Dead Body Collection – I Praise the Scars On Your Body (C30, Noir Sur Noir)

i praise the scars on your body

By now, after a vast number of releases in the harsh noise wall genre, most people know whether they like Dead Body Collection’s version of mostly unchanging static. He’s been so prolific under this moniker that there are very few HNW labels that have not put out a DBC cassette. On I Praise the Scars On Your Body, the formula doesn’t change – just the sounds the go into the wall.

On the first side is “Your Pure Incorruptible Pain,” a searing track of fuzzy static that mixes with a bass rhythm deep in the mix. This isn’t a standard whitewash of sound, though; the static does have its own subtle nuance to it, and the bass in the back has a semblance of change throughout the nearly 15 minute running time. Dead Body Collection allows this track to feel stoic, although the close listener may be able to discern just the hint of alteration within the sound, almost like a song of its own attempting to escape a noise prison. Or that could be imagination.

“Kill Anything That Walks” is the second side, a surging track of up-front static and a roiling bass background. It’s difficult to tell what exactly is doing the shifting in this piece: it could be the static itself, but I almost believe that the bass has a wavering to it that causes a very interesting blur within the wall. I think this one is even better than “Your Pure Incorruptible Pain,” with the semblance of movement very apparent even when the wall itself doesn’t really shift at all. It does feel like the ending of this track cuts out some of the background texturing, but this could also be oversaturation to the sound.

Both tracks are really quite good on I Praise the Scars on Your Body, and if you’re looking for a quality Dead Body Collection tape and not sure where to begin in the vast collection, this is as good a place as any to begin listening. The textures are strong, and it also sticks sounds right in line with other releases.

recommended

Matthew Akers – A History of Arson (C36, Out-Of-Body Records)

a history of arson

Matthew Akers explores both the digital and analog side of synths on his tape for Out-Of-Body Records, A History of Arson. The cassette features a match that comes with inside the case, in case one decides that the music makes them want to go and commit a crime; but Akers’ music swells and vamps, instrumental songs that capture a light, or a flash in the darkness.

The first side of A History of Arson is somewhat uplifting. The rhythmic vamps of synth work in “A History of Arson Prologue” wash over the listener, a soundtrack to a climactic act to come. Akers works with repetition but adds key riffing to the context late in the track, a new synth beat that works off the staccato punctuation. It’s at odds with the opening to “Bad Wolf,” a melancholy dirge, but that quickly picks up into a Zombi-esque prog-synth rock session, completely with some fantastic programmed drums with just the right fade into the mix. “Bad Wolf” would fit right at home on an Italian giallo soundtrack from the ’80s, and indeed Akers’ work seems to hit that nostalgic itch.

Side B is the darker part of A History of Arson, opening with “Voyeur”‘s minor chord swells and a slight martial beat from the drums. “A History of Arson Epilogue” continues the brooding atmosphere with Akers’ sustained synth notes, while “Midnight in October” features a dance beat and busy note alternations.

A History of Arson is one of those rare gems, the kind of thing you might happen to stumble across on accident but get hooked on immediately. Matthew Akers’ synth scores – because that’s what they are – are suited for the movies you’d watch on a late night, with the wind blowing outside your door. The compositions are refreshingly original, and I look forward to hearing more of the artist’s work.

recommended

Mulo Muto/B E T A – Tape Crash #11: The Examination (C60, Old Bicycle Records)

mulo muto beta

Mulo Muto is the duo of Joel Gilardini and Attila Folklor, a project of synths, guitars, and drones; B E T A is from Michele Basso and Marcello Bellina, and they mostly utilize guitars for a hypnotic, psych-y trance dance. Old Bicycle Records’ Tape Crash is a series of cassettes seemingly matching up artists for a split, and really The Examination could not have worked out better for two alike projects.

First up is Mulo Muto with their side-long droning piece “When the Sounds of Nature Collide With Our Inner Selves and Resurface As a Stream of Noises.” It’s about a half an hour long and sees Mulo Muto combining dark synth tones with a wall of buzzing rumbles. Beginning with insect chirrups, the track picks up into a droning crescendo, offering up the collision of the title for chants and radio transmission buzzes. Eventually we come down again after a glorious high, coming back to more nature sounds and some wind chimes.

B E T A offer up five songs on the second side, often of thick reverbed guitar and noise effects. “Pluto is a Planet to My Heart” gives a quick summation of what’s to come, a short track of soft guitar plucking, climaxing up until a “Shhhh…” quietens everything. “The New Order Song” starts with a guitar track and some junky electronic crackles before becoming a spacey jam of dueling guitar riffs. “Kill Collins!” shimmers, then rumbles, with a ton of reverberation leaving the ears tickled, until the Death in June cover “Behind the Rose” calms things; the original song is preserved, but under a heavy dose of echo that more resembles Boris at their noisiest. “Karma, please” is a sinister guitar riff, one taking the lead while the other strums out backing notes; “A (Ha Ha)” rounds it out with a crunchy, modulated riff and some moaned, ghostly vocals.

If Tape Crash is meant to be a way of seeing how two artists sound mashed up onto one cassette, then Old Bicycle Records have done a fantastic job on The Examination. Either way, this is a solid cassette all around from two very capable artists; Mulo Muto starts things with a lengthy, ambient drone, and B E T A provide a soundtrack of guitar manipulations. If you can’t find this tape, then just listen to the thing on Bandcamp.

recommended

Vinland Special Services – The Articles of Confederation (C80?, Red Light Sound)

vinland special services the articles of confederation

Vinland Special Services is a from the same artist who does Ilsa Koch and runs the label Winter Solace Productions. On this release, Red Light Sound collects various recordings from Vinland SS, either compiled from small-quantity demos or other tapes the project has put out in the past. Because of this, the title The Articles of Confederation is fitting; these are old, somewhat outdated tracks for the project, yet still important to its history.

The first side starts off with the three tracks from the demo tape Vinland Protection Squadron. They’re mostly very quiet, confined cuts, beginning with the marching procession of “ZB Delirium.” The soft patter of footsteps continues to the tune of whistling feedback, which begins to open up into louder and more insistent noises later in the track. At over 20 minutes long, this track is the longest on the cassette but also has the most depth, often pushing the boundary of what the listener imagines the sequence will do. It’s followed by “The Patriots March on Washington,” with sizzling electricity and an constant whirring/churning texture that grows throughout its ten minutes. Ending side A is “Imposters in Glory Suits,” a very quiet echo of voices with soft feedback.

Side B features some of the B-sides of Vinald Special Services’ output, including “People’s Radio,” which did not make the cut on Vinland Protection Squadron. This is another lengthy track of repeated whirring, eventually morphing into what sounds like a distorted scream intentionally becoming static crackles. Eventually the track returns to its whistling alarms, and starts the process over again. Towards the end, it starts to become too repetitive, alternating between textures too quickly.

“Untitled” is the unique track on this release, tremendously different from the rest with its free-form ambient drones because it was not originally a Vinland SS track. “U-Boat Resistance Campaign” rounds out the noisier aspect of The Articles of Confederation with quiet feedback whistles and what sounds like a buzzing of strummed guitar in the background. Lastly is “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye,” Vinlad SS’ take on the traditional Irish song. It’s a creepy crackle of electronics and soft whistling drones, set to Vinland SS’ own vocals.

This is a nice release from Red Light Sound that compiles some of Vinland Special Services’ older tracks into a generally cohesive album; these tracks are often quieter yet still quite difficult, and certainly worth a listen.

Human Vault – Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted (2xCD-R, Exabyss Records)

hukman vault

Human Vault is Mortum, an industrial artist whose work has been released on a variety of different lables. Exabyss Records is re-releasing Human Vault’s ouput, and Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted is a combination of two recordings on a 2-CD-R set. Tears of the Quiet Ones is a regular full-length album, and the second disc, Souls Inflicted, is a set of four remixes by Vinnui and Gary. It’s a nice package from Exabyss Records, especially if you missed Human Vault output in the past; the electro death industrial music he puts out isn’t for everyone, but the noisy dance sound is nonetheless done well.

Human Vault often uses a standard repetitive beat for his tracks; programmed drums provide the background beat, while various synth tracks lay out the gothic feel, often dark and haunting but hypnotic as well. Most of the tracks clock in around lengthy four- or five-minute marks, using their repetition to lock into a groove as Human Vault growls or snarls over them.

None of these are too noisy, although they have a semblance of that to them; “Void in Fetus” starts out with crackles of static, only to erupt into a bass-driven jam with squeaky interlaced in the mix. “Stupid Sadistic and Suicidal” is an intro piece that lays down more electronics than beats, with a sound sample late in the track that shows where the title came from.

The snarly vocals are the draw here for me, although I have to say that all of Tears of the Quiet Ones’ beats are catchy. The sounds are compiled well, and all of the tracks generally have one or two moments where the song morphs ever so slightly, like “The Defeat of Creation”‘s subtle synth notes in the background. The final track onTears of the Quiet Ones, the Gary remix “The Defeat of Creation,” slows things down quite nicely for a dreamy outro.

Souls Inflicted is a nice bonus for listeners, especially since some the original tracks aren’t included on this release. It gives a quick look at what other sounds Human Vault has created, and at the same time allows Vinnui and Gary some exposure as well. It’s a short CD-R, but definitely worth a listen.

Exabyss’ package of this Human Vault reissue is really nice, and an avid listener of industrial would feel right at home with this album. With that said, I’m not too knowledgeable with industrial myself, but Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted is definitely a beat-heavy album with a lot of good sounds, worth a check even for those who like more noise than music.

Klontaveum/Protocols – Glory & Hope/Fa (C90, Winter Solace Productions)

klontaveum protocols

The reason I took a guess on the length of this tape is because it doesn’t say anywhere exactly how long it is. The tracks themselves are about 35 minutes a side, putting this at a 70 minute length, but the tape runs along for a while after the tracks are finished. I’m guessing C80, but it could be closer to C90. Edit: Confirmed C90.

Anyway, Glory & Hope/Fa is a split tape from Klontaveum and Protocols (also known by the much longer title The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Klontaveum is a fairly new project I’d guess; I can’t find any information on the project, and Glory & Hope/Fa is the only release listed on its Discogs profile. Protocols have been around for some time releasing noisy ambient stuff, like their massive 6xCD-R set on Mein Kampf that runs about 7 hours long.

Glory & Hope/Fa is said to revolve around fire samples. First up is Klontaveum with four tracks, a quick intro with “When It Began” and then three longer entries. Klontaveum’s tracks are very cloudy, potentially the product of poor recording equipment or an echo-y studio. Whatever the case, it’s difficult to hear much dynamism in these tracks, because the audio is so muddy that the noise tends to blend into itself. Most affected is “Lies of a Lie Forged,” one of the longest tracks from Klontaveum and one that tends to have the least effect on the listener. Its noises often sound sludgy and undefined, only sometimes breaking free of the low bass shudders. “You Know” and “Glory & Hope” are slightly better, with more depth to the sound and somewhat changing tones of sound, where the breadth and pitch is more spread out.

Protocols’ side of the split has only two tracks, “Fa” and “Sandraudiga.” The first has some pretty defined fire samples along with dark synth dirges and a repetitive format that lasts for its twenty minutes. The ambiance of this track is aided by the fire crackles, and Protocols do a good job of keeping things fresh despite the fairly obvious use of repeating textures. The same goes for “Sandraudiga,” with another subtle fire crackle, more dreamy synth drones, and a loose warble that makes the tune feel like its weaving in and out. The Protocols side is absolutely recommended.

It’s a 50/50 release from Winter Solace, with Klontaveum’s side not very striking or profound; Protocols, however, sincerely deliver a nice droning ambient 35 minutes that is definitely worth the while.

Vomir – Que le ressac de ta jouissance n’ait lieu qu’au reflux de la douleur (3″ CD-R, Corpse-Grained Series)

que le ressac

Vomir’s release on the Corpse-Grained series is an 18 minute track of static that doesn’t change, which should surprise no one at all. His output of late has felt very similar – I keep coming back to his release on Forever Escaping Boredom, his Untitled C30, where both tracks sounded almost completely the same – and Que le ressac de ta jouissance n’ait lieu qu’au reflux de la douleur is no different. I’m not too sure what the title translates to, because Google Translate does not give me an acceptable enough answer (something to do with “surf” and “reflux pain,” which I don’t think is right), but whatever the case, Vomir’s release is certainly a slab of harsh noise wall that blocks light from its texture.

The track doesn’t feel like it changes it at all throughout it’s 18 minutes. There is a lot of crunch right at the front of this wall, a static smash that is so tight its difficult to hear any pops or eccentricities in the tone. The only thing that stands out is an occasional roiling of the static. In the background is a bass-driven rumble that judders along without stopping or shifting.

There is a sensation in the background of ambiance, but that, I believe, is an illusion created by the way both the bass and the static collide. There’s little room within the wall for any movement – the static is stoic, the bass is stoic – and so the result is something that evokes a muffled tone.

All told it’s a good, expected wall from Vomir, one that’s not too difficult to listen to but does offer up some variations inside the wall to listen for. This is Vomir doing his best to remain rigid and unchanging, and over 18 minutes, he succeeds.