Phage Reviews

NYODENE D, Caged Dog/Common Criminal 7"
As Nyodene D's star ascends in the US PE pantheon there seems to be more surety and more conviction with recordings. Side one of this album bases itself on such a clamour of banging metal and raised voices that inspire nothing other than a full scale prison riot, over which the vocals are shouted defiantly, there being one brief pause for vocals only. "Caged Dog" is extremely evocative and effective, aggressive and impactful - everything a piece of modern Power Electronics should be. It's a piece that just wins, straight up.
  "Common Criminal" takes the pace down and if you read the interview on Pure Stench you'll know Mr Vilk mentioned separating the elements of his sound to broaded the overall palette. For me, this piece seemed too stretched out. It makes a good counter-point to side one's intense and rounds the out overall, but there's something about the particular choice of sounds that doesn't seem to gel with the whole. Perhaps I'm being too finicky - "Caged Dog" is a particularly impressive piece so it was going to be difficult to compliment it anyway.
  Regardless, this is a fine release and could well find itself in the modern canon of Power Electronics in time. It's great to every now and then hear something that just "stands out", but stands out well
. - Andrew McIntosh 

 Despite being a duo, Faux Pas's side doesn't sound like the work of two people. It sounds single source, a constantly breaking and squiggling thick line of distorted crunch and screetch. It's a piece that really needs to be played very loud for identity, as played at a more reasonable level seems to rob it of some if it's immediacy and impact. There is something a bit ho-hum about this piece, something lacking, and it gives the impression as being tossed off in a moment rather than meant of any real value.
  Grain Belt makes a much more favourable impression and I was surprised to read on the White Centipede site "showing a more controlled sound than on past releases". As I'm unfamiliar with Grain Belt it left me wondering what other recordings must be like. This piece is a very nicely recorded assembly of a clanking, crunching layer sounding like a threshing machine with broken and missing teeth, overlaid with further electronic bashing and moaning, howling voices through effects. It doesn't attempt to chop or change over it's duration, giving the sounds room to exist and persist, allowing the listener to revel in the pleasure of conflicting metal and electronics. This doesn't have to be turned up to be enjoyed but don't let that stop you, of course. The locked loop at the end of the side is a nice touch.
  Grain Belt saves this album for me. 
- Andrew McIntosh 

Pharmakon's careful and complex blending of elements from Industrial, Darkwave, Power Electronics and Death Industrial marks a pleasing return to Noise as something not so codified and fragmented as it is now. The main mood is very dark, of course. "Wimpering, Wanting" makes it's slow, low introduction to a gradual melange of voices that sounds like rushing water to flow out into a brief drone before hideous, harsh shrieking and babbling occurs, then black out to the drone. For a short spiral it is precisely constructed yet not strained in being so. "Sever The Hand..." features a descending chord scale on the keyboard; normally I'm adverse to such obvious simplicity with music but it is placed together with shards of harsh glossolalia, pulsing synth throbs and creaking sounds in a manner that, again, is carefully constructed without sounding overly ambitious or over-reaching. The flow of both pieces is quite natural and Ms. Chardiet shows a deft hand in composition and mood.
  Deterge, on this side, relies more on texture for the use of sounds. There is the same sense of crude, dark sounding electronics as Pharmakon's, but more minimal, gradual and more based on harshness and volume. Blocks of high intensity noise settled together with a pause for heavily effected vocals. The sounds are okay on this side but I the piece a bit of a let-down after Pharmakon's considered yet effortless pieces. Perhaps the lack of detail in the louder sounds is the issue. Perhaps, also, it was difficult for me to simply connect with the piece as a whole - it didn't seem to have a purpose that could either identify or attach to it.
  Still, Deterge will have it's followers, but I would recommend this release more for Pharmakon.
- Andrew McIntosh

Not much to complain about here. Black Leather Jesus's side features higher pitched screeching and grating with a subtle but suitable underlay of crunch, mainly generated from the distorted sound itself. The sounds are mostly electronically generated but there's a nice physicality to it that suggests object abuse. It's got a nice, satisfying range and is well constructed enough to avoid being a simple toss-off while unchanging enough to merit it's time length. Interestingly, I first found it too short for my tastes but subsequent listens give it a bit more wholeness.
  To his credit, Mr Hutchinson is not outdone, and his side, based mainly around feedback manipulation and heavy distortion, holds his end well. The individual sounds are more distinct - feedback abruptly ranging from high pitched squeal to savage crunch with a gloopy, droning tone underneath that also varies in pitch, although much lower - and the recording seems closer to its source, giving it a higher fidelity than Mr Ramirez's side. The sounds are more insistent and demanding, clearer but matching in BLJ's aggression.
  Well wrought, unsurprising but pleasing Harsh Noise from two artists who know exactly what they are doing. It adds to the surfeit of such Noise on the market, certainly, but will not disappoint anyone who manages to get it -
Andrew McIntosh

Richard Ramirez/ Black Leather Jesus "Scrapyard" CD
“Scrapyard” is seen as one of the classic recordings of mid 1990’s American Harsh noise scene, and it originally brought together two tracks from Richard Ramirez and one lengthy twenty plus minute track from Black Leather Jesus. This reissue adds on an extra new track from Mr Ramirez.
The album original appeared back in 1995 in a ltd vinyl form on german noise and industrial  label Praxis Dr. Bearmann. This reissue is on a pro pressed CD, and comes with new artwork from Jovan Hernandez(ex Black Leather Jesus, Anatomy Of A Blackout and Voidmate).
Opening up the release we have the two Richard Ramirez tracks- first up there’s “The Collapse Of An Industry Long Forgotten” which comes in just under the nine and a half minute mark. The track finds Ramirez boiling up a very brutal slice of industrial tinged harsh noise matter which offers up a tight and shifting mixture banging, ripping and churning noise tone. It shifts from deep tonally roars and grinds, up to higher pitched seers and slices of feedback, mixed in with the shifts and seers of  noise textured are the odd more bombastic and rhythmic textures; but nothing ever becomes constant or truly rhythmic in it’s feel. The track is extremely active with Ramirez shifting through all manner of textures in a very brutally yet entertaining manner.
The second Ramirez track is wonderfully entitled “Male Nudity Among American Wreckage” and it comes in at eleven minute mark. This track is still a very active slice of Harsh Noise with industrial elements, through it’s often more defined and dwells a little longer on certainly elements.  The tracks first minute and a half  starts out  with a selection of looped based industrial noise churns ‘n’ chugs that are broken up by sudden noise pitch sustain or off pattern tone dwells. Then at just before the two minute mark this great juddering higher pitch electro alarm tone takes centre stage- this tone alternates with sudden low tone feed back dwells. Then we move into thick & descending yet churning noise dwell which are seared by sudden higher pitched belt slipping, with the higher pitched alarm tone appearing once again towards the 6th minute. From just after the six minute mark Ramirez adds in these weird buried male vocals which moan then suddenly scream- these vocals nicely fit the tonal shift of the track. The last two or three minutes of the track finds Ramirez quite atmospherically looping out his noise textures in quite a neat and grim fading then intensifying manner. Truly this is a great slice of creative, brutal and atmospheric harsh Noise making.
Then we move onto the Black Leather Jesus track  “Human Connection (An Obscene Turn Of Events)” which originally took up the whole of the second side of vinyl with it’s just under twenty one minute runtime. The tracks a really great example of the BLJ at their best and most shifting noise meets extreme industrial jam type mode. The track moves from: brooding and sinister noise bass dwell ‘n’ grind  meets extreme industrial textural churn ‘n’ higher pitched swirls. Onto roaring noise buzzers meets slicing and off-centre slow junk metal collisions. Through to slow electro phaser like swarms and slices of sound, onto accelerating and zooming aircraft take off meets chug noise grains. Theres a alot of movement and  shifting layers with-in this track- but it’s executed in such a rewarding and creative manner. With out doubt one of my favourite BLJ tracks.
Last up we have the new Richard Ramirez track from 2010 which is entitled “Just Like Me” and comes in at just under the ten and a half minute mark. The track starts off with near on two minutes of gay porn sample with two guys clearly enjoying each others members. Then we kick-in with a mixture of: layers of speed up slicing, chopping and clamouring junk like tones, sudden swelling banks of roaring noise, and the odd high pitched circling/billowing run. The tracks a great 'n' urgent, and at times quite a fun bit of noise making. It’s a great addition to the other three original tracks.
So all in all this is a great and highly worthy reissue that offers up some of Ramirez’s and Black Leather Jesus best and most consistent mid 1990’s  work, plus a great extra new Ramirez track. Really a must have item for those who enjoy  Ramirez’s more Harsh noise based work & anyone who enjoy's active/ creative Harsh noise with an American flavor. - Musique Machine

K2 "Abdominal Electricity" CD
It’s always fairly difficult to review this sort of cut-up, electic noise. For one thing, it’s difficult to document like I normally like to do – I can’t just flit about attempting to name every sound I hear, or I’d have one hundred pages for one track. Nor can I speak for the sounds’ technicality – I’m just not that good at deciphering the medium for noise. What I can do is give a subjective view of the track, with an opinion on what sounds work and what don’t in the seemingly random onslaught of churning noise we get from K2. I’ll do my best, but I really feel that Abdominal Electricity defies review in this regard. Instead, it really needs an objective listen from each person, and requires the listener to decide what they like and what they don’t.
“Epilogue No. 2″ leads us in with a comparatively short track, full of churning buzz and some higher pitched feedback. Lots of pitch and sound adjustments can be found to fulfill a wide range of noise, but much of what’s on display is a focus of higher static and feedback sounds. We also get a sustained throb of electronics to end the track, but this is just a short and sweet dousing of what K2 is all about on this disc.
“Bomb in My Stomach” is really the full-throttle track on this release. Clocking in at almost half an hour, this cut runs the gamut from low drones, high feedback, wavery judderings, sonic loops, and even more crazy cut-up sounds. Like the race car sound that K2 creates at the beginning of this track, the noise keeps piling on and really doesn’t let up at all for the entirety of piece. It’s most likely here where the listener will decide if they enjoy this sort of ADD schizophrenia; it’s almost an all-or-nothing listen, and there’s only more of the same to be had after it. Imagine, if you will, a slew of men trying to domineer the television remote; their attempts to reconcile each other’s preferences are moot, and soon they begin to coast through channels without end. This sufficiently characterizes “Bomb in My Stomach,” a cut that doesn’t let up on its harsh cuts but also rarely seems to have an identifiable movement to it besides randomness.
Check out “Secret Cold Storage” for an intense outburst of feedback uncharacteristic for the rest of this release. Amidst the laser shootings and electronic rumblings is a monster of squealing pitches churning for release. The track also crafts a very good surge of crumbles that picks up, slows down, and ultimately punches the listener in the gut. There’s a raging amount of change in this track that seems to show up more than on “Bomb in My Stomach”, perhaps because of the shorter length of this cut.
Occasionally, K2′s tracks will fall into a nice drone that keeps shifting between different sounds but reconvening back with the same original noise. These are naturally where I’m drawn to – the ability to jump between sounds is certainly inspiring at times because of the sheer enormity of the collage, but the skill of manipulating sounds and then coming back to them is a nice counterpoint. K2 certainly achieves this; how long he wants to stick with it is obviously varied and, much of the time, short-lived.
Abdominal Electricity features no junk metal, only junk electronics, as the liner notes state. It’s obviously apparent that the sounds are electronically manipulated, though some do still have the churns and creaks of metal unabashedly being destroyed. You can certainly hear the KORG in some more pronounced places. If you’re a fan of K2′s anarchical sound, Abdominal Electricity is certainly more of his powerful cut-up approach. Those who aren’t sure of the style should take a dip in “Bomb in My Stomach” or “Aerophobia”; those tracks are the real meat of the album, and will surely cement a strong feeling in the listener one way or the other.
Even more incentive besides the actual noise is the packaging, which comes with pro-duplicated CDs, mechanical-anatomical artwork from Alonso Urbanos, and pull-out artwork with info on the interior pages. - Memory Wave Transmission

The Kali Ensemble CD
A collaborative recording between Mike Page and Pentti Dassum and a collaborative release between Phage and Turgid Animal. Featuring two lengthy, 33.33 minute spirals where, I'm guessing, each artist takes sounds from the other and composes them (not sure I like this "versus" thing that some collaborations claim to be, in this case "Page vs Dassum" and "Dassum vs Page"; surely they are collaborating, not conflicting?). Both tracks called "The Seven Tounges", I & II respectively.
The first piece has a great deal of change to it over it's duration, making it more like a compilation of pieces strung out into one. Fortunately, there is a deft hand at composition involved, giving continuity to the diversity. Starting with a slow but raging Noise of metal and electronics it winds it's way through the different passages, invoking electronic storms in the clouds of gas giant planets, flanged drones, metallic describe in any detail the actual sounds would, in a way, take something from the potential listener in that there is something of a narrative that should be experienced more directly.
  The second piece is somewhat slower and more muted in scope and sound, preferring dark rumbles, winding softness, echoed clanging metal and electronic pulses, all eschewing the dynamics of the first piece in favour of a tempered sound that is no less engaging or, in fact, diverse than the first piece. Again, there is a continuity that suggests narrative and certainly allows the mind to move from place to place within the sounds.
  The recording quality is excellent, very crisp and allowing of detail. In the case of the second piece and the more abrupt parts of the first, there is no loss in impact (either abrupt or darkly grimey) with the production. The sound fits the music well. And compliments must also be paid to the packaging; the dark-skinned manifestation of Durga (and appropriate sacrifice) simply and elegantly presented. Everything about this album fits; there are no sparse moments with the sound, no loss of revelry and imagining, and the concept is given a free-er reign in the sound. This is an homage, not a representation, although representation must be a part of the homage, but to my mind there are other ideas coming in that can perhaps touch lightly on the worship of Kali but can also expand elsewhere. The composition and choice of sounds, however, remain supreme above other aspects. A well built and well presented duo of sometimes aggressive, sometimes sinister, always dark, Industrial-inspired modern music. - Andrew McIntosh

Kazumoto Endo & Kazuma Kubota " Switches and Knobs" CD
There’s a constant feeling during Switches and Knobs that the track has ended, that each time the clanks, whirs, and harsh lines of feedback die out, Endo and Kubota have effectively ended their track in a flustered twitch of a wrist. And even though the CD lists the track’s runtime, and even though I know that it can’t be true that the piece has ended, each cut-up chunk of sound keeps me glancing at the CD player to see if the track switches to the next.
And perhaps some would argue that the empty spaces of silence on Switches and Knobs is a testament to user error, as though Endo and Kubota have reached a blown-out level of sound where their oscillators refuse to work, where their amplifiers have effectively shit the bed because of that last furious pummeling of buzz and crunch blast. Instead, the two pieces on Switches and Knobs so effectively utilize the space between noise that each track allows for a critical reading of not just why the artists chose the seemingly random sounds that they did, but why they chose these moments to leave out noise. The space between becomes a gap which the listener must fill in.
Maybe most of us don’t listen in this philosophical way, instead wondering when Endo and Kubota will throw another blast of sound our way. But each space in the track acts as a way to circumvent listener expectations where other cut-up noise doesn’t. Will Endo and Kubota continue the sound? Will they chop the noise differently? What’s next? It’s a discourse between listener and noise that continues to speak as each track diversifies.
One cut on this disc is a studio version of “Switches and Knobs.” Almost a half an hour of cut-up sounds, mostly buzzing harshness and intense feedback sounds that rip and roar between silence. There’s also a live track included, shorter and full of that sense of audience vivacity. Obviously, the studio version feels a bit more polished, but the live version certainly showcases what Endo and Kubota can do in an improvisational environment.
This churning maelstrom is definitely worth spending some time with. The gaps between noise ensure one will find a conversation in there somewhere, even if this is cut-up noise that sounds familiar to those who’ve heard this kind of thing before. - Memory Wave Transmission

Kazumoto Endo & Kazuma Kubota “Switches and Knobs” CD
There are midbrain cells - the novelty detector neurons in the inferior colliculus - that respond to the switching on and switching off of a sound.  Constant sounds, no matter their nature, can be ignored, but any immediate change will rigger those neurons, and snap that listener back to alertness.  This physical reaction has been utilised in the filed of Noise music for more than a decade, and Kazumoto Endo is a particular expert.  His name may be unknown, except to the most dedicated fans, but his contribution to late 1990s Noise was the smash-cut - and ultra-fast edit between sounds.  It’s a style particularly well-suited to recordings.  In a live context, harshness is perceived, in large part via loudness.  But at home, the listener can play back a record at any volume.  While a constant, churning wall-of-sound might turn into a relaxation tape at low playback volume, Endo’s loud/quiet dynamics remain consistently jarring at any volume.  His warp-speed edits between silence and screeching feedback act through juxtaposition rather than through timber alone.  
After a long period of inactivity.  Endo has been coaxed out of semi-retirement by a duo collaboration project with his younger acolyte, Kazuma Kubota (formerly Bloody Letter).  The pair stick fairly closely to Endo’s signature style.  Switches and Knobs finds the pair trading short stabs of feedback over a bed of quiet speaker buzz, the blasts appearing like ragged tears in a sheet of white paper.  There’s no long-term structural development here, just small, interlocking gestures, like the Noise equivalent of a Derek Bailey/ Han Bennink duo with a lot of air in between.  
The CD is divided into two tracks - one studio recording and one live recording.  Throughout the latter, silences are filled with the shouts and giggles of a small crowd of appreciative fans.  Even though Endo’s smash cuts were developed to increase the harshness, and perceived loudness, of his music, his listeners react with jubilation.  Is masochism a trait which connects fans of Noise, or does cerebral overstimulation produce a different kind of biological pleasure, yet unaccounted for in journalism and criticism of Noise? - William Hutson for The Wire

Kazumoto Endo & Kazuma Kubota "Switches and Knobs" CD 
This album is sick and that’s it. The disc that surpasses many noise and japanoise works in terms of intensity and weirdness and it’s no surprise that this release was one of the most listened discs for quite some time. Both musicians, despite the fact that they are rather active in performing live and plays noise for not so few years (especially this fits when talking about Kazumoto Endo), their discography is not that rich. Two long tracks with the total playing time of almost 45 minutes are in this disc, release by Phage Tapes. Album starts from studio recording of Switches and Knobs. That’s more than 25 minutes of absolutely cut and torn apart noise attack. It’s chaos that distorts your brains and ears. Collage of sounds where every tiniest picture of noise is separated from others by a pause of silence, lasting for several milliseconds. This is the record that you cannot simply enjoy for the brains cannot perceive a single short insane moment of sounds when they are attacked by yet another wave of noises. These waves lead you astray and disturbs through the whole disc, but at the same time it transmits huge amount of information and disc not only does not become boring, but every listening session becomes new test for your mind and imagination. The second part of the disc consists of slightly shorter live record of Switches and Knobs. The sound is dirtier and it’s for good. Seconds of silence are disturbed by screaming of the crowd and seconds of noise are at the first glance identical to the studio recording. Contact microphones, feedbacks, manipulations of noise generators and effects that lead you to more and more severe migraine. Anyways, all these short bursts of madness are joined with not audible, but clearly felt joint of control – noise does not become thin and every sound strikes where it supposed to. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why this disc is one of the heaviest and most interesting works that I’ve got to know recently in noise. Violent, brutal, hardly foreseen and powerful Japanese harsh noise. I’m glad that Phage Tapes released in conditionally big edition so that everyone who wishes to live through this album would have a chance. Truly recommended gem. - TERROR

Kazumoto Endo & Kazuma Kubota "Switches and Knobs" CD
El estilo de hacer noise de Kazumoto Endo bien podría definirse con una sola palabra: espasmódico. En los trabajos que firma bajo su propio nombre, así como en los de sus proyectos como Ryke o Killer Bug, Endo tiende a generar composiciones a partir de concatenamientos frenéticos y virulentas dinámicas que inevitablemente son seguidas por cortes abruptos. "Switches and Knobs" presenta en formato de cd la colaboración entre este monstruo del ruido y Kazuma Kubota, parte de la nueva generación de harshers provenientes de Japón.
El primer corte, grabado en estudio, es pura precisión: los silencios se ajustan perfectamente a las ruidistas intromisiones de ambos participantes. Los masivos golpes que el dueto da al silencio están conformados por plomizas capas de distorsión modulada y aparecen tan súbitamente como se desintegran en el aire. Tras cada andanada de severas descargas de ácidos, férreos sonidos aparecen crudos instantes de vacío ineludible; el silencio se posa como un enorme monstruo, dispuesto a aplastar hasta el más mínimo movimiento. Mientras tanto los intercambios se vuelven cada vez más virulentos, cada vez más hostiles y fugaces, como si con su compulsiva brevedad buscaran dictar la muerte de cualquier estructura.
El segundo corte abunda sobre la misma dinámica pero extrapolada a una presentación en directo. Me cuesta pensar en pocas situaciones tan difíciles como intentar llevar esta carga de discontinuidad formal a un ambiente como éste, sobre todo sabiendo que se trata de una situación en que ambos performers deben operar bajo una precisión tan puntual. El resultado es una recrudescencia que raya en el absurdo, con disparos sonoros de registros aún más sórdidos cuya misión parece ser la destrucción de cualquier tipo de convencionalismo musical. Las incómodas reacciones del público hacen evidente que el de Kubota y Endo se trata de un ideal sónico difícil de abordar y de dar seguimiento y remiten a esos momentos en que el noise solía comprenderse como una perversión, un gusto adquirido incomprensible, absurdo para los adeptos a los rincones más obvios de la melomanía. En este corte cada silencio se vuelve una suerte de abismo cageiano donde las risas y los murmullos tienen su parte proporcional de protagonismo.
Este trabajo conjunto de Kazuma Kubota y Kazumoto Endo resulta más que bienvenido en el contexto actual del noise, mostrándose como evidencia de que aún puede producirse ruido que posea un carácter único y que se aleje, afortunadamente, de las convenciones. - Ruido Horrible

Knurl "Thiocarbamide" CD
For quite some time I tried to figure out what does the title of the album means, but finally had to give up. Enough is to say that Thiocarbamide or Thiourea is reagent of organic synthesis. There's no need to introduce Knurl though - aesthete of metallic constructions and their sounds. Alan Bloor is making noises with his self-made instruments for more than 15 years already. This album is recorded using violin and metal - two favorite "instruments" of his. There are four tracks in the disc that plays for more than 50 minutes. All of them - intense, uncompromising harsh noise mass. Not a second is wasted without a reason, without knowing further direction or without tight control of sound - it's constant development, perpetual evolution of noise and controllable madness. Loads of feedback, low rumble, which is suddenly changed with knives of high frequencies, strings of violin under effects, touched with fiddlestick, clanging of metal - all that is pressed together so tightly that there's no time to be bored or so. The sound itself - clear, cold, metallic and sharp. Album rivets your attention from the very first second. It's interesting to follow these "chemical reactions" that occurs in the tracks, when almost inaudible layers of sounds moves and changes thus making an impression of insane motion. The final track, Rization, is somewhat different from the others. It starts with prolonged prelude of violin (or at least it seems so). Additional layers of sounds are gradually grown on this fundament and finally the track, as if unintentionally, gets into Knurl'ish drive. Though mostly mass of sound consists of many layers of noises, you can still hear the sound of violin up to the middle of the track while finally it drowns and identifies itself with the might of metal. The three tracks were really great, but this was culmination of an album for me. One more moment that fascinates me in this album is when Knurl turns off his effects and leaves the metal to spin and rattle somewhere in the distance. For a very short period of time, for a second or few. You get some space to breath and once again - ruthless noise. I truly recommend this nicely designed CD for those who are interested in true, good, high quality, brutal harsh noise and who doesn't care that much about their ears. Top notch product. - TERROR

Knurl "Thiocarbamide" CD
Knurl is Alan Bloor. A Canadian experimental composer and sculptor based in Toronto and he has been performing and recording as Knurl since 1994.
Thiocarbamide is an unrelenting album of pure noise. When it comes to noise I usually find I have a very strong bias to Japanese noise. The releases starting in the 1990s of bands like Macronympha and Taint from the USA just didn’t seem to really understand what a good noise record should sound like. Since then a newer generation of bands inside America and Europe have come along and taken noise to a new level and with the help of things like the No Fun Fest have managed to come up with something that stands up to the Japanese noise scene and has almost dragged it into the mainstream. Knurl is almost like the link between those two scenes.  On the one hand from a Western country but on the other hand producing an album here that sounds like it could so easily fit into the Merzbow discography.
Thiocarbamide has four tracks and is 51 minutes long. There really is no let up, no light and no shade. From the moment it starts to the moment it finishes it pins you to the wall and assaults your ears. But it does it in a most spectacular way. The liner notes tell me it’s recorded with no over dubs and using violin and metal.  The violin is a wonderful choice for a noise record. It has the potential to really screech and wail and it does that without mercy here.  The most appropriate comparison you could make with this record is to the early works of the Hanatarash or the late analogue works of Merzbow.
The first three tracks are all quite similar in design and sound. But I’m assuming this was all recorded in one go so you’d expect that. Track four (the longest piece) has more variety in it. It almost sounds like it’s based around an old analogue synth sound and starts off fairly easily on the ear and then builds up and up for the first 5 or 6 minutes until your back into full on noise mode.
As noise albums go this one is pretty faultless. I don’t know how widespread the distribution is on this but it really is well worth tracking down - Musique Machine

Grain Belt CD
I've read quite a bunch of positive opinions about this album when it'd just appeared so before listening to this release I was expecting much and well, my expectations came true. Grain Belt is a composite project in which people from known USA harsh noise projects such as Baculum, Willful and Wince takes part. My recollections about their solo works were rather pleasant - good quality and good emotions. I think the same way about this release. Grain Belt CD is monstrously intense harsh noise album that consists of three live records and tortures you for almost 50 minutes. I think the instruments used for the record or at least their equivalents are shown on the cover - chains, scraps of metal, sheets of tin, wires, pieces of fittings, metallic clubs etc. Since the very start of the album, apart from pauses of couple of seconds in between tracks, this record is uncompromising hell of feedbacks, clanging and crushing of metal, abusing contact microphones and pedals. Since this project consists of several persons and the recording is live, the result is very good and interesting. Let's say one short episode - on the left side distant clanging with chain from behind the wall of feedback appears, several seconds from that it's gone and only screaming feedback is left and more intense noise goes into the right side and so on. Not a second to catch a breath, not a thought about lyrical deflections. That's one crushing harsh noise machine. It's not without a reason that after several spins of this CD you want to make pauses of silence and disconnect from this madness for some time. Noise tires you physically. This album and collaboration somehow reminds me of Finnish noise scene. Intensity, brutality, power and open aggression. Regardless of the fact that all three tracks are connecting via aforementioned descriptions, the last track was the best for my ears. The sound doesn't manouvre in this track only in high and mid-frequencies, but touches pleasant low rumbling too. Also the tiniest details from this performance is heard and they're more distinct than in the tracks before. Anyways, this CD is a top notch release and a must have for noisers who doesn't pity their ears. It would be interesting to hear studio recordings of this project some time in the future. I think that'd be something great too. - TERROR

Grain Belt CD
Grain Belt's self titled full length album is a searing brutal & clamouring attack on your sonic sensers that utilizers brutal metal & junk abuse together with very fierce harsh noise attacks.
The project three piece line-up is made up of members of  Wince, Baculum, and Willful projects. On offer here are three tracks that hit between just under the nineteen minute mark & just under the fifteen  minute mark a picec & each is a live recording made by the trio in 2009. Opening up the release we have ‘Live At The Terminal Bar’ which attacks you with a mixture of: Jaw grinding metal feedback whirls & grinds, crashing & rapid metal bombardment, thick static noise body punchers, manic vocal calls & screams, & a general air of very angered primal ritual. Track two ‘Live at The Social life’ is even more punishing & fierce in it’s attack with huge  roaring &  caustic bellowing clouds of static noise tone being nastily attacked by forking steel feedback, fevered sheet metal abuse, coarse & serrated chain clunking & whips, and the screamed & vein bulge primal yells. The last track ‘ Live at the Rathole’ starts off a little more ominous & spaced out in it’s feel with slower metal clangs being violently hovered over by feedback flesh slices & primal vocal calls, but with-in three minute or so it’s up  once to  more up to the thick clamouring & very harsh noise junk attack of the other tracks. Though  through-out the track it keeps return to the more barren & grim  semi-ominous clunking & primal call texturing- making this the slightly more pained cinematic of the three tracks.
The whole album sounds wonderful violent, primal & unforgiving through-out, yet there’s a definite feeling of control & building of tension & angry in every track. If your feeling very pissed-off or raging at the world or someone, put this nasty slice of harsh noise junk attack on & I promise you’ll feel much better & some what released- just don’t go smash up your apartment in the process! -Musique Machine

Breaking The Will/ Baculum 2xc10
Harsh, ever shifting electronics from Baculum. Sounds full of hate, pain, fear. Two tracks of sharp twitching noise. Bleak and dangerously harsh. Recommended for sure. Breaking the Will is a belligerent narrative told with broken up samples and bits of harsh noise. It sounds a bit more crusty than Baculum and the samples seem to reference fights and cops. "I've never been beaten before, but that looks bad. That it is man…." Fucked.  - Dead Formats

Toby Dammit/ POTR split c50
Enigmatic and minimal split release from the highly productive Phage Tapes. Toby Dammit brings a typically no-holds-barred appearance that contains some new elements to the TD sound. In fact, this release is a great improvement on other Dammit split releases that I have heard lately, with a variety of interesting techniques (such as as musique concrete tape collage and overdriven bass sounds) to make for a very interesting release. There is still the lo-fi approach and recording sound that one comes to expect from Dammit, but there is an intense newfound clarity on these untitled tracks that really bring TD into new territory. This first untitled track does an impressive job of combining Dammit's usual Power Electronics intensity with a complex array of distorted sounds that take over the second part of his side in a tape collage frenzy much like the early works of MB under the Sacher-Pelz moniker.
It sounds like other recordings are used, as well as a child or girl's voice and what sounds like an Adolph Hitler speech. Very chaotic and extreme, resulting in a nightmarish and vivid landscape of noise that is much more intense than what I am used to from this artist. Some P.E. fans may be disappointed slightly at the amount of non-PE material there is on Toby Dammit's side, but the noise stands on its own and is, in fact, extremely compelling. Second untitled track from Dammit has more screaming on it. I like the noise on this one too, but it is much more dominated by vocals.
P.O.T.R. opens "Dinner," featuring some seriously pitch-shifted vocals that are in a distorted realm of evil. Sounds kind of like a demon made of electricity trying to communicate with the outside world through a human vessel. Not entire successful at enunciation or storytelling, but emotional and compelling nonetheless. Calls to mind a more minimal version of Deathlike Silence LP-era Abruptum. "Abuse" opens with a great synthesizer loop and scary grunted vocals from the singer, with much less effects on them. The synth loop has a hypnotic resonance that gives the vocals a stronger presence, and they rise to the occasion. This song brings things into more Industrial, Genocide Organ sort of territory, and P.O.T.R. pulls this off very effectively. A lyric sheet would be very helpful, however. The presentation of this cassette is extremely sparse, just band names and a big skull on the front. The print job is nice (as always from Phage) and the noise sounds great though to my ears. I will be on the lookout for more material from P.O.T.R. - Heathen Harvest

Baculum "Debris" c24
Although associated with the Harsh Noise Wall genre, Baculum has recently been branching out further into the 90's harsh junk noise style. This cassette is a good example of this turn, and provides around half an hour of crunching, squealing metal noise. Baculum seems to be a project that is devoted to no frills, no worries noise for the pure sake of noise. There is dynamics at work here (in the sense that parts sound different from one another, parts are louder than others etc.) but the music seems to be an unedited session, which is the purest form of noise. The individual behind this project is also the being responsible for Phage Tapes, a DIY label that has been getting a lot of attention these days as a proponent of quality Harsh Noise music. Since this release is on Baculum's label, I would assume that this release is a pretty good example of what this artist is up to at the moment.
The noise on here would definitely warm the old-school heart, sounding like something that could be a CDr release on the RRR label alongside K2 and Crawl Unit. Pure junk noise with no consideration or drama. The artwork is very nice looking, a multiple-printing blue screen on a sort of yellowish eggy cardstock, with words printed in a nice bold red. This label seems to be extremely busy these days, putting out boxed sets of Harsh Noise Wall artists (such as a four cassette release by the French artist Vomir) and many releases at a time. It is great that labels such as Phage are able to break even (seemingly) in a continued effort to spread harsh noise to the people of Earth.
The noise on here seems to have no edits and just complete overdrive of harsh low and high-end sounds. Highly metallic and leaning towards piercing high-end destruction. This is a good solid release from this table and a worthy addition to your harsh noise collection. Raw and pure, no frills noise. Be sure to keep an eye out for this label's discography to check out the underground noise going around the USA these days. - Heathen Harvest

Brandkommando/ Seth Ryan/ Fear Konstruktor/ Disgust 2xc30
Wow, here’s a hell of a split double cassette! Phage Tapes keeps up with their absolutely beautiful packaging standard with tasteful minimalist textured artwork in a uniquely shaped double cassette box. A heavy matte silkscreened insert is included with tracklisting. With four sides and artists to go through it could seem like a lot but the material on here is top-notch so it goes by fast.
I am familiar with only 3 of these artists, the odd man out being Disgust who I have never been exposed to. Luckily this is the best material I have heard from all of Fear Konstruktor, Brandkommando, and Seth Ryan!
Brandkommando kicks things off with a dirtier sound then usual. Two slow death industrial dirges entitled Reform and Fighter slowly plod along. Their effective vocals echoing like some moaning machine slowly suffering. I’m not sure if it’s just because of the tape but the lo-fi element to their sound here heightens the effectiveness.
Seth Ryan delivers with my favorite material on the split. Slowly evolving from a focused low throb into total noisy power electronics the build-up is phenomenal. Subtly broken up into three parts RCT 1-3 is a layered intense barrage of noise, industrial, power electronics with a somewhat glitchy element to it. Not glitchy in an electronica sense but weird skipping sounds, broken cables, interruptions that strangely enough keep the track flowing perfectly. The vocals interact with the sound utilizing extreme tact and precision. This is a fucking great show of talent here and well worth picking up the split for this side alone.
Fear Konstruktor is yet another example of an artist going out of their more heavily treaded territory here and delivering to the fullest. These aren’t the heavy pedal assaults that this artist usually practices but rather a rumbling montage of industrial drones that kick off in Emergency Cleaners with a siren echoing in the distance. The next two tracks are still more low hallowed drones with tons of grit and grime attached.
Finally here is Disgust the only project of this lineup I have never heard. Disgust deliver some extremely raw power electronics. Although featuring a raw sound, their tracks evolve quite nicely. The sounds here is nothing cutting edge but the compositions are competent if a little heavy on the delay lines in Rust Belt. The following tracks Kill Your Fucking Boss and Slapped Like a Bitch continue in a similar vain with less delay and more rhythmic throbbing in the former. Slapped Like a Bitch features some great junk metal percussion layering with feedback and desperate vocals. Definitely my favorite track of the three.
Overall a fucking great release. Four excellent artists bringing their best material to the table to make a feast of epic porportions. Don’t sleep on this one! - Existence Establishment

Various Artist "Heavy Focus" 2xCDr
This two disc compilation was put together to fund & celebrate Heavy Focus III- the noise/ extreme experimental music festival that’s going on over this coming weekend(23rd & 24th of April) in Minneapolis. The two discs offer-up mainly excusive tracks from 22 of the artists performing at fest and there’s a lot of sonic & noise bound ground covered here we go from: Harsh Noise Wall, to Junk metal noise, through to churning psychedelic power electronics, onto aggressive & jarring electro beat scapes, through to sour & blacked dark drone matter, onto seared & ear burning harsh noise making & beyond.
The two discs come in a small  light brown card folder with two colour screen printed artwork, which is simply but highly effective. Disc one is entitled heavy & deals more with the extreme & more noise bound side of the fest with names like: Werewolf Jerusalem, Grain Belt, Climax Denial, Being,Wilt ect. And disc two is entitled focus and this deals again with mainly fairly extreme stuff but there’s more atmospheric & caustic ambient feel to quite a few tracks here & we have featured on this disc tracks from the likes of Envenomist, Teeth Collection, Cock ESP,Locrain ect. Each discs tracks are fairly short & concise(for Noise based music) and fall between the seven minute & one minute mark a piece, with each disc having a nice & flowing enjoyable arc to it & being consistent, rewarding & worthwhile through-out.
A few of my present favouritefrom disc one come the form of: the opening metal pummelling, rapid drum attack &  playful yet violent junk improv meets vocal bay & bark of Squid Fist’s ‘Hall Mall’. The ripping & violently billowing storm tone dwelling of Being’s ‘Take off’. Grain Belt’s ‘Devil’s Whip’ with it’s brooding & stuck bass throbbing industrial openings that crack-out into highly nasty yet controlled junk metal lined noise attack. The swirling ,dank and oppressive dark synth drone hypnotics of  Wilts ‘Bodies falling Away’ which keeps hinting it might sudden go all ouy noise bound, but never does & instead stays very brooding & trance inducing.
Onto disc two and my current favourites here are: The ritual gong, eerier wind blown electronics & twanging eastern strings ominous spaceiness of Juhyo’s ‘The Buired Session’. Onto  the machete hacking & obscenely muffled power electronics sour chopping of Cock Esp’s ‘ Sliced Cuntz’. through to  the furnace roaring & billowing thick smoked blackness of Infamy’s ‘Close The gates’ and it’s short sharp HNW attack that ends nicely with malevolent & swirling dark ambient ritual tone edginess.
Really there’s much to enjoy & investigate where ever you drop down on these two discs as the quality & the sequencing of the tracks is top notch & highly effective through-out. Certainly one of the better extreme & experimental music compilations your likely to come across this year & with this line-up the festival is going to be truly breath taking…so if your in the area of Minneapolis this weekend I say the Heavy Focus fest is a must & if your too far way & can’t make it pick up this double disc set and see what you missed out on!. - Musique Machine

Persistence In Mourning/ Koufar split c44 
Cool and original material from Persistence In Mourning. Hard to describe, but my wife said that it sounds like "being at some sort of shaman dentist." The opening section has a strong 'UFO-landing site' atmosphere that is spiritually in tune with the recent solo work of the great Rodger Stella, which is a comparison that I do not throw around lightly. Oscillating electronics and strange frequencies wrestle for dominance as odd beats scurry around sounds that resemble angry cats. This is some really cool and original-sounding noise that breaks into very pretty guitar and drum interplay out of nowhere amidst the chaos. Completely unexpectedly, a loud tone takes over and a beautiful guitar and drum part somewhat evocative of later Soundgarden (I mean that as a huge compliment) shares space with a strange and brief eruption of vocal screamage.
A loud tone takes over the sound and the music goes completely into outer space. The end of this is really bizarre and kind of starts to wander around. This side should have ended about five minutes before it does. The ending to it doesn't really go anywhere and the buzzing electronic noise literally gives me a headache. The first ten minutes or so are really great though. This is really different from a lot of stuff out there, and probably combines indie-style guitars and noise electronics better than anyone else that I have heard. The last part of this could have, should have been left off, but the first part is very possibly brilliant.
Koufar starts off just like his last release on Small Doses, sampling a person talking, going into some buzzing and loud effects, and resulting in Koufar screaming his lungs out. This guy is really pissed off. There are some really nice electronic sounds on here, but they are sometimes buried in the vocal mix. In truth, the electronics and the vocals are about 50-50 in the mix, but another track of electronics or at least having them louder in the mix in relation to the vocals would really help the experience. I mistakenly wrote in my previous review of this artist's work that the vocals were in the vein of the artist Prurient, but I think what I actually meant was that they are really prominent in the mix in comparison to the tunes. This artist has a very original message and delivery in fact. The screaming is very powerful and heartfelt, but the soul of this is in the music, which is happily very prominent and at the forefront on the track "Patriot." Koufar very effectively samples a woman singing with really cool rumbling electronics. Once again, the very prominent vocals come into the forefront and hijack the scene. I really like both of these artists and see a lot of potential, but both sides literally gave me headaches before they were done. I have to say, given the fact that around 90% of what I review for this web zine is harsh noise, that is somewhat of an achievement. Koufar also goes by the name Bachir Gemayel, and played an excellent performance under this moniker at last year's Dead Audio Festival. There are some interesting ideas on this tape. - Heathen Harvest

Persistence In Mourning/ Koufar split c44
This is quite an usually, unexpected but ultimately highly enjoyble split. On the first side of this c44 tape we have Oklahoma based Persistence In Mourning who boil up a mixture of: tribal led noise electronics, Doomed wondering psychedelic rock scapes & all manner of interesting stuff. Then on the flip side we have Koufar who make Middle Eastern atmospheric tinged Power electronics.
So side one is taken  up by the Persistence In Mourning track entitled ‘The Feral Children’. It all starts out with revolving, grinding & whistling noise pitchers that are pretty soon joined by slow tribal beats along with screaming dada electronics & the odd hint of quite melodic & charming violin playing. Then around the six minute mark it surprisingly suddenly drops into slow wondering, bass  wavered & dreamy doom lined psychedelic rock drifts that are overfed by Mike Patton like croaking through a distorted Dictaphone vocals & long feed back trails.  The rest of the track wonders & suddenly turns between dada/ weirdo tinged noise, drifting, muffled & doom flicked psychedelic rock scapes,and bizzaro or shrieking sound scaping. You really feel like you’ve been on one hell of a strange trip by the end of the side.
Onto side two & we have two tracks by Koufar. First up is  the track ‘Breed’ which starts out with some rapid Arabic male talking which is latter joined by a female interviewing voice also specking in Arabic; these two voices are swamped in threatening manner by building then retracting noise swarms. With-in a few minutes it kicks in with a really nasty & murderous  series of power electronic stabs, jitters & grinds of noise  that are all topped off with really nice vein bulging vocals. Lastly we have the track ‘Patriot’ which starts out with sad & beautiful mournful eastern female vocalising samples that are under-cut by distant gunfire or chopping tones & sudden feedback risers. As the track goes on the feedback waves & noise currents build & start to cover the samples, then the nice angered & vein bulging PE vocals seer & attack your senses over the top of the mix of noise matter. The tracks backing effectively switchers between the samples haunted female vocals & the more searing noise attacks as the brutal vocals slice in & outof the track like a rusty knife. I really like this tracks balance between haunted emotional atmospherics & all out head cracking anger.
So in finishing off this is a very rewarding split which offers up two very different projects who each bring to the table a very enjoyable & creative side a piece. This really is what a great split should all be about; bringing the listener two artists they’ve never heard before & making you want to track down more materiel from one or both artists. And it’s certainly worked for me, as I’m now very eager to hear more from both Persistence In Mourning & Koufar. -Musique Machine

A View From Nihil/ TFT split c70
This untitled c70 split brings together two of the most adventurous and creative projects working in today’s world-wide HNW scene. Both parties released two of the most impressive releases of 2010; A View From Nihil put out the tar black bass lined nihilism of  "Triumph Of The Broken Will", and  TFT(with Insurgent) put out “The Shape of Static To Come” which showcased a stripped often  futuristic sounding and minimalistic take on the genre.
So I was very excited by the proposition of split from theses two project, and boy this doesn’t let down in either quality or creativeness, and it also sees both projects taking their sound down different and often surprising sonic paths. The screen printed dark green cassette tape comes in a wonderful simplistic but highly fitting and effective black card sleeve with sliver ink, for projects names and tracks titles, and a series of three thick and straight screen printed  green lines on the front of the sleeve. And on the inside three group of smaller straight green screen printed lines that are rewardingly raised from the sleeves surface.
On the first side we find A View From Nihil's track which is entitled “Tesla”, and this starts off with a winter bound like crackle that soon builds into receptive and sliding tone loop- it brings to mind what sounds you might get if you attached a contact mic to a ski as some one was going down an icy/ snow hill. With-in the first two minutes the 'wall' starts to get a lot more manic and overwhelming with the icy and snow bound crackle ‘n’ descend tones come at you from all angles; these wonderful enclosing you in this blue ‘n’ frost bound tomb of tones. At around the four minute mark this buzzing electro judder pulse starts to poking its head through the chilling and intense tone map, and with in a few minutes this starts to take over the track with a  'wheel on icy and uneven ground ' loop of texture in place too. But by the 8th minute the electro tone has gone and the rolling icy wheel texture has been joined by more juddering, crackling and circular tonality.  Around the 11th minute mark yet another tone raises in the ‘wall’, and this time it’s like an idling snow plough engine- this tone nicely takes over the track in a very pleasing manner seemingly getting more judder and vibration bound as it goes on…you can almost feeling it vibrations in your body as if your physically holding onto the driving wheel of the snow plough. Nearing the twenty minute mark it becomes a lot more judder bound sounding like a recording of something vibrating on a vehicle dashboard at faster and faster speeds; then just as you feel it could'nt judder any harder this great electro static throb ‘n’ jitter  tone forces it way in control of the tracks structure with the judder just been made out under the electro dwell ‘n’ hack. Then once more at the around the 24th minute another tone moves in, this time it’s like this tight and icy drilling sound- which rather brought to mind someone drilling into ice with a fairly thin drill bit. At around the thirty minute mark the ‘wall’ starts to become more hissing ‘n’ jittering static mixed with wet swirling ‘n’ drilling tonalities- these reduces down to a violent vinyl skip ‘n’ deep drone as the track exists just before the 35th mintue. Simply put “Tesla” is a great and shifting example of creative HNW texturing that really does take you on a brutal and very rewarding tonal adventure.
Over onto side two and we an untitled track by Italian based TFT which takes up the whole side of tape. It all starts out with this bass like billowing drone that has slight jittering static flicks on the end of the tone. the  ‘wall’ here brings to mind a mixture of distant 'car in tunnel' like droning with a flickering and billowing flag tonalities. The ‘wall’ has this great muffled, big and larbouring yet oddly soothing and deeply entrancing feel about it. As the track progresses it gets moves from more flicking and jitter elements (with a great nervy and caffeine high feel), though to stuck ‘n’ dyeing machine gear muffled droning, though to  sudden rushes of skipping ‘n’ trapped static, and boat rope unreeling - yet none of these textural elements really deviate or push too far away the tracks original original road drone meets static billowing tone seeting. In the last few minutes a stop 'n' start skip weaves it 's way through the track,  and this ends up stoping the ‘wall’ altogether. So another great and creative slice of HNW wall-making from TFT which sees him moving his often sleek and focused HNW sounds onto more muffled and bass bound territory- yet he still keeps his distinctive and original way of ‘wall’ making.
So truly this c70 is a great, great split with both artists offering up an excellent, creative and rewarding tracks. Clearly this is one of the highlights of last years HNW releases, and if I played it sooner this would have easily appeared in my best of 2010- go get one of these before the pressing of forty five tapes runs out! - Musique Machine

A View From Nihil/ TFT split c70
A lengthy cassette from two harsh noise wall-ists, this split comes with a simple tape design of gray, standard text, a black background, and four green horizontal lines running through the middle of the j-card. Flip the card over andyou’ll find even more polarizing green stripes. It’s a simplistic setup and one that works well to compliment the mindset and stylistics of the harsh noise wall genre, and like the green lines, which seem neverending, the 35 minute slabs on this split seem to play on ad infinitum.
A View From Nihil starts out “Tesla” with some really crackly static, what one could compare to either a roaring fire popping and crackling from a distance or the jolt and hum of some highly-charged electricity. The latter would refer to the title of the piece, and AVFN does create a track themed around the exploits of the eponymous scientist. The crackling builds in volume, taking on a larger mass and enveloping the listener in its pop and crunch, as if the track will continue to expand and blow the eardrums of the audience. But it does halt its progress, continuing on in the same vein for quite a long time in an enjoyable and creative form of static noise. One can note slight shifts in the sound, but the overall thematic form of the track (the popping and spitting of the static) remains. A delightful bass rumble kicks in somewhere between the five to ten minute mark, upping the ante even more – and that somewhat defines “Tesla,” a track that continues to build from the stark sound of the opening to a large and open-ended wall. Somewhere in the middle of the wall, the static kicks out for a deep, monotonous rumble, an interesting and warranted change for the piece; however, it feels like it runs a bit too long, losing the scope of the build from the opening. When the shudders of static slowly make their way back into the rumbles, it’s a welcome release from the bass trap. There’s a welcome wind-down to some stripped-down static, which holds the wall in check with an ode back to the opening salvo, a refreshing, churning surge of electricity again hearkening to Nikolai Tesla. It is here where I find the most interest in the track, as the surge shifts and tenderizes my ears, and then shudders back into a heady wall of bass.
TFT’s untitled track starts with only rumbling bass, which buzzes and judders on its own, sometimes bursting into rhythmic flatlines as the rumble blows out. Very nicely pounding, the track is almost contrary to “Tesla,” as A View From Nihil was more interested in the static crunching of the wall rather than the mountainous bass. At some points, TFT includes short loops of bass, which make for an interesting and surprising change in the sound of the track; then, TFT jumps right back into the blown-out bass again. It’s easy to get lost in the flatlines (the only term I can think of to describe them), as the track continues to shrug off predictability for random rhythmic changes while keeping the same texture. To bring an end to the track, the bass rumbles stutter and chug, eventually losing all steam and cutting out entirely. An enjoyable and enduring track for sure, but listeners who find unchanging, lengthy walls tedious will not enjoy this track.
The split, though, is heavy and filled with stamina, as each piece breaks the 30-minute mark with ease for a lengthy helping of harsh noise walls. Both tracks are of the same mindset – to break the listener, to isolate, and to deliver an unending mound of callous sound. - Memory Wave Transmission

Breaking The Will/ Bachir Gemayel split c20
Two harsh walls of noise based on politically-themed violence dominate this split C20 from Bachir Gemayel and Breaking the Will. The tape features on the cover a limbless body strung up to a shaft being paraded by a crowd; the inside of the card fold-out is just as disturbing, with various scenes of torture and mob justice along with a gigantic burning pyre of bodies. It’s obvious what the themes of the split are, and the titles correspond nicely with the pictures.
Bachir Gemayel’s “Interrogation Method” starts out with a soft, pounding rumble and then escalates in volume, taking on a rhythmic bassy march of a static wall while incorporating some higher siren-like squalls at random intervals. At all points there is the semblance of track progression, as the rumbles begin to increase in volume and the squalls twist and turn into all out squeals of feedback. The rumbles ebb and flow, sometimes fading back in the mix for intermittent judders of crisp electronic crunch. At some points, “Interrogation Method” remains laid-back, carrying on in its rumbling wall of sound, and then at others, it erupts into a distorted cacophany that nicely breaks up the wall. “Interrogation Method” at times falls into the HNW formula, where the crumbling bass continues its rhythmic beatdown, but there’s also a good amount of variety here that would fit the track somewhere in between what’s considered harsh noise and harsh noise wall; there’s both aspects here, and I don’t think it would turn a listener of either of those genres off. The rhythmic stuttering is great and is maintained throughout – a midpaced beat that carries the listener through the 10 minutes effectively.
The Breaking the Will side, “Execution,” is more of a steady harsh noise wall, starting out with static rumbles early on which quickly amp up in volume and intensity with a harsher windy squall on top of the bass. I like the movement right from the start, a quick set-up of a wall which then explodes into an even harsher track of ripping static. There aren’t many transitions on this side like Bachir Gemayel’s; instead, Breaking the Will maintains a mountainous rumble of sound throughout that has a surprisingly varied texture. About the halfway point, the pitch of “Execution” increases with a higher-sounding moment of static that jitters and shutters, marking a change in the wall that is accompanied by occasional cut-outs of static and metallic scrapes of electronics.
Both sides of this split are excellent examples of harsh noise done right; Bachir Gemayel provides a varied but controlled track of noise that blends walls and shifts while Breaking the Will sticks with a more rigid composition but leaves room for some subtle textural changes that compliment the static wall well. - Memory Wave Transmission

 Gnawed "Devolve" c24
Devolve is angry power electronics at its finest. Five tracks of powerful, driven vocals, so much so that depletion of the listener’s energy is inherent after the relatively short run tape of this cassette. The cover of this set features x-ray photos of appendages; the J-card features a bashed-in skull and spine, and the tape has a nice print of a spinal column on both sides.
“Scum (Origins)” starts with a meandering electronic buzz and a foreboding sense of destruction, rumbling in a rhythmic, tense soundtrack of demise. Then “Evolve” smashes into the mix with an unnoticeable shift, a throbbing pulse of bass that ebbs and flows, with sudden spurts of voluminous blasts. There’s a continual drone of buzz in the background, and the occasional electronic outbursts add to the building of a very tense track, the drone surging forward and picking up momentum until the ultimate climax, where Gnawed’s distorted vocals break through the chaos. This is a fantastically-organized piece, using rhythmic blasts to generate a suffocating experience. And it also knocked a bunch of CDs off of my stereo shelf. Ending side A is “Unnatural Selection,” a squeaky track with another rhythmic bass pattern along with saw-like feedback as Grant Richardson delivers his epic vocals overtop of it. Another pummeling track that emphasizes the rumble and tumult of industrialism, and it makes me wish the J-card came with a lyrics sheet.
On the flip side, we have “Devolve (Filth)” and “Lamenting Ruin (Perdition),” two longer tracks to finish off the C24. “Devolve (Filth)” starts with a harsh feedback pitch and some crumbly bass until explosions of rumbling fuzz assault the ears with aplomb. The track is most notable for its limited bursts of noise, maintaining a somewhat rigid background texture of rumbles while electronics and filthy vocals rip the foreground to shreds. A haunting, escalating siren sound peals in the distance, while the spurts of noise pulsate and writhe under Richardson’s yells. It’s easy to fall into a trance with the slow, oscillating textures, nodding your head in worship. “Lamenting Ruin (Perdition)” continues in the same vein, bass rumbles with rhythmic static feedback squeals, along with a windy echo of electronic drone beneath it. After the destruction of “Devolve (Filth),” it’s difficult to follow up with another track, and so “Lamenting Ruin” lacks some of the grit of the previous track, but instead drones with another ominous track of distant clanging and swirling electronic peals. It brings the adrenaline down to equilibrium, and concludes the tape with much-needed release.
Devolve is exhausting to listen to with so much happening at once, and surely it was just as exhausting to create a piece so full of dark fury and tension. Gnawed’s work on this tape is some of the best noise I’ve heard this year, with ritualistic beats and driving vocal performances, along with a fascination for pairing harsh sounds with distorted rhythms. Absolutely a must for power electronics fans. - Memory Wave Transmission

 Dim Dusk Moving Gloom + Andrew Coltrane "Trojan Force" c30
Two powerhouses of noise unite on Trojan Force, a collaboration between Andrew Coltrane and Dim Dusk Moving Gloom for some ambient noise worship. Justin Marc Lloyd of DDMG designed the cover of the collab, which features a two-color print of pink and white with somewhat indistinguishable shapes; I can only really make out one on the right, a monstrous man with a hand reaching up to the sky, but I like the color scheme and the triangular pattern maintained across the J-card. But what’s more important is the sound, and Coltrane and DDMG deliver what might be expected of the two teaming up.
Side A features a crumbling bass rumble in the background along with some signature electronic monster moans in the background. Occasional squeals of feedback peal out in the mix as the churning maelstrom of static and bass continue to twist and warp. Off-key tones find a home within the madness of noise, and electronic yowls and emit from the ball of rumble. These sounds never really reach a harsh level, most likely because of the mix between bass and feedback – the high-pitched sounds aren’t so grating to become purely ear-splitting. There’s a fantastic movement to this track, as the background rumble sticks mainly to the same sounds while the outer manipulations writhe with standard Coltrane artistry. The track has a way of enveloping the listener in its dense sound while remaining at a distance intensity-wise.
Side  B features a really nice droning ambience, a heavy wall of distant-sounding rumbles and loops that almost sound like human voice samples that have been distorted and maimed, shifted into new components. There’s a loud consistent rumble that dominates the foreground, and those distant loops wreak havoc in the back, with occasional crescendos of electronics ripping in often. I find the background loop to be quite intoxicating, and whereas the first track on this tape moved through segments, this one contains much of the same sound throughout with some great varied textures layered on thick, and even some higher-pitched celestial tones find footing in the ruckus.
Two noise giants collaborate to form two expansive tracks that drone and flow, emitting a mellower sound while keeping a grasp on the harshness that both artists are capable of. The tape is full with the delicate balance between ambient drones and caustic barrages, making it an excellent cassette for those who like to kick back with more relaxing, somnolent noise. - Memory Wave Transmission

Custodian "The Weight of Tension" c20
Generally the job requirement of a custodian is to clean up the trash and debris left behind by others, and of course the moniker of Jon Engman’s harsh noise project would seem to be a misnomer to most listeners who view noise as aural annoyance. But it seems to me that Custodian is an apt title for an artist who collects the viscera of electronics and music and “cleans up” by putting the sounds into a cohesive whole.
The Weight of Tension features two untitled tracks on a C20, ten-minute bursts of heavy and chaotic noise full of intensity and raucous volume. Packaged in an arigato pack that has become a staple of the Phage Tapes label, the cassette looks great, with a cardboard-colored box and an abstractly-printed design of an object hanging by a string. I’m not exactly sure what it is – the first thing that popped into my head was a heart on a string – but it’s obvious that this was the intended effect and it certainly adheres to the theme of the tape’s title.
Side A opens with a loop of fuzzy, crackling harsh noise that shrieks and roars to life, intensity building throughout; there are times where its impossible to pick out the sole sounds in the mix as all electronic sounds are so cohesively melded together in a jumble of interlocking pulses. There’s rarely a let-up at all on this track, as Custodian continues to throw in crunchy static along with high ear-splitting feedback. Occasionally, Side A feels like it’s divided into movements, as the tape will cut out for a second only to bring new tones into the mix. The track melds and shifts, but it rarely loses the pummeling scratchy rumbles and feedback love, making this one hell of a tinnitus-inducing piece. Loops fall into place, only to be destroyed by even more intensely-centered electronics manipulations. The noise is all over the place, with robotic-esque tones accompanied with echoed distortion shifting to feedback and explosive static, all in the course of a few minutes, but the common theme supplied is loud, abrasive, and violent.
Side B continues the fascination of higher-pitched feedback, starting with a singular slice of feedback until delving into a layer of deep bass rumbles reminiscent of sound found on harsh noise walls. Again, these crumbling pieces of detritus tilt and morph, at times chugging along with freight train intensity and at others dropping out into nothing but a deep, black abyss. I’d say that this is less harsh than the other, although it’s really tough to categorize considering Custodian cuts no corners for the listener, instead offering a visceral experience that is broken only by the tape cuts. Considering the multitude of sounds featured on this tape, the loops The Weight of Tension falls into are welcome breaks from the more meandering tones of the majority of the track.
Succinct, enveloping, and very close to what one might call “angry” noise, The Weight of Tension drags you down with its massive hammer of harsh sound. And, it’s quite possibly what any masochistic son-of-a-bitch has been looking for. Treat your ears to this wasteland of noise. -Memory Wave Transmission

Bonesfield/ Facialmess "Sabotage" c52
Bonesfield is a self-proclaimed harsh noise unit from Spain, and Facialmess is a cut-up artist from Japan. The two seem to be a perfect pairing for a split, as Sabotage consists of around 50 minutes of chaotic, aggressively-mixed noise full of loops, screaming electronics, and short, flowing tracks that run the gamut of noise sounds. The tape comes in a slick arigato pack, with a nice orange color fleshing out the laid-back tones of black and brown. A complicated mechanical design runs the length of the package, and though I’m not exactly sure what it is, it looks stylish and blends with the sounds of the tape.
Side A houses eight shorter-length tracks from Bonesfield, who focuses on higher-end static pummeling mixed with very twitchy manipulations. Often, and perhaps most enjoyable, Bonesfield layers loops into the tracks, and even plays with the rhythms of those loops to various effects. The short lengths of these tracks, coupled with the jumping electronic cuts, produces a very spastic effect on the listener, and these tracks rarely linger in one area before completely shifting the sound to a different idea. At times, the tracks merge so quickly together that it’s somewhat difficult to tell which track is which, blending the set into one jumble of harsh, quick cuts. But that’s not a bad thing, and the process with which Bonesfield composes his tracks warrants this type of erratic behavior. And it’s not as though Bonesfield is throwing out the baby with the bathwater on all of the tracks – there’s a soundscaped theme running through each track, with a consistent base of fuzz running underneath it all to center the listener.
The Facialmess side utilizes the same sort of chaotic, jumpy sound that Bonesfield does, although it does seem to be a little harsher in its source material. “Men of the City” opens with a sound sample that draws the listener in, only to have it obliterated by a heavy slab of harsh electronics. These jump cuts happen often, especially on this track, as Facialmess continues to slip speech samples in with the noise. It’s a bit difficult to listen intently to the samples, as the quickness of the transition doesn’t allow much time for the brain to process the sample, but the choppiness of the sound is nicely disorienting. They also allow the tracks to merge within each other, as it’s difficult to tell track changes with Facialmess’ stop-starts and caustic bursts of sound. It all makes for an extreme listen, one that somewhat requires the listener to remain a passenger on the artist’s ride. Too much thought on the noises produced and the sample choices means missing out on the experience.
The two artists on Sabotage know their textures, and the tracks featured make good use of varied sounds that meld together, and, conversely, some that intentionally don’t. It’s certainly a lot to take in at once, but the nuances in the tones and the harsh nature of the cuts makes this a really intense and enjoyable release. - Memory Wave Transmission

Bonesfield/ Facialmess "Sabotage" c52
First of all this tape looks fucking cool. The artwork is totally wild. Super intricate machines that look like a Robotech version of biomechanics. It's crazy. The design of the tape is a little bit 90's but it's expertly done. The designer obviously had a vision when designing with Stumptown Printers' "Brad" cassette packaging. I would definitely pick one of these up, open it and marvel at the meticulous artwork and two color screen printing. Intense… Now onto the sounds. Bonesfield is pretty rad harsh electronics. Sounds a bit like more recent Merzbow with a heavy use of filters. The sounds on here tend to lean towards the techno side of noise. Imagine a touch of Aphex Twin with your harsh noise. I can imagine a pair of Akai samplers being played and manipulated. Lot's of dynamics throughout the 8 shorter tracks. It's basically a full length release on one side of the tape. With Facialmess you get a similar type of noise. I guess if Bonesfield has a touch of Aphex Twin then Facialmess has a more generous helping of Squarepusher. Still noise, no slap bass or break beats but you get these glitchy stuttering bursts with a lot more empty spaces. There is quite a bit of samples and you all know how I feel about samples at this point. On this release they do create an interesting narrative, but they don't really seem to go anywhere after you get through the four tracks. Well worth checking out though. - Dead Formats

Nyodene D "Pogrom" c30
Gotta say I’m a sucker for simple artwork and no bullshit tapes like these. Black and white with cheap text and photos of what I’m guessing are from the Rwanda genocides, this seems to be a concept album based on those atrocities. Nyodene D delivers some strait forward power electronics and industrial reminding me of the sounds of Climax Denial and Grunt.
Side A’s Marched Into the Streets is a shifting barrage of junk noise, sounding great in all it’s lo-fi glory. Along the roughly 15 minute length there is little change, but shifting harmonies – manipulated string samples perhaps – slowly and subtlety fade in under the fray. Vocals are here and there, often yelled. Not dry but with a small amount of reverb and distortion.
Side B features the track entitled Via Dolorosa, this time a bit more rhythmic reminding me of the Grunt influence. I really like the underlying loop but it also continues for the entirety of the track. There are more vocals here than the first track – barking power electronic yelling, like a general directing his troops over the din of battle. Noise and distortion slowly builds to form a climax, along with the help of a steady synth pulse that ends with a news clip sample referring to the Rwanda genocide.
This whole tape is very simple and strait forward PE. I enjoy it, and especially enjoy the source samples used. The sounds are great here, the loops on the second track are fucking awesome really making my head nod. I only wish the loops didn’t continue for so long on both sides, I would have liked to hear either shorter songs, more variety, or more creative evolutions to the tracks. Recommended for fans of lo-fi strait forward power electronics like Europe After Storm-era Grunt, Climax Denial, or Pleasure Fluids. - Existence Establishment

Praying For Oblivion - Aktion T4
A rather weird tape I have in the deck this evening. It should be a split perhaps, for creations of two authors are published in the tape, but officially it's declared that this is Praying for Oblivion album so let it be. This musical unit that main axis of creation is Andrew Seal with his ideas and collaborations, is noticeable for rather wide musical spectrum - from dark ambient to harsh noise. Praying for Oblivion was started in 1995, in USA and later moved to France where in later years this musician successfully revived his musical activity. The conception of this album is based on Nazi experiment of euthanasia during which it is told that several tens of thousands incurable (or allegedly incurable) people were killed. But I suspect that only from the title of the album - design and artwork is minimalistic and temperate and sound in it - more or less typical though pleasant harsh noise and ambient. A side consists of live performance of Praying for Oblivion, recorded in 1999. The sound quality, having in mind that it's live performance, is rather good. Rough and monolithic record - themes slowly changes and the sound is massive and harsh. Overall, interesting listening experience. Distorted pulsations, dirty loops, delayed sounds of contact microphone - side develops intensively from the very first second without peculiar rises and falls. Pure and true harsh noise without any deviations. B side is different. It consists of two ambient or near-ambient tracks, made by N.Strahl.N from the sounds of Praying for Oblivion. They're called simply soundtrack one and two. The first one starts from distant factory-like field recordings that gradually goes to the background while other layers of sound appears and in the foreground you are left with rhythmic beat. Eventually the track becomes monotonous and boring and it seemed the weakest part of the album. The second track of N.Strahl.N is far stronger. It begins from repetitive melody of synth and after it gets into shape of some sort, this song turns into distorted reflection of the initial sound while finally calms down and the tape ends. I'd say rather decent work. Not exceptional, but rather pleasant listening experience.  - TERROR

Content Nullity "Absolute Dread" c30
Yet another excellent and consistent label presenting a quality item. This time it’s Content Nullity from the U.K., a country which has spawned such greats as Whitehouse and Sutcliffe Jugend, and which gives Content Nullity some big shoes to fill indeed. Luckily the project has already released a number of quality albums and Absolute Dread is no exception.
Although this is perhaps not my favorite material from the artist it’s still a solid release creeping in with one long track on side A entitled The Parasites That We Are aptly setting the tone with slowly building tones that finally form a rhythmic bubbling shifting drone. The track is a bit understated and seems just a little hindered by the fidelity of the tape but it lives up to the level of quality that Content Nullity has set for himself.
Side B sees a more familiar side with a alternating industrial rhythm building up to a wall of harsh cut-up noise in Throw My Bones Down the Well. I always enjoy the detailed harsh noise that Content Nullity serves up and this is no exception. It has depth and detail that is not overlooked.
Worth mentioning is the exceptional design and silk screen printing on this release. The tape is a bright fire-engine red with defined black text and graphics and the booklet features high-contrast black and white artwork with sparkly red ink printed over the top making this a unique and gorgeous looking D.I.Y. release. Absolute Dread has an excellent vision and execution in all aspects, great work! - Existence Establishment

Discordance, Climax Denial, Human Larvae, Moribund, Sewer Goddess, Sharpwaist 6xc10
Here is an INTENSE release and the first Phage Tape release that has fallen into my grubby mitts. How to tackle a review of 6 separate cassette tapes all rolled into one release has been wracking my mind now for some time. This is certainly a most ambitious project. What we have here are 6 10 minute cassettes each with material from one of the following artists: Climax Denial, Discordance, Human Larvae, Moribund, Sewer Goddess, and let’s not forget our favorite Yankees Sharpwaist!
Packaging is pretty nifty here, all the tapes are housed in a pro plastic padded folder. Definitely great for storage and protection and simple for artwork. The inside has all the tapes with silkscreen print right on the tape face, a professional deal here. Inside is a smart looking little booklet with one page dedicated to each artist. I really dig the inside artwork but the outer artwork is pretty half-assed. It would have been really over the top if there had been a little more time spent on the front/back cover.
I’ll take it slow, one tape at a time. Baby steps. First up is Climax Denial and this is the thickest, most suffocating Climax Denial material to date. Not my favorite, but solid at the least. Dense walls of synth noise, no room to breath. Little wails of feedback here and there almost take away some of the intensity of the noise walls. Not as atmospheric as his usual stuff and no vocals here. You could’ve have played this to me point-blank and I wouldn’t have known who it is. The second track “Observing Criminal Mysophilia – First Signs of Arousal” is much more enjoyable with it’s layers of odd sounds and sickened atmosphere.
The only unknown artist to me is Discordance who’s up next. Being among some of my favorite artists in the genre I really hope he’s bringing his A game. Echoing noise with a weird reverb and some distorted vocals aren’t sitting with me too well. The material is layered but comes off as a bit weak in “Kiss”. Luckily “Hey James” is a bit more creative with interesting samples and some creative synth work. The shoddy production works a little better with more textured layers. Weakest tape of the bunch, but that’s not surprising next to these great artists.
Human Larvae is up! Been waiting for this one. Great alternating synth drone and immediately more textured sounds opening his first track “Wegweiser”. The dark atmospheric layers of pulsating synths are soon joined by ungodly moans and barking vocals along with a crunchy distortion creating a perfect montage of sounds. The second track “Walls of Flesh” being equally as intense. A build-up of rough chugging drones, junk noise, squirmy vocals, and subdued feedback tones. A perfect mix. This is some of Human Larvae’s best material to date and my favorite tape of the bunch – though it’s some stiff competition.
Moribund is another favorite of mine taking more of a harsh noise angle on the first side with “Erosion”, a full throttle distorted, junk noise assault with seething feedback. Breaking each side into two tracks the second track on the first side “Your Choice” being about 30 seconds long featuring some more power electronics vocals. Side B is much more in line with his work on Growing featuring mid-pitched drones and heavily modulating distorted noise combined with sickened vocals that deliver the intensity that I’m used to from the project. Definitely a good showing and a pleasure to hear new material from this less-than-prolific artist.
On the next tape we’re circling back around to the great state of Massachusetts with Sewer Goddess’s more industrial tinged atmospheres. Yet another great tape to add to the release with this one. Both tracks feature a death drone backdrop and room for plenty of industrial clanging, the first more outwardly rhythmic and the second a pulsating, droning, death flower blooming in your ears. Seriously, the second track “Control Factor Commence Slaughter Sequence 2″ is such a phenomenal track with seething ambience and ear bleeding fuckery at all angles. Not for the weak at heart.
Finally running back into home – the means streets of Boston – is Sharpwaist delivering some scummy electronics as expected with “Chemotherapy – Swollen Ankles and Vodka Handles” a fast rhythmic jaunt and ethereal feedback whines with some subtle forms of low industrial tones. This is dirty, filthy, rough, and… hypnotic?!?!? Yes. An odd juxtaposition of emotions here but one that ends this varied release with a perfect gesture. The second side “Pink Spit On Filthy Porcelain” fairs just as well with a slower tempo and a few samples to further illustrate the absurd level of bleakness Sharpwaist conveys.
All I can say is that this comes off as a MAMMOTH release and although it works as a unified whole, you’ll find a diversity on here that spans the length of each and every artist. The dark edge that pervades each tape is well chosen with each artist that is represented and the changes in style and intensity is never jarring or questionable. This is a must-have for any fan of current power electronics so pick this up if there’s any left! - Existence Establishment

Stress "Caffeine Addiction" c40
“Caffeine Addiction” is sadly the last release from this HNW project of Texas based Casey Duncan, who has now moved onto none wall based sonic endeavours. Stress only releashed  four release in their brief life-span, but they showed some great promise and focused intensity on all oftheir releases.
On offer here is a c40 tape with two side long untitled tracks of battering ‘n’ crude HNW matter. The first sides track offers up a wonderful bleak ‘n’ stark wall of crude fast paced noise matter. The tracks 'wall' is built around this ferocious, cluttering,semi-percussive sounding judder/ brutal gallop that shifts though a few mixed wall patterns(in sometimes quite a jarring manner) along the tracks twenty minute brutal sonic arch. I guess that track  makes you feel like your inside a large cardboard box being battered by a very rapid ‘n’ aggressive hail stone storm, while being dragged down a billowing tunnel( I know that makes no physical sense, but you get the idea!).It’s a wonderful lo-fi and intense slice of wall-making that nicely batters yet rewards the listener.
Onto the second side, and this track’s side starts with this stuck distant electro revving sound before shortly bursting out into very battering ‘n’ bass lined walled matter. The 'wall' is built around the original revving electro tone with this manic hammering, battering and slapping tone on top. It summons into my mind the image of a panicked human figure stuck inside an body sized see-through plastic egg. This egg  is  being fed down a long conveyer belt, and as it goes along it's being battered/ slapped by 1000s of hands - it’s a bizarre image I know, but I think it nicely sums up the tracks intent. This second sides track is much more fixed and unmoving in it’s form, yet it does seem to become a bit more judder ‘n’ caustic purr bound as it goes along. It also this great taut ‘n’ tense panicked vibe to it too.
So “Caffeine Addiction”  offers up two sides of crude, intense and truly brutal HNW. It 's a really pity this project is no more, as this is a very nasty yet wholly worthwhile 40 minutes of walled matter - Musique Machine

Four Flies "Choking on Your Own Blood and Spit" c30
The gruesomely entitled “Choking on Your Own Blood and Spit”  finds Four Flies, which is another project of the hugely prolific and muilt-project linked Richard Ramirez- the project started off as a four piece but is now thinned down to a  two piece and features Ramirez & Robert Newsome (White Gimp Mask). The tape offers up two 15 minute slices of intense and bombarding walled matter with a bloody & sadistic Giallo theme running through them.
The C30 tape comes in a great fold out brown card arigato tape case pack, which features splattered red and black Screen printing. And when you open it up the letters H-N-W are printed on  three of inside flaps which is kind of neat.
Going onto the tape it self and it features an untitled track per side that comes in near the fifteen minute a piece. Side ones track is a raging ‘n’ thick yet locked mid-paced slice of galloping and crudely juddering 'noise-walling' that swims with smaller slicing and juddering semi-tones. The ‘wall’ feels very murky, bloody & nasty; with Ramirez making a very claustrophobic and intense track that snaps and rages at your hearing and brain.
Over onto side two’s untitled  track and Ramirez creates this great split stereo channel track that’s built around subtle shifting and intensifying juddering noise tones, which are underplayed by this grim, grey & growing droning purr. At the start of the track you have one thick and chocking judder coming out of one speaker, and then a different judder coming out of the other speacker. As the track goes on the sick 'n' violent layers of judder seem to mix and run into each as Ramirez builds this complex, oppressive and nasty muilti- layered ‘wall’. The track brings to mind a victim been held down and semi chocked as a black glove killer slashes ‘n’ hacks away at the victims  twitching body with multiple attacks.
So two very nasty, claustrophobic and bloody tracks of thick & often muilti-layered HNW. If you dig dense, intense and shifting yet always thick walled matter with a Giallo edge this is a must have item!. - Musique Machine

Regard Us Sadly "Regard Us Sadly" c20
Regarding Us Sadly is a new, tense and detailed static texturing/ static based HNW project that brings together J Cadle (from Foul, ...Massacre & Oasis Of Fear) and the perverse mind behind Static texturing based project I Am Slut. This self titled c20 is the first release from this project.
The tape offers up two side long and untitled ten minute tracks that are built around locked, yet detailed static texturing that has a tense and agitated feel about it.  Each track or side of tape is fairly similar in it’s lay-out and nervy attack  being  built around interlocking yet different shaped and textured static. With-in each track we have  layers of: jittering, hacking, scraping, churning and judders of static tone. Each side of tape keeps you pinned and tautly set into it’s locked and layered walls of static torture.
The tapes sleve is art printed black and white on thincard. It features on the  front cover a picture of a person with their head in their hands, and inside is a series of black and white lines which of course nicely follow the repetitive, but patterned texture of the noise inside. So this is a tense and nervy opening release from this pair which promises more edgy static texturing for the future. - Musique Machine

Disthroned Agony "IV" c20
“Vol VI” offers up two very different sides of sonic work  from this prolific, extreme noise and experimental Minneapolis based project. Side one offers up a very tight and rewarding slice of thick jitter bound wall making, and Side two an building & layered slice of experimental sound- scaping.
So first-up is of course side one, and it's taken up by ten minute untitled HNW  track which is built around a mid-paced, interlocking, fairly simple but effective mesh of jitter bound static tones. Disthroned Agony unfolds his 'wall' in a nice tight, disciplined and thick manner over the ten minute run time. And it’s a very moorish and rewardingly engulfing ‘wall’ that does have some quite nice hacking subtones going on from time to time in the tracks wall of sound, yet it still keeps it’s persistent presence in place for all of the tracks playing time.
Over on side two we have another untitled track, but it’s very different from the first sides 'wall'. I guess the tracks best described as loop based and layered experimental sound-scaping with some quite seared edges. The ten minute track is made up of building layers of alternating and often quite speed-up sound textures like: bird like twitters, tape un-reeling tones, spinning machine wheel tonalities, high pitch radio churn, and buried radio voices. By the two and half minute mark drifting and juddering radio harmonic tones start appearing in the mix; and over time theses start to take more shape and harmonic definition with almost a swooping and unwell 1920’s feel to the swooning stab of the tones. Then just under the seven minute mark things turn a lot more noisy and searing, as everything is fed into clouds of feed-back, yet the track still does not lose its playful charm. It all ends in slow monition radio tone dips before fading out.
So “Vol VI” is a tape that offers up  two very different, but equally rewarding sides. I very much look forwarding to hearing more of this projects  work, because clearly there’s a great understanding  here of both the brutally of sound and how to constructed clever and thoughtful experimental soundscapes too. - Musique Machine

Eyeless Face "Reclaiming My Soul From the Lost and Found" 5" CDr
Eyeless Face are a two piece male and female project from Pittsburgh who summon up a atmospheric soaked & brooding mixture of:flapping and doomed bass guitar textures, sinister to spacey electronics & guitar noise texturing. Along with elements of junk metal manipulation, slurred electronics and jack-knife yet sleazed percussive industrial beat work-outs that appear here and there along the way.
The wonderful titled “Reclaiming My Soul From the Lost and Found” is the projects first release, and  I’ll have to say it I found it atmospheric, yet volatile in it’s unfold- meaning your often surprised and rewarded by the twists, jerks ‘n’ turns of each track. The CDR consists of nine tracks in all which run between just under the four minute mark to around the ten and half minutes mark a piece. The whole album is fairly rewarding and blanced through-out between atmosphere and mostly subdued noisey-ness. A few highlights come in the form of the opening track “Primalhive” which utilizes a rough and ready take on the opening bass line from Morricone’s soundtrack to John Carpenter’s The Thing, shorting to caustic sailing electronics, effect peddle abuse, and low key jagged yet atmospherics guitar fumberlings. “Greymalkin” which mixes layers of grimy & moody locked guitar textures or soured harmonics, bleak feed-back hums & whines, scuttling and creepy doomed industrial electro tolling, and weird buried vocals.
So this is a début release that offers up a brooding yet shifting mixture of: sinister bass lines, grim yet creative guitar texturing, and effective controlled/ atmospheric noise electronics. It's certainly worthy of your time if your in the mood for something chilling and creepy, but still has a bit of a noise edge too - Musique Machine

Corpse Candle "Swamp Curse" c40
“Swamp Curse”  is a C40’s worth of nasty, sometimes sludgy, but always horror ‘n’ bile soaked extreme noise matter and sickly caustic electro drone matter from London based Corpse Candle (aka Robert Meldrum who’s also in excellent HNW project Uneathered).
Side one offers up three tracks in all, and first of theses is “Boo Hag” which finds  just under seven minutes of : unhinged and boiling wind feedback, gothic seared wow-wow tinged roaring electronics and  dips into unwell sludgy old school industrial bass violation- before it runs into manically reverb  & yet quite eerier stuck  electro drum attack.  Then we have  the second track “Lurch”  which slowly winds up the intensity with the whirling casket wheel textured that builds into a thickening wall of : dental scraping, slowed circle electro bone sawing, dusty bone tapings, and  seared yet ghostly almost harmonic woops ‘n’ wails. Then side one  finished off with the two minute twenty of  “Soul Loss” which kicks straight in with a low down ‘n’ roasting juddering that’s squealed over by slipping fan belt feedback screams and murky almost voodoo drum clamouring.
Flipping over to side two and we only have one track  on offer here & it’s entitled “oodooV”. The track starts out with murky, unwell and quite stark voodoo drum hammerings, pretty soon Meldrum starts to reverb and run the drum textures into each other. Then at just after the two minute mark he starts feeding the drum textures through a feed back and crushing muffled textured effect which gives this great brutal and suffocating edge to the track. It feels your in a huge pot surrounded by drum beating natives who are getting ready to cook you; to make things worse  your body & mind is soaked  in bad Peyote comedown, so the drums keep stretching, bending and caustically  melting around you. The rest of the  twenty minute track sees Meldrum shifting from more clear rhythmic yet thick battering to more muffled, bent and sickly psychedelic noise hazes.
This is by far the best Candle Corpse release I’ve heard thus far, and it shows Meldrum pulling up this more extreme noise and caustic drone project up to the level of his excellent HNW only project Unearthered. The release is topped off with a great & grim black ‘n’ murky witches green screen printed sleeve. - Musique Machine

Ryan Bloomer "Bully Hiss" c30
Bully Hiss finds Canadian noise-technician Ryan Bloomer (Piss Horn, Stegm & Flatline Construct) offer up a c30 cassette worth of detailed, shifting & often quite complex noise matter that mixes elements of: Harsh Noise Wall, static crunch & texturing, juddering faulty engine textures, and even at times dramatic almost harmonic drone edgers.
Firstly the tapes packaging is worth a mention as it has a nice professional edge & production yet with-out losing any of its underground edge. The tapes cover is screen printed white & red a various male a female figures sitting at a table- but the really neat thing is if you turn off the lights the white ink glows in the dark!. Anyway onto the sounds on the tape reels; Side one starts off with a complex mat of jittering static tone abuse, before it erupts into louder  territory then pretty soon once more shifts  into deeper, roaring static tone that`s jittered by  random crunch tones. And all of this happens with-in the first 4 or 5 minutes so as you can see Bloomer really does know how to detail & shift his noise craft in a very rewarding & often complex manner.  As the side goes on we come across: different levels of jitter `n` crunch loops under swept by this neat growing & dramatic drone, stalling loud engine tones, deep rumbling tones amassing in a more wall like manner, roaring & caustic drone flattening,  to jittering & grainy spoke like flicks. Bloomer really does cover a lot of ground in the tracks 14 minute run making it a wonderful tone to tone sonic noise jigsaw of the highest order.
Onto side 2 which opens with a  mix of jittering static crunch & white-hot noise roars; as the track progresses it becomes quite manically rhythmic as it speeds & crunchers on, before one more diving once more into more textural drone roars. This side certainly feels a lot more haywire rhythmic & almost runway manically tribal like at times in its intent. Again like the first side it`s very shifting & darting in its mix of tones & attack, going from: jittering static, to roaring type drones, through to brutal escaping air like tonally sears. Again it`s another great, complex and very reward side of noise matter.

Bully Hiss is a great just short of 3o minutes detailed & shifting noise attack which finds Bloomer doing his own distinct take on noise mixing all manner noise traits & styles in a wonderful focused & brutally entertaining whole. Very worthy of your time if you dig any kind of noise. -Musique Machine

North Korea 2xc40
‘North Korea’ is a seared ‘n’ soured Harsh Noise Wall  project with often buried vocals- it's a collaboration between Canadian based Ryan O'Neill( who’s also in the Harsh wall meet Spazz noise project Earhate) and  the depression blow extreme noise  of Washington based Cracked Dome.
This untitled or self titled  release is the first  sonic fruits from the project  and it offers up a two C40 tape box set which  fittingly has four colour screen printed case that features the North Korea flag on the front and inside there’s a seven page colour booklet with an assault rifle on the front and a  picture of Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il on the; along with the tracks lyrics in both English and North Korean.
The first tape is called 'Dear Leader' and it’s first side is taken-up by a track entitled ‘Preservation Of National Character’. This track finds the pair creating this great, intense and neck vein raised ‘wall’ of sound build around: slipping ‘n’ screeching  fan belt loops, circular caustic abusive dwells and caught yet distant tight militant drum hammerings. The pace remains extremely intense and unforgiving through-out, through there are shifts in the domination of each tone with in the sound wall, as well as slight shifts with in the ‘walls’ textural rub and grain, but the track stays purely HNW through-out. The buried vocals appear at about the mid-way point in the track, and  are just a series of very deep and mega distorted croaks and growls, they really act as another layer of  noise texture and ramp up the tracks intensity to well into the red. 
Over onto the second side and we have a track called ‘The Vulnerabilities Of Imperialism’ which takes up the whole side once again. This sides ‘wall’ starts out with quite a crude, rolling and crusty mass of sound that’s thick ‘n’ deep with static rumble ‘n’ roll- it sounds like either rolling down a rock strewn hill in a wooden barrel or caught ‘n’ looped roaring thunder tone. The track is quite fast and unrelenting in its continuous battering and rolling presences, though there are a few shifts and textural move along the way, but it still keeps firmly with-in HNW restraints through-out.  The coarse, gruff and growled vocal textures appear once more around the fifteen minute mark, but they stay around for only for a few minutes before the bombarding sound layers close in over them once more.
Tape two is entitled ‘Great Leader’ and the first side is taken up by a track called ‘Glorious Victory Over Imperialism’ this 'wall' starts out with a thick and slightly throbbing, almost harmonic and  cinematic noise tone sustain. In under a minute this is filled in with choking ‘n’ ripping rocket engine like dwell which seems to suck all the air from your listening space. As the track progresses the track takes on longer thick noise tones and burring in it’s self roaring muffle and suffocating engine flooding. The textures change, but it just seems to be bottomless and completely hopeless in it’s scorching and debilitating wall of sound. Around the five and a half minute mark very buried laser drill like tones start appearing at spaced gaps of twenty five seconds or so which seems to pull you in even deeper to the truly devastating, but oddly appealing ‘wall’.
Coming up to  the twelve minute mark a more slipping fan belt ‘n’ slow sheering drill tone snakes and appears ever so often in the tracks fiery grain and by the fifteen minute there are uncurling and trails of static texture streaming with sudden drill attacks. According to the booklet there are once more vocals present here, but there there a lot less clear and defined than the previous two tracks as I hear a few moments that could possible be vocal elements doted through-out the whole track, but I’m uncertainly were exactly they are.

Over onto the last side and we have a track entitled ‘Inextricable Quagmire Of Ruin’ this 'wall' is a lot more billowing, raging and fast-paced static chug ‘n’ roar in it’s feel. To start with you feel like your on a overloading and speeding train, as times goes by the track switchers between: flighty and flicking percussive like attacks, to stuck billowing ‘n’ roaring tones, through to hectic judders and bays. This track is still very ‘wallish’ in it’s feel through I guess you could say this is slightly more Harsh noise than HNW in it’s feel as there are a fair few random noise attacks that are not so constant or repetitive in nature. Once again the lyric booklet claims more vocals, but I couldn’t make out anything that even sounded vocal like here.
So in summing up this is a great fierce, sprit crushing and head boiling excise in militant and ballistic charged Harsh Noise wall matter from this Canadian and American project.  Another great looking and sounding release from the always the always consistent Phage tapes - Musique Machine

I Dreamt of Her Beautiful Tentacles "Choked In the Woods" c30
‘Choked In The Woods’ offers up two sides of a C30’s worth of rapid stabbing, twistingly active and ragged HNW matter from Danish project I Dreamt Of Her Beautiful Tentacles. The tape is influenced by and a tribute to the last five minutes of Claude Chabrol’s 1960 French new wave movie ‘Les Bonnes Femmes’ and it’s tale of four Paris shop girls and dark/nasty going-on’s in the country side.
Side one’s ‘untitled’ track builds it’s wall around a crisp and abrasive static rolling & flowing tone that’s underfeed by this weird grey wavering, throbbing and drilling drone which sounds like it could originate from stale, grey guitar feedback sustain. You never clearly or fully hear the wavering grey drone as it keeps darting in & out of the crisp static wall, through you do ever so often get slight almost ominous and black harmonic rings emanating from it. The track as a whole has a very active, rapid and at times frenzied feel to it which keeps you nicely entranced and on the edge of your seat through-out. There are no great structurally changes here except for the odd pull backs in the grey guitar like thumb drone and the odd sudden peak of uninformed static, which almost makes you jump, as you get so sucked into the tracks textured patterns. All told a very nice slice of ‘wall’ making with quite a distinctive unwell and panicked feel about it.
Onto side two and we have another ‘untitled’ track and this tracks ‘wall’ like the first side is based around another very tight, crisp and abrasive tone that’s underfed by a eerier one note wooden whistle like elements that keeps hauntingly calling from with in the boiling centre of the track. This sides track is slightly faster, more  boiling and at times pig fat roasting in it’s feel; it also keeps the  very urgent & in-raged feel to it like the first track. This track is even more stayed and locked in it’s sonic path then the side ones track and the two key elements are just constant looped and rubbed together in a very nasty, but hypnotically pleasing manner.
So in summing two active, intense and nerve frying tracks of very thick HNW matter that have an eerier, haunted and unwell underbelly running through them. -Musique Machine

Foul/ Cannibal Ritual split c62
This split c62 tape offers up two sides of thick, unforgiving, horror and torture fuelled Harsh Noise Wall matter from West Virginia, USA based Foul and Friedrichshafen, Germany based Cannibal Ritual.
On Side one we have an ‘Untitled’ track from Foul which starts out with quite a mid-paced looping gallop of two or possibly three layers of crusty and very slightly juddering barbwire static downpours. As the track moves towards the two minute mark the ‘wall’ becomes a little more defined in structure- it’s made up of  a roaring & roaming caustic drone element, which has quite a juddering machine gun feel in it’s guts. And a snaking barbwire static weaving tone that’s spiteful yet appealingly sliding it’s way through the roaring ‘n’ roaming drone element. Around the half way point the roaring  ‘n’ roaming drone seems to turn slightly  more groaning and unwell with an almost ugly synth bass curve appearing ever so often at the edge of the tone; with the snaking barbwire tone keeping it’s lopped course, yet also adding in a little more slight judder to it’s movement. Through-out the rest of the track Foul rubs and bloody treads the two elements into a very impenetrable wall which has a nice slight storm like swirl about it; as your mind tries to hold onto elements and tones as the slip ‘n’ slice into the thick maelstrom of sound.  Another very crushing and airless example of  hope and reality flatering wall matter from Foul.
Flipping over to side two & we have the Cannibal Ritual  track which is entitled ‘Ravenous’. This ‘wall’ rolls into view with a great crusty, muffled and grey  mid-pace churning tone which has a second slightly buckled ‘n’ juddering static rise coming out of it. It keeps to this same grim and enclosing ‘wall’ of muffled torture through-out the rest of the track, though it does step up the pace slightly to more urgent & juddering levels a quarter of the way through; yet this doesn’t lessen the bleak and dense grey painfulness of the track, but implies more rapid feeding.  To me the track brings to mind slow monition footage of two groups of  five or six cannibals swinging a slowly depleting and barely alive body from side to side. And each time it meets either of the two groups the cannibal’s slowly ripping into the body with sharpened teeth, their mouths forming with blood and eyes alight with barbaric lust. This is my first taster of the depraved cannibal obsessed Harsh Noise fruits of Cannibal Ritual and I must say I’m very impressed and want more.
So all in all a  very nice yet nasty  two way split taking in two unabating ‘walls’ of Hash Noise matter. The release is nicely topped off with a white, black and blue screen printed cover which shows a naked female tired to a tree; along with a few other tied and  panicked victims  in the foreground all surrounded by blood and flesh thirsty cannibals - Musique Machine

Namazu Dantai "Winter Assault" c40
‘Winter Assault’ is an extremely  apt title for this c40 from Germany based HNW project Namazu Dantai (aka Sascha Mandler who’s also in the excellent, but unhinged & brain screwing  noise meets shaman music/ world music project Izanami’s Labour Pains). As Mandler offers  up two sides/two 'walls' of punishing storm torn & ripped HNW matter which really does  make you feel like your staggering through a battering & wind tearing winter hurricane or violent storm.
Side one is taken-up by the first ‘Untitled’ track and this starts out with Mandler unleashing a hellish torrent of battering, ripping, roaring & pelting noise tones that literal bring to mind trying to walking in a 100 mile plus storm along side a large wooded area. As you walk the trees violent sway & roar with the huge gusts of wind and  branches along with various other debris our  ripped-off & throw towards and around you in a maelstrom of sound. After the initial and all engulfing overloading of the first three or four minutes  the track settles down into one battering storm 'wall' after another with some quite neat & almost percussive bombardments ripping out of the ‘wall’. There's also some billowing, grimly harmonic  & dramatic drone burns coming out of the ripping and fierce wall of sound ever-so too.  Though the track is quite shifting & rapid in it’s movement  Mandler always keeps it thick, battering & quite adrenaline fired though-out the pieces twenty minute runtime; he doesn’t really leave you for a moment breath or respite.  In the last few minutes of the track he locks  it down more into a smouldering grim atmospheric drone & bounding 'wall'.
Flipping over to side two and we have the second ‘Untitled’ track which crashers in with a more juddering & pelting ‘wall’ tone which brings to mind a high distorted fuzzed recording of hail stones hitting a tin or Perspex  corrugated roof. As the track moves into it’s third minute the track gets even more nasty, jaggedly ripped & rapidly battering; yet at the same time  Mandler is pulling through these atmospheric & grim harmonic drone hoots, bays and jitters-that you can just make-out ever so often in the rapid & twisting sonic downpour.  Towards the end the track dips into more wind ripping, thunder roaring  and crashing tonalities. Again like the first side it’s fairly active, twisting & storm like; yet it’s also hellishly thick, densely layered & extremely unforgiving.
The simple, grim but highly effective white, black & grey screen printed tape cover of a snow bound line of trees and their upper  branches excellently illustrates the bleak, dark and half light storm battering tone of the release. Yet another highly worthwhile release from the splendid Phage tapes and another very rewarding, creative and distinctive take on the HNW genre by Namazu Dantai. - Musique Machine

Placenta Lyposuction "Concrete Death" c45
‘Concrete Death’ offers up two sides of c45 tape worth of thick, roaring & ugly Harsh Noise wall matter from this Croatian project that appeared on the scene mid-last year & has since put out five releases taking-in splits & compilation tracks.
Side ones ‘untitled’  track finds this very thick, rapid & cruel furnace like roar & deep caustic bellowing like noise loop that endlessly hammers into your head or stream rolling over & over you again. There is zero change in the main roasting & deep tone sears; though I do detect some very minor movement in the roaring textured sonic layout of the tracks billowing depths- like sudden attacks of mid-pace static jitters or more pronounce flame roaring textured highs.  Through these are very slight yet rewarding buried touches to listen out for when the track sucks you deep into it’s sonic roast.
Onto side two and we have another side long untitled track on offer here. This sides ‘wall’ has a bit more defined hacking & chopping thick static vibe about it. With Placenta Lyposuction building a thick, crass, rough & sadistic bumping textured flow of a few interlocking tones. It feels like been in a rusted car going along a bumpy & pothole ridden road with your head been forceful pressed  to the dank, decaying & rust crumbling floor of the car.  Again like the first sides track it keeps focus & stayed in it’s crushing & flattering ‘walled’ attack, making for a very violent, unforgiving but worthwhile track.
So ‘Concrete Death’ gives the listener two sides of unforgiving, thick & nasty walled noise that’s focused & unblinking in it’s intense stance, yet rewarding & worthwhile in it’s brutal & moorish pummelling.- Musique Machine

Is "Compossibility" 2xc40
‘Compossibility’ offers up two c40 tapes worth of agitated, shifting, detailed & rewarding judder, jitter & crunching noise matter & wall building by Chicago based Bryan W. Tholl's Harsh noise/ HNW project Is
The two tapes come in a twin white plastic cassette box that features on the outside a photo of a wall made up of jagged but symmetrical lines of bricks & this fits perfectly the near on 80 minutes worth of noise inside the box  which sees Tholl building these wonderful agitated, bucking & shifting walls of noise tone. Each side of tape offers up a twenty minutes worth of juddering, jagged & crunching attack on the  sonic senses, with Tholl keeping the pace very active and shifting through-out each side of tape. We go from: thick & crushing multiple static jitter clouds lined with  seconds of silence, onto weaving more wiry static ear stringers, through to roaring furnace like chugs, into wiping electro like sears, and through to boiling & bucking walls of all out thick wall making. Each side varies in the type textures that is used for make it’s juddering,  jittering & violently bucking caustic sonic landscape; side one uses more static fuzzed type tones, side two uses more bucking metallic type tones, Side three uses more thick & crusty static emissions that are under textured by  hammering tones, and lastly side four users more hissing & spraying coarse noise tones that rise up into more roaring & bombarding noise attacks  which are under run by a metallic throb ‘n’ prong tones. Each side of tape is urgent, shifting & brutal in in it’s attack, with Tholl managing to keep you interested, focused & often tense through each sides twenty minute runtime.
So this two tape box set offers up four rewarding & brutally active harsh noise compositions that tend more towards jittering ‘n’ juddering noise texturing & all out Harsh noise wall making. Very worthy of your time if you enjoy shifting & brutal Harsh noise matter & another great release from the excellent Phage tapes. -Musique Machine

White Plague/ Wallkeeper 2x 5" CDr
This double disc CDR release offers up two Walls of near unchanging Harsh noise matter that fall between just short of an hour & just over an hour a piece.  The first disc is taken up by Minneapolis based White Plague who is Sam Stoxen(which runs Phage tapes & is also in Baculum, ...Massacre & junk noise collective Grain Belt) & Angie Ridgeway. And the second disc features Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany based HNW act Wallkeeper.
The first disc is taken up by the White Plague track ‘Spread The Disease’ which comes in around the forty five minute mark &  it’s  quite a pleasing and almost soothing slice of textured noise making. The track is built around a slow & constant static snow like crunching & crackling dwell which the pair build into a thick, but fairly unchanged flow of sound that nicely envelopes you in it’s textural grain & tone. The track seemingly speeds-up and becomes thicker in it’s crunch 'n' settle as it goes along; through this could just be my mind playing tricks as I try to see patterns & progression with-in the sea of crunch & ebb. I guess the track can can be compared to a more searing or caustic take on drone matter or repetitive yet highly inviting ambient music. It’s ideal  for locking oneself away from the world around & drifting off with the constant hypnotic static crunch 'n' fall of tone.
Disc two takes in a Wallkeeper called ‘Pain Reduction’ which comes in around the 75 minute mark. This  track is a bit more nasty, crusty & sleazed in it’s tone than the first discs track & it finds Wallkeeper offer a thick jittering & electro fly like feasting wall of sound. The tracks built around one rolling & fast boiling drone that’s ground & seared over by a second more active, crusty & tightly wound tone. Again the tracks fairly unchanging & unforgiving in its attack, through you can make out distinct yet slow pitch slides up & down through-out the tracks length. This is my first taster of any of Wallkeepers work and I must say I like his crusty, nasty & rapid moving take on ‘wall’ making.

So in summing up this two disc set offers up two very enjoyable, thick & unforgiving sonic excise in Harsh Noise wall making that will be very much enjoyed by those who like getting lost & hypnotized by lengthy & trance inducing noise matter. But I can also see the first track being possible enjoyed by more adventurous drone & ambient heads too. - Musique Machine

Alo Girl "The Autoerotic Odyssey" c10
‘The Autoerotic Odyssey’ offers up two five minute sides of tape of creative & crunching HNW matter from the excellent & always rewarding Alo Girl project which is  Italian  based Cristiano Renzoni; who also the other half of Richard  An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter & runner of the great Urashima label. The only down side about the whole thing is it’s over far too quickly!.
On side one we have a track entitled ‘Opening: First Perversion’ which finds Renzoni offering up this thick & jittering wall of textural crunching noise which he cleverly weaves with this distant harmonic like car horn beeping textures which keeps appearing at the edge of the track. It  makes the  track sound rather haunted, melodic yet strangely pleaseing in it’s distant almost nostalgic beeping & harmonic muffled bobbing. Onto Side two & we find the track ‘Sodomy’ which at first slides in like a knife with a high  pitched harmonic & ringing slicing motion before quirky turning to very tight jittering static loops of barbwire like  tone which Renzoni nicely winds round your head in an addictive & urgent manner.
The tapes topped off with very classy & professional looking black art  card cover that utilizes silver & purple metallic screen printing inks for the texts & female face cover. Another great release from the always worthwhile Alo Girl project that puts its own distinctive & highly enjoyable twist on the HNW genre. -Musique Machine

Foul "Naturan Demento" 3" CDr
Foul is the new blackly boiling &  near unchanging  HWN project of West Virginia based  J. Cadle, who in the past went under the name of White Torture & is still in ...Massacre(with Sam Stoxen of Baculum & runner of Phage Tapes) & Oasis Of Fear(with Richard Ramirez).
Naturan Demanto is the first release under the new Foul  name & if I were to compared it to the little bit of White Torture I've heard in the past I’d say Foul is a lot more punishing, unchanging & darkly crushing. On offer here is one twenty minute track of skull ripping & hell rushing HNW which starts out with a short sample from the first Evil Dead movie, of the dead  Doctor talking about the book of the dead, before the wall of sound rips in it’s sonic fire into you head. The main element here is like a very loud storm or torrential rain tone which hammers constantly down on you in a very unforgiving manner, ever so often underneath this main tone Candle forces out tight spirals of static barbwire tone & rips; but theses are very subtle- the track really is all about forming a thick & impenetrable wall of dark sound.  On the whole the track nicely fits with the Evil Dead sample & the cover artwork (which utilizes a skull picture from the second evil dead movie poster) so that one can imagine been pursued by a fast & unstoppable demonic entity through  nighttime woodlands with this track.
As with anything on the  excellent Phage tapes label this is has a really classy & professional looking  package with the 3inch cdr coming in a mini jewel case with the simple but effective skull artwork on it. -Musique Machine

Various Artist "HNW vol. 2"3x c45
This box of caustic joy 'n' wall making is a three c45 tape box set that features a tape an act from the following HNW projects: Infirmary, Slates & A View From Nhil- with each project offer up two long tracks of distinct wall building & noise thickness.
The three tapes come in a rather classy & professional looking long white vinyl case with screen printed art on the outside & inside. And on the first tape we have two sides of ‘walls’ from Peoria, Illinois  based one-man project Infirmary with the first side being entitled ‘Doom’ & the second ‘Addiction’. Side one find’s you been attacked by a thick wall of punching & tight static tone which is underlined by a long distant rumbling drone pitch. It feels like you’re rapidly descending on a cable broken lift as the track just hammers & hammers into the side of your head & the floors shoot by. The track remains pretty fixed & unblinking in it’s sonic stance expect for little twists of static aggravation ever-so often on the end of the loops . All told it’s a nice fast moving & deadly falling ‘wall’ to open up the set.
Onto side two and we have another fast moving set of tones that almost have a speedy grindcore or death metal feel to them(but of course with lack of drums)- the main tone sort of feels like someone firing a thick jetted & scalding stream gun around the room; & this is underlined by a rolling & deep drone ‘n’ boil pitch. The main tone swings & suddenly fires out longer tones ever so often in a nice devastating manner. This track is certainly more active than the first track though it still does only move through about three or four tonality shifts ;through latter there’s a rather neat slight higher prodding( for want of a better word) pitched jittering tone that I keep getting hints of it the tracks guts.  It’s an effective track that feels nicely moving & skin melting in it’s intent.
Onto tape two and we have two sides from Slates with on the first we have a piece called ‘Elwha’ & on side two a piece called ‘Glines Canyon’. Side one starts of out with a nice heavy & persistent hammering rainstorm tone which starts to curl out into longer engine like purrs & throttle like judders. As the track goes on the wall of sound starts to become more engine like in it’s feel as it rapidly judders & metallic vibrates along; with at times it having an almost very tight & nasty groove to the wall. Yet unlike someone like Ryan Bloomers juddering mechanical walls it never really breaks down & it keeps feeling pretty constant & thick in it’s intent, though in the last minute or so you can clearly define the tracks motorbike engine sounding origins.
Onto side two and the track opens in a similar hammering static rain feel as the first track, through it seems more spread out and fogged in its feel; there’s also this swinging & throbbing outer tone at the edger’s of the main down pour. As the track goes on another juddering engine type tone becomes present & more prominent; with this one sounding more like a chainsaw on purring & jittering low revs. This side has less groove edge & more bloody hammering feel about it, there’s also less evidence of the tracks untouched engine origins too. This was my first taste of Slates & I’ll have to say I really like the way they build engine like textures into their walls- so I'm looking forward to hear more stuff from them,
Lastly we move onto tape three & A View from Nihil’s two sides of tape; with a track called ‘Life Is Struggle, Nothing More’ on side one & a track entitled ‘With the beyond One Kills Life’. Side one open with a very harsh slow moving crashing discordant junk like tone that sparks-off in a feedback wince before crashing headlong into a thick, crushing & rushing wall of sound that feels like walking through a slowly turning massive cerement mixer. Underneath the main crashing thick soup of tones there is the odd serrated higher ripping & roaring of steel type tone; like a machine is ripping car doors & roofs off in the distance. Side two opens straight into a no-holds barred tearing wall of static storm tone which is under hinted  by distant junk like clanging this last for a time before burning up into feed-back smarts, before stopping all together to shortly be replace by a new thick & grey wall  like tone; this tone is a lot more constant unchanging & thick drill like in it’s intent though with-in a few mintues this fades out to be replaced by another more rapid roaring wall tone. The tracks ok and I like the idea of differnt walls been used; through sadly the walls that are used don’t really have that moorish & hypnotic feel that really pulls you in.
A very nice & classy looking box-set offering up three distinct takes on the HNW sound- not one for newbie’s to the genre, but those who are addicted and hooked on Harsh wall making this is a must have item. -Musique Machine

Lngtche "Recordings For Osip Mandelstam" CDr
Lngtché es un misterioso proyecto canadiense que practica una suerte de ambient oscuro y asfixiante. Desde el primer corte de "Recordings for Osip Mandesltam I-IX," la gruesa, aplastante atmósfera de ventisca primordial parece querer engullir al escucha con su envolvente magnitud. Y ésa es la constante del álbum: Sonidos fincados en el borde grave del espectro se convierten en un edificio imaginario que alberga en sí los abstractos juegos de síntesis proveniente de un sintetizador Doepfer. Nueve temas de fascinantes juegos de sombras producidos con una calidad impactante rinden homenaje al poeta polaco. No se dejen engañar por el discreto empaque; éste es un gran trabajo. - Ruido Horrible