GX Jupitter-Larsen/Arvo Zylo – Xylowave 2012 (C50, Spleencoffin)

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If you’ve heard GX Jupitter-Larsen’s output before, I won’t even have to review his side of this split. You know if you like it and you know if you don’t. Arvo Zylo is a different story, because his output seems to constantly shift to a point where I never know what I’m going to get on each release. In reference to Xylowave, each artist brings one 25 minute track to this release, and they are both fairly noisy, with the intent to spiral out of control as a wave might during an especially raucous full tide.

First on Side A is GX Jupitter-Larsen’s “Xylowave” – you can tell on the cassette because that side is marked with an X. There are wall-like qualities to this track, since it both moves and stays in the same sort of muddied soundset that it begins with for the most part. But there’s a lot happening on the interior of this track – pulsings of jittery noise that almost sound like chords strung tightly and then fiddled with; lots of sharp feedback that doesn’t get too loud but simply hangs in the balance, as though nearly all of the electronics GX Jupitter-Larsen uses are on the edge of giving up. There are rumbles, too, but those are pared back slightly. Even when the track lightens up a bit for some churning fuzz, there are some howls thrown in for good measure. It’s a nice mix of noise, and everything kind of cements together while maintaining the sense of inward movement that becomes rather imperative for tracks of this style.

“Zylowave,” Arvo Zylo’s track, begins with some looping of what sounds to be a sample – of what, I’m not sure, but it sounds like a room full of people talking played back on a bad tape player and then looped so much that some of it sounds like it’s glitching. Over time the whirr of other electronics begins to creep in, resulting in some oscillating tones and adding to the output of the track – everything is going at once, and it’s equally as chaotic as the Jupitter-Larsen side. Arvo Zylo does bring it down in places; some of the loops cut in and out, sometimes nearly all of the sound stops, but the Zylowave continues on in interesting ways throughout.

Both sides of this split are excellent – they’re two good harsh noise tracks that emphasize subtle movements, remaining rigid in their initial setups but carrying forward underneath the layers with small details. It’s a frenetic listen, and for those that enjoy a big smattering of harsh noise, this one’s for you.

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