It’s kind of weird that this split should bear the same name as Prurient’s seminal album. There are so many great combination of words and images to conjure out there I don’t know why in hell you would choose the exact title of an already landmark noise album. But besides this little pet peeve of mine I dig the simple packaging and delivery on this release. Shiver is familiar to me as I have reviewed them before but Hheva is a new name.
Side A contains the work of Hheva who presents some excellent ritualistic ambient. The track evolves nicely with experimental layers of found sound, manipulated chants and layered sound effects converging to form a thick smoky atmosphere. Airy drones eventually give way the tribal drumming and spacious chants. There is a lot of focus on detail and a lot of great moments and sounds to enjoy. The best thing about it is that the space of the composition goes from thick and oppressing to open and spacious.
Side B has the work of Shiver which contrasts a lot from that of Hheva’s. Where Hheva was organic and spacious, Shiver is electronic and oppressive. Where Hheva had great production and layering, Shiver is basic and lo-fi. That’s not to say the work of Shiver is bad, but it does seem pale in comparison to the excellent work that Hheva had provided to the split. Looking at the material on its own, it’s not really until about the third track that Shiver finally grabs my attention with delayed layers and subtle spoken samples.
The two contrasting styles of these artists doesn’t make for the most appropriate material to share a split tape. But they can each be appreciated in their own way. I especially enjoy the detailed ambient and atomspherics of Hheva here. An interesting release for sure.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3 out of 5 stars Concept: 1.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars
Buy and Listen HERE.
follow me on twitter: @teflonbeast
Haves & Thirds on tour now with Outmode and Craow. This is the dude who runs the awesome Tampa label Cephia's Treat. Really like his jams. The 12" uses samples from the movie Airplane, which is pretty weird. A great record. Try to find it.
17 CHAPEL HILL "savage weekend" @ the nightlight (medispa only)
18 CHAPEL HILL "savage weekend" @ the nightlight
19 ALLENTOWN @ good weekend w/ THE UNDER SIXTEENS
20 PROVIDENCE @ dungeon c w/ NOISE NOMADS
21 BOSTON @ deep thoughts jp
22 NYC @ home sweet home
23 PITTSBURGH josh rievel presents...
24 CLEVELAND @ pats in the flats
25 DETROIT @ contemporary art institute of detroit w/ WOLF EYES
26 CHICAGO @ landscrape
27 ST LOUIS @ apop w/ LARVA
28 NASHVILLE @ the mean room
29 CHATTANOOGA @ sluggos
30 ATLANTA @ wonderroot w/ FEATURELESS GHOST & ANTICIPATION
31 JACKSONVILLE @ shantytown w/ BURNT HAIR
1 TAMPA @ cyborg city w/ VORLOK
░▒▓ CRAOW ▓▒░
░▒▓ OUTMODE ▓▒░
░▒▓ HAVES&THIRDS ▓▒░
Objekt/Urian – Tonfragmente II CD
Objekt/Urian is a project that has apparently completely evaded my radar since the year 2000! Always amazing that one can find new things after this many years in the noise scene. Zone de Confusion is a sub-label of Nuit et Brouillard, the long running industrial label.
Presented in Tonfragmente II is a very clean sound of industrial/power electronics much reminding me of a mix between the groups Irikarah and Haus Arafna. Sure, they are great starting points but I’m not sure that Objekt/Urian ever truly reaches the same heights as those acts, but the sounds also differ in some unique ways which make this worth a listen for fans of either of those acts.
There’s a good variety of tracks here some which fall on the heavier side of rhythmic PE and some which play out as more experimental affairs. Among the standouts here are Useless Informations with it’s unique and light percussion somehow representing a more underlying sinister intention. Fight ends up being a rather anthemic power electronics outing almost reminding me of the sloganeering of Non’s Total War or a lesser version of a Genocide Organ track.
One thing that holds the album afloat is that most of these tracks are really enjoyable even if they’re not the standout tracks. In addition, they are all differing and have separate ideas going on. One great example of this is the closer An Appeal which is still bringing new elements to the album and ending it on a strong note with some weird combination of synth-pop and militaristic industrial.
This is a great album, very fun yet still consistent in aesthetic. The experimental aspects of the sounds really add to the release which is rare for an already experimental genre. Honestly I’m even still perplexed by Tonfragment II yet I can see this material growing on me in the future even though I already like it a lot.Composition: 4 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: 3.3 out of 5 stars
Appropriately (or inappropriately, depending on your POV) I started listening the latest batch of tapes from the Oregonian curators of all-trips synth, Field Hymns, while reading an article about the work of H.P. Lovecraft. HPL is a writer whom I know nothing about other than recognizing his name and I remember reading about how Metallica used one of his stories for inspiration on Ride the Lightning. All of this has little to do with the music actually heard on the tapes of Cremator, Black Hat, or Plvs Vltra, but the mood has been set in my listening arena.
Cremator's epic Alpha Ralpha Boulevard is perfect for where I'm at and for fans of synth arpeggios and endless sound waves drifting in/around your vibe. Field Hymns writes this tantalizing introduction to the album, "Cremator's new album title comes from a tale about a sudden, radical shift from a controlling, benevolent, and sterile society to one of individuality and danger ruled by an elite group called the Instrumentality. Now picture the soundtrack circa 1979 by Klaus Schulze and filmed by Jean Painlevé." How could anyone NOT be intrigued by this description alone? Jamming the tape is even better.
Black Hat's Covalence is a work of depth and details. Its almost difficult to enjoy on first listen because the mood it creates is intense. Half formed musical sounds fight for space amongst beats & brittle pulsing clacks, scary, but good.
Yo-Yo Blue by Plvs Vltra is the least like the other two in this trio of tapes. Collage and improvised sound explosions are the MO here. There's a lot going on sound wise on this album. J-pop snippets clash with synth chords that clash with mumbled dream speech. Sometimes the pace is frantic, while at other times I'm drifting internally, the sound of my own inner-voice replacing the music. This is a fun tape to experience.
I never did finish that Lovecraft article. After four or so paragraphs I was completely absorbed into the atmosphere put together by another solid batch of Field Hymns tapes.
Buy and Listen HERE.
follow me on twitter: @teflonbeast
Vehement Caress – Existential Squalor C30
Yet more work from Boston’s finest Vehement Caress. It’s a project that is continuing to expand his sound and styles. Where the last release reviewed here was Flawed Eternity – a drone album dabbling in powerful synth atmospheres – now Existential Squalor brings back the lo-fi noise and power electronics in full force.
Side A is really enjoyable with a handful of tracks that are quite varied. Ranging from throbbing power electronics with hateful vocal attacks to sampled speeches accompanied by noise loops and building swashes of sound.
Yet side A contrasts with side B where we are presented with one long harsh noise track running the gamut of passages from wall noise to crunchy lo-fi mastery and overdriven distortion. It’s simple and primitive, yet also effective.
The recording quality of this tape is more lo-fi than any previous Vehement Caress recording. I’m not sure that’s such a good thing as some of the impact is taken away. But it also seems to match the concept here which can be appreciated. Still good work, and I’d love to see this re-released as a CD or CDr to get the best quality for the tracks.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 2 out of 5 stars Concept: 3.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars
greemer reamer. new ears and such from the grindstone of plausable wealth and happingings, unbeknownst unto me comes a package in the mail. unsure of exactly where it was sent, it simply said something along the lines of : "this is for your enjoyment" - - having been a reader of this BLOG since its dawn, and having been a "writer" for this blog as well (long ago and in the past) i have happened upon some time on my hands in which to throw the switch of "writing" again. please make it known - I AM NO WRITER. i can barely spell, and i often times ignore all correct rules of grammer and punctuation. i also ignore "spell check" via the computer thing, unless i KNOW i am wrong, and UNDERSTAND the correct spelling. this is a game i play with myself...in order to help myself out. but really i could give a horses shoe less, as yall know what i am trying to convey i am sure. SO - having more time on my hands a bit, and plugging a tape deck into my "office" as opposed to the "real stereo" - it has given me time to contemplate and listen, and enjoy, and wax and wain on alot of paulsey and fluid and murk and grime and hiss and tape-jux jux that i have been missing out on, and also DYING to catch up on, and so i fell myself forwards...
like i said, this cassette happened in my mailbox, and instead of giving glowing reviews only to things i deem exceptionally great - i will do my best to review whatever is put in front of me. that being said, if it is something that is utterly NOT my bag, i WILL pass it on - pass it on to friends and family that i hope do understand and enjoy said product. OH HAVE I FORGOT INTRODUCTIONS?? my name is christopher fischer, and have long enjoyed the format. brevity. i will also at this time PLUG my own blog of which, in my stupor and half-handed-free-time-ness have started...its called : SPROKET JERKY : this mind you, i think veers from the path of this here blog...by my meaning : it will focus not only on NEW and ABOUT THE TOWN cassettes of NOW : but also will include writings from deemed professionals of the HERE-GONE BY cassette culture boom of 1980s up. or so i hope. so forget the plug. this is not the forum.
what i have been meaning to discuss is this here tape sent to me by : FROM KETTLES TO CLOAKS.
a professionally dubbed affair, but yet seemingly limited to only a scant 35 (!?)
i have had a taxing day. my gal went all the way out to the harbor of maryland for a few days, and i have been stuck (!) sitting alone. truth be told i have been hard at work, doing what it is it is it is it is. and while i was doing what it is, i have been playing countless times : this here cassette, and pondering.
just yesterday i went to a neighborhood yard sale. about 100 plus homes opened their garages and front doors, willing to sell knives/forks/coasters/magnets and the like for 50 cents. more bric-a-brac than you can imagine. as well as old tape players, vcrs, long-forgotten steroe equiptment : all for pennies on the dollar.
its my consensus : for those interested to look into this sort of thing. buy a cassette deck, and plug it into your computer speakers with a co-ax or whatever the hell. there is a multi-tude of grand music being created out there on long forgotten formats which are worth your looking into, and this here is one such item.
a very sleepy dream is conveyed on the first side - the personnel / instrumentation is quite attractive : various brass / guitars / drums / violin & reeds : delving from a hazy theme that makes me belive in vampires to a forgotten thought. slow and dare i say it : semi sexy acoustic banter plows the field leaving nothing but the distant horn out in the pasture. this all culminates over and over after such themes into a repetitive destruction of strings and things. only to bring the harsh light of morning to the forefront, like blurrrrry eyes void of crust.
everything outs and abouts all over the place on this thing. free form sonics that keep it together, and never quite verge (except once or twice) from the steady and cohesive rhythms that bind them. at times reminds me of a lonely milkshake maker...the sweat on the outside of cold steel, or, maybe, like falling upwards...
regardless, of what i say or what i think, its worth scouting out - if i only knew how...like i said, there is no contact info on the cassette, and i recycled the envelope. oh poo. i should have been better on my first post here.
Epaulettes – An Exhortation in Martyrdom C30
Epaulettes is an artist hailing from Boston who works with a variety of synthesizers and effects to create heavy industrial-influenced drone. The artwork here is quite understated with merely an abstract shadowy image, perhaps of the artist himself as the cover. It fits the disembodied death drone well, and reflects the minimalist aesthetic.
Side A works very well with it’s early onslaught of very airy industrial ambience. Whispery frequencies coupled with heavy tones eventually build up to an intense powerful synth throb. Then the synth throb is further built upon adding subtle harmonies to the mix.
Side B kicks off with a much noisier layer of distorted synths and sub bass interruptions. The track continues with a kind of unearthly energy propelling it and adding eq’ed distortion, alternating high-pitched tones all the while portraying a frantic atmosphere. The devil is in the details here and there is a lot of very subtle but interesting twists in these compositions.
The work of Epaulettes very much reminds me of the work of Reviver but perhaps a touch more layered. These tracks are thick squalls of darkened sound that suffocate until there is absolutely no air left to breath. Excellent work.Composition: 4 out of 5 stars Sounds: 4 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 4 out of 5 stars Concept: 3.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
Vehement Caress – Flawed Eternity C40
Vehement Caress is Lex Russo, an understated dark electronics project from Boston MA. He also runs the low key tape label Apicult Recordings on which this cassette is released. In the past I have enjoyed Vehement Caress’ output which usually is heavy squalls of harsh electronics ranging from throbbing industrial to seething power electronics.
