Thirteen Fingers – Ward Six (CD-R, Solitary Machine)

Thirteen Fingers is a harsh noise project with a number of releases under his belt, including the previously reviewed Pater Mortuus on Phage Tapes. That release found the project experimenting with harsh noise and drone, but Ward Six is a much more dynamic cut-up affair, with seven tracks ranging from 3-6 minutes spanning a gamut of sounds. Clocking in at a concise half-hour, this is a short but rewarding listen with great quick cuts.

Thirteen Fingers explores cut-up territory here with abrupt shifts and tons of texture. His tracks are often crafted with eclecticism in mind, jumping significantly from static crush crackles and shifting harsh explosions. “Electroconvulsive Therapy” features a few interludes from what sounds like a vibrating cord, while “Etymological Hallucinations” starts off with some droning feedback before jumping into alternations between staccato, spacey harsh noise and some more feedback shards.

“Vivisection” takes a short break from the cut-up squalls – although they’re still present at times – to create a rhythmic loop out of its source, a nice break from Thirteen Fingers’ dynamism throughout the rest of Ward Six. That’s telling of this album in general, that Thirteen Fingers is often very willing to step outside the norms of his sound to get to some excellent textures, or even shift the balance from right to left on “Magnetic Blasphemy.” There’s even some great movements from harsh noise to Se7en sound clips on “Things You Can’t Unsee.”

It makes Ward Six stand out from the numerous other harsh noise cut-up artists, and it’s a good juxtaposition to Thirteen Fingers’ other work. This is a great release worth a listen, and it comes with some interesting packaging that looks like it may have been printed with a typewriter. You can check out the whole album on Bandcamp; I’m not sure if the physical copy is still available.

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