False Flag – Bombshelter Nightmare (C36, Terror)

Noise, power electronics, Review

false flag bombshelter nightmare

Justin Marc Lloyd is the man behind False Flag, a decidedly different and more violent moniker for the noise artist behind acts like Pregnant Spore and Dementia and Hope Trails. The notes for Bombshelter Nightmare add to the theme that the track titles and artwork give away: this cassette is an anti-war statement, aggressive as a means to drive out aggression from those angry at their governments, police, etc. If “Rage for Peace” doesn’t echo that sentiment, then I don’t know what does.

Aided by multiple artists from different projects, False Flag throws down power electronics in droves, with the emphasis on “power.” The first side itself is a mix of spectra, from the rhythmic enchantments of the first track “Introducing Control” to the heavy, brutal repetition of “Muslim Police,” which features Boar on vocal duties to utmost effect. “Rage for Order” takes a lighter tone, opting for fuzzy helicopter buzzes and another rhythm that focuses more on repeating tones than harsh sounds. Eventually the title track, “Bombshelter Nightmare,” spreads seeds of discontent with static shudders and synth drones that sit ominously within the mix as the static threatens to overtake any semblance of musicality.

Side B starts with the rumbling “Two Brothers,” a heavy hitter that begins with PA vocals and some static rumblings only to open up with a massive wall of crackle and bass, one of the better moments on Bombshelter Nightmare for sure. There’s a staccato rhythm going on within, with just a semblance of a sustained synth note in there. “Rage for Peace” fits in Divine Shell, Boar, and Jonathan Cash in a quieter, confined drone – buzzing, a subtle motorcycle croak, and a shuddering before again allowing wall static to seep in with klaxon sirens and Boar’s vocals adrift. “Korean War” takes the usual False Flag power electronics of static, feedback, and a synth beat and adds a raucous bit of crackle that comes out sounding something like a scream to end the tape.

Overall, Bombshelter Nightmare is a heaping dose of power electronics, coming from an artist who generally doesn’t dabble in this sort of heavy noise. The synths and harshness come together without becoming off-putting, and the way False Flag is able to incorporate other noise artists works both to raise awareness of those projects if need be, and to add noticeable changes to the sonic output. Boar’s work is, notably, an elevating portion of the tape. It’s certainly something that needs to be experienced, however, if you can get it elsewhere, because Terror is sold out.

Negative Climax – Kālá (C40[?], Terror)

Drone, Music, Noise, Review

kala

Negative Climax’s Kālá is an amalgam of drones, ritual sounds, and odd rhythmic music. The duo from Japan use vocals to great advantage, combining ghostly female chants with tribal tones and electronics. Much of it is looped, the vocals simply hanging in the drones; at other times, Negative Climax allows the haunting Sanskrit lullabies space to breathe without any electronics.

Often the drones are at the forefront of each piece, like opener “sidhyati,” the eerie vocals mixing well for a hypnotic blend. On “Kāma (Unplugged),” the vocals are chants that imbue a foreboding sense, not even needing any loops to give it atmosphere. There is an overwhelming sense of culture in these tracks, and many of them wouldn’t even be considered noise at all if not for the more chaotic recordings of flute or synth work, the sounds blurring a little because of volume or the way in which the instrument was played.

Negative Climax is listenable for the average music lover, though, and many who enjoy tribal rhythms or Indian sitar will find much to love on Kālá. There’s not a lot of noise on offer here, but there are more than enough lulling drones to keep everyone interested in their work.

Lys – Klaida Ir Užuojauta (C46, Terror)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review, Uncategorized

LYS klaida ir

Lys is Vilius Šiaulys from Lithuanian, but other than that there’s not more I can give you about this artist. Releases have been fairly sparse; Klaida Ir Užuojauta was released in 2012, and the last ones that I can find before that were in 2011 and 2004. While not as prolific as others in the noise genre, Lys has given us a tape of three longer tracks spanning nearly fifty minutes, minutely droning and looping throughout.

The first track takes up the entire length of side A, known as “Užuojauta.” It’s a massive growing drone, first beginning with the kinds of things you would expect – slight rumbles, a very airy flowing foreground – then building to climax. It adds very small concepts to the layers, like barely audible stuttering textures or wind-swept moments, clicks and clatters that come and go throughout.

The second side is split into two tracks. The first is “Klaida,” which is a deep texture of a higher-pitched squall paired with different aberrations in the sound; at times Lys will include a wavering treble crumble, others he allows the original drone to sit alone. “Trys” is a hypnotic drone that features a slight synth-like sustained note in the background with short punctuations of a horn texture. It builds up, the drone surging forward.

In short, Klaida Ir Užuojauta is a drone album that doesn’t adhere to general rules. It’s a release where Lys has branched out from the simple riffs of allowing noisy shimmering sounds to repeat unimpeded; the three tracks here are layered and complex, and a joy to listen to.

Umpio – Sauna (CD, Terror)

harsh noise, Noise, Review

sauna

Umpio previously released Sauna as a C30 on ObscureX back in 2010, but Terror has nicely redesigned the set in a digipak, with four new tracks previously unreleased. It’s a great-looking digipak, and for the price you can’t beat restocking your collection with a re-release that adds so many more tracks.

Umpio hits hard with the two focal points of the release, the two fifteen-minute tracks “Burning Foundation” and “Heat, Sweat, and Stink.” Both are long-running moments of harsh noise destruction, with the latter track taking on a more ambient, spacier tone. “Burning Foundation” features what sounds like a percussive rhythm underneath the scrapes and smashes of junk metal.

The four additional tracks, recorded a year after the original Sauna set with Pekka PT, are shorter and brisker, straight to the point with scratchy crumbles. They certainly sound recorded at a different period than the first two tracks, but these ones have a cohesive feeling – mainly emphasized by the higher-pitched screeches that clamor around each cut.

If you’re a fan of Umpio’s brand of junky, metallic harsh noise, Sauna is well worth the purchase. The four new tracks add a lot, even if they don’t feel particularly linked to the the original release. And Sauna is even a good starting point for those looking to get into Umpio.

Delchia/Trolis & the Giberlingers – Kvantinis Osciliatorius/Mirror Gaze (C70, Terror)

Drone, dub, Glitch, Music, Noise, Review

trolis delchia

Terror presents us with an interesting pairing of bands on this split between Delchia and Trolis & the Giberlingers. Delchia are a two-man group consisting of guitar and vocals, and they mostly do lengthy drones throughout their side, labeled “Kvantinis Osciliatorius”; Trolis & the Giberlingers have a penchant for playing glitchy synth-laden breakcore, and their offering is much more diffuse on “Mirror Gaze.”

Delchia starts things off with the two-part “Kvantinis Osciliatorius,” which mostly spirals along lines of guitar and heady bass parts throughout its run time. It is so droning, in fact, that it’s difficult to note where the first part ends and the second begins; perhaps that is just a reference to the length rather than any meaningful track break. The second piece, “Bedimensinis Dydis,” adds whispered vocals to the otherwise similar pairing of plucked strings, although on this one there are additional notes added to the drone to vary the piece towards the final moments.

Trolis & the Giberlingers open their side with “Magist,” a glitchy synth-pop instrumental with pounding bass, a staccato synth track, and just a hint of static manipulation underneath it all. It’s catchy, in a similar fashion to Fuck Buttons if they were a bit more abrasive. Included are both the regular and live version of “Mirror Gaze,” wandering synth tracks that lead right into each other. “Tu Busi” is heavy on the drum tracking, along with vocal interruptions of deep spoken word. “Beda” is the final cut with a return of the spoken word as well as a slurry of watery electronics that is the closest to noise Trolis & the Giberlingers come. But it’s also insanely catchy.

Kvantinis Osciliatorius/Mirror Gaze is a split that features two very different sonic soundscapes. While Delchia toil in the fuzz and drone of guitars, Trolis & the Giberlingers rave with synth and glitch. From one extreme to the other, this split is a great slice of what both artists can do.

Oorchach – Vigilia (C40, Terror)

Drone, Music, Noise, Review

vigilia

Oorchach’s blend of tribalism and synth-based drones doesn’t sound like anything new to a reader, but take the time to listen to all 40 minutes of Vigilia and you might feel differently. There’s a scope and magnitude to this work, and an obsession with repetitive forms that just barely morph throughout the tracks, that keeps Oorchach from falling into the same territory as those before. With three tracks, Vigilia punctuates the artist’s ability to hypnotize with texturing.

Vigilia‘s first side consists of both “Vigilia Nervosa” and “Vigilia Nostalgica.” The former is a track with a repetitive synth loop, hammering rhythmically away at the chords while Oorchach adds subsequent layers of vibrating noise and siren-like calls. It pulls the listener in, and then at the end “Vigilia Nervosa” blooms like a flower, adding all of these elements up to create a raucous conclusion. “Vigilia Nostalgica” follows a similar pattern, with another looped synth texture starting things off (fast-paced without space) while non-harsh feedback and high-pitched notes squall around it. Eventually a heavy thud adds the sound of something falling – a beat.

But the kicker on this tape is the final track, the entire B-side, called “Vigilia Aurora.” What starts out as subtle drones attempting to find a balance between noise and music morphs into an intense climax, where a rumbling percussive element joins with the warbling, siren-like crescendos of the synth. It’s a track brimming with explosiveness, and the build is incredible.

Vigilia‘s three tracks are full of great drones with original concepts, and Oorchach has the ability to make them noisy without losing the shape of the sound. This is hypnotic tape you’ll want to grab from Terror.

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Haare – Forward to Insanity (C40, Terror)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

haare forward to insanity

Haare is the project of Ilkka Vekka, which has been releasing tapes and CD-Rs on and off for quite few years. Forward to Insanity is a droning album of harsh noise sounds, three tracks that move from deeper bass to light squeals of feedback for a moody experience that emphasizes depth of sound.

The first track on side A is the title track, which is also the shortest at about eight minutes in length. Haare sets up a bass drone in the background of the track while static waves and echoing electronics destroy the mid-section; the whole thing is resonant and murky, and Haare allows the track to revel in the rumbles without opting for a harsher approach to the sound. “Underground Lucifer,” the second track on the side, picks up more of a crunch at first, then adds the swells and groans of electronics as an ode to the tortured screams in Hell. The bass from the previous track drops out for a equalized sound that allows some of the quieter moments reign to create atmosphere. It’s a strong drone soundscape that focuses on windswept elements and just a bit of background noise.

The second side features the sole track “Death of the Liquid Pleiades,” another droning track that ebbs and flows with what sounds like synth textures and electronic manipulation. There’s a tense rhythm underneath the noise that cements everything together, and it provides the track with a thematic overlay that works rather nicely, keeping the track defined for its running time. It’s my favorite of the release, mostly because it has qualities of both tracks on the first side rolled into one.

Haare delivers an eerie C40 of drones and noise that pair well together, and it doesn’t fall into the trap of sounding the same. There’s a nuance to the work that forces the listener to hear between the larger rumbles and resonating tones, and that’s a rewarding, moody experience.

Knurl – Pyrolysis (C46, Terror)

harsh noise, Noise, Review

pyrolysis

“Pyrolysis” is defined as an irreversible chemical change brought about by the heating of organic material; in Knurl’s case, the material is the intense destruction of electronics, scrap metal, and other objects that form the basis for his noise. The project has been going on for some time now, and Alan Bloor, the man behind the moniker, is known for using different instruments for his recordings. On Pyrolysis, the attacks of his tracks are harsh and swift, opting for intense blasts that don’t cease.

Both tracks are part of the whole of Pyrolysis, and they sound it – their MO is to blast the listener as much as possible with huge bass rumbles paired with whatever crunch and junk Knurl wants to throw in. There might be squealing feedback, although not as harsh as other artists are known for; there are steady scrap metal scrapes, and, on “Part 1,” a noticeable droning pattern within the mix.

“Part 2” has a similar rumble, but there’s a higher-pitched sawing-like grating sound throughout; this isn’t fixed, and Knurl likes to deviate from the course at times, but it’s the best way to identify this track from the other one. Otherwise, Pyrolysis does tread carefully around territory where the two tracks could sound too alike. There’s an emphasis on “Part 2″‘s tendency to cut out, stopping the rumble and then restarting it in cut-up fashion.

If one likes intense harsh noise, then Knurl’s Pyrolysis is the way to go. It is a case of an artist never letting up on the sound, allowing the noise to soak in without caring about sensory overload. It’s a monumental release, 40 minutes of huge sound.

Unclean/Lapot – Sortovuosien Terrori/Represiju Metai (C70, Terror)

Black Noise, Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

unclean lapot

Unclean is a Finnish harsh noise artist who throws out some destructive sounds over two tracks on his side of this split tape, subtitled “Sortovuosien Terrori,” while on the B-side, “Represiju Metai,” Lapot allows one long track to expand and contort wherever it likes in 35 minutes. Both sides are bleak, atmospheric, and bleary in sound.

First is Unclean’s “Sodanjulistus,” a very bass-heavy track that is so blurred by the muddy production that the only thing that really stands out is the intense blustery sound. Unclean’s assault also features quite a bit of feedback mid-range, as well as a hypnotic chanting section, but the audio clearly favors the heavy rumbles over the other pieces of the track. “Veri Suomen Kaduilla” is a more balanced track, with a juddering tone paired with a punctuated rumble of bass; vocals kick in about a minute or so in, nicely backgrounded with an echo to them that makes them seem shouted into a bomb shelter.

Lapot’s track “Represiju Metai” is much more contained, starting off with a low drone and segueing into shuddering bass with slight sounds of vocals and a low crackle that could be coming from a guitar. This is continued throughout much of the track, but the interesting thing about Lapot’s textures is that the drone is the most dominant feature of the track, with the subtle nuances of the static crackles hidden beneath the surface. In general, “Represiju Metai” sticks to a solid sound but enhances the black hole-like sound with the presence of small differences.

This lengthy split is worth the time, especially because both artists offer tracks that hide their harsher natures. Unclean allows the bass to drive the tracks, while Lapot’s slow escalation into huge sound works well with the material.

Umpio – Tripamishqi (C30, Terror)

harsh noise, Noise, Review

tripmashqi

From my research, tripamishqi seems like a word for pig intestine, a cuisine favored in South American regions. This would mimic the cover artwork for Umpio’s tape as well as the track titles like “Soup Bones” and “Into the Pigsty.” Tripamishqi is an unforgiving work of harsh noise on one side and droning tones on the other, and Umpio does not relent from the harsh metal-sounding cutups of the four tracks on the cassette.

The first side features three shorter-length harsh noise cuts. They’re all very choppy, with the requisite fast pace of frantic noise, and each of them switch back and forth from heavy static crackles to more digital-sounding shudders. But the most interesting aspect of Umpio’s brand of sound is the intermittent squeals of feedback that populate each of the tracks. Though it’s difficult to tell the difference between the three, Umpio takes the time to break up the sound of electronics crumbling into rumbles of jagged bass in order to include intense wails of jarring high-pitched feedback. These moments break up what could be a monotony of knob-twisting.

Tripamishqi‘s B-side is a longer cut, encompassing the entirety of the side, with a droning rhythmic pulse that sets the tone. Bass wavers and subtle notes of feedback weave in and out; there’s a bit of static that can be heard in the background, but for the most part, Umpio maintain a minimal feel throughout that is a nice juxtaposition to the rowdier first half.

Tripamishqi is an interesting release that works rather well to define Umpio’s sound. The alternation between harsh noise and more minimal noisemaking allows for variety, but both sides still manage to encompass the theme of a pig slaughterhouse all the same.