Origami Replika - Kommerz (Segerhuva CD) / Bardoseneticcube & Igor V. Petrov / Necromondo (Mechanoise Labs CDs)
Had to exclude the titles of the Mechanoise Labs CDs because things were getting pretty hairy up in there, but I think the message is clear enough. One CD from the Segerhuva label, and two from Mechanoise Labs - a meeting of two European noise peddlers. Sweden's Segerhuva actually sent me a few discs but, in sticking to my vague attempt to review "mostly" new stuff, I had to exclude the two other great records - a reissue of Blood ov Thee Christ's amazing 1987 bomber "Master Control" and a great compilation of various noise artists called "Sweetness Will Overcome". So, apologies in that I'm unable to dedicate more space to these records, but know that I fully recommend both (and a newer release that they didn't send my way but still gets a thumbs up very much big time - Edwige's "The Inconsolable Widow Thanks All Those Who Consoled Her" LP). Meanwhile, I think Mechanoise Labs are from France, but I'm not 100% sure on that since info is pretty hard to come by, or I'm not looking in the right places. Either way, they've been in action since 1998, and have released records by folks like Aidan Baker, Stelladrine, Aluminium Noise, and more. These are a couple of their newest outings, though they've since put out a Concrete Belly 3" CD-R. Guess I'm falling behind. What else is new?
Starting off with the Segerhuva record, which comes courtesy a "now-defunct part of the ever changing cultural Origami collective/phenomenon", which is news to me but that's okay. Origami Replika brings together a trio of Norwegian noise ne'er-do-wells in Lasse Marhaug, Tore H. Boe, and Mads Staff Jensen. In 1997 they recorded this re-working of classic Merzbow material, and only last year did it finally manage to see the light of day. It lists all the original Merzbow records that were mutilated to form the source, and they're mostly all from the early 80's ("Metal Acoustic Music", "Sadomasochismo", "Vratya Southward") with a couple of then-recