Noise Reviews

Jakub Pokorski "#33" 7' Monotype records

felthat - reviews - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 14:54

Here's a nice take of analogue/digital experimentalism which has so much grain and pollution to it I haven't heard in quite a long time.
Jakub has been active since quite a time but this is his first take under his own name and first release on Monotype and possibly first vinyl one.
The first feeling I got was that it is the introspective look into guts of hacked and whacked computer software with pixelised attachments which give this innovative post-techno quirk a good measure of good auld experimentalism a really fresh pinch of salt. Polluted, pollutated and confessioned as a sincere atonement of erroneous fixation it is as rhythmical as it can be and as involving as a narrtive biopolar biopsy of what's been lost since late 1999 introduction of so-called "laptop music" and off-top development of the experimental margins since then.
Really refreshing...

Categories: Noise Reviews

Ninkyo Dantai by Rafał Kołacki

felthat - reviews - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 14:31
I guess this material so far is probably one of the nicest surprises I got in 2014.
I knew Rafał Kołacki before as he worked with Hati ensemble which is widely active within the post-industrial idiom of rhythmagick.
But Rafał doesn't cut off the tags off the well-trodden path instead re-inventing his own formula of post-industrial experimentalism merged anew with new impulses and new energy.
The intro track brings on profound sounding evocation which to me sounds super interesting and highly encouraging if I may say so - it has this distinctive feel of almost organically composed psychodelic soundtrack. The following part gets even more and more interesting with cut-up radio work blend of highly narrative voiceovers  from documentary movies or other sources and magma of electronic pulses and sythesized drama of tension and synactic elements.
Rafał as an experienced musician gives a set which isn't by any means repetoire of utter convention but rather helps us with getting into inside of his basic concept idea which lies behind the material - may sound trivial as it is but it is still valid - the theorem of technological limbo taking control of mass consciousness which reverbated in all messages of counter cultural endeavours since Thoreau up to a different context setting - now in post-post-modern times.
Very sharp material with a message- do you need more? I hope Rafał will develop his solo idea into viable means of his imaginative approach to music as such.

Categories: Noise Reviews

Hokei "Don't go" LADO ABC

felthat - reviews - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 13:41

Piotr Bukowski – guitar
Igor Nikiforow – drums, vocal, synth
Tomek Popowski – drums
Kuba Ziołek – vocal, bass, synth

The geometry of experimental post-rock and noise in 1990's have left quite an inheritance and influences more and more people of even younger, considering age, generations of musicians. Hokei consists of younger and older musicians, in their own respects as experienced as you can imagine. And here they come with their debut album - a set of rhythmically driven songs with dramatic and yet very lyrical vocals.
Hokei is a very refreshing thump taken out of quite stale formula of math rocky lineary path but driven with such intensity and enthusiasm that you cannot really underrate it and reject as it is. Piotr Bukowski has done an extremely difficult job when it comes to bring space to dusty platitude and envigorate it with passion for music along with ever-over-active Kuba and Tomek as well as Igor who keeps the solid bass foundations.
Tense blasts of guitar textures driven by bass/drums post-hard core syntax with embedded synth backgrounds and ever-expanding guitar work give a great feeling of density and melodious breakdowns bring the lyricism out of scorchy intestines.
Categories: Noise Reviews


