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

harsh noise, Noise, Review

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.

Thirteen Fingers – Pater Mortuus (C32, Phage Tapes)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

pater mortuus

Thirteen Fingers is a harsh noise project for North Carolina. The alias has a few releases out so far, some digital albums and a couple of tape collections including one on Richard Ramirez’s Dead Audio Tapes with Four Flies. On Pater Mortuus, Thirteen Fingers gives us six tracks of relatively similar lengths that emphasizes loose rigidity of sound.

The first untitled cut opens up with a wavering shudder that continues throughout the track, although Thirteen Fingers allows textures to interplay throughout. There is a lot of crunch to the tracks on Pater Mortuus, and in a way they resemble walls in structure; but much of the time the project is quick to twist and re-layer noises together. There’s a pattern of taking crumbles of bass and then overlaying them with focal sounds, like the second untitled’s whirs and loops.

The second side in general steps back a bit from the harsher moments for longer, atmospheric cuts. “Untitled 4” adds a screaming siren layer to its bass, giving the listener a sharp contrast to the walled textures that come before it. “Untitled 5” is the longest on this cassette, a brooding drone that features staccato rumbles and a vibrato tone.

All told these are six great slices of harsh noise, with the first side hitting the heavy parts of the genre while the second manages to offer up dronier visions. Thirteen Fingers effectively manages both, and Pater Mortuus is strong because of it.