MEDVED “Archives 2″ Cassette (PREVED TAPES , 2012)
MEDVED is Paul Haney (Rust Worship/ Obsolete Units head honcho) and Ceci Moss ( Boxlienter / YBCA etc ) and this tape is just as weird and fucked up as this project is live, as I’ve been lucky to catch them live, and even book them on a few occasions since their relocation to Oakland from NYC. MEDVED crafts sharp, manipulated loops from what I can guess are synths, voice, maybe even some strings ? And tape manipulation. MEDVED belches out well crafted minimal industrial loops, with whirling perfectly placed synth rhythms over the top of subtle yet intentional percussive rhythms. “Archives 2″ is like EARLY SPK , slowed down, chopped , and re assembled for the contemporary listener, but then goes so far and wide beyond that.
Just when you are falling into the pulse of the rhythm, everything changes and you’re propelled into a totally different riff / headspace / sonic landscape. Mangled, distorted, guitar? And drums or drum machine pulse forward a militant yet textured rhythm which puts everything else in its place and marches forward. Industrial dance loops for the damaged brain that can’t process contemporary pop rhythms- a MIND BEND. Sometimes sounding more minimal industrial and other times like a drum machine at 300 BPM about to explode, with all of it’s failing circuits amplified , MEDVED never dwells on any one rhythm / approach for too long, things are always changing for the better. Vocals play a small role, but occasionally distant, delayed, decayed howlings creep into the mix and are then slowly swallowed up by well crafted , heavy , distorted loops that are the backbone of MEDVED on this release.
MEDVED is just as weird, damaged, and awesome recorded as they are live so don’t sleep on this tape, or maybe you already did and it’s gone. I got my copy tucked away for safe keeping for ripping on a damaged , toxic rain soaked day.
Decaycast REVIEWS : GNAWED “Terminal Epoch” CD (Phage Tapes , 2013)
WOW. Just wow. From the second I pushed play on this bad boy it’s dark, spatially aware, and gripping. Terminal Epoch starts out with a slow crawling drone with subtle percussive elements and voice transmissions birthed in the background. Slowly churning, mixing and making its way toward you. The second track hits and begins oozing distorted and ancient vocals atop a reverb slam which sounds like the door of mordar being slammed with the power of one million knights. A delicate balance between total chaos and control is layed forth upon minimal attacks of a death slam, mangled electronics and strangulated howls of pain. The tension and disdain on this album grows and bleeds blood of sonic darkness with every track. As the album moves forward , so does the descent into a deep dark personal place, this doesn’t FEEL like a band, but it sounds like one. GNAWED is the sound of being alone, as a producer of oxygen, all that’s left is your body and your fluids. Tension between the different elements of synths/oscillators , voice and percussive / rhythmic elements is balanced with seasoned compositional and mixing choices. Gnawed understand restraint, and the impact and intensity that such restraint can evoke.
This album is the continuation of the moment right before you plunge off the cliff, amplified and reverberated one thousand times over. Some tracks like “Retribution” take a slower dronier approach to the compositions while others like the second track, “Taken As Scourn” take a more rhythm forward old school industrial approach. This possesses the intensity of power electronics done right, but without the monotonous feedback and excess of vocals. The recording quality is also of a particularly high caliber. Everything in the mix is audible with respect to itself, but it all gels together to create a swell mix of a dark industrial foiree into an interpersonal hell hole, with no escape. Each voice is treated with its own layer of effects but retains an overall clarity and precision which states this is NOT improvised but highly composed and thought out, a rarity these days. Synths are a steady driving force which produce the backbone of the sonic landscape, but voice and percussive elements play an equally important and dark role in the overall material of “Terminal Epoch”
TERMINAL EPOCH is a stunning effort in new American dark industrial / drone / heavy intense music ! This album surprised me around every turn and it was always a pleasant surprise , TOP NOTCH EFFORT!!! For fans of BLOODYMINDED, Tribes of Neurot, etc …
156 “A Life Lived As If In Hell” cs (OUT OF BODY RECORDS, 2013)
156 is the cut up / field recordings project of NYC Based multimedia artist Adel Souto. 156 is apparently all field recordings and no “after market” sounds, just raw field recordings, but while many field recordings composed into an album can have a “compilation” sort of feel 156 seamlessly and skillfully weaves these raw recordings into a composition that for the most part, held my attention. The sources of the sounds have a wide range but always hold a similar recording aesthetic and rhythmic tension.
The A side starts off with some metal industrial rhythms which sound like machines scraping and pounding out their input/ output input/ output with no human in site, except for the microphone. These raw, early industrial influenced recordings slowly morph into layers of distorted howls. pings and scrapes, seemingly connected to but different from the recordings which came right before it. Perhaps some of the strongest points of this tape are the moments when you’re into a totally different “track” and yet you don’t even know how, sonically, you got there, a true sign of a seasoned and practiced vet at the chopping block. The low fidelity nature of the source material of course helps it to blend together, but 156 makes some concise and interesting mixing choices which emphasize that this is, in fact, a composition rather than a bunch of unrelated recordings spliced together. What sounds like a train running through a car wash or smashing into a metal shop on loop which accelerates with pacing and intensity near the end of the first side is the highlight of this cassette for me.
The B side starts out more subtly with a slow gentle pulsing wind sound, as if a microphone was held outside a car window and turned way down in the mix, and then sole subtle disagreement emerges … On a train ? On a plane ? Underground ? We don’t really know where we are or what’s being said, but we know it’s most likely an uncomfortable conversation and then the subtle rhythmic clacking of another unknown object and what sounds like poorly played guitar, reversed, and amplified through a long distant corridor over the top gives breath to a new section of the piece. KNIVES scrape scrape scrape, a creepy and lonely pulse, slow and itching, provides a great point of tension. 156 builds up the rhythms and loops on side B but it never quite holds the compositional weight that the A side did, but still a unique listening experience overall. For fans of early E N , S P K etc ….
OUT OF BODY RECORDS
Decaycast REVIEWS : DIVINE SHELL / JUSTIN MARC LLOYD “Obscure Psychic Themes” Split c10. (Rainbow Bridge, 2012 )
Obscure Psychic Themes” starts off with two short tracks from Divine Shell, which elegantly weaves between manipulated voice, synth textures flexing tight and tense dynamics and thought out layerings and volume
and pacing automations. The listener goes on a wash of garbled vocal tracks, brainwave alteration binaural type vocal beadings. The voice goes into a head and whispers around for a while with delicate pops and low flying subtly chirping oscillators. A minimal beginning slowly builds into a harsh frenzy and then the listener is dropped back down, to a soft psychic beading fizzing tone. The tape sounds like it was hand mangled and then put back in the shell with great success and hard pause microsecond edits breathe the voice nicely, and then it fades away, as quietly and unassuming as it started. Great tension !!!!
The flip side is Justin Marc Lloyd who is back at it with his glitter bomb homebrewed electronic sandstorm of texture and fractured sounds. This piece is more sample
Based than a lot of the homemade electronics stuff I’ve heard, though there’s a lot of interesting high speed edits and stuttering mayhem going stereo crazy in the background of tape
Collage??!! Edits ? Who knows with this guy, but this mix gets more damaged and damaged by the second. Gospal instructional type tapes turn into splattering breaking racecar engines, and pop after pop after sharp scrape, the voice comes through again for a second and is washed away in a collage of murky bubbling distorted throbs of filching electronics. Sit back and enjoy a new sound, BINAURAL bleeding. Great little release, this label never really disappoints!!!
OPPONENTS “Psychosexual Spiritual” c38 (Out Of Body Records, 2013)
Opponents blends together gnarly, fucked up EBM, tranced out industrial jams through an all analog electronic signal path. The tape starts out with a hypnotic, rhythmic track supplemented with decayed beats, monotone chanting vocals. and synthesizer stabs. As the tape moves on , it progresses and subtly shifts yet, it’s more of the same dark, stabby , industrial synth bangers. The beats and vocals work in a wonderful, syncopated harmony together creating a grey wailing of synth chatter and decayed delayed heavy beats. Washed out walls of psychedelia ebb and flow in the background as the hard hitting decayed drum machine and rattling synthesizers carry the movements forward, and down into the ground of psychosis. The metronome of hell is locked in as OPPONENTS blast through a number of focused yet “experimental” industrial / EBM style harsh rhythmic tracks. This cassette has the perfect mix of primitive industrial styling and modern audio trickery creating a bleak and unique mix of harsh, yet detailed compositions. There is a definite tension within the release itself – at times it seems to want to escape itself and blast out into a full on harsh noise assault and other times falling back to early SPK area “primitive” EBM / industrial and furthermore into dark ambient sound scapes. Opponents uses an all analog signal path to generate some truly dismal, murky, yet on point electronic/industrial compositions. The rhythmic tracks stand out a bit more overall to me personally, but none of OPPONENTS music, even the stripped down ambient sections seems styled or contrived “filler”, but rather starkly intentional and dynamic, a hard mix to find in this particular genre these days where projects do “industrial” for industrial’s sake. none of that here folks. this is RAWWWW.
A great tape , HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Will be looking for anything else I can find from this project.
OUT OF BODY RECORDS
painting by Fslux / Carrie Sullivan
Decayast REVIEWS : LEVERET “Furs” cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records , 2013)
LEVERET beings with a quiet low drone, which quickly manipulates itself into a squeezing synth oscillation and then churns itself swiftly into a stop start style blast of overblown, in the red style noise assault. The droning bass sound that began the tape is a constant through this short little number. Several signals seem to mutilate each other. Obliterating the mix to a shadow of its former sonic content. This is the sound of sticking ones head out the window at 120 miles per hour while trying to close the window on ones neck . Subtle occasional yelps of voice temporarily bleed through, but are quickly and without care, mauled by the flying oscillators. The signal seems to double. Triple , and then quadruple, and then silenced. This short tape packs a lot of sonic punch for a style which normally sticks with one distorted sound and runs with it. This does that but within the one sound, there’s fifty interesting purring sub sounds which bring this tape above the average. Occasional dynamic nods might do this release some benefit, but perhaps it’s just not in the intent. Just when the sounds start to get somewhat monogamous , the palate subtly, yet swiftly changes itself and TE listener is treated with new oscillator manipulations.
Overblown, self oscillating, midrange distorted fuzz is the major sonic component to this release, and the B side is no exception. Occasional rhythmic components are detected, but they don’t last long, as the monstrous ripping distortion wall comes back with a vengeance, louder and more ornery than its twin sister every time. Subtle sharp volume jumps and slopes give the b side a little more variance, especially near the end of the second side, where all sounds give way to a slow creeping pulse , and then silence. It’s over . The perfect length for a harsh noise tape that DOESN’T seem to want to put the listener in a trance, rather a manic state of distortion.
FOREVER ESCAPING BOREDOM RECORDS (2013 )
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