Flawed Eternity is a different beast though. Embracing more of an aggressive ambience sound here Russo explores the depths of synthesis and atmosphere, a tact much different from his previous output. Although the release explores a variety of textures there is similarity in the sounds here and they seem to match the high contrast black & white artwork well. There is a raw edge to the recording which seems to prevent the sound from ever becoming too complex so the morphing of the basic layers is more apparent.
There are moments here that stick out like the abrupt yet highly emotional ending to Rupture 1 and Rupture 2 which make exceptional bookends to the album. The tracks do embrace a kind of stasis yet also show a fair amount of evolution, just slowly and stretched out over time.
So it is that Vehement Caress has changed his tone for this one and created an album that will appeal more to the drone heads then the harsh freaks. Recommended for those who enjoy their sounds culled from synthesizers and presented on raw tape.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 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 out of 5 stars
I'm assisting (one might say curating) with the production of a new podcast dedicated to funny, novelty, and just plain weird/humorous music on tape (mostly). Starting now there will be an ongoing open call for musicians/performers to submit songs and/or humorous recordings. We're not necessarily into stuff that people already know. The idea is that the audio is "new." We're giving ourselves until the end of May to collect sounds for the debut episode. The amount of interest will determine if this project gets off the ground. SEND SEND SEND.
Send all submissions to teflonbeast at gmail dot com with "Podcast" in the subject line.
DatashockLive Love Data $Eiderdown Records
Lovely. Deep, lush swells with minimal percussion and vocals become a psychedelic symphony. Listening to this is like watching Holy Mountain for the first time. Super wild. Reminds me of Circle quiet a bit and probably for a good reason. Eiderdown is one of those labels where you pretty much need to buy everything they do as you will not be disappointed. Beautiful cover and handwritten text by Max Clotfelter which is worth purchasing this cassette alone. Hand screened by Andrew Crawshaw at Broken Press (the only printer you need to know) and professionally duplicated. It's pretty great.
Marcus Rubio"h_h"Already Dead Tapes
This is a real pleasure to hear. I mean it. This makes me feel great and totally happy. This is beautiful looping music in the style of maybe Megabats, Fuck Buttons or Emeralds. I would actually say a super minimal Emeralds with tons of patience. Yeah. Whatever it is it's like falling asleep in a perfect stream on a perfect day wrapped up in a perfect life. The overall design is nice. I am not a huge fan of these mini cereal boxes that tapes fit in (I know that's not what they are) but it doesn't really bother me too much. I highly recommend hearing this. I should also mention that when I stopped this tape my three year old daughter protested until I played it again. I think I am going to be as familiar with this album as I am with the Wiggles "Bow Wow".
Spettro FamilyRio LapisBlack Horizons
We are all very lucky that labels like Black Horizons continue to release excellent work like this. Labels become an extension of the label owner's taste. In this case James Livingston and specifically in this case you are in good hands. This is some very out there music. It feels a little 70's–80's in it's experimental vibe and that is awesome. A little Coil, a little Tangerine Dream, a little Brian Eno and a touch of Faust. Maybe… It's hard for me to say but it's pretty amazing all around. The look is dark. Dark, dark, dark, dark, dark. Literally. There is almost no light reflected from this. It's super low contrast blacks and grays printed on vellum that when layered becomes almost entirely black. The case is dark red so that basically means you get this evil looking red case full of wonder. Dark, dark wonder.
RavenAtomic GardenCentipede Farm
The first thing my daughter said when I put this on is "Daddy, you're hurting my ears." So I feel like a bad parent but that also means this is a pretty killer bit of noise. I have heard a bit of Raven's work and it's always pretty sweet. Fans of Birchville Cat Motel with his piercing highs and grinding mid range noises will be very pleased. It's not a bad cover. Looks like a 12" from the 1970's converted to fit on a cassette. I can dig it. The inside doesn't really have anything to do with the outside though. THe font choices are pretty poor in that regard. Not horrible but not without it's flaws.
Jaguar Crystal Palace – There is Going to Be a Change of Power C60
I have to admit it is not until this moment that I realized Dumpsterscore Home Recordings has a recycled tape series. I am very pleased about this – even more esoteric sounds to explore! Jaguar Crystal Palace has very little information about them available anywhere on the net and even after a quick search I couldn’t find any info about this release on the label’s website even.
JCP present a curious amalgamation of sounds. Meandering (yes, wanky even) bell sounds layered over what sounds like a field recording of a city or small town. Add to that an equally wanky accordion, or harmonica? Maybe a recorder in there as well? I can’t really tell. It goes on, it continues… how long have I been listening to this?
At times the instrumentation is joined by odd voices, speaking, or chanting? Like the ghost of an AM radio it haunts the landscape here which is riddled with police sirens and train whistles. It’s all very raw and exposed. There is a type of “evolution” which increases over the course of the track where the playing gets more hectic and more active. By this time though it is actually increasing the level of irritation. The bells are especially annoying.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the recording is that it reminds me of a documentary recording of folk music or something. Sadly as far as music goes this falls flat on it’s face. I’m guessing these guys fall into the genre of “free improvisors” but they need to know when to call it quits. It’s too bad because there are some good moments here that at times almost redeem things but they just can’t seem to pull it off. Honestly I couldn’t even get through this whole thing but after a bit of fast forwarding I just gave up.Composition: 1.5 out of 5 stars Sounds: 2 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: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Quite simply, the best tape I've heard in a long long while. At times, I felt like I was listening to some old school Morton Subotnick shit. These jams are heads and tails above all but a very few "noise, synth or whatever" artists hitting it today. You must have this in your life. Made by two dudes from Kent, Ohio with clarinet, trumpet and 'tronics. See them them this saturday in the 10:15pm slot at Savage Weekend in Chapel Hill, NC. You'll die!
Bremmy by Moth Cock
trumpet blasts (gone in a blink)
snow, beep, muffled screams
tap them bones
Buy and Listen HERE.
follow me on twitter: @teflonbeast
White Water Orgasm – When Was I Ever Wrong CD
I am unfamiliar with this project and upon setting my eyes on this release I had no idea what the expect. The artwork recalls more of a hallmark card than a power electronics release but this seems to be the general aesthetic of the artist.
What we are presented with is about an hour of blistering power electronics. The tracks are formulaic with basically one layer of either noise or meandering harmonies and vocals plastered on top. Although none of it is bad, all the tracks tend to sound similar with the only contrast being that some are more harmonious while others are more of a pure noise background.
The lack of layering here is what really rubs me the wrong way. Often times the sounds will only consist of one distorted synth, or one layer of distortion with vocals. Although it’s mastered to be loud and full the songs still sound quite empty.
Things come to a head in Memories Destroyed where blistering walls of distortion leads to wall noise for about the first half of this 36 minute track. At the 18 minute mark the wall of noise is predictably joined by yet more disembodied harmony tones. If this was perhaps the first time he was presenting a juxtaposition like this I might enjoy it, but it follows the same suit of the entire album before it so it loses its effectiveness.
This material is just very mediocre. It’s thought out to a certain extent but never manages to rise even above itself. If I were to give an edge to any of the tracks it would be both the opener Fountain of Fox and the aforementioned mammoth closing track. I feel the artist has potential but seems to be squandering it by being “safe” within the confines of the genre.Composition: 2.5 out of 5 stars Sounds: 2 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3.5 out of 5 stars Concept: 3 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars
Now in its eighth iteration, the Milwaukee Noise Fest returns with a facelift, promising to be bigger, better and noisier than ever. From August 22nd to the 24th, FTAM productions will fill the Miramar theatre with twenty four of North America’s absolute best in controlled (and uncontrolled) dissonance and sound wave hijacking.
While the festival continues to focus on local musicians playing host to twelve of the city’s best noise artists, this year will include an expanded roster of international musicians. Creative commons crusaders and plunderphonics masterminds Negativland – best known for taking down the rock establishment U2 in a court of law – will act as this years headliners performing their recent work “Booper Symphony.” On the international front, militant wall pioneer The Rita will be flying in from Victoria, BC and lo-fi harsh head Wapstan hails from Montreal. California’s The Haters will be bringing 30 years of performance art experience and Chicago’s Frank Rosaly brings his free-jazz virtuosity to the stage, performing pieces for percussion and electronics.
When Peter J Woods decided to book the first Milwaukee Noise Festival he had been setting up hardcore/punk/rock shows for about 2 years and had just started getting into noise. He had played a few shows, but kept feeling like the noise stuff he was doing wasn’t working out with the other bands he was playing with, so he decided to just get everyone he knew who made noise and put them on one show. They had enough for two days, so he split it in two and called it a festival. Woods had an outlook like “really, I just wanted to play a cool show and see my friends who were doing cool stuff”.Bloodyminded @ MNF 2007
The first festival went amazingly. A whole fifty people showed up both days, and as that was the capacity for the venue, it sold out. Up until that point, Woods had barely gotten 10 people to show up to anything he was doing, so he figured he might as well do what works. So he decided to keep the festival going as a yearly event.
When approached about the process of curation, Woods explains he first looks for artists that he admires and thinks are doing amazing things. Secondly, he looks for a wide range of artists. There is also an aim for a solid amount of Milwaukee representation each year, as the festival is really to promote noise in the city and a good local scene is the most important thing to have. So Woods comes up with a wish list of everyone he wants to play, then just starts asking. In years past, Woods has strictly enforced a “no repeats” rule for those coming from out of town, but with the festival changing that rule has been abandoned.
Getting to hang out with great artists for three days is a great aspect of the festival, but Woods claims the best is finding new people to welcome into the sordid noise family. So many people he’s never seen before come out of curiosity, then get hooked and keep showing up and start performing and then become really awesome noise artists themselves. Woods observes that a lot of the “newer” noise dudes in Milwaukee have followed that path.Reptile Worship @ MNF 2009
Woods claims that the most inspiring sets are the ones by local musicians who show up and just blow everyone out of the water after taking their time to develop their sound. A perfect example is Nummy from the 2011 festival. After years of playing around with simpler performance pieces to mixed media, she came in with her frying pan set where she just dropped water into a hot frying pan. Sounds simple enough, but the range of sound she managed to create was awe inspiring. Easily the best performance that Milwaukee experienced that year.
The festival has a tendency to generate a feeling of camaraderie amongst those that make it the whole way through, and that feeling is pushed by an expectation of weird things happening which tends to be fulfilled. Woods enumerates that his favorite crowd moment was to be on the floor pit during the Slow Owls set of 2009: “Just a huge mass of sweaty people rolling around in a pile. Exactly what a noise audience should be.”
Yet, organizing such a festival – as low-key as it may be – has it’s challenges. People not communicating. So many times Woods has had performers drop problems on him days before the fest starts and there’s barely time to recover. Combine that with the marathon of trying to run a 10 act show on time for three nights in a row and Woods – as the curator/organizer – is a massive ball of stress by the time saturday night rolls around every year. He often tells people that running the festival isn’t fun, and it really isn’t. Its stressful, hard work, but Woods declares its always worth it in the end.Instinct Control @ MNF 2010
When asked if the city provides support for the festivals all Woods has to say is “Most people ignore us, but we have gotten a really nice amount of press over the past 8 years. The curious come, the oblivious stay home, it works out pretty well.”
Although the festival has endured years of excellent success, this year promises to be different. First, the festival is moving to a much larger space. Woods loves the Borg Ward to death and will do shows there for the rest of his and/or its life, but with the acts that are coming in more room was needed. Speaking of acts, they’re going all out to bring in some heavy hitters. Negativland, The Haters, The Rita, Pedestrian Deposit, Steel Hook Prosthesis and Frank Rosaly are some of the absolute best active noise acts in the US and having them in Milwaukee all performing in three days is going to be incredible. Also (dis)organized is a pre-show clusterfuck where anyone who is coming in from out of town (or in town that couldn’t fit on the fest) are performing at the Borg the Wednesday before and two film screenings will be taking place. So it’s going to be way bigger. After what seemed like 7 years of setting up the same fest, the new set up should be a nice change of pace.
This begs the question of how can the festival possibly be evolved in the future? Woods admits that the future is decidedly unknown. He is really putting himself out there financially to make the festival happen, so he is working on making sure the process is sustainable. It depends on how this year goes, he states. “If it goes well, it’ll stay on a similar path of bigger venues and bigger artists. If not, it’ll probably be the last year.” Woods doesn’t want to go back to the old format and if the changes don’t work out then he’ll pack it up. But for now he’s staying positive: “I’ve got a good feeling that this thing will blow everyone – myself included – out of the water.” The past 7 years have been incredible and this year should be no different.
Whatever the future holds, one thing can be for certain. Even the most jaded noise fan will appreciate the varied presentation of chaotic, ear splitting feedback, to the controlled ambient drones and hi-tech electronic wizardry, to the found-sound masterworks all of which will be found at the Milwaukee Noise Fest. They strive to expose every corner of the vast array of noise artists working within the musical underground. An incredible experience for newbies, as well as the most experienced avant-garde music lover. Just remember: bring earplugs.
Peter J Woods is a noise artist based out of Milwaukee and is the man formerly known as Raperies (Like Draperies) and now operating as Peter J Woods. He currently books shows at The Borg Ward and is the main entity behind FTAM.
V/A – Death Season II CDr
Death Season II is a well rounded compilation representing a good variety of artists and sounds. It’s curated with care and has a flowing stream of tracks which seems to make sense and lets the artists sounds unfold with effectiveness. Although there’s maybe some part of me that feels that half of these artists are one-shot wonders they all manage to churn out some decent material which is rather unexpected for a compilation of lesser known artists like this.
As far as this review goes, I see this as a perfect opportunity for yet another installment of compilation awards!
1. Best Track
I gotta give this one to Normal Police – Tazed and Confused. It’s the opener for a reason. The track features a great mix of throbbing industrial sounds with noise undertones. Of course on it’s way out are some interesting synth textures as well which shows there’s even more going on under the surface.
2. Most Creative
Cory Schumacher’s It Never Goes Away for the excellent pitch-shifted vocal effects. The spastic shifting of tones and ferocity expressed add to the mayhem and with the unpredictable structure here just leads to some really interesting sounds and ideas.
3. The Composer
Loud Silence swoops in and steals the prey with Eels for Those Who Squeal. The evolution is just fantastic and leads to some really dynamic harsh noise attacks with excellent production. It’s an odd amalgamation of styles too because it starts off with more clean sounds and ends in with a filthy affair.
4. The Mood Setter
Dementia and Hope Trails brings the ambience to this compilation which is actually few and far between. But Residual Misery, Cosmos Help Me is a cry to the unknown for some kind of redemption either through euthanasia or deliverance.
5. Best Track Title
Yet another award going to Normal Police with their hilariously named Tazed and Confused. It falls in line with their project name, the sounds used in the track, and clearly has some satirical fun with mainstream pop-culture. They get the trifecta on this one.
6. Worst Track Title
I’ve got to hand this one to Kevin Brodenheimer’s Another Douche Bag With a Twitter Account. Maybe the track should have been titled “Another Douche Bag With a Distortion Pedal” instead? Let’s leave internet trolling off of noise compilations please.
7. The Improvisor
Not always necessarily a good award. The improvisor is often the wanker as well. I think there is a touch of both good and bad in Distant Train’s Cavernous Chamber of Churning Acids which features some nice layering in the first part of the track but devolves into circuit bent wankery by the time it wraps up.
I really can’t say that there are any strait up bad tracks here. I enjoyed aspects of each and every one and they all collide to create a good compilation. I was unfamiliar with about half of the artists here but they all seem to bring solid material to the release. As well as being effectively put together by the label this fits the story of a successful noise compilation. Nice work.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: 3.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars