Blind Date

BLIND DATE #16

Name: Aleksandar NENAD
Nationality: Serbian
On the front line: Since 2008.
Activities: DEAD BODY COLLECTION, CREATION THROUGH DESTRUCTION noise industrial / HNW projects; “Pure Nothing Worship” print magazine.

Contact: www.purenothingworship.co.nr, www.creationthroughdestruction.bandcamp.com, www.deadbodycollection.bandcamp.com

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. HEX MINORA  Predation

from “Ai” (Metamorphosi 1995) cassette

Harsh noise with a lot of static and high frequencies. Sounds like an European project from late ’80s and ’90s but I think this one is coming from mid-’90s because it has analog feeling. I guess this track is made with electronics done with pedal gear and tape manipulations. It’s recorded directly to tape so it gives a little bit harder sound. Classic noise, I have nothing more to add.

2. SMALL CRUEL PARTY  Texture And Transparency

from “Koilos” (Banned Production 2003) mCD-R

This very minimal piece of experimental noise. It starts with weird crunchy static which reminds me of ANW works by The RITA. On 5th minute harsh noise sounds is added to mix which build very unique sound approach. Sounds like some HNW / HN collaboration. On 11th minute everything disappears and all noises are replaced with quiet field recording and it’s slowly go to silence ’till end of the track.

3. EMERGE  Contrition 1

from “Contrition” (Attenuation Circuit 2011) mCD-R

Pure musique concrète track with very experimental approach. Master BRUME comes to mind. Artist mixed a lot of dark sounds in this track. Sometimes we can hear various analog noises, tape manipulation, dark drones, ghost in the machine and maybe some analog keyboard or piano. Everything is very carefully crafted in goal to crate unpleasant feeling while listening to this track. Well done!

4. Brendan MURRAY Hymn Two 

from “Wonders Never Ceasen” (Intransitive Recordings 2007) CD

3 minutes of hard hitting harsh noise. Not to much to say about this track. Sound like some brutal harsh noise of American school with. Reminds me little bit of MACRONYMOHA because sounds are obliviously made with analog gear.

5. AIN SOPH  Untitled

from “I” (Old Europa Café 1984 / 2000) CD

This is some ritual ambient with healthy dose of recording made in some room or basement. I really like those recording but repetitive keyboard note somehow ruin atmosphere. I guess this is European project from Old Europa Cafe family. Very harsh and irritating sound (I guess this comes from keyboard too) will destroy your ears nearly the end of this track. Remove terrible keyboard notes and you will get wonderful and scary track.

6. BIG CITY ORCHESTRA Kroton

from “Edge Of Destruction” (Swinging Axe Productions 1986) cassette

This is really good mix of droney dark ambient with musique concrète. Few parts reminds me of old Maeror Tri or Asianova. This is obliviously old project from Europa. I guess this is recorded during early ’90 with a using of various weird instruments, some old percussions and tape manipulations.

Blind Date #16

Advertisements

BLIND DATE #15

Name: Richard STEVENSON
Nationality: Australian
On the front line: Since 1998.
Activities: Spectrum Magazine (1998-2001) – 5 print issues released; contributing writer to various publications (2001-2006); Noise Receptor Journal: print magazine & blog (2012 – present) – 3 print issues released to date.

Contact: www.noisereceptor.wordpress.com  www.noisereceptor.bigcartel.com  www.spectrummagarchive.wordpress.com

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. HIJOKAIDAN  No Oslo No Harm

from “Polar Nights Live” (Pica Disk 2008) CD

This is a 26 minute live recording of a ‘noisecore’ type band, or a couple of ‘noise’ musicians (a duo for sure -perhaps a trio?).  The material seems to be based around abstract guitars and screamed high pitched (female?) vocals, but with no discernible riffs or song structure, the guitar distortion is pushed into overblown, chaotic, harsh noise territory.  As such the hectic strumming and/or hyper speed guitar noodlings are fed through distortion pedal treatment to in the most part create overblown, squalling noise (there may even be drums buried somewhere in there – but it is all too chaotic and overblown to tell!).  Both harsh and unrelenting, this is typically not a style I am well versed in (nor actively listen to), which means it is difficult to offer a view on its artistic merit.  Yet the extremely enthusiastic crowd noise at the end indicates it was well received at the time.  A Japanese project perhaps?

2. BRIGHTER DEATH NOW  Meat Improvement

from “Pain In Progress” (Cold Meat Industry 1988/1998) CD

Quite a ‘classic’ northern European industrial feel, where this track sounds like a precursor to what would later become the hallmarks of a death industrial style.  This would also seem to be of a late 80’s/ early 90’s era, rather than being modern and knowingly ‘regressive’ in approach.  The track is built around central pounding mid-paced programed beat, with treated sampled voices and low industrial hum creates a solidly dark atmosphere.  This would be my top pick of the 6 tracks and with early MEGAPTERA coming to mind as a comparison, I am rather intrigued to who this could be!

