that has interested me and captivated me since the beginning of my entrance into the genre. Their work was always extreme, raw, and completely D.I.Y., which I respected and took with me as an influence on my own music. What little I know about the group - or rather the individual behind this static, chaotic wormhole of sound - is irrelevant in my opinion. As this release has continually been a work of noise that I have returned to time and time again for inspiration. 

Piercing, abrasive, destructive, emotionally-charged, The Cherry Point are about as extreme and disorienting as you can get in the world of harsh noise. This project is criminally under-appreciated and over-looked, yet highly influential to acts like Infirmary (who I may be reviewing very soon), and the like. 

The sounds captured here are so over-modulated and wrenching, yet so well executed and precise. It is chaotic and manic when it needs to be, yet furious bellowing and trudging when you least expect it, until it stabs you in the face once again with a sonic assault of high frequencies and feedback. 

This is by no means a new release in the world of noise, but rather just a fan showing his appreciation and gratitude for such a relentlessly powerful piece. 

Listen: http://monorailtrespassing.bandcamp.com/album/bloodstalkers

VOMIR // POETE MAUDIT SPLIT - REVIEW


VOMIR // POETE MAUDIT 

I'm extremely fortunate to have such talented friends in the noise community. Furthermore, I'm even more fortunate to be able to see them collaborate with prominent figures in the world of noise. On this split we see the Michigan experimental/avant-garde/power electronics unit known as Poète Maudit teaming up with the French Harsh Noise Wall legend VOMIR, coming together to bring listeners a release that is as polar as it is challenging. 

What can I say about the French Harsh Noise Wall titan VOMIR that hasn't already been said? On this release we see VOMIR do exactly what we'd expect VOMIR to do: crush listeners with a monolithic, bleak, depressingly harsh, directionless and unchanging wall of distortion and rage. VOMIR tends to be a "love him or hate him" figure in the world of noise, and I happen to find his work always hypnotic and entrancing. While this isn't my favorite wall of his, it is certainly not disappointing by any means and will satisfy his devoted fanbase. 

As for the Poète Maudit side, the sound is much more varied. Sounding like a hybrid of John Cage, Xela, Brian Eno, Tim Hecker, and perhaps even a Gnaw Their Tongues b-side, this Michigan project shows an understanding of atmosphere and musical tension and process far beyond his years. The track is truly eerie and beautiful, and its darkness and overarching, subtle crescendo leaves the listener with a strong satisfaction. 

Two very different artists in the noise world have come together to make one of the strongest splits of the year. Do yourself a favor and pick this up from the label Uninvited Records.

Listen: http://uninvitedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vomir-po-te-maudit-split


Monday, September 15, 2014

WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS // FUNERAL PARLOR - Split 7'' REVIEW


WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS // FUNERAL PARLOR

When two artists in the noise community can come together to collaborate and create, it is truly a wonderful thing to witness. Now, when these two artists are as visceral, raw, and uncompromising as New York's Waves Crashing Piano Chords and Texas's Funeral Parlor (he also makes wall under the title Female Pedophile), you're in store for a split that will truly crush you. This is a year-end best-of contender, easily. 

Now, the WCPC side first. I recently reviewed the noise dynamo's 7'' "Childhood" - a release that focused more on ominous, atmospheric yet harsh textures, and an abandonment of the sexually explicit, highly emotive vocal delivery. The release truly captivated me and proved to be one of my favorite outings from the artist. On this release we see WCPC return to form with the track "I Hope I Get Aids/...Or Is It Me?". The track pierces and shakes the listener, and the trademark emotional delivery is ever-present, sincere, and truly genuine. While this may not be my favorite material from the project, it is still strong and immensely satisfying. 

As for the Funeral Parlor side, where do I begin? The track is truly ominous and disheartening, yet eerily beautiful. It transcends the boundaries of typical harsh noise and incorporates a gothic, ambient, synthesizer-laden vortex of harmonies, coupled with the sonic chaos found on WCPC's efforts. The track "Sway Away" is beautifully composed, and is easily one of my favorite tracks from the project. 

