DECAYreviews: GNAWED /RXAXPXE Split Cs (Industrial Culture Records)
This arrived in the mail a few weeks ago out of the blue, I rip open the package to make sure it’s not a bomb ( it has the weight of one, not that I’ve ever picked one up, but let’s just say the whole package seemed “bombey” . Anyways a cassette tape encased in two sheets of metal bolted together, holding the cassette tight in it’s grips. (Yes, you actually had to unscrew one or two of the bots to get the cassette out, pretty unreal) It almost seemed as if the piece were fabricated for the project, either way the sterile presentation of the metal case leads the imagination wild as to the sounds that could be contained inside.
The GNAWED side opens up with dark, growling LFO scraping manipulation madness, oscillating undulating thwrawts of ripping bass, almost instantly bringing the listener down into the perspective on all things unnerving. Muddled CB radio esque style vocals emerge from the modulating squelching feecback synthesizers and a more dynamic space emerges and then it clutters into chaos, vocals and synths building up into a maddening, nauseating eclipse of chaos. A vortex in the universe starts sucking in on itself, creating broken vacuum stuttering synthesizer and vocal swells which unveil a dark sloppy underbelly of your subconscious; the rattling machines which you are slowly turning into. This is really well paced harsh industrial, but the clarity and sounds never really suffer as a result. Individual sounds blend together to thicken the chaotic sound, yet are never pushed to a point of muddying the mix, donr very well IMO, A great glimpse into the dark, chaotic harsh sonic world that is GNAWED.
Flip the tape and RXAXPXPE HITS YOU right off the bat with a bleeding, oozing, clawing harsh noise wall, layers and layers of feedback occasionally give way to high pitched squeals of what sound like a baby bird caught in a high pitched machine that needs lubrication BAD. Cluttering and clanging dark undertones modulate the wall but it remains LOUD steady and pretty unchanging, then it DROPS; giving way to a second track which is just as errie, yet has a slower and more refined pacing to it, Scratchy in the beginning and then the feedback decays into a middle-low bass drone which slowly modulates- sub oscillators help dig out your grave. The title and sounds of this all point to the soundtrack to the burial of the listener, Slow moving, relentless, and maddening. High pitched blasted distortion waves come in and out over the bass drone, but it goes on for a few minutes, and then CUTS in and out and in and out, until your not sure where the entire thing started. Distant distorted vocals slowly creep in and become a more prominent part of the mix but actual words/lyrics are pretty indistinguishable, would be nice if the lyrics are available somewhere? Aside from “personal meaning” to the artist him/her/them selves, I have honestly become frustrated with listening to people sing, yell , scream with no access to the content, i would like to know, but ONLY if the artist wants me to know, kind of a side rant, but the music and project title, only lead me to assume the lyrical content is harsh/negative/etc. Maybe I’m wrong. About 10-12 minutes in really gets going in a distinct, yet concise direction on the XRXAXPXEX side, a sudden cut of a feedback wall brings in a new more dynamic feedback wall, which holds the most meat- sounding of simple mic and feedback scraping whilst possesing an internal tension which elevates the track to the peak of the RXAXPXE side. It’s a bit more raw in it’s fidelity, yet controlled and articulate, and the groaning vocals play a wonderful counterpart to the stop – start flutter of the feedback punches. A solid tape overall and worth checking out if your into the harsh/industrial still that borders on wall at times.
written by : malo
available still from http://industrial-culture.com/