Fossils/Cathal Rodgers – Demons in the Architecture (C60, Sonic Drift)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

Fossils pairs with Cathal Rodgers for another one of Sonic Drift’s Demons in the Architecture cassette releases, and this one offers up an hour of weirdness from both artists. Fossils is in an improv noise unit that has amassed a huge number of releases for over ten years, while Cathal Rodgers varies his style and sound depending on the artists with whom he’s sharing cassette tape. This Demons in the Architecture release is surprisingly different from the previously reviewed split with RST, and that’s a solid compliment.

Fossils’ offering is a side-long track called “Histories of Time to Come,” and it’s a noisy compilation of sounds that slowly unfurls throughout its running time. The group starts off with a minimal series of scratches, crashes, and other junk banging, then builds to droning crescendoes, bubbling noises, and electronic haranguing that tends to conjure up hallucinatory visions. It’s a thirty-minute soundscape that will appeal to those with more minimalist taste, since Fossils rarely opens up the track and instead pushes forward with experimental hums and wonky bursts. It does run a tad long with some areas failing to capture attention perhaps due to its improvisational nature, but “Histories of Time to Come” is a unique listen with some intriguing sounds.

Cathal Rodgers’ side is subtitled “Rapture and Revelation,” and he gives up five tracks of droning harsh noise, almost bordering on power electronics at times. “Rapture,” a track that along with “Revelation” bookends the side, features reverberating drone lines and crumbling textures interspersed with sizzling attacks of sound that boil up rhythmically, a stand-out on this release. “Seven Heads and Ten Horns” features droning reverb and heavy guitar distortion mixing for great results, resulting in a feedback-driven wall to close out the track. “Revelation” is a crackling, almost wall-like track that finishes things strong: static shudders combine with an echoing background wail, slowly building up force throughout the eight-minute running time. It’s a heavy track, and another excellent cut in his Demons in the Architecure lineup.

This split release is a bit on the eclectic side with Fossils’ pairing, and the two sides seem a bit at odds with each other at times. Still, it’s an intriguing listen from both projects, and yet another quality release from Sonic Drift.

RST/Cathal Rodgers – Demons in the Architecture (C68, Sonic Drift)

Drone, harsh noise, Review

Demons in the Architecture is part of a series on Sonic Drift led by Cathal Rodgers, a four-release sequence featuring Rodgers and another noise artist. He’s done splits with Fossils, Culver, and Andreas Brandal, and on this Demons in the Architecture release, Cathal Rodgers shares a C68 tape with drone artist RST. RST is Andrew Moon, who has released quite a few albums since around 1995; Cathal Rodgers is an Irish noise artist who runs Sonic Drift, also known as Spermicidal and Wereju to name a few.

This split is full brooding drones for almost the entirety of its 70 minute running time. RST offers three lengthy tracks, including the somewhat psychidelic “Falcon Leg,” an opener that includes buzzing drones and a crafty guitar line that weaves in and out of the melancholy sustained notes. “Orange Rust and Scarlet” meanders with wind-swept, uplifting harmonies, its sustained notes ringing out as guitar strums draw the listener’s focus. “Vermilion” sounds like an extension of “Falcon Leg,” with improvisational guitar notes adding a nice variance to the unwavering drones.

Cathal Rodgers breaks his tracks down into five with the three-part “Wide Awake and Dreaming” interspersed between them. His drones are heavy and dark, often layering noisy pieces and reverb on top of the other. The longer “Curse the Morning Light,” over ten minutes, drapes itself in darkness before rhythmic pieces begin to appear out of the ether. These are easy pieces to zone out to, but listening to their composition reveals a lot in their structure.

Demons in the Architecture is a good drone cassette, and I’m interested to hear what the other three installments focus on in this series. Cathal Rodgers and RST pair well together, sharing over an hour of creative drones. This is perfect for those looking to zone out or admire the artistry behind the tones.