A highly recommended listen, these two projects showcase the strongest, most raw talents the world of noise has to offer. 

Listen: https://funeralparlor.bandcamp.com/album/7-split-with-waves-crashing-piano-chords 

http://wavescrashingpianochords.bandcamp.com/album/7-split-w-funeral-parlor


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE - Immaturity of Movement REVIEW


KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE - Immaturity of Movement



I have said it before and I will say it again: Noise that is only influenced by Noise is the worst kind of Noise. And no other act proves this point better than KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE. United Kingdom noise act KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE returns with a release of pure anguish, rage, concept, and creative independence that leaves his contemporaries in the dust. Here we are given 3 powerful, dynamic, and enthralling tracks that bring the listener into a dark, disturbed, and somewhat confusing world of distortion, feedback, loops, samples, and atmosphere. 

Beginning with the track "Document #8 And Being Late", this UK noise artist carefully outlines the textures that will be present for the rest of this release. Cold, bleak, drenched a lo-fi ambiance reminiscent of 90's black metal, KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE wears his influences on his sleeve, and leaves any hesitation at the door. The release is self-described as being influenced by alternative rock and former No-Wavers Sonic Youth, as well as Jesus And Mary Chain. And in a strange way, this release embodies a lot of those textures and ideas in the most unexpected way. Imagine Thurston Moore having a collaboration with Genocide Organ and you've got a good idea of the powerful sound captured on this release. 

"Demons" and the title track "Immaturity of Movement" continue on this bleak and hypnotic journey. Drenched and modulated, the loops here never get over-bearing or boring. Instead, they bring the tracks a minimal, yet highly effective intensity reminiscent of some of Con-Dom and IRM's best work. 

A haunting and chilling listen, KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE showcase the power of simplicity, and the depressing power of patience. A strong contender for one of my favorite noise albums of the year, this release will sonically tear you apart, violently and without mercy. 


Listen: knifedoutofexistence.bandcamp.com/album/immaturity-of-movement

Sunday, August 3, 2014

CLOTTING - Sensory Secretion REVIEW


CLOTTING - Sensory Secretion

The debut tape from Chicago Power Electronics outfit CLOTTING is a release of pure electronic rage and power. Channeling textures of extreme wall reminiscent of Dead Body Collection and The Rita, while also incorporating some classic high frequencies and sonic assaults you'd find on a Whitehouse or Pharmakon record, CLOTTING combine these two elements extremely well, all the while burying the listener with a vocal delivery straight from hell. 

This release is riddled with samples and surprising elements - this includes a disturbing pitch shifted rendition of the Berlin hit "Take My Breath Away" - which really add to the crushing dynamics presented in the sound. This is truly a numbing, yet highly satisfying noise record. 

Highly recommended for all fans of modern Power Electronics, CLOTTING brings us one of the most solid debuts of the year. Sensory Secretion is a true understatement. 


Friday, August 1, 2014

WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS - Childhood REVIEW



WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS - Childhood


Waves Crashing Piano Chords is the one man noise project of New Yorker Sean Beard. A bit of a more controversial figure in the noise scene, WCPC is an act to be experienced live in order to receive the full affect. Not many artists, especially in noise, are able to capture the power of their live performance to tape as proficiently and impeccably as this project does. The following tape is one of the most disturbing and unpleasant - in the best way possible - releases this project has put out to date in my opinion. 

Composed of two tracks, "Childhood" is unique for a WCPC release. Devoid of the typical vocal assault and graphic sexual lyricism found on most of this project's releases, WCPC chooses instead to create something even more effective and damaging. Atmosphere. A completely raw, merciless aural assault on the listener, "Childhood" relies on dissonance, harsh feedback, minimal sampling, and a disturbing level of intimacy in order to recreate those painful feelings I'm sure many of us have during the years of childhood. 