Cassette Gods Reviews - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 14:34
This is the debut tape/anything from Portland, Oregon’s drum/bass/synth duo, Needles and Pizza. Although their home (PDX) has plenty of one and almost none of the other, the forces are equally represented here. Metaphorically, ‘Needles’ are abrasively buzzing and reluctantly melodic basslines, and ‘Pizza’ is weird party anthems about Air Bud doppelgangers. Literally, ‘Needles’ is a lady who provides such basslines along with Poly Styrene-ish disaffected wailing and even more disaffected songwriting. 'Pizza’ is a dude rocks some simple, driving drumbeats played with obvious gusto, some synth parts like the involuntary orgasms of a misanthropic robot, and penned the afore-referred-to “That Dog Looks Like Air Bud”. All together, they create a sound that bridges the gaps between Big Black, Joy Division and that girl who is friends with all the best bands and says that she’s homeless but you’re kind of skeptical and you know there has to be a longer story there but it’d be such a weird thing to bring up that you just accept that you’ll probably never know, buy her a drink once in a while and enjoy her company/antics. Much more concisely, this tape makes doom-and-gloom danceable and head-bobbing induced whiplash sexy again. Other standout songs include “Frank Might Feel It” and “Mornings 4 Suckers”, with “Grandpas Die” getting an honorable mention.

--Travis Long
Categories: Noise Reviews

Michał Biela "s/t"

felthat - reviews - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:08
 The name of the singer/songwriters' league is legion. Dylanesque archetype of the acoustic guitar music and vocals blend with poetic texts are common way to either blossoming noise of pompousness or an outlet for an artist who can take a breather from experimentalism and turn his professional experience into gold of subtleness. Michał Biela and his solo debut album blends his previous experience from one of my favourite guitar bands Kristen, his experience in Ścianka luminaries and the latest one Kings of Caramel. You might of course try to classify it or at least find a file which this modest cd might fit. But it has its own right to be as it is and sounds really fresh. As he stated himself - he felt more confident with composing his own songs.With a little help from his friends of  Małgorzata Penkalla, Magdalena Gajdzica, Karolina Rec whose voices you can hear he created a set of intimate stories played on baritone guitar and sung by his own voice. You can hear a tiny bit of experimentalism in the background ( quite krauty Waxwings) but the vocal harmonies and the guitar take the lead. Other than that it feels just right to listen to a material that might have been bound to be just another similar cd with meaningless songs - instead what we get is a highly individualised collection of minute stories of intimacy and depth which certainly will ask itself for repeated playing mode. I also feel that Michał's voice is a vice - unpretentional and smooth. Good on ya...roll it on.

Categories: Noise Reviews

SIGNOR BENEDICK THE MOOR "SBtheMoor" (Deathbomb Arc)

Cassette Gods Reviews - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:21

We rarely get rap cassettes here at Cassette Gods so it was pretty hard to turn this down. Signor Benedick the MOOR is seething with youthful energy that transforms into his rapid fire rhythms. While this is the center point of the entire cassette, it also goes in a thousand radically different genre directions from hardcore to accapella to techno.

The MOORs stanzas, vocal tone and pronunciation reminds me of Chance the Rapper. It's a little whinny like the Parrot in ALADDIN. At first that was a turn off, but it ends up being clutch because otherwise this cassette could suffer from taking itself too seriously. Its cryptic typography decisions evoke something medieval or at least the graphic design of Al-Qaeda.

I appreciate Signor Benedick the Moor's experimentation. He is a true artist. However, true experimental artists have a tendency of having hit or miss records. Think of the movie directors Nicolas Winding Refn or Werner Herzog; two experimental film directors concerned with stretching the boundaries of their medium as opposed to simply settling for making something familiar and therefore, safe to produce. Refn makes a masterpiece like "Pusher III" or "Drive" and then pulls "Only God Forgives" out of his ass. Herzog is responsible for one of my favorite movies ever, "Aguirre, the Wrath of God", but also directed "Werner Herzog eats his Shoe", which isn't exactly a movie. The point is, when you take risks, sometimes those risks fail.

This Cassette's failures include, but are not limited to, an acapella beat box session that just ends up sounding off. It's because the beats sound too much like farting I think. It sounds like this, for real.

But other songs are really good on this. And there's more hits than misses. More Swooshes than air balls, including a four track bedroom drum/bass/guitar/xylophone chill out. I think when the MOOR is just more straight up rap he really shines. The Cassette gets better as it goes along. Don't let the first song, which is the farty acapella song, turn you off.


-- Jack Turnbull

editor's note: the guy who runs this label (Brian Miller) was the original founder of Cassette Gods, so this the first time a Deathbomb Arc release has been reviewed on the blog. it's a cool label with a lot of history, check it out if you haven't...thanks for making this all come full circle.
Categories: Noise Reviews

Bruital Orgasme – Untitled C30

Existence Establishment - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:21


Bruital Orgasme Untitled – C30


Here we have a new tape by the married Belgian couple Bruital Orgasme, who seem to specialize in creating a mix of old school harsh noise combined with field recording cut-ups, glitch textures, and thick harsh drones. I have a few of their past releases, and while I’ve enjoyed them, there’s been nothing that’s really blown me away. There was enough to keep me interested though which led to this C30 landing in my hands. I think with this tape they have taken a huge step forward in creating a more cohesive and personal sound that is more fully realized and less “thrown together” improvised than past works I’ve heard. Released by the Italian label Sincope, the cover art consists of a tasteful color photo of a nude women tied to a tree with rope taken by one of the members. Even though these types of themes are obviously recurring and somehow integral with this group, I can’t say that I really find it all that interesting or much of a representation of the sounds held within. There’s nothing overtly sexual to the recordings, at least o my ear. I feel like a dark cityscape or something more abstract would work better, but obviously these themes are important to the band and sex sells am I right? It’s printed on nice glossy paper and the tapes are dubbed well, sound good, and look nice as per usual from this young label.

Side A is credited as “In, Out, Error (8 Pieces)” which consists of tracks ranging from under a minute to several minutes long. The first two tracks are bursts of cut-up harsh noise. Thick bass and filtered white noise hit hard and disappears quickly. There’s a lot of texture in these tracks and it would have been nice to see them expanded on. They definitely have that “tearing the shit out of radio shack gear” type of sound that I really dig. The third track begins with some field recordings of city sounds, lo-fi tape manipulations clash with consumer electronics being abused. This is somewhat of a preview to what lies ahead on side B. The fourth cut continues this with what sounds like heavy boots walking on worn in floor boards. When this ends you hit with a heavy blast of textured harsh noise that stays mostly in white noise realm with some quick jabs of bass thrown in the mix and glitched out computer data type sounds. This is one of the longer tracks on this side and it’s recorded well and pulled off nicely. The next cut is more of an industrial drone type piece. Thick bass lays the ground for more filtered white noise layers and heavy analog synth drones. Towards the end mic feedback worms its way in giving the impression of contact mics being used somehow and giving it a nasty industrial edge. The next track consists of a squiggly electronic loop and highly manipulated vocal drones. The final piece is only a few seconds long consisting of ground hum and that high pitched sound you get maxing out the levels on 4-track. Nice.

Side B consists of the single track “Reification”, which starts out with some gritty bass tones and concrete scraping mixed with field recordings of screams and a man talking. In a way this brings to mind some of Le Syndicate’s early work and it’s probably not surprising that a Belgian group would take some influence from them as well the Club Moral roster which also comes to mind. Things progress slowly creating a thick surreal atmosphere where tape manipulations meld with lo-fi electronics and a very urban sound emerges, walking down crumbling decayed streets, lamp posts illuminate shadowy figures on the corner, people screaming from the window of a house in the distance. About mid-way through the track an immense drone starts to build while the cut-ups fade out, leaving layers of tape hiss shifting about, car doors slam in a rhythmic matter. Slowly the harsh drones begin to take over with layers of harsh mid-range shifting and looping in a most pleasing matter until suddenly it stops, you regroup, and the play button pops up off the deck.

All in all a great evolution from a duo that already had a lot going on. I think the obvious effort to pull things together a bit, or maybe just getting more comfortable improvising together, really pays off with a tape that brings some real storytelling and emotion along with the wealth of harsh noise and gritty cut-ups. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Composition: 3.5 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3.5 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3 out of 5 stars Concept: 3 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Categories: Noise Reviews

FURROW "A Field"(Bleeding Gold Records)

Cassette Gods Reviews - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 13:04

Furrow is like coffee; if you're trying it for the first time it may take a few times for you to warm up to its flavor. at first it may seem bland and its benefits not immediate.

