Torba/Dotåbåtå Split (C31, Hair On My Food)

The relatively new harsh noise/drone artist Torba leads off this split cassette with four shorter tracks. The first, “Anemia Modulaire,” begins with crumbling static walls that vibrate and shift until a lilting high-pitched tone makes its way into the midst of the noise, providing a bit of melodic anchorage in the haze. Then the track slips into a bit of a harsher noise bent, building those crumbling walls of static while the drone of buzzing electronics and that sustained high-end chord continue on undisturbed in the background, creating a sort of oasis within the noise as the storm rages on until the electronics finally dissipate and allow that peaceful drone to end the short track.

“My Guitar Want to Kiss Your Mama” follows a similar pattern, starting with some hiss and static while sounds rumble into the forefront. There are times when Torba sounds almost like a HNW act, although the whirrs of sound rarely become static. Instead, the track loops, locking into a groove while other buffets of noise blast against the sound orchestrated from the opening of the track. Toward the end, we get a distantly screeching tone that completes the ensemble.

“Arduino” takes its cue from drone and harsh noise wall again, and like “Anemia Modulaire,” begins with a looping, peaceful chord that rises and falls in pitch until some snowy walls of bass rumbling break the calm. As the track progresses, Torba layers walls of crunch until that first melody is drowned out by thicker cacophonous walls, and then slowly breaks it down to its original component. Showing more attention to detail and volume than “Anemia Modulaire,” this is my favorite track off of Torba’s side.

And finally, “#6 (Extreme Noise Remix)” kicks in with what I’d describe as a noisier sunn o))), providing black and bleak guitar drones that are drenched in noisy static. This is a great track for those who take their drone with a side of black metal, and being a fan of that side of the genre as well, I think that sticking this on the end of Torba’s side of the split showcases an extension of his abilities as an artist.

Dotåbåtå delivers one lengthy track on his side of the split, entitled “Rusted Nails Driven Into Dead Wood.” With that piece of dark imagery already in the mind, it’s no surprise that the track opens with a very bleak drone of guitar chords and distant electronic buzzing. It stays in that mindset for a few minutes, until a screeching begins to claw its way into the mix. The darkness of the drone continues, staying around the same type of sound while also broadening its scope to include new chords and electrical whining that carry the listener through the track. Towards the halfway mark, Dotåbåtå switches over from guitar drones to more electronic walls, encompassing the listener with a barrage of harsh noise that carries over similar themes from the Torba side of the tape.

This split is definitely for those fans of drone who like their tracks infused with some harsher noise, and the tape should even appeal to those who have a fling for harsh noise walls. Both Torba and Dotåbåtå bring enveloping drones into the mix while also infusing each track with a great deal of harsh electronic manipulation, and it results in an exhilarating combination of melody and chaos.

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