Listening to this piece sent shivers down my spine. Love him or hate him, Waves Crashing Piano Chords is proving himself more and more to be a project in the world of noise that doesn't fall under the label of "one trick pony". Grim, dreadful, unforgiving, malicious, dissonant, and downright creepy, "Childhood" will surely make you feel fear like a child once again. 

SWALLOWING BILE INTERVIEW


INTERVIEW:

GRVD: First things first, how did you get into the idea of making noise, what were your first introductions to noise, and how did you come up with the name Swallowing Bile? 

SB:  I was initially introduced to noise through the more extreme forms of metal when I was much younger. However, it was in the form of Dark Ambient/"Dungeon Ambient" projects and from there I explored briefly but didn't begin to create my own material until much later. Initially the recordings were ambient in nature as well...synthesizer based soundscapes that grew to be darker in nature as I began to feel more comfortable with my gear. Swallowing Bile began when I started to incorporate Harsh Noise Wall elements into my sound (my first true noise sub-genre "love"), and I decided to start a fresh project. I cannot remember how the name came about to be honest.

GRVD: How would you describe the noise of Swallowing Bile? Would you say there is a common theme or idea proposed with the project? 

SB: The sound itself is primarily based in HNW structurally. All of the sources are field recordings I have taken myself and I believe that it brings an organic element to the table. I incorporate other styles of sound as well, whether that be in the form of scrap metal, my voice, etc, but I prefer to keep some sonic approaches constant to ensure I don't have "fickle" material. I like everything to sound linear in some way or another with Swallowing Bile. The only theme behind Swallowing Bile is my own experience...I try to work solely with things that have some underlying relation to myself. 

GRVD: What would you say is the strongest influence on Swallowing Bile? Musical or not. 

SB:  Personal experience is the biggest influence thematically. Aurally the influence is within the HNW/HN/PE realm...I listen to HNW most and HN/PE come in at a close second, however I try not to allow any elements from other artists sound affect the way I compose. 

GRVD: We've talked some about the noise scene and some of our qualms with it. How important do you think "scenes" really are, especially when it comes to a genre like noise? 

SB: There are a bunch of different "scenes" operating at any given time across the globe. In terms of the United States I feel that the notion of having lots of miniature scenes is very apparent. Personally, my cities local scene is uninterested in what I am doing (their taste is in art, not sound...) and I can understand why my material wouldn't be something they want to endorse. However, I would make the jump to say that my cities noise scene is nearly non-existent on the national/international scope anyways. I feel much more affiliated with the fantastic friendships I have formed with fellow artists across the states and the globe...that unit in itself ties together so many scenes that it becomes one of it's own. What it all boils down to is the ties you make with one-another!

GRVD: I've heard you describe what you do as "anti-art" before. Care to embellish on that concept further? 

SB: Swallowing Bile is an aural endeavor meant to be heard for what it is and not interpreted as anything more. However, I can't control how someone wants to view my output! Art is subjective, but in my mind I don't view Power Electronics/Harsh Noise/Harsh Noise Wall as art. If others want to that is their business.

GRVD: What can we expect from Swallowing Bile in the near future? 

SB:  Die Song will be releasing the "Secluded" LP towards the end of August/beginning of September, a split with Aqua-Eroticum on Depravity, a split with Reinforcement Punishment on Obscure Vanity, a track on a massive 8-way split with a bundle of stellar Power Electronics artists, as well as a few other things that I am not ready to reveal at this time. I plan to begin writing for another LP in 2015, but at this moment I have my plate pretty full! 

GRVD: Any words you'd like to leave us with?  

SB: Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me. I appreciate the support and keep up the great work.


Listen: swallowingbile.bandcamp.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

OUTSIDE - h.o.m.e.s. REVIEW


OUTSIDE - h.o.m.e.s.