3. Daniel MENCHE  Furnace Fucker (Part 2)

from “Furnace Fucker” (G.R.O.S.S. 1994) cassette

A long track (in excess of 20 minutes) which presents a subdued industrial noise styled soundscape.  A clinical undercurrent to the tone is present, whilst in the most part the track is based on muffled bass and rumbling waves of sound, mixed with a general mechanical churn.  With a gradual shift in tone and sonic temperament over its length, the track pushes towards noisier realms as it progresses.  Certainly an enjoyable track and definitely of the type of material I actively listen to.  Likewise with a deliberate and controlled pacing of the material, it makes for solid and engaging listening over its length.  I also get a passing impression I may have heard this before – where the Swedish artist JARL definitely comes to mind – but also I am not certain of this (…nor am I going to cheat by digging out JARL’s albums to check).

4. HANDS TO Untitled 

from “Croatoan” (Alluvial Recordings 2001) CD-R

Another lengthy track at 27 minutes.  Very electro-acoustic and minimalist in structure, seemingly based exclusively on natural field recordings, including the rumble of a distant storm, night time sounds of crickets/ frogs and water based sounds etc.  Quite experimental yet also darkly toned in character, with the generated ‘mind’s eye’ picture revealing nature based night time vistas.  Micro-tonal textures and scratching metallic elements are also sporadically used; as are large sections of almost silence (although in these quieter moments late night ‘dead hours’ urban sounds can be detected when the volume is increased).  Given the field recording nature of this track this could perhaps be a track by Francisco LÓPEZ, although in selected ‘darker’ toned moments it brings to mind elements of NIELLERADE FALLIBILISTHORSTAR or OCHU.  Generally enjoyable but I found my mind wandering away focussed listening during various moments.

5. BIG CITY ORCHESTRA  Peek

from “eek!” (EE Tapes 1997) cassette

Well, it seems I have been given the blind date ‘endurance test’, as this is the 4th piece in excess of 20 minutes!!  Another long form minimalist composition (29 minutes), which with its distant rumble and glacial pace might be best described as ‘industrial noise/ isolationist ambient soundscapes’, not too dissimilar to the long form minimalist works of ARCHON SATANI (later solo period), INANNA and NO FESTIVAL OF LIGHT etc.  Actually this is not too dissimilar to the 3rd track reviewed above.  Overall the piece embodies a dank and muffled sound, coupled with distant thuds and general mechanised hum.  The bass addled churn increases towards the later third, including some elements of looped musical tunes being fed into the mix before abruptly cutting out again, although these elements tend to negatively jar the mood of the underlying elements.  An OK piece overall and along the lines of what I like, but also not one to make much of a lasting impression for repeated listening.

6. BRUIT TTV Dissemination (extrait)

from “Bruit TTV” (Bruit TTV 1989) cassette

Goofy improvised music is the central flavour of the final track. Loose strummed and/ or noodling guitars are coupled with junk instruments/ kids toys which are ‘played’ for general chaotic weirdness.  Basically I cannot stand this is the type of ‘experimental’ music, so I was exceedingly pleased that this track is around 2 minutes in length.  Some might question why I choose to listen to power electronics, death industrial etc., but equally I would question who would find enjoyment and merit in this?  Each to their own I guess; but as for artistic merit?  Negligible.

BLIND DATE #14

Name: Bartek CHACIŃSKI
Nationality: Polish
On the front line: Since 1993.
Activities: A valued modern music writer and popularizer, active in the Polish mainstream media (radio and press).
Contact: http://www.polifonia.blog.polityka.pl

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. MACHINEFABRIEK / Stephen VITIELLO  Chocolate Sprinkles, Tape, Egg Cutter, Rice, Plastic Bag 

from “Box Music” (12k 2008) CD

Builds just as a nicely executed composition in three parts. Beginning with a simple sine waves (or prepared instrument harmonics) paired with some delicate bells or wind chimes – quite minimalist, even meditative – then some background noises appear slowly, conducting the piece into short musique concrète interlude. Finishing with a quite harmonious more bass-driven drone. Harmonics from the first part return and noises transform their nature into more organic one. Builds some tension and – after short yet elegant and very pleasant culmination – finally melts into a kind of burble. It actually tells a story and stays adventurous at the same time. Masterfully written and full of finesse, clean idea well executed, liked it a lot.

2. AURAL HOLOGRAMS  Before The Great Stone

from “Vol. 1” (Aural Hypnox 2007) CD

Cassette recording, judging from the sound characteristics and higher frequencies being cut off. Or is it prepared as a modern lo-fi form? I doubt it and would point the 80s experimental scene as the place and the moment. Solid drone base with some layered synth/organ motifs meanders here, altogether creating something rather chaotic in nature. This distorted piece shows some improvisational skills, but is a bit too static for me, even if quite rewarding in creating a mood of unease at the same time. Also seems familiar to me, I think Jim O’Rourke’s early tapes would sound a bit similar.

3. PSYCHOPHYSICIST  s17.2 helical formations

from “Psychophysicist” (Side Effects 1996) CD

I don’t feel like being an expert in this domain, but this track seems to exploit some classic noise music techniques in an elaborated way. Analogue sound editing, some looping, with rather short samples, probably non-16bit – or expertly emulated. This piece made me wonder a lot about its authorship, but I’m unable to guess. It’s quite complex as a whole, has a multi-layered sound facture constructed upon a flanging chord with a lot of dynamics and emotion, but some performer’s gestures and rapid changes still give me the idea of this being a one-man project. And makes me want listen to some more of this material.

4. BRUME  Part 1

from “The Sun” (Old Europa Café 1990/2008) CD

Heavy tribal drumming welcomes us to a cold and distorted sound area with drums gradually building some melodic patterns. Think talking drums going industrial, which makes it somewhere in the realm of William Bennett’s music. Sounds like a devastated piece of percussion-driven minimal music which basically is a strong idea, but seems a little worked out and exhausted in the middle of  this piece. Or maybe it’s just not my cup of tea at the moment.

5. OMIT  Section Two, Part Two

from “Alienation” (Deepskin Conceptual Mindmusic 1990) cassette

Monstrous and hypnotic analogue synthesizer and tape work in the vein of classic experimental studios’ recordings, falling somewhere between bubbling of early krautrock in the vein of Conrad Schnitzler, Otto Luening’s pioneering pieces and more contemporary energy of Maurizio Bianchi. Lots of pitch changes and tape sound effects (fantastic tape echo) in the mood of late 60s. It could be even the early Jason Lescalleet or other synth/noise experimenting artists. Names are given here to classify this recording, as it’s a long, but very abstract form. Once again, I’ll only be surprised if that’s something brand new. Very interesting track anyway.

6. APHASIA  Wrhs6mx

from “Aphasia_Sr Dissections Mx” (Bake Records 1999) CD-R

All in all, it seems like a good collection for my taste in music, given that the last track is once again very nicely composed. It’s an eclectic collage of traditional/acoustic (piano in the central role of rhythm purveyor) and electronic/prepared sounds, which could be made presently by many artists from the field of experimental electronics, but the composer gesture, once again very clear and precise, seems to have more of an academic background. Returning motifs build culmination by condensing and then finally releasing into a nice ambience. This one is probably quite new, and to be honest there’s a good chance I’ve already heard it. Anyway, I feel intrigued once more and eager to know who this is.

BLIND DATE #13

Name: Andrew SEAL
Nationality: American/German
On the front line: Since 1997.
Activities: PRAYING FOR OBLIVION (1997-present); TOTE STADT (2002-2004)
Contact: http://www.freewebs.com/prayingforoblivion/home.html

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. DE FABRIEK Ruckehr
from “Trabbi – Music” (De Fabriek 1991) cassette

Distorted pop music. Blurred and obscured by a pitchshifter pedal or effects rack, I think. Looping, glitchy trip-hop feel. I have no idea who this project could be. Its pleasant in a disposable dreamlike kind of way, but not something I would listen to normally, or pursue interest in.

2. MISSING FOUNDATION Kill The Hypnotic Bastards
from “Missing Foundation” (Restless 1987) CD

Starts of with some annoying repetitive voice sample and moves quickly into some quasi doom-y sounding guitar and drums and screaming vocals……My initial impressions of this track are somewhere between old Norwegian project THE END, and Neurosis. Now a phase of the track with panning in/out vocal sample bits, and ends abruptly. Not a bad piece, if you like experimental/doom/scream-o type stuff…..

3. ATRAX MORGUE No-End Torture
from “Lesion 22” (Less Than Zero/Slaughter Productions 1996/2004) CD-R

This is more my taste in stuff. Harsh, simple rhythmic noise. Minimal and straight to the point. Basically just a drum machine some distortion and feedback. At some point this reminds me of some of the work from my good friend Daniel’s project Flutwacht, but I don’t think this is exactly his area of sound, because the production on this track is very minimal and stripped down; a simple interchange and mix between the rhythm and feedback. Nothing groundbreaking here, but not bad.

4. SIGILLUM S Incstant Of The Obsession
from “Sigillum S” (Sigillum S 1986) cassette

Track starts very minimally, a pulsating and ominous ambient atmosphere with some electronic sound like crickets outside…..About a minute in the sound is punctuated my some echoing shouts and “singing”……then vocal samples from some speech(?). I can sort of imagine this entire track being the actual audio from a movie; not the just the soundtrack itself, but the sounds of the action on screen as well. For some reason I envisioned a desert landscape in my mind,at dusk……..I wouldnt consider this dark ambient; the vocals lend some “shamanistic”, ritual tones. A bit on the long side, but a nevertheless interesting piece to imagine a visual accompaniment to……cool track.

5. JGRZINICH / Seth NEHIL The Distant Edge
from “Confluence” (Intransitive Recordings 2002) CD

Horror vacuui. Like a philharmonic tuning up in hell, or being trapped in a traffic jam on LSD; in fact I think the sound source is in fact, car horns honking through some delays etc. and I can clearly hear people talking in the mix of things, pedestrians on this particular street in hell……perhaps the local football club has just won the championship ? Car alarm sound, police whistle, more car alarm sounds, more whistles……My honest and best comparison to this type of overwhelming vortex of sound would be certain pieces from Boyd Rice/NON but I know isn’t that. Honestly no clue who the composer of this strange tape cut-up / loop track could be ?

6. 1348 Untitled
from “Crystal Night” (Korm Plastics 1988) cassette

This piece starts off very minimally, with a looping and quiet clock-like mechanical sound, giving rise to another layer of mechanical vibrations similar to listening to the motor of large machine or vehicle from the inside. Another loop, this one more rhythmic. Very hypnotic and precise mechanical sound, almost oddly danceable (?) The only comparison to other material I can give is that this piece reminds me of a quieter, denser version of the project Désaccord Majeur on the album “L’Immobile Point Vibrant”. However this has more of a vaccous and hypnotic quality to me. The loops that have build for the first 9 minutes begin to shift toward the 10th minute, and we are left with a minimal scraping beat that abruptly ends……part 2 ? Well, this track kept my attention and interest for the first half, but now is back with a very minimal percussive loop sounding like a wood block and scraping metal. Primitive rhythm. “Part 3” begins around the 15th minute. Elements from the previous two segments are present, but now with a new accompaniment of mechanical/factory ambiences. A bit on the long side to be one continuous track, dividing your listening of this piece into 3 distinct segments is necessary. While not bad in total, It tends to drag a bit, with the 1st and 3rd segments being the most interesting.

Blind Date #13

BLIND DATE #10

Name: Pentti “UMPIO” DASSUM
Nationality: Finnish
On the front line: since ca. late 80’s punk awakening
Activities: Runs NEKOREKORDS. Multi-instrumentalist, focusing on junk metal percussion, self built nonstruments and junkstruments after many years of guitar and bass in several punk rock and experimental bands. Also a self-taught sound engineering and recording enthusiast who has recorded, mixed, and/or mastered over 100 finnish underground releases, and travelled with several bands as a FOH engineer.
Contact: http://www.umpio.com

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. CONTRASTATE In Absentia
from “English Embers” (Dirter Promotions 1994/1996) CD

This is just annoying. Horrible pastel-colored major seventh chords, painfully
slow pacing, and too much bad reverb, bad flute impro and somebody
shaking their car keys for ritual bells. If this turns out to be some
legendary kvlt artist then he/she/they sure make it impossible for me to
dig it. Argh. Maybe it was more interesting for them than it is for me.

2. MASONNA Untitled
from “Mademoiselle Anne Sanglante Ou Notre Nymphomanie Aureole” (Alchemy Records 1993) CD

Well, MASONNA. Nowadays I wish it was recorded through amps in a room
to avoid the line-in hygiene, but you can only worship the crunchy
moments when it shifts and collapses and crunches like a hippo coming
through the wall. Makes me think also of that Yamatsuka EYE video from
early 90’s where he’s alone with a 58 and a pedal on stage…. Lucas
ABELA is carrying this flag amazingly, mike muncher with fx belt!!

3. CHAOS AS SHELTER Seven Steps Towards The Rainbow
from “Devil’s Brothers” (Ignis Records 2000) CD-R

I like dark ambient stuff a lot, but, as crazy as this sounds, this
has too much reverb again to my values of grumpy old man. As with some
of my own older works, I wish there was some outside ear telling
me/everyone else too to make the ambience on a compositional niveau
instead of turning up the echo fx. The “ahlams” at the end make me think
of MUSLIMGAUZE… Also a twofold blade, cos nowadays i really hate all
this intifada-melancholy (?or whatever “etno”?) element in music, but
sometimes it’s just so necessary to listen to eastern masters like Rabih
Abou-Khalil or Nusrat Fateh Ali-Khan and forget all misery created by
humanity, which is a fuckin lot. Anyway, I like my eastern mystics
separate haha.

4. INCAPACITANTS Peony Crackers Pt. 6
from “Pariah Tapes (Eternal Paralysis Part 2)” (Freak Animal Records 2006) 5 x CD

Guitar noise…. The deepest swamp. Hmm, as a one-take-recording jam
there’s a lot going on, but I would totally recommend taking this piece,
splitting it in half and layering the parts to create wilder dialog, and
make it shorter. Look man, I started with guitar myself, but nowadays
it’s uninteresting for me. Maybe sometime next decade or so, who
knows… But as a display of wierd pedals and fx this is amusing. And
much better to have it like this than the dooooomy metal riff thing. And
what’s with the wierd military episode towards the end? Also, it’s more
fun to see what’s goin on than “just” listen.

5. ILLUSION OF SAFETY Instinct
from “Inside Agitator” (Complacency 1992) CD

Ah this started so well… The dystopian electroacoustix, the
narrative, the choice of sounds, just what the doctor ordered….
Until…. the embarassing EBM/lederhosen episode starts and flushes me
back to remember why I hated “industrial” music for so long. If this
track/album was like the beginning part, then it would be awesome! I
like much more the aspect of music that helps me forget the existence of
human beings than the elements that remind me of it.

6. TAINT Gross Postmortem Mutilation (Extract)
from VA: DUST CLAIMS DUST (Hyde Recordings 1992) cassette

Xlent lofi crumble! Here the repetition/looping is not annoying at
all, cos there is so much destruction and lunacy on top of it. Howlin at
the moooon, reminds me of ETANT DONNES…. this is really tasty stuff
and easily my favorite of the bunch. Dirty and insane disco from hell!!

Blind Date #10

BLIND DATE #9

Name: Christopher SIENKO
Nationality: American
On the front line: since 1991
Activities: Associate Editor, “As Loud As Possible” magazine.
Contact: alap.usa@gmail.com

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. SHEIK HI-FI I Like To Touch
from V/A: NOVAYA SCENA (UNDERGROUND FROM UKRAINE) (What’s So Funny About 1993) CD

On first listen, with just the guitars raking, I thought, “Oh Christ…save me from ‘free rock.'” Freeform rock has a hell of a time maintaining my interest. But that’s a subject for a different date. The tom-heavy drums arrive and the guitar scraping starts to organize around the beat, it turns into a compelling, stumbling bit of songwriting. Once the French vocal arrives, I’ve pretty well signed on, and after the two vocals make an attempt to harmonize, or at least sing different parts, I’m fully invested. (I wish more rock acts [however loosely you wish to use that term] would attempt *any* form of vocal harmony, or at least dueling shrieks.) This was a surprising selection for this project. I was expecting all noise and industrial and power electronics fare. But this was good. A preemptive palette cleanser.

2. DARUIN Scum ‘N’ Database
from “Fake Professor Of Japanese Pipe” (The Locus Of Assemblage 2004) mCD-R

Wonderful composition, this one. The sounds are expertly arranged and layered. If this were an abstract painting, I’d say it has “great lines.” All the motion in this piece moves your ears toward specific focal points. It’s using a wide sound palette and, amazingly, doesn’t repeat its tricks that often, which is paradoxically harder to do when you have more sound elements rather than fewer. Because of the thick, syrupy digital delay, it doesn’t score high on the “sharp edges” register. It sounds to me like a modern, digital example of what people like RLW, Lionel Marchetti, or Christian Renou (Brume) do…it keeps one foot planted in classical musique concrete terrain, with its predetermined constructions and environmental cul de sacs, while still showing its claws like more modern noise music. It has a very specific atmosphere, which is impressive considering how much digital delay there is. Digital delay tends to make everything sound like digital delay.

3. LAUHKEAT LAMPAAT Teepii
from “Sylissäin Oot” (Qbico 2005) LP

I’m going to guess that this in nmperign. I love nmperign. I’ve seen them live at least a half-dozen times. Joel St. Germain recommended them to me as “like Runzenstirn & Gurgelstock, but with instruments,” which even after 15 years of evolution and refinement of sound still describes them pretty well. Just as R&G have honed and refined their sound, becoming more R&G than ever, so has nmperign. Both groups understand the impact of silence to contrast the brute force. The range of sounds the two have discovered in “conventional” instruments, and their ability to play against one another without stepping on the other’s good ideas is pretty mind-boggling. A performance by nmperign with Jason Lescalleet (Neon Marshmallow Fest, Chicago) was one of the five best experimental/noise performances I’ve ever seen, combining elements of AMM, Borbetomagus, and Hermann Nitsch. Dave Phillips and Neil Campbell were there too, and at the end of that 30 minutes, we all assisted each other in collecting our jaws from the floor. (There’s a video of the performance on Vimeo, but it doesn’t convey the impact of the live experience.)

4. John EVERALL / Mick HARRIS Mesmeric Enabling Device Part 1
from “Mesmeric Enabling Device” (Soleilmoon 1999) CD

This sounds to me like mid-period Crawl Unit, maybe a part from Vs. Silence or something. This does something I wish more noise/experimental music had the will to do: remain still. I mean, it does change throughout…there’s an ebb and flow, and the discrete pieces come and go and slightly different times, like planets criss-crossing in three different-sized orbits. But the piece has confidence in its minimal materials. It doesn’t introduce anything new during its long duration. It has chosen its palette, its three primary colors, and remains loyal to them the entire time. When you have confidence in your materials, and the pieces are set into motion audaciously, there’s little need to tinker. I’ve heard too many long-form pieces that, midway through, suddenly lost their nerve and felt the need to add new elements, or escalate the intensity, bringing the piece to a shattering, unnecessary climax. A piece like this, held in a focused, tight middle area of tension and (slight) release, can be so much more satisfying when done well than the usual march off the highest cliff.

5. The HAFLER TRIO Untitled
from “Fuck” (Touch 1992) CD

This sounds to me like Altar of Flies, specifically circa The Permanent Cavity. This might even be the final track from The Permanent Cavity. I’ve been on a massive Altar of Flies kick lately. It’s a project that has shown me a new way through the wilderness, tying together noise intensity/orthodoxy with more classical musique concrete techniques. I like that the track can stop to change gears in the middle while not drastically altering the mood or ruining the momentum. Subtle details are mixed farther back in the mix; it’s nice to see people who know not to foreground every single sound. Even when nearly all of the elements are pushed to the back, with just a few squeaks and ghostly voices punctuating the rhythmic BOOMs, the piece never loses its drama. Whoever this is, I was held rapt throughout.

6. Alvin LUCIER Music For Solo Performer
from “Music For Solo Performer” (Lovely Music 1982) LP

This is another style that I can’t get enough of — a piece that sounds like it was built out of several repetitive (but unrelated) sounds, giving the impression that we’re listening to the inner workings of some giant, incomprehensible machine, like Picabia’s paintings of devices that would grind themselves to death if they were ever activated. The sound of useless machines. As AMM said, “What is there in uselessness to cause you distress?” This sounds like it could have been created by an algorithm that was created to generate these endlessly asymmetric lines, a product of futurist automation rather than performers kicking out non-associative ruckus via an exacting score. It has that alchemy that’s very hard to explain to non-believers: there are no repeating patterns, it doesn’t progress, it doesn’t resolve, and it goes on for a very long time. And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Blind Date #9

BLIND DATE #8

Name: Turgut KOCER
Nationality: German
On the front line: since 1998
Activities: ambient-/drone-project WARDROBE MEMORIES; label manager vinyl-label SHHHH; label manager experiemntal tape-label VOLUNTARY WHORES; German translation help for Terre Thaemlitz’ “Soulnessless”; scolopendromorph research, collecting interesting music on physical format.
Contact: betty@voluntarywhores.de or shhhh@shhhh.eu

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. K2 / GRUNT Untitled (K2 With Grunt Contributions)
from “Gears And Shafts” (Freak Animal Records / Kinky Music Institute 1997) LP

This sounds to me like a symmetry of post-war and the interim time frame between death and afterlife. If there is any ascending to something unnatural without the necessity to morally judge on what happens after death (not the established way of thinking about heaven and hell like many other listeners would associate) this could work as a soundtrack to a twin world and travelling between two worlds. It feels like sitting in an empty room and craving for an item being located in the other room, separated by a wall and an easy accessible not locked door. if you take the door, the item disappears – hence you are thinking about a way to enter a different time frame or dimension of the strange room you desire. The most obvious way to enter a room would be going through the wall. This implies a certain way to get rid of your physical capsule and ascend to something which is not bound to meat, flesh or material. The disadvantage is too obvious: you could enter the room after your death – at least you would be able to see the item (without it disappearing after you entered the room), but still you need to be in a physical capsule to take it in your hands. Mislead and discrepancy galore.

2. TERROR AGAINST TERROR By Any Means Necessary
from “Psychological Warfare Technology Systems” (Paragoric 1992) CD

What I find the most impressive thing about commercial rhythmic industrial is the fact that it always sounds like german schlager, disco or foxtrot-music if artists don’t vomit on the production. Isn’t it funny that commercial rhythmic industrial music can only be separated from their hostile counterfeits by smell? The bassdrum thing is mean: In past I always thought that first recording of this kind of thin bassdrum was established by a guy (who obviously had a bad day), spit on the floor, recorded that spit, equalized it (hence turned on the bass) and voila: perfection of dirt! After a while the track feels like a gangster hip hop side project with a police siren coming to surface (and fast driving cars in the bronx?). But the most awkward thing about this piece of music is the fact that it’s still pussy enough to establish a kind of pseudo-groove. Maybe that’s the thing I hated most in the 80s.

3. GENETIC TRANSMISSION Untitled
from “Spójrzcie Пожалуйста, Jakie Piękne Macie Gęby” (Die Schöne Blumen Musik Werk 2002) CD-R

Maybe this is Rudolf Eb.Er, who knows? Interesting cut up stuff that only exists to make people nervous and commit suicide. I like the esthetics of committing suicide, so I deliberately listen to all those amplified farts, speech fragments, crunchy rapes and metal object manipulations in a nihilist context. Though this kind of style always felt like drum ‘n’ bass to me: Focus on production, not the black lodge in our inner self. If there is a fitness center in experimental music, these kind of cut ups would be the soundtrack to unloved muscle assholes like Arnold Schwarzenegger pretends himself to be. The first few minutes are pleasant – until a stupid march enters the acoustic abuse I really don’t like the comfy aspect – too funny. Though I would love to meet those creaming ghouls in person. By the way: The most interesting part of this piece of music is the first seconds

4. PSEUDO CODE Le Gange
fromV/A: 4 IN 1 (Grafika Airlines 1983) cassette

True ghost music – sounds very balkan peninsula-esque. I really wonder about the desperation and nihilism some people can add to emotional ambient music. This sounds to me like a masterpiece. Impossible to classify – vast and demure at least. I have never joined a satanistic ritual, but I can imagine this music could be effectively played after the ritual is over – and only the night and stars are falling down on earth. If Tyrannosaurus Rex would have ever used lipstick, I could imagine it looked like the sounds of this howling guy in delirium. I am quite sure the sweat of the artist smells like root beer.

5. CTEPHIN & GX JUPITTER – LARSEN The Shards Of Turin – The Second Coming
from “The Shards Of Turin – Second Coming” (Roil Noise 2006) mCD-R

Oh – quality noise ambient. Reminds me on a possible collab of Kevin Drumm and Daniel Menche. I know lots of noise records – and the most annoying thing about noise music is the fact that every fucking retard thinks that noise production is easy to make. That leads to a market overflooding of really shitty noise. This one is different. It seems that the artist is really capable of what effective noise means. Very rich sound, absolutely intense “suck my sould into the void” atmosphere and transitional-world-atmosphere. Probably I’d buy it.

6. NOOSFERA Black Cloud
from “Jungian Epiphanies” (Oktagon Records 2001) CD

Sounds like a cheap atmospheric hybrid of Labradford and Sophia. Overall a very interesting outcome and production, but the song quality is missing. Remember you suicide-prone gothic zombies: Committing suicide is much more exciting than a whiny singer exhaling the obvious. Death is not romantic. Well – at least the electric guitar has a cool sound. More than I could ever expect.

Blind Date #8

BLIND DATE #7

Name: Jason B. BERNARD
Nationality: British
On the front line: since 1998
Activities: inter alia: solo act SKULL:AXIS; runs the Peripheral Records / Peripheral Minimal labels and distribution.
Contact: http://www.peripheralrecords.co.uk

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL Slow Vehicle Bay
from “We Count These Prayers…” (Corpus Hermeticum ‎2001) CD

This track starts off with a clanging metallic sound that continues into a fairly constant drone, at first only punctuated with the occasional creeping echoes of icy synth, other sounds slowly seep in, a whirling ambient sound heavily reverbed alters the atmospherics, becoming more lucid, a dreamscape perhaps. Further along, more disturbing sounds filter in and the metallic scraping slowly fades, to reveal something a little more sinister, a ritual or a rite of passage. It’s a beautifully understated piece of droning ambience with obvious comparisons, but stands alone against other perpetrators of drone or dark ambient.

2. Bob OSTERTAG Getting A Head
from “Getting A Head” (ReR Megacorp ‎1980/2000) CD

What initially starts as an almost ‘Kraut-Rock’ intro., quickly becomes a surreal melange of sounds, akin to Nurse With Wound’s distinctive early free improvisations. Then the sounds become more fragmented, with speeded up and slowed down tape noises / loops, followed swiftly by bizarre and absurdist acoustic sounds that penetrate the chaos, before string scrapes and random noises finalise the proceedings. Unfortunately I find this piece to be overly long winded and it soon becomes a little tedious!

3. SMEGMA Semi-Incongruous Morass
from “Nattering Naybobs Of Negativity” (Harbinger Sound 1988/2007) CD

An all together peculiar intro., creepy animal sounds and a random selection of ‘traditional’ instruments open the track, then slowly alter and oscillate, before becoming almost cacophonous! Again it has the elements of an NWW track, an ambivalent piece of improvisation, that thankfully keeps itself to a reasonable length.

4. WILL TO LIVE Lying In Bed
from “Will To Live” (FLESH Records 1986) 12″ EP

This in my opinion has a more interestingly developed intro. Detuned shortwave radio sounds that flitter around, but ultimately don’t seem completely random, there is thought and technique involved, that reminds me of a covert cold war recording. Besides that a creepy vocal intonation is injected into the wall of sound, almost gasping sinisterly. The ‘Conet Project’ springs to mind immediately, an historic set of recordings from another era. Ultimately an accomplished piece of sound-art.

5. WINQUIST VIRTANEN Dead Last
from “Dead Last” (Soulworm Editions 2002) CD-R

The track opens with an almost inaudible drone, that even at the half-way point doesn’t develop much. Eventually a slightly more tangible sound creeps in, metallic tonal washes soon penetrate the silence and give the piece an almost transcendental atmosphere, or conversely the sound of a distant factory that reverberates across a distinctly urban landscape. Perhaps a piece of work destined to be background music, unless the volume is turned up to the maximum, possibly the best way to fully appreciate the ambience.

6. KEMIALLISET YSTÄVÄT Sata Salamaa Iskee Tulta Ja Koko Elämä Räjähtää
from “Alkuhärkä” (Fonal 2004) CD

The opening chords of this track begin with a rhythmic metallic drum sound combined with spacey analogue synth whooshing and what sounds like a distressed feline, that quickly descends into another piece of random surrealist improvisation, it has all the de-constructed hallmarks of free-jazz. Perhaps something more for the ‘art’ sound crowd.

Blind Date #7

BLIND DATE #6

Name: Phil JULIAN
Nationality: British
On the front line: since the mid 1990’s
Activities: CHEAPMACHINES, Authorised Version label, group/duo/solo improviser, sound artist, composer.
Contact: http://cmx.org.uk

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. Bruce GILBERT Ogkr
from “Ab Ovo” (Mute Records 1996) CD

Modulating drone with what sounds like improvised delay sweeps. Could be an older electronic/computer piece or someone deliberately going for a slightly primitive feel. Some nice background detail and the main drone section moves in an interesting way for the most part. Some of the adjustments seem a little ham fisted but could be a result of whatever device is being tweaked rather than anything else. Seems nicely unedited.

2. HERMIT Untitled
from “Ashes Of An Ancient Civilization” (Pulp Mill Records 1995) cassette

Bit of everything here. Found environmental news reports, raw electronic feedback, noise improv that seems to feature a sax at one point, oil drum percussion… this kind of anti-compositional tape edit sequence track is fairly difficult to do while retaining any kind of interesting “whole” but this is haphazard enough to hold up.

3. SUJOY Vulture
from “Brand New Day?” (Far From Showbiz 2007) CD-R

Overloaded filter sweeps which thankfully jump to something more interesting around 1:22 which saves it. An odd, distorted ice cream truck melody that somehow manages to be subtle and ear-rinsing at the same time. Disorientating once it gets going.

4. COLUMN ONE Bruit
from “No One” (Nefryt / 90% Wasser 2011) 3 x CD + 3 x LP

Droning strings and bowed/struck metal percussion or objects. Organum / Jackman / NWW related perhaps… nice spatial recording, lots of great detail and overtones. Slight whiff of the thighbone trumpet at the end which does little for it. Does a really good job of inhabiting the space its given (up to the “reed” section at the end) which is what good “drone” music should do.

5. PRAYING FOR OBLIVION Runefilledmind
from “Turm Schweigen” (Obscurex 2010) CD

Decent bass-heavy gritty loops that get broken down before they get too tedious… I’ve never done much with short, repeating loops as it’s a tricky one to pull off and keep interesting, plus for a while in the late 90’s when I started up it was an overused trick. This is good though. Slightly disappointing “collapse” ending perhaps considering the tracks momentum and general visceral quality. That said, “It’s big and it moves” which is pretty much all I want from music.

6. Tom RECCHION The Real Strungaphone
from “Freak Show” (Pinakotheca 1982) cassette

Echo chamber guitar(?) drones… There’s a strumming/chugging detail throughout which detracts a little and the track starts to feel slightly on the long side as a result. From a boring, technical standpoint the reverb sounds quite artificial on the whole. This played in a large, naturally reverberant space would sound fairly amazing I’d imagine. Nice detail throughout and some subtle momentum build-ups keep it interesting enough. Cold and monotonous, in a good way.

Blind Date #6

BLIND DATE #5

Name: Tommi KERÄNEN
Nationality: Finnish
On the front line: since 1999-2000
Activities: inter alia: solo act as KERÄNEN (also known as RULLA between 2005-2007); member of TESTICLE HAZARD and master of sound engineering.
Contact: http://keranen.anoema.com

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. RONGWRONG Skupiska
from “Our Dark Stars / Skupiska” (RRRecords 1994) 7” EP

Is this a catch or something? Sounds like a promo sampler with various track clips fading in and out. It is like a buffet table with bits of metal junk, drones, processed voice and whatnot. Obviously it does not maintain the atmosphere very well and neither has the disorienting collage effect. Heavy use of reverb in places is another turn off, that’s too often a cheap attempt to try to obtain some sonic depth. The muted voice near the end somehow reminded me of John Duncan but I could make a bet this is not his work. I would not buy whatever it might be promoting.

2. John DUNCAN / Zbigniew KARKOWSKI Chapel Perilous
from VA: ANCKARSTRÖM LIVE (Staalplaat 1993) CD

Looping is a hazardous business. Many times I cannot avoid losing my listening concentration and thinking autopilot music making with lazy loop piling. When the loop kicked in here, I was soon about to start yawning but the sharp cut made a drastic turn. This is also quite episodic but the sonic material and how it is used is much more engaging. I like the sterile yet organic feel of the material and subtle intensity, somehow it feels there is something important going on. The abrupt ending made me wonder if we heard the entire track, I could have listened longer. Many aspects of it made me think of The Hafler Trio.

3. HAARE Untitled
from “Doomsday Sunrise” (Cathartic Process 2011) cassette

Slow grinding grey industrial noisescapes. Classic sound and atmosphere that seems to be fairly popular these days. Monotonic rather than minimal, rather attractive primitive simplicity but 20 minutes of it was too much (or too little) even if I tend to have attraction for long tracks. Fortunately it did not have any yelling in the front, another plus. It is quite rare for me to listen to stuff like this at home, probably most often as a part of some compilation.
Not too bad but I would rather have it in 7″ length.

4. EXSANGUINATE Essorillement
from “Inhuman Treatment” (Misanthrope Studio 2002) mCD-R

Heavy drone at the beginning was promising for a moment but all too soon we end up at the tedious Mad Max nightmare zone. 20 years ago (damn, is it really that long ago?) I was really excited about CMI and all that stuff, and this reminded me about all their marketing slogans back in the day. I can tell it has taken some skill to put it together but other than that I cannot really stomach material like this. And for chrissakes turn that reverb down a bit!

5. SUDDEN INFANT Untitled
From VA: ETAT BRUIT – SWITZERLAND (Scrotum Production 1996) 5 x 7“ EP

This must be something Schimpfluch related, too many clues given right from the beginning. Fuck me if it is not. I have a very high respect and interest towards that direction, but to these ears there is much more interesting stuff coming from there. The classic gagging of course never fails and the second section here has nice strange atmosphere with probably some perv Japanese recording. I prefer the more edit-heavy material, Rudolf’s way to work on edits is so precise it is almost scary, as well as intense live documentation like the absurd and tormenting Asshole/Snail Dilemma

6. ALTAR OF FLIES Dark Tunnels Part 2
from “Permanent Cavity” (iDEAL Recordings 2010) CD

Tape manipulations, 50 Hz static and overall hands-on feel – cannot avoid thinking our fellows across the Gulf of Bothnia. It has nice organic and relaxed flow, as if observing some strange natural phenomenon taking place. Even if it gets a bit noisier in places, it has some kind of muted charm that I could think listening to it in late evenings.

Blind Date #5