A.R.GH – Asfixia (CD-R, Not On Label)

A.R.GH’s standpoint on Asfixia is that it shouldn’t be limited. If people want to buy the noise, then so be it, let them. This disc is unlimited, an edition of infinity, meaning that if you wanted to, you could head over to A.R.GH’s website and buy one right now – that doesn’t normally happen in the noise world with all of the super-small limited collections that need to be purchased within thirty minutes or they’re gone forever. Asfixia is four tracks of borderline, gray area harsh noise wall. I use that term loosely, because there is way too much shifting and changing on this disc for it to be considered purist HNW, but then again, the moments where the tracks stop fluctuating might be too stoic for fans of cut-up harsh noise or fast-moving junk electronics. Each other tracks are fairly long, at around ten minutes or more, and they all move around from their initial sounds but often stop to examine and ponder certain textures.

“I” starts out with a scratchy sample of what sounds like kids laughing and playing; it then jumps into a heavy wall full of bass and static, layering overtop of that sample, which often breaks through in junctions where A.R.GH cuts the wall down for distorted effects. This is a wall in texture alone, since it moves through different areas of static noise a lot, but it’s still a really interesting idea thanks to the continual appearance of that initial sound sample.

“II” has a fantastic searing element to it that runs throughout in the background, continuing to be the staplepoint through much of the track while A.R.GH adds different elements to it – jagged bass here, heavy static swirling there.  However, both “II” and “III” have a tendency to wander from their initial setups, making it difficult sometimes to determine if we’re still within the same track or not. It’s one of the only problems with this release: though A.R.GH gives us plenty of raucous textures, they’re not always focused enough.

“IV”, however, is the shortest track on here, and it features a good synth (guitar? not sure) line that echoes and reverberates throughout, driving the track through thick mires of static. It’s probably the best assessment of what A.R.GH can do with limited scope, and a track that definitely serves well those who enjoy drone.

Overall Asfixia is a good mix of harsh noise and wall forms, although those looking for the latter will find he meanders a bit too much. Still, there’s a good eye for texture here, and for a CD-R made in editions of infinity, you’ve got as long as you want to make a decision on whether you’ll buy it.

Buy here

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