Tinnitustimulus – 3rd Degree/Rotator Cuff (C40, Deaf Culture Music)

Tinnitustimulus is a harsh noise project from Tom B., who also runs the label Deaf Culture Music. 3rd Degree/Rotator Cuff is a tape released in 2014, although it looks like there are still some copies available on Tinnitustimulus’ website; the cassette is a C40 featuring two side-long tracks, one of more rhythmic intent and one focusing on harsher sounds. Both, however, showcase the finesse this project has with noise.

The first side is “3rd Degree,” and this finds Tinnitustimulus crafting a looping sequence out of noise including static, churning bass, and drum machine-esque blasts that helps to maintain a driving force throughout the track. Along the way, the sound picks up various textures including high-pitched, somewhat atonal sustained notes and pulsating tones with feedback squalls reverberating along with it. Eventually, “3rd Degree” picks up windswept textures and static crumbles as it transitions into harsher moments. It makes for an interesting listen, especially because Tinnitustimulus has a great ear for crafting hypnotic loops with his noise, and the alternations on “3rd Degree” between aggressive but hooky rhythms and intense harsh noise makes for some great dynamism.

“Rotator Cuff” is a track that finds Tinnitustimulus working with crunchy harsh noise loops – at times static creates a staccato rhythm while electronics wail and blast overtop of it. The intent here is less hypnotic than “3rd Degree” and more assaulting – the artist works through a variety of aggressive sounds including feedback and blown-out whirrs, textures that violently spiral out of control over twenty minutes. Those moments of calm looping drones are more sporadic, and “Rotator Cuff” makes for a difficult but still rewarding listen.

The two tracks on Tinnitustimulus’ release are effective offerings, an interesting combination of rhythm and noise that doesn’t often show up in the genre. It’s certainly a diverse forty minutes, one that fans of the artist and those curious to his output will both enjoy. No reason not to pick it up direct from the artist!


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