Das Gonob Quasiforma/To-Bo – Split (C60, Ikebukuro Dada)

I’m not too familiar with either of these projects, although I have seen To-Bo releasing a lot more tapes and splits since I received this release from Rotkappchen. According to Discogs, it seems Das Gonob Quasiforma often alternates between noise music (which is featured on this split) or depressive black metal; here, DGQ (for short) focuses on synth-y noise wall textures. To-Bo has quite a few noise releases under its belt in the past two years, and is more of a harsh noise/power electronics project.

On side A is Das Gonob Quasiforma with “Ein Tanzender”, which seems to roughly translate to “dancing” if Google is to be trusted (probably not). At first, it does seem like dancing is an inappropriate title considering the drone textures generated from synth-like instruments that meander with rhythm-less abandon. Slowly very slow, loose static crunches over these drones, creating a very interesting mix of drone and harsh noise that alternates between allowing the synth to take shape or blotting it out with slowly shifting static. But DGQ explores other territory throughout the near-30 minute side, with walls and rhythmic synth work trading in and out through the piece. A very enjoyable track, one that never quite cements itself in either genre but instead transcends both.

Side B is To-Bo with “Schatten Red Blade”; with my faulty translation, I get “Estimating Red Blade” or some such nonsense but it seems that something gets lost in that translation because I’m not sure what that means. No matter, though. To-Bo’s side feels rougher, more abrasive, with scrap electronics and peeling shrapnel flying around with the quick cuts To-Bo brings to noise. There are a lot of oscillations and changes in sound, although vocals are sometimes incorporated over the electronics that go well with the screech of the noise. Despite the really caustic performance and almost overwhelming amount of sound featured in this never-ending wall, To-Bo’s track is not quite as memorable as Das Gonob Quasiforma.

Both artists contribute a lengthy, quality track to this split, and despite lack of prior knowledge of both of the acts, after hearing their work here I would certainly be interested in checking out more of their work. And the release itself is of high production value – black tape with thick reels, picture stickers on both sides of the cassette, and a thick J-card with interesting and breast-iful abstract art. Good harsh noise from these foreign artists.

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