Avery McKenzie – Flesheaters (digital release review)

Avery McKenzie is an electronic artist – but a musical one… not a noise one. Everyone knows by now that I don’t care about noise. I lost interest 500 “bands” into it and everyone’s stuff starts to sound like static. I have soft spots for certain pioneers of the genre and for artists who come from a more musical bent with their noise instead of “wow this is harsh.”

“Flesh Eaters” is not harsh. It’s a nice listen for meditating and relaxing but when you listen you may think I am completely insane by saying this relaxes me.

Track 1: Sunrise. This actually does sound like a sunrise. Nothing to say except this is the sun rising. Have you ever watched it rise? Go out in the woods and watch it. Then come home and listen to this with the memory of watching your mind. I’ve seen so many that this track is pretty perfect for me.

Track 2: Catching the Green Butterfly. Is the title a reference to absinthe? It comes off as a demented Turbografx-16 game soundtrack. Something like Alien Crush if the demons in Devil’s Crush programmed Alien Crush. I don’t get why Avery isn’t currently making music for games. He should be getting paid to do it.

Track 3: Back to the Mundane. Holy shit this thing takes a turn right at the beginning. My mind has a tough time wrapping around this kind of jittery thing. Holy fuck! Ok this is if your arcade machine was broken, in a room with a bunch of other machines that were turned on with volumes on 10. I used to frequent the arcade when I was in the city and this is what it sounded like. It’s the one that’s broken, but louder than the ones next to it, but in the background, you still hear that god damn loud Congo Bongo and Mr. Do music trying to make it’s way to your ear before Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back does.

Track 4: Birth Death Cycle. And it begins, what Avery is best at, taking simple little melodies that are really nice and perverting the living fuck out of them. What the Hell, Avery? It’s fucking Pac-Man! I swear he’s in this song. Perverted noises that aren’t noises. Reflects the pain of birth, life, and death with the screaming and assorted moaning in the background. Pretty sure that’s what he’s going for here.

Track 5: Magic. A song that should be on a video game now, especially one of those retro style racing video games people make now. I love the robotic voice in here. Why isn’t this guy making money doing music for video games? What I really love about this song is it reminds me of a faster, in the same style of, electro fantasy fuck tune like the main theme of “Tomie.” Kind of disarming but not.

Track 6: Wheel Of Time. Nintendo music from a Puzzle RPG like Lolo III. Only done with an off-putting twist like maybe Avery snorted a bunch of coke before making this one. I get visions of Lolo and Yoshi trying to have sex, but they can’t figure out how to. 10/10 for the wrestling game style breakdown midway through it.

Track 7: Climbing the Great Mountain. This song reminds me of Avery’s older works like Roadkill Sodomizer. It’s insane really. Some people may hear it and say “Yeah electronic bullshit whatever” but the cultured ear (as mine truly are) can hear the murder. This is, what I can surmise at least, a song about a human being climbing that great mountain to murder/suicide. Bear with me on that one, but have a listen. It’s an homage to how much shit you’d have to put yourself through – you, the normal person – to actually pull something that disgusting off. It builds up to the “Oh, just relax” but then is like no fuck you! You just fucked up!

Track 8: Falling Off Said Mountain. Obviously this is the continuation of the previous track and it reflects that Avery might actually be a crazy man.

Track 9: Lobotomy. More stuff that reminds me of Roadkill Sodomizer. That’s an endorsement, in case you don’t know. What I like about this song is it clearly is an unused song from a Gauntlet style video game. It is purely Gauntlet, in fact. Avery. Get a fucking manager. Get into the video game business, you will be heralded as the next true electro master. There is no reason this shit shouldn’t be in a game right now getting royalties for you.

Track 10: Sunset. I get the distinct feeling that Avery has watched many sunrises and many sunsets, as have I. And this does indeed, sound just like a sunset. I can not put that into any better words so I should leave it at that.

In closing, 99% of electronic music – and 90% of music in general – is complete trash to me. I hate it. I think it’s fucking stupid and I hate the internet age where any tool can sit and think he or she is now an artist. Since we’re on Soundcloud, immediately after Avery’s music was finished (Sunset features some silence at the end so it was nice…) another shitty electronic noise idiot’s attempt at making “sounds” comes blaring through my speakers and I won’t mention the name but please just fuck off. Listen to Flesh Eaters if you have any sort of intelligence left in you after that 18th burrito.

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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Ryosuke Kiyasu – Continue as Though it were Flowing Water (digital promo review)

One half Sete Star Sept, Ryosuke Kiyasu and his improvisation drumming release “Continue as Though it were Flowing Water” is the second of the 3 new limited releases from the Austrian label Magnesia Nova label from Salzburg.

And when I said “improvisation drumming”, it’s just like that. The whole 43:54 playing time of this release is Ryosuke furiously drumming. It’s quite monotonous, although not totally, you can easily follow the flow. It’s japanoise/experimental, so if you are familiar with this genre(s), you know what to expect. I am just amazed at the sheer amount of energy this artist must have for doing this!

I’ve found this release quite therapeutic, but I have to tell you this…it’s nothing compared to his live performances! Watching him live brings a totally different perspective in enjoying this stuff. I won’t say anything new when I state that Japanese audio-visual art is something one never forgets.

Really, just look at some of videos from the Youtube. It might drive you away in terror, but I guess many of you will join me watching in awe.

Definitely not for everyone, but fascinating as hell.

Ryosuke Kiyasu live in Tokyo, August 23, 2015:

Streamed show from May 5th, 2021:

Thanks goes to David Pitzmann for sending the promos over to me. If you are interested in this release, get in touch with him at david.pitzmann@gmx.at . Also check his blog at: http://arbadaharba.blogspot.com/

Fallen Baby Angel

Fallen Baby Angel – drag light in the darkness (digital release review)

I’ve got a notification from the Bandcamp about Fallen Baby Angel material being just released today, and having nothing particularly important to do, I’ve decided to check it out, because, you know…why not?

So you know, Fallen Baby Angel is an experimental music project from Sweden, all music is done by a person with the abbreviation of IM and that’s none else but my friend Ivar Malm (see the interview with him here), who’s behind a few gorenoise projects, so he has the know-how how to create some interesting stuff..

If you have ever delved into the world of experimental music, you know it might be anything and everything. Therefore, obviously, I haven’t known what to expect, but my adventurous and curious spirit pushed…and wow, what a find it is!

It’s electronic-based, with some noise features, mostly nice and harmonic, but now and then getting a disharmonic vibe, for example, in “severe tunes”, which reminds me a little of my days experimenting with the sound on my old Atari 800XE. Well, obviously, good memories makes for a good experience here!

Opening “darkness infestation in the light” is a nice little welcoming tune, I am probably not wrong to guess the whole album was composed in Fruity Loops and in some moments sounds like a practice session to learn the stuff. But that’s the nature of experimental music, isn’t it? Anyway, the song is good and catchy. Can’t complain.

After the first one usually comes the second track and there’s deviation from the norm here. “androgyn brain” continues the path staked in the first track, and I must admit it sounds even better than the opener. Shit, I should have done stuff like that years ago! Lol, I guess I am not build to be a musician (therfore I am writing reviews, as the old saying goes).

As mentioned above, “severe tunes” plays around with gain and the song is built up on that disturbing gain-distorted sound. Although I have no problem with noise and distortion, after two ear-pleasing tracks this kinda stands out as a sore thumb. But maybe it was meant to be.

I’m saying that, because “philosophy without act” is again a nice noiseless minimalist track, the second longest of this album, the playing with basslines and echoes is welcome, creating a little atmosphere of tension…

…and somewhat continuing into “small depressive thoughts day in day out” with an interesting sampled snare drum sound, although it’s getting kinda repetitive now, especially with the keyboard sound.

Fallen Baby Angel

“blast of the sun a dark day” is, again, a journey into the harsher and disharmonic soundscape, and – unlike “severe tunes” – it’s more likeable, however, there’s something lacking and I just can’t pinpoint what it is…

And as Ivar hears me complaining about using the same keyboard’s sounds, “looking out in the window for melancholic stimulation” gets a little different, with the high pitched sounds evoking the image of insane Jean-Michel Jarre somewhere in the Oxygene/Equinox era.

The longest track “something is wrong” starts the way I would play piano. Yep, single note strokes, but luckily, with the layer of industrial high pitched sound under. It sounds weird and yes, it’s still simplistic and far away from any form of highly evolved power electronics (if that’s the genre Ivar is aiming for), but even in its simplicity this track is passable – which is a relief, as I am usually suspicious of longer tracks, as many of those tend to bore me to tears. This one is OK though.

Last track of the album is “paralyze program”, again, with the more distorted bassline, 80s sounds kick-drum and oscillator-like main (can I dare to call it melody?) line. But I think the album could do without it, as it basically just repeats the patterns used in the previous track and “something is wrong” could really serve as a nice finish of the album.

Final verdict? Listenable it is, experimental it is. If Fallen Baby Angel is a sign of Ivar’s departure from gorenoise stuff of his past, as a start, it’s not bad, but I am pretty sure he can build upon it to bring out something truly worthy of repeated listening.

Bandcamp: https://pencilwithoutinc.bandcamp.com/album/fallen-baby-angel-drag-light-in-the-darkness-full-album

Shitnoise Bastards / Dental Work split

Shitnoise Bastards / Dental Work – split (CDr review)

Ah, the lovely sound of noise in the morning! Guys, seriously, I have to say I’ve really missed listening to music and writing reviews for the last week or so while being busy with my (now previous) employment. But a very important lesson learned – 12 hours shifts suck (they always did) and you can’t do much with such a working schedule.

So back on a normal workday (I hope) and I am also back with my reviews! And to celebrate this, from the pile of recently acquired stuff I’ve pulled this lovely split of noise – namely Malaysian noisecore partisans Shitnoise Bastards and US noise relentless behemoth, which is Jay Watson’s Dental Work.

Released back in 2014 on a CDr limited to 20 copies (mine is copy #7), which is nothing surprising in noise circles (good to remember, if you want something, buy it straight away, otherwise you’re gonna regret it), a listener can enjoy himself with almost 20 minutes of two faces of noise.

First, Malaysian noisecore bulldozer Shitnoise Bastards bring their aural onslaught and man, do I like it! Obviously, distorted bass wins all the way, but other instruments and vokills are not behind. This is old school noisecore as it should be and considering the recording conditions, very well played and recorded! 13 songs in 8:39 and well recommended by yours truly.

The second track occupies Jay and his Dental Work, and it’s a live recording from 29/12/2011. See? I guess I was drinking then, and Jay was making music (OK, noise, sorry!)! I am f*ckin’ ashamed now! Anyway, the live sound adds to the collage of sounds and noises. Obviously, it’s a totally different thing, so you might not like as much as SNB material here, but I still consider this split well paired. The noise presented here is not of the ultra-HNW variety, so the sounds are nicely recognizable (some are sooo familiar I’d bet even I’ve managed to make those with my equipment – but, of course, not intentionally). And the ability to recognize the sounds, even without any pattern, is – in my book, at least – always a plus. Some passages are just insane (in a good way)! And not to forget, Jay is the person behind the incredible Placenta Recordings, a veritable hive of great audio stuff.

Hmm…I guess I have another favourite split here. I don’t know if you can find the copy somewhere (at least in digital format you should be able), but if you can, definitely grab it.

Shitnoise Bastards tracks are available here: https://shitnoisebastards.bandcamp.com/album/split-with-dental-work-usa

Camecrude – Enclave I (digital release review)

Did you really think we’re gonna move to something more melodic? Nah, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon (or it might, one never knows here).

Not too long ago I’ve received a digital copy of this album from Cioran Records to review and today is the day I’m gonna put my trusty Betron headphones on and let myself get surprised.

Camecrude’s is unexpectedly captivating, 6 long tracks being a mixture of darkwave, ambient and noise elements creating a strange sounding, haunting atmosphere.

Emil Cioran, the Romanian philosopher

With the spoken word starting the opening track “A l’Endarrèr çò de Maudit” we are transferred into the world of Valentin Laborde, the man behind Camecrude, and Emil Cioran, a Romanian philosopher I have never heard about, who was Valentin’s inspiration.

The first song itself starts like a beeping machine lost in the darkness, its beeping the only lead connecting the listener to the “sanity” of the world we live in…until it’s overwhelmed by the darkness itself, coming in the form of haunting melody and that beautiful vocal – but does it belong to a beautiful person or a demon from the other world? That’s the feeling and the goosebumps are the genuine response to this atmosphere which drowns in the sea of noise and beeps. Listening to this through the earphones is the experience which is hard to describe. I’d argue even a person not normally listening to stuff like this has to appreciate the atmosphere here. And the French language just fits into it. Don’t know why, as normally I am not really into the French language.

“Désarticulation du Temps” is another stage in this journey. It’s not a journey “to hell and back” as some might expect. This journey is into the nothingness, where all disappears. And this might be its soundtrack, the dissonant notes being presented with the electric drill. The heaviness here is almost unbearable, the chaos rises, catching the listeners into its claws and whispering its crazy messages into the brain of the unfortunate ones. But how can one escape something so fascinating?

“Te Dobti”, the second longest song on the album (10:25) provides enough time for the soundscapes to unravel and Laborde doesn’t waste any second. The French female choir again evokes the uneasiness and flickering images through my mind bring up the medieval Satanic rituals, the witchcraft and the hopelessness of the ages, but it’s gone almost as quickly as it’s appeared, replaced by dark, but liberating passage of sounds, creating the ambient, darkwave atmosphere…but the voice! The voice lurks behind the sounds, speaking in – for me – unintelligible language something, which only can be malevolent…the cacophony reminds me of mad soundtracks to anything Lovecraft has put into his stories, and indeed, I think he might actually appreciate this as a fitting. The incantations of those females come to the abrupt end changing to the noise introducing us to another song…

…and that song is “Mesure de la Souffrance”. Again, I don’t understand French, so I don’t know what was spoken, but I understand the music. Or the lack of it. But what is abundant, is the noise. The crude, insisting noise in the form of alarm of sorts, it’s like to let you know you’re not gonna find any consolation and rest here. And yes, it’s not gonna stop, on the contrary. The endurance of the listener is not tested by the harsh noise walls – it’s being overwhelmed by the avalanche of sounds. And that alarm!!! That alarm!!! The harshness intensifies and the end of the song is just one hell of the noise, until it’s defeated by the liberating drone humming.

The longest track on the album is “L’Ombre de Soi”, 10 minutes and 30 seconds long insane hurdy gurdy symphony with droning and female voices, again creating the unbelievable atmosphere which has to be heard to be believed. With a base firmly established, the sound layers are slowly changing and bringing more chaotic features into the play. I’m thinking about all I’ve read about going insane, about all those abstract paintings of mad geniuses…and that’s it. Laborde is either mad or genius – or maybe both, but the material he creates is simply captivating, thanks to those ambient layers evoking the (pseudo)medieval atmosphere, that twisted grandeur of broken porcelain dolls and abandoned asylums.

Strangely, this song is different. Despite it’s bleak and threatening opening, the ending, although being a harsh noise, is somewhat evoking the feeling of freedom. The light in the end of the tunnel. The way out of nothingness.

The last song of this album is “Variations sur la Mort”. Also, not the shortest one with its 9:21 of length, it’s as the unseen terror is losing its power, the grip loosens, but the madness is relentless. The harsh noise waves attack again and again, bringing with them the possessed shrieks of those unnamed victims of it, just calling you to join them in their macabre dances of death and suffering. And the insanity lasts to the very final second of the album.

If you want to hear my result – “Enclave I” is fantastic. It’s chaotic – the maelström of mixture of drone humming, noise, the vocals, the disharmonies…it’s the ritual of damnation being transmitted through the speakers. But it’s immensely captivating.

And it goes without saying this music is not for everyone. Just as philosophy is not understood by the masses, the same applies to art. And that’s coming from me – I am not claiming any superior knowledge, definitely not in the realm of philosophy.

Nevertheless, if you are into the noise, harsh noise, ambient, darkwave and experimental music as a whole, you can’t afford to pass this album over. That’s a fact.

Available here: https://cioranrecords.bandcamp.com/album/enclave-i

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