One can't help but notice the strong new wave of bands experimenting and channeling the sounds of shoegaze, grunge, and emo. (I refuse to use the term "emo revival" because frankly it is a false term.) Within this new wave, bands have been going in a number of different directions, some a more straight-forward grunge, some an atmospheric, swirling shoegaze, and some an energetic expression of emo. I give you Michigan's own Outside, who aim to give you all 3 in a very cohesive and promising debut. 

Opener "Huron" immediately pulls the listener in and gives you a taste of what's to come: reverb-laden, ambient shoegaze with just a hint of modern emo and pop punk which gives this release a strong edge of crossover appeal. 

"Ontario", "Michigan", and "Erie" exhibit the more energetic side of this debut. Dripping with nostalgic charm and a strong lyrical delivery (highlighted especially in the track "Erie"), these 3 songs broadcast the band's ability of combining many ideas and genres into one cohesive, interesting, and emotional musical experience. 

Definitely worth checking out for any lovers of shoegaze, '90's emo, and modern grunge rock, Outside's debut reveals something that not many debuts are capable of doing: that this band is confident and self-aware without being pretentious or overly relevant. Shimmering, beautiful ambi-punk. This reviewer recommends that you go outside. 

Listen: http://gooutside.bandcamp.com/releases 

FEMALE PEDOPHILE - The Brocks REVIEW

FEMALE PEDOPHILE - THE BROCKS

Unsettling. That is the word that comes to mind when listening to this piece of harsh noise. A vicious and bleak 27 minutes of hollow, cold, piercing harsh noise wall, Female Pedophile creates something that not many of his HNW contemporaries are capable of doing. What he has created is an entire characteristic; a truly deep and troubling atmosphere. Unsettling indeed. 



Bleak and unforgiving, Female Pedophile lets every aspect of his identity speak for itself. From the music, the lo-fi production value, to the name itself, there is a deeply personal, almost "violating" feeling that overtakes the listener when listening to "The Brocks". 



Unsettling Harsh Noise Wall from Texas. You have been warned. 


Listen: http://femalepedophile.bandcamp.com/album/the-brocks

WET NURSE - Victim Of Apology Letter REVIEW


WET NURSE - VICTIM OF APOLOGY LETTER


Noise should never be devoid of emotion. If anything, noise should be accepted as one of the most emotive and expressive forms of music. Through expressing the most human of emotions and currents, noise retains it's deeply personal identity. In the vein of artists like Deathpile, Swallowing Bile and Waves Crashing Piano Chords, the following act brings forward a deeply emotive atmosphere that will leave the listener with not only a cloud of melancholy, but a wave or euphoric grief as well. 

The Canadian Power Electronics act and head of Male Activity Records  brings us 2 powerful and dense tracks full of ominous rage and despair. One can't help but decipher a possible no wave influence (DNA, early Swans)when listening to opener "A Rose Amongst Thorns". An atmospheric and gothic ode to the likes of IRM, Wet Nurse presents a sound that is familiar, but fresh. The repetition and brutal minimalism of the track swallows the listener and refuses to let go, while the distorted and throbbing vocal delivery creates an even greater sense of unsettling misery for the listener. 

The second and final track on this tape is "Deflowered". This track once again brings its minimalism to the forefront, incorporating samples to bring a dark variation and romantic aesthetic to this release. 

I use the word romantic in the best way possible. This release seems deeply personal, and you can hear that in every single word spoken, and you can sense it in the aesthetic and delivery of this release. Complete with dead flowers, this release oozes of strong melodramatic tension, and I mean that in the absolute best way possible. 

A deeply emotional experience, Wet Nurse is one of the most consistent and intelligent current noise acts. "Ten minutes of scornful basement industrial" does not do this release justice. Listening to this, you will feel like a true victim. A victim of misery and dread. 