Furrow intrigued me at first, but after a few rotations in the reels, I'm won over by this post hardcore two piece for their ability to converge the eighties cheese of chorus pedal reverberated glory with the driving four-four time signature drums similar to the JAPAN bands - Japanther and Japandroids.

Furrow is also like coffee because they are a band that come in many different flavors. Some of their songs even dive into chillwave territory momentarily until they say "aw fuck it" and bring in the get your butt moving/dancing tom tom drum beats of the best DIY basement show of your young life.

This is music that I personally have a soft spot in my heart for due to its earnestness. It is music purposely warmer than anything on the radio. Its drum hi-hats feel like they are right here in the room with me.

Buy it here -

--Jack Turnbull
Categories: Noise Reviews

Iron Forest – Body Horror CD

Existence Establishment - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 19:59


Iron Forest – Body Horror CD

Crucial Blast

Iron Forest returns for the project’s last full length with Body Horror. Once again presenting his brand of doomstep to the masses. Immediately eye catching is the artwork which is a collage of various pornographic source material but abstracted so as to portray a mass of horrific creature-like images.

Kicking off the album is Pathogenesis which is probably the track on Body Horror that stands apart from the others the most. It’s a slower affair and features a picked guitar as the base for the meandering melodic attributes. I really enjoy this track but I find it’s choice as an opener to be rather odd. Seems like as the slower and more atmospheric song it should be closing the album.

After that we are back to Iron Forest’s brand of bastardized electronica. Odd beats, interesting sounds, and tortured samples combine to form a journey into the weird. Guitar makes an appearance from time to time but overall the sound is stuttering and angular and has just as much to do with DJ Spooky as it does with Skinny Puppy.

Once again Iron Forest achieves success with Body Horror which is an original and creative work that is a pleasure to experience. It’s awkward and creepy but in a more lighthearted mood than a lot of pure abstract industrial you will find. Interesting work and one for those who enjoy electronica with a touch of freakdom.

Composition: 3.5 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3.5 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3.5 out of 5 stars Concept: 3.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 4 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars
Categories: Noise Reviews

THEE GOOCHI BOIZ "Fast Food for the Teenage Soul"(Burger Records)

Cassette Gods Reviews - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 15:32

Thee Goochi Boiz is the side/solo project of Francis Carr, more notably known as the (often)lead guitarist of Happy Jawbone Family Band and writer of such hits as “Don’t Play Ding Dong Ditch With My Heart” and “Junk Pop”. This is the second album from Thee Goochi Boiz.

“Fast Food for the Teenage Soul” delivers exactly what it promises,. However, it does carry the one stipulation that the aforementioned teenager got heavy into mixing Ritalin and Nitrous while working at the local Sunglass Hut, stunting their brain development so while they may be somewhere in the their early 20s and their thoughts have become more complex, they still pine over the girl who rejected them as a prom date while publicly and eagerly bragging about having gone to see a Kevin Smith movie instead. This album succinctly expresses that dire, soul-deep need for ‘Fast Food’ for purposes of nostalgia, instant gratification, ignorance of nutrition and anything good in the world, and because they still work at Sunglass Hut.

To say that this album fits squarely between just about every cross-section of punk rock history would be an understatement. This is no rectangle, it’s a DODECAHEDRON! Within the confines of these seventeen and a half minutes, you’ll find everything one could hope for in a Punk cassette, including a 56-second ditty about Vietnam and a disappearing/reappearing British accent. Side A (the better of the "Sides" in my opinion) features the melody driven sounds reminiscent of British groups like The Damned or The Undertones, complete with humming organ, addictively crunchy guitar licks, and well placed clapping. You’ll also get the juvenile restlessness of the Ramones or the Buzzcocks. You’ll get the amelodic chaos of The Germs or Negative Approach.

You’ll find lethargic anthems of self-loathing like “Why You Gotta Be Mean To Me” and “Everything I Do is Wrong”, (giving nods to short-form pop maestros like Robert Pollard or The Memories) alongside driving and barking tunes that seem just a few pivotal chord changes away from being Naked Raygun songs, if Naked Raygun were a better band. (NOTE: I attribute this difference to the increase in marijuana potency over the past three decades). Also, it sounds a lot like the Black Lips so definitely check it out if you’re into the Black Lips. I am.

--Travis Long
Categories: Noise Reviews

Hheva – Drenched in the Mist of Sleep C30

Existence Establishment - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 23:20


Hheva – Drenched in the Mist of Sleep C30


Hheva appears to be a relatively new project but that doesn’t mean that Drenched in the Mist of Sleep isn’t some quality material. First off, the release is beautifully packaged in leather casing tied shut with thick twine. The j-card reveals textured paper with smartly black and white images and text, a very nice DIY presentation.

Side A contains The Forest Bathes in Crimson Lead which is a beautiful floating ritual drone piece. Harmonic and peaceful yet focusing on an air of mystery this stuff reminds me of the best of artists like Steve Roach or Robert Rich. There are some more ethnic horn style sounds that come in during the second half very much recalling some tracks off of the Robert Rich & Lustmord collaboration which is a huge compliment as that is one of my favorite dark ambient albums.

Side B proves to be equally as mesmerizing with White Washed Walls and the Gentle Downward Slope which opens with a mix of flute and vocal samples that loop into oblivion. Eventually fading back in with vibrating strings reverberating into the night, the track once again builds into a repeating mantra. This probably marks the only weak spot of the release because at this point it becomes a little repetitive without changes.

Drenched in the Mist of Sleep is yet another great ritualistic release from Diazepam and marks an impressive addition to their catalog. I really dig everything about this release which is a focused and consistent effort. Great work.

Composition: 3.5 out of 5 stars Sounds: 4 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3.5 out of 5 stars Concept: 4 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
Categories: Noise Reviews

Michael Saunders / John Sandia

Cassette Gods Reviews - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:28
Ey yo, this here be some straight up freshmen college dorm room bromance ambient digital noise, FRESH. Two dudes duding it with sequencers and loopers and all sorts of improvisation!

Michael Saunders

Mac-0-maniac Michael Saunders blows out my walkman's speakers with blabbing hip hop loops and repeating fog horn fuzz bass lines. Reversing and dramatically warping in pitch, sonic borg transmissions are repeated at an unsettling rate while digital microphone feedback drivel vomits on the floor of a desolated canoe lost somewhere in the Atlantic. Gritty and not without a punk rock edge, Michael Saunders isn't afraid to get meditatively aggressive. I think the solo noise act can be very effective, however, listening to how sweet the rhythmic loops Saunders develops with his sporadic synthetic chords and microphone feedback demands the collaboration with something more melodic, analog or shifting in narrative or tone. Saunders' sonic hailstorm develops slowly but surely. However, sometimes I think Saunders is suffering from trying to do too much with too little.

John Sandia

Sandia is initially higher in pitch and breathier. The beginning melody, mixed with radio transmission feedback, sounds like a flute. It's eventually completely obliterated by nonsensical analog noise. The pounding percussion provided is infantile and random. Suddenly some type of electric guitar is present and we're inside the temperament of some one psychologically bleeding. That abandoned canoe, the one I mentioned about on side A? It's drifted into a river of lava. The elfish agents of Satan himself are now laughing at you waving pitchforks from neighboring island coasts.

But my journey into this world wears out its sonic welcome. It ceases to be transcendent once its primal backbone is heard for too long. It becomes background too quickly once it is apparent nothing new melodic will develop most likely. I applaud the low-fi, DIY philosophy of this cassette, but it could use a mixing job. What I believe is great reverberation of found sound could really be cleaned up. Each channel of sound should and could be more defined and identifiable.

The end of this cassette sounds like a guy taking out the trash and some alley cat meowing. Literally. So final verdict: These guys are cool but they shouldn't quit their day jobs yet.

Check it out:

--Jack Turnbull
Categories: Noise Reviews

Glass Coffin/Harassor—Split lp

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:41
Glass Coffin/HarassorSplit lpUniversal Consciousness/Husk Records

Yes! I love Glass Coffin and I love Harassor and I guess someone figured that out because they obviously made this record for me. Glass Coffin does that amazing naive-bedroom Black Metal thing that totally works for me. I gotta say that this is also incredibly catchy. You will find yourself singing the chorus for the first song while you do dishes at least every night for a week. Harassor does this blackened punk/thrash thing that somehow sounds like music stopped after Bathory and has now progressed to this. It's modern and relevant but also has this classic dark feel in both the music and production. It's real damn good.

The art is from Sir Josh Lay and it's killer. Fits perfect for the music and just makes me so damn happy. Highly recommended.
Categories: Noise Reviews

Hogra 7"

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:40
HograTrust Krusher Records

Excellent harsh noise from Hogra. It has this cool canned sound that I hear from time to time that I really enjoy. If you are a fan of HNW i assume you are familiar with Hogra's work. He has more than a few vinyl records and cassettes floating around. I like saying that word outlaid— Hogra. Hogra. Hogra…

The layout is probably cool but it's printed so dark that it feels like a mistake and is basically illegible. The vinyl though is the coolest smoke-filled clear vinyl I have ever seen. This guy is making me a fan. 
Categories: Noise Reviews

Ritual Addict —Obediently into Nowhere lp

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:38
Ritual Addict Obediently into NowhereEnemy Closer

Seattle's Ritual Addict have recently changed their name from Sane Reaction but this is the same blazing-fast politically-charged punk that made me love them live. Definitely for fans of Christ on Parade, GBH and Assück. It's got this late 80's, early 90's sound that you will love very much. Fast, screaming punk rock with a touch of grindcore. 

The packaging is also very 90's and it's awesome. I can't speak to the art on the back cover because I drew it but the whole package feels like it came out in 1992. This would have been worn out by the time I got through my senior year. I also love that the vinyl is bright transparent blue. Nothing in the layout is that color and it has that feel of the early Revelation records color vinyl spree where everything was a random color just for the hell of it. I love it. 
Categories: Noise Reviews

Earl Long—Term Two lp

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:36
Earl LongTerm TwoShan GORIL la Records

I was in a band for a short time called Andyland. It was a totally improvised project with revolving musicians that was a lot of fun but had absolutely no focus at all. In my mind we sounded like Whitehouse or Current 93 but in reality it probably sounded like a mess. At least when I played with them.  Anyhow, Earl Long reminds me a lot of that but with much better musicians. They fall into these cool grooves and the music is pretty good but it doesn't really resonate with me. It feels like it's missing something. I'm not sure what, but I almost wonder if they are too good at their instruments. Like there isn't enough experimentation happening. I may have to listen to this a few more times because there really is a cool thing happening but I am having a hard time finding it.

I really don't like the way this looks. The layout is very unattractive and the text looks like it was copied from a Christian rock cd from 1997. I just can't get over the drop shadow on everything. It's driving me crazy. 
Categories: Noise Reviews

Vomir/Hogra split 7"

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:35
Vomir/HograBlackseed Recordings and Releases

Two current greats of HNW decided to get together and make a scary little baby. Vomir's track is a little less brutal than usual but it's way more anxiety-inducing. It's a nice change although Vomir could do straight up HNW forever and I would be fine with it. The Hogra track is more over the top. It sounds like a dying radio on a sinking ship. Tragic. It's killer stuff all around.

The layout is pretty punk and sparse. It looks like a 7" released in 1993 and I kinda like it. It's not really that good but it just feels right for some reason. I think the milky clear vinyl with plain white labels helps as well. Anyway, there is only 100 of these so good luck. 
Categories: Noise Reviews

Lord Time—Black Whole at the End of the Tunnel lp

dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:34
Lord TimeBlack Whole at the End of the TunnelUniversal Consciousness

When this was a cassette only release I reviewed it and I dug it. Now that it is on vinyl I am very excited. It's still awesome but I'm hoping this is the beginning of a trend of more Universal Consciousness cassettes finding their way to vinyl. This is the second Lord Time LP but I think I am now ready for a couple Moonknight lps or the record I would have to buy almost every copy just in case it got worn out, the Mawdryn release. I think the best way to make this happen would be if you would all purchase this excellent release from Lord Time. It's so fucking black. 

It looks fantastic. My version is screen printed and spray painted and fucking awesome. Buy.
Categories: Noise Reviews


dead formats - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 20:44
Sorry for the delay. Family emergency that includes multiple surgeries, a blood transfusion and my pending financial ruin. Not kidding. How does someone as poor as my pay a $200,000.00 bill. It's a long story. I will try to get to everything as soon as I can but at this point I request that you probably shouldn't bother sending me anything until I mention otherwise. I just won't get to it for over a year at this point.
Categories: Noise Reviews


Cassette Gods Reviews - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 15:27
Look at the graphic layout and florescent color palette of this three ink silk screened cassette jacket. It's like visual catnip to the young, eccentric and decadently subversive. What right minded weirdo can say no to a confrontational Halloween orange skeleton bejeweled with hot pint rhinestones? But brace yourself, gentle reader, because the most exciting thing is that the design work isn't even the best part of this release.

Trabajo is an extremely unique melodic act who incorporates well timed synthetic bongo beats, middle eastern scales, elements of noise loops, Gamlans and the subtlest of egg shaker rhythms to make truly trippy instrumental songs. Fans of High Places, Tortoise and Brian Eno will easily be able to get behind this.

Highlights from the five song Trabajo side are Mad at Lovely and Pi Pa Lu, which both sound simultaneously like meditation sessions in a rain forest and getting bliss-ed out forever by the world's most compelling computer screen saver.

Unfortunately, the Madrugapha side B, while admirable in its daring sonic explorations, fails in comparison to the Trabajo side only because it never graduates away from disorienting noise alphabet soup. It resembles mid-career Black Dice, particularly the album of theirs "Beaches and Canyons" . There are looped falsetto moans mixed with wind instruments and what sounds like a music box being cranked at various time signatures. But unlike Beaches and Canyons, Madrugapha doesn't go anywhere. Usually I prefer music that is more loose than structured, but a song like "Purple Swamp" just doesn't really seem to materialize into anything. The freer structure in this case is only acting as an enabler to below par flute solos that sound like they're running out of ideas.

With this said, I am being rather harsh only because the Trabajo side is so considered, complex, contemporary and, let's face it, a more superior and successful release. The Madrugapha side is not without its own minor triumphs. For example, the song Rotovolquismo adds a much needed grit to this album in the form of a looping guitar. But again, the looping becomes static and tiring. I like how various ideas and influences are thrown into Madrugapha's mix, but they happen at a snail pace when compared to a Ryan Trecartin movie. It can give off a meditative vibe, but when that vibe is also kind of menacing, it equals a menacing meditative vibe, which is an oxymoron.

Madrugapha's El Planeta Nubaru is the most successful of his three songs. The song's base is a slowly revolving piano chord progression. On top of all this are whirling keyboard chords that are held out over long periods of time. Again, the song is atmospheric, but this time the mood of the song clicks in and becomes transcendent.

Overall, this is a fantastic cassette. High recommendations.

Here is Trabajo's bandcamp where you can hear his side of the story ---

--Jack Turnbull
Categories: Noise Reviews