Nite Shadez – Black Holes for the Face and a Graveyard (C48, Out-Of-Body Records)

20130505-201743.jpg Nite Shadez is the duo of Rob Buttrum and Andrew Michael; on Black Holes for the Face and a Graveyard, the two experiment with creating noise in the vein of horror movie soundtracks, with deep bass and synth tones along with the distinctive percussions of a drum machine. Vocals and tape manipulations abound; more surprising is that the tape was recorded live between the two, with both side-long tracks (about 20 minutes in length) effortlessly improvised as the two shred the common sheltering of harsh noise for something much more creepy and less conventional.

Both tracks, “Black Holes for the Face” and then the B-side “And a Graveyard” (makes sense per title), find Buttrum and Michael playing off of the creepy intonations of synth work. There are moments of clarity with the percussion of the drum tracking – this could be some demented work of Goblin if not for the freak-out that generally occurs later on. Things get thick and heavy with bass, and electronics spiral into a whirlwind that loses the synth drones of the soundtrack. But the two find harmony again; the tape is all about the give and take between the two, and there’s a cohesion to where they find themselves that works very well. It makes it sound like this improv is easy, even though it’s clear that finding such soundscapes and building off of them isn’t.

The synth work often sounds straight from ’80s slashers, and Nite Shadez find tons of room for odd sounds in the mix. There are often moments of more rhythmic noise before the duo teeter off into bits of filler between outbursts. “Black Holes for the Face” is mostly spot on, though its ending does lose control (or so it seems) when the drums flip between settings sporadically.

“And a Graveyard” focuses on a more cemented pattern throughout. Lots of eerie synth lines, a driving drum rhythm that actually gets quite complex, and some heavy vocals, both screamed and sampled, keep things moving in a focused direction here. For those who enjoy more cohesive noise, this track will be the stand-out – it doesn’t lose its destination like the A-side does.

But both tracks here are excellent, a hodge-podge of different noise experiments under the subheading of weird and creepy electronica. Certainly recommend ed for those who are into some of the brooding works of Dead Machines.
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