Listen: http://wetnurseperiod.bandcamp.com/album/victim-of-apology-letter 


Friday, April 11, 2014

SWALLOWING BILE - Tour 2014 REVIEW





SWALLOWING BILE - TOUR 2014

The noise genre has often been cited as the last true punk art form. The entire ethic and moral system of punk and the numerous genres that evolved and spawned from it have all become commercialized, over-saturated, and ultimately watered-down to the point of exhaustion. Noise truly is the last realm of music that is still untainted by the perils of over-exposure and the self-destructive nature that is trend adherence. Noise is still innocent and, for lack of a better term, pure. 

New York power electronics/harsh noise dynamo Swallowing Bile now presents us with 3 truly crushing and powerful tracks that, while not my favorite content from the artist, still packs enough of a punch to resonate and bring you back for multiple listens. 

Opener "No One Is Safe" begins with what a female escort describing a gig gone horribly wrong. The sheer chilling ambiance of this introduction is enough to send shivers down your spine. The tracks explodes with sudden random bursts of harsh crashes as the girl's testimony continues and the track continues on, with the lyrics scorning us with the complete hatred and pessimism that comes with most Swallowing Bile material. 

The next track "A Declaration..." continues the bleak noise presented with the previous track, not leaving the listener even a moment to process what is happening. The track is engaging and intense, and transitions smoothly into the final track, the doom and gloom wall that is "Power Of The Will." 

This release is pure rage and pure passion, which has always been my favorite aspect of Swallowing Bile. Short, strong, to the point, and completely unforgiving, these 3 songs (and a majority of SB's material) are some of the most crushing examples of noise out at the moment, and I stand by that statement. The purity of noise will always be the genre's biggest appeal, and favorite trait among its fan base. Swallowing Bile are an act not to be under-estimated. 

NO ONE IS SAFE. 

Listen: http://swallowingbile.bandcamp.com/album/tour-2014 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FULL OF HELL - FOH NOISE VOL 4 REVIEW


FULL OF HELL - FOH NOISE VOL 4

Much has been said about Pennsylvania noise/sludge/grind outfit Full Of Hell. Much has been said of their innovations (whether you think they are minimal or not is irrelevant) in an extremely watered-down genre that is modern hardcore. One has to be a little bit surprised that a band who prides themselves on their affection for Merzbow and Genocide Organ is attracting kids in Terror shirts to their shows. Nonetheless, Full Of Hell have more than established themselves as one of the leading groups in the new wave of sludge-inspired hardcore along with friends Code Orange Kids.

After first being introduced to Full Of Hell via a youtube link of one of their live shows from a friend, I sat in amazement at the visceral, pure rage that was displayed on screen. The band plays with such intensity and dramatic power that listening to them recorded almost does the band an injustice. Since then I have had the pleasure of seeing them two times, one of which I was fortunate enough to share the stage with these talented lads. (who cares, really??)

A few words of warning, if you are a fan of the more mosh-friendly, sludge aspects of Full Of Hell, by all means, this release may not be for you. If you are, like me, a fan who is more drawn to them for their noise influence (The White Mare, Dichotomy), you will be very pleasantly surprised with this release.

The album is not your traditional noise record, in fact nothing about this is traditional. The album shifts slowly, evolving from harsh to almost somber dynamics, and presenting an unforgiving theme of war, desolation, destruction, and ultimately ugliness. Take the artwork as a heed of warning, this is an unforgiving listen. Unapologetic and proud of the minimalism it proposes, Full Of Hell bring forward their highlights with true artistic integrity - something missing from modern hardcore. Lyrically, Full Of Hell have always been a band that I appreciate, and this release shows how they can take concepts and images found in their lyrics, and create somewhat of a soundtrack to it. Soothing at times, painfully abrasive at others, this volume is a depressing and chilling ride.

With obvious influence from classic noise artists such as Genocide Organ and Throbbing
Gristle, to contemporary commentary via sound from sludge acts like The Body, Full Of Hell once again set themselves apart from their hardcore contemporaries, and remind us all of why they are without a doubt one of underground music's most promising acts.

Listen: