Trou / Rotkappchen – Miss Bolbec (C10, Ikebukuro Dada/Ciel Bleu Et Petits Oiseaux Records)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review, Uncategorized

I comiss bolbecnfess I’m probably not the intended audience for this release from Trou and Rotkappchen, which seemingly has references that I don’t quite understand due to its French connection. This quick C10 titled Miss Bolbec features a series of bulldozers on its cover and yet its actual content seems taken from the 2014 Miss Bolbec pageant. What we get are a series of short bursts of noise and tracks full of French speaking directly from that pageant. What they say, I can’t surmise – I did take some French but not enough to understand these tracks unfortunately.

However, both Trou and Rottkappchen give about 3 minutes of full noise blasts that are akin to harsh noise wall. Trou’s is a raucous stuttering affair that I like quite a bit, with enough bass shuddering to keep it interesting even through the found sound pauses.

Rottkapchen’s track is an uncut five minutes that features a young girl singing until a static blast of harsh noise wall cuts in overtop of an audience’s clapping. Short and to the point, it’s a solid piece of work that is quite the opposite of HNW’s routine.

While I don’t quite understand the intent of Miss Bolbec, the two really quick noise cuts are quite good though they’re not expanded on. For French listeners, this tape might reveal something more than what’s apparent to my strictly English ears.

FAIR |||

Fosse – Le Traître Magnétique (C90, Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux Records)

harsh noise wall, Noise, Review, Uncategorized

fosse le traitre magnetiqueI confess that it has taken me a while to review the things I was sent in the past, including many Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux tapes. So when I popped Fosse’s Le Traître Magnétique into my player I did not realize that it was yet another project of Julien Skrobek, one that looks to have had limited use over the past few years. This C90, but a single-sided 40 minutes, was released in 2015, and it features four tracks of fairly traditional harsh noise walls from the prolific artist.

Each are cut into neat 10 minute lengths, making for easy starts and stops to these walls. The first is “Les Tarifs du Bourreau,” one that at first seemed to be an incredibly simple texture with a very condensed line of static. But listening closer, one reveals some dynamics at play in this wall: there’s a rollicking bass tone rumbling in the back, and the up-front, trebly static licks away throughout the track, rarely changing but always churning slowly.

“La Rose et l’Ordre” transitions smoothly, keeping a similar bass tone but changing the static line to something a bit more prominent and crackly. The bass background seems to morph into more of a drone without dips or pops, but the static takes full center-stage. These crackles make for mesmerizing listening. “Géométrie Mitterrandienne” drops the overwhelming static crackles for a much more subdued and less voluminous static line, allowing a similar bass backdrop more room with a mid-to-fast-rumble. This one is one of my favorites on the release, minimal but crackling. Finally, “Le Plan du Temple, Tracé Par Dieu Lui-Même” rounds out this tape with a gyrating, in-your-face static line and a menacing bass line behind it that reminds me of a muffled metal band somewhere in the distance. The static is penetrative and extremely rough, making for a nice harsh listen, and it occasionally seems to get even more crunchy at times.

Overall this is a nice experiment from Skrobek with Fosse; his usually more long-form walls have been truncated to 10-minute affairs that, across a single-sided tape, blend in with each other to form a longer wall full of variation. Definitely check this tape out if you come across it.

GOOD ||||



Zurupia De Hermes 2006 – Zurupia De Hermes 2006 (C90[?], Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux Records/Sectarian Violences Records)

harsh noise, Noise, Review

Zurupia de Hermes 2006 is Briche and Paul Bismuth, and as far as I can tell, this self-titled tape is the only release from the project. This is a joint release from Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux Records and Sectarian Violences Records, and it comes on a single-sided C90 (I think – I can’t find any indication of an actual length, but there’s a lot of blank tape left after the Zurupia de Hermes 2006 tracks end). There are some liner notes on the J-card, but unfortunately they’re all in French and although I did take five years of the language, I’m not fluent enough to translate the writing. But this C90, which really translates to 30 minutes of noise from the duo because of its single-sided nature, is a smattering of noisy electronics work that feels very improvisational throughout.

The tape is split into four untitled tracks of mostly similar lengths, although for the purposes of this cassette, the spaces between the tracks don’t really make much difference in the long run. These cuts aren’t really built around a theme, although they do often feature a rhythmic pulsation that differentiates them from other straight-up harsh noise releases. Throughout, Zurupia de Hermes 2006 gives the listener lots of static, frenzied synth work, and a lot of bass experimentation. The bass itself is what often shines through the rest of the noise: sometime sustained, other times random fret work (see “Untitled 3”).

The recordings are rougher in quality, too, which adds even more extra noise to an already chaotic soundscape. When Zurupia de Hermes 2006 are building to some intense cacophony, this release hits its apex; other times, though, the sporadic compositions do little to pique interest because of too much variation.

However, fans of this kind of noise manipulation will find Zurupia de Hermes 2006 doing some interesting experimentation. The noisy bass riffs and some of the synth tones make for some surprising combinations, and the shorter length for these tracks makes for a quick thirty minute listen. I do wish that some of the compositions were a little tighter in structure, but all told a good one-shot from this project.

KP Transmission/ Омутъ Мора – Split (C60, Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux Records)

ambient, dark ambient, Noise, Review

Honestly, I don’t know much about KP Transmission or Омутъ Мора  besides what I can get from the Internet. KP Transmission is Karina Kazaryan from Moscow and Siberia, a dark ambient and self-described illbient artist; Омутъ Мора (AKA Omut Mora) is a Russian experimental/dark ambient/folk project as described by the artist’s VK profile. KP Transmission has had a couple of releases, mostly splits, and over the years Омутъ Мора has racked up a number of album credits. On this tape split on Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux Records, they both spend about 13 minutes per side.

First up is KP Transmission, and it’s clear how she fits into the illbient subgenre tag; ignorant about what that was, I did a search of the tag to find it was first created to characterize Brooklyn DJs in the 1990s, describing a trend in ambient music that features both ambient atmospheric sounds and accompanying beats. KP Transmission works in dark, noisy textures, sometimes less ambient than they are droning and subtly harsh. The first track, “Pranicheskaya Ataka”, features a rumbling dark tone that marches forward, almost like the sound of a continuous roll on a snare drum with the snares untightened. There’s a quiet bass pulsation moving forward, and KP Transmission works in electronic alarums and gentle maneuverings to add rhythm to the drone.

Her next three tracks almost feel like continuations of each other. “Pristup I” and “Pristup II” are certainly titularly linked, but “Pristup II” has a direct lead-in to the vocal-tinged sounds of the longest track from KP Transmission, “Kain.” “Pristup I” is a crackling tone that continues to disassemble as KP Transmission unfurls ambient textures out of noise; then, “Pristup II” adds a layer of slicing feedback underneath it all that comes and goes within the rhythm.

“Kain” features the most open ambiance of the four tracks, seemingly incorporating found sounds like bird calls, spoken word, and lilting, ghostly melodies that sound slightly muffled; notably, this is a collaboration between the two artists, and it certainly feels very akin to the dual natures of these projects.

KP Transmission’s tracks are often enchanting, and it’s interesting to hear how she works her way through rhythm and noise. These aren’t particularly difficult tracks, and often they can be quite beautiful. But there’s a layer of darkness winding its way through the first pieces that I find particularly attractive.

Омутъ Мора encompasses a similar technique on the second side, starting with “Chernaya Astma.” That’s a crumbling bit of static that eventually morphs into a filtered ambient texture, quite like KP Transmission’s “Pristup” series. The other two tracks are a bit longer to allow for the ambiance sonic space. “Nedra” is a ringing, often shuddering warble that builds to a loud climax in its last minutes, ghostly and sometimes shrill but featuring solid movement throughout – though it ends a bit abruptly. The final track “Kak Cherv” opens with some muffled instrumentation before introducing more sustained notes and echoing plunks in the background. It’s quite a bit different than the previous ambient piece, with a wind instrument carrying a sloppy melody while reverb effects threaten to overtake the sound.

The biggest issue with this release is not the tracks themselves but the C60 tape it comes on; it leaves a lot of blank air towards the end of both sides, and I’m not really sure why that was chosen. Otherwise, though, this split from KP Transmission and Омутъ Мора is a great offering for fans of dark ambient and noise, deserving of a listen.