Potier. – Einsicht In Die Notwendigkeit (C20, Not On Label)

Potier. is Michael Toepfer, a harsh noise act that seems to center around the industrialism of cities and the ugliness of said economic expansion. Potier.’s website states that the act is “Oil City HN”; I’m not sure what exactly that means, but based on the artistry of this cassette and the fact that JLIAT did the layout, I can only imagine that Potier. partakes in grandiose philosophical themes and establishes them in his noise – especially since the title seems derived from a book about German cities by Frank Betker. Einsicht In Die Notwendigkeit is almost all in German, from the title to the track listing to the j-card’s printed message, which I cannot read but which seems an important part of this cassette.

Two side-long tracks make up this cassette, first with the lengthy title “Deutsch/Weiss/Heterosexuell/Reproduktionsbereit”. Despite the slashes between names, this is one full track that often develops wall-like tendencies throughout. Unlike a wall, however, the noise often builds upon itself; what first begins as a harsh and loud display of despondent subway systems and cluttered, dark alleys amplifies and coalesces, definitively bleak and oppressive. There’s an interesting texturing here of decaying electronics, often whirring and spiraling out of control while a pitchy feedback wail impersonates that of a train running off the rails. It’s hypnotic because of the jarring nature of the feedback, but it’s all grimy enough to work as an ironic depiction of life before (the cover) and after (the noise) within the expansion of civilization.

“Politisch Unauffaellig/Produktiv Arbeitend” is a little more straight-forward in its harsh noise, with crumbling walls of static that often accelerate, decelerate, amplify and crunch. It still retains that idea of the harsh noise wall, something that feels unchanging, but in this case, Potier. truly is slightly altering the texturing of this static. It feels like windburn, but in a good way, although not as intensely engaging as “Deutsch/Weiss/Heterosexuell/Reproduktionsbereit” can be.

But even with an underwhelming B-side, Einsicht In Die Notwendigkeit is a very rewarding listen for fans of harsh noise and walls. Potier. documents the collapse of urban societies within his noise, and his texturing ensures that even if there’s not an answer to societal decay, it’s at least enjoyable to listen to.

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