Hyena Hive – Ø (C20, Noir Sur Noir)

harsh noise, Noise, power electronics, Review

hyena hive

Ø is a power electronics tape from Hyena Hive, a group that kind of revels in the mystery behind their artistry; besides listing the names B. Julian and M. Reinhardt on the J-card, as well as latitude/longitude coordinates of N45° 31′ W 73° 36′, there’s little information on this cassette to let the listener know about Hyena Hive. Even the track titles are decidedly encoded with symbols; add to it the black-on-black nature of Noir Sur Noir’s releasing and you’ve got yourself secretive tape that simply need to be listened to.

The first side of the tape is a quick two-track affair; the first, “Ø”, is a short introduction to the sound with a roiling blend of screaming vocals in the background, a static shiver, and the sound of multiple electronic noises moaning at each other; it’s a nice and abrasive moment that slowly fades into “○”, the buzzing textures flitting into the background but still somewhat present while a bass line writhes in the background, consistently warbling with a record player’s slow-gaited crackle. Whale-like cries erupt as well, but Hyena Hive have set up a great warbling effect that ensnares the listener until veiled yelled vocals erupt from the dreamy drone. There’s a darkness to the track that matches Noir Sur Noir’s packaging, with everything enveloped in a thick fog; it’s one of the most effective moments of the tape, building off the other track and establishing a new sound.

The second side has one longer track, “◠”, which is a churning static shudder that surges back and forth in a wavering manner. Underneath that is a slight buzz, aided by various electronic manipulations that join in every now and again; eventually, yelled vocals accompany the cacophony in true power electronics style. It’s a track that piles on the layers, harsh noise oscillations entering late in the running time to step away from the wall-like tone first presented.

Ø is an impressive tape from Hyena Hive for sure, and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t more output from this group (if Discogs’ releases are to be believed). This release is now sold out from Noir Sur Noir, but it’s worth attempting to track it down.

recommended

Dead Body Collection – I Praise the Scars On Your Body (C30, Noir Sur Noir)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Review

i praise the scars on your body

By now, after a vast number of releases in the harsh noise wall genre, most people know whether they like Dead Body Collection’s version of mostly unchanging static. He’s been so prolific under this moniker that there are very few HNW labels that have not put out a DBC cassette. On I Praise the Scars On Your Body, the formula doesn’t change – just the sounds the go into the wall.

On the first side is “Your Pure Incorruptible Pain,” a searing track of fuzzy static that mixes with a bass rhythm deep in the mix. This isn’t a standard whitewash of sound, though; the static does have its own subtle nuance to it, and the bass in the back has a semblance of change throughout the nearly 15 minute running time. Dead Body Collection allows this track to feel stoic, although the close listener may be able to discern just the hint of alteration within the sound, almost like a song of its own attempting to escape a noise prison. Or that could be imagination.

“Kill Anything That Walks” is the second side, a surging track of up-front static and a roiling bass background. It’s difficult to tell what exactly is doing the shifting in this piece: it could be the static itself, but I almost believe that the bass has a wavering to it that causes a very interesting blur within the wall. I think this one is even better than “Your Pure Incorruptible Pain,” with the semblance of movement very apparent even when the wall itself doesn’t really shift at all. It does feel like the ending of this track cuts out some of the background texturing, but this could also be oversaturation to the sound.

Both tracks are really quite good on I Praise the Scars on Your Body, and if you’re looking for a quality Dead Body Collection tape and not sure where to begin in the vast collection, this is as good a place as any to begin listening. The textures are strong, and it also sticks sounds right in line with other releases.

recommended