Pulsating Cyst – Horrible Signal (7″, Obfuscated Records)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

horrible signal

Pulsating Cyst is a relatively new project that I haven’t heard of, but this short 7″ LP from Obfuscated Records marks a good beginning for any noise fan. With three tracks and two locked grooves, Horrible Signal is a good introduction to the sort of droning noise that Pulsating Cyst brings to the table.

Horrible Signal is compiled from live excerpts, though I’m not sure how (each track has a coherent feeling to it, so I wonder if these tracks were performed entirely or constructed from others). We start with “Alien – SF Dissonance Party/The Lab”, a track that plods away with squeals of noise and deep droning constructions. It’s the longest of the three, but its direction is obvious from the start; Pulsating Cyst continues the sound throughout, and incorporates different pulsations from noise to give it that thematic imagery of an alien spaceship on course for planet Earth. It ends with a locked groove that’s quite hypnotic, beginning with bassy beats and ending with a whoosh of static.

The flip side continues with two quick cuts. The first, “Monster – Sound Invocation/The Handbag Factory” features heavy shuddering bass lines and occasional squeals and peals of electronics outbursts as well as shimmery digital-like noise in the background. It often reminds of some of Merzbow’s output; the electronics are seriously decayed and whining, and Pulsating Cyst loves to let them squawk in distress. “Broadcast – Open Windows/Kill Radio” has more of those wonky electronics sounds – whirring, shifting textures, very laser-like blasts of noise, and occasional feedback scrapes. It’s short and grating, the type of harsh noise that’s always memorable. We end with another pulsing locked groove, this one simpler but still a joy to keep spinning.

Horrible Signal is a short but excellent release, and I would take it any day over a long blast of repetitive and overdone harsh noise. It’s a fresh dose of sound – Pulsating Cyst doesn’t linger too long on the same sounds, but the idea of each track remains even as the textures are shifted.


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