Bastard Noise & Government Alpha - Resurrection (Thumbprint Press CD)
I think this disc came to me in the same package as the last two Housepig discs, because I seem to remember a note about passing it along as a favor and then I saw Housepig thanked in the liner notes to this one and...I guess I'm just not sure who to thank/blame for it, although Bob H. Pig seems like a safe bet. If you don't know these two noise heavyweights by now, escape while you still can. Government Alpha is the work of Japanese ear-mangler Yasutoshi Yoshida who has been doing just that on record since '99 while Bastard Noise is Bill Nelson and Eric Wood of hardcore group Man is the Bastard unleashing their collective harsh noise tendancies. To be honest I wasn't even sure if they were still around - not like I follow noise all that closely but I try to keep myself aware and it'd been awhile since I heard anything from their camp. Maybe I just have my horse blinders on. That said though, the tracks here (by both involved) were recorded in 2003, so who knows. Maybe the wild opaque/"custom inked triple fold synthetic paper" sleeve the disc comes in had something to do with the delay. Looks stunning but just a tad difficult on the eyes. As if it wasn't already difficult enough on the ears once you put it in. Psshaw.
Contrary to the marquee, Government Alpha's tracks (six of em, thirtyish minutes in length) play first and it's all about the habitual non-stop blast-fest you'd expect now from Yoshida. It's not exactly "Sporadic Spectra" caliber where I had tears in my eyes and was beginning to develop a tangible and conscientious fear of the album but it's still no Vivaldi either. Lord only knows how Yoshida builds up such an intensely immediate sonic fury (it ain't Dell I'm guessing) because every time I look at a picture he's playing some kind of unknown/invented contraption hooked up like a life support system to a mess of effect pedals and what have you. It's not even fair to draw comparisons because the only names I could throw out would only be Government Alpha imitators, but Masonna is definitely a safe bet, as is early Merzbow, the Haters, M.S.B.R. (to whom GA's side is dedicated to) and...Government Alpha. The ringing feedback and sharp tones were the kind that made my dog get up and start barking even though he had no idea where the sound was coming from. I didn't either - I had since gotten dizzy, hit my head on my desk, and split my head open. We all die a thousand deaths listening to music I'm sure, but this was really the only time I had to have the paramedics over.
Bastard Noise's lengthy drone paradisos are almost the perfect way to clot all that bloody from the Government Alpha tracks, if it weren't for that feeling like they were gnawing holes into and through your stomach. "Lost City" sounds indeed like a post-apocalypse fantasy, kind of a transmission from the frozen outer crusts where you're being through Narshe by Magitek soldiers. It's a very hush-hush dark ambient/back alley pursuit, and the fact that over its 20 minutes it never explodes into the sonic reaming you expect it to makes it even better. A perpetual state of tension if you will. "Winter Sacrifice" is has the same kind of desolate droning for a foundation but is also joined by a squelchy, warbly wet noise that makes me think of Yasunao Tone's experiments with damaged CDs. Slowly the droning sounds in the background get louder and louder and this one proceeds to get violent, descending into a complete rupture of the senses by the end. Magnificent! The closing "Iron Mountain" certainly sounds sourced from iron ala Aube but probably isn't, just instead an eternal collision of mechanical, ethereal breath.
Neither contribution here is really a shock outta left field (especially not Government Alpha)'s but both showcase two (or three) talents on top of their games, at least, as it was in 2003. And I haven't heard much about this Thumbprint Press label but if all their releases are as sexy as this one, well I'll just have to keep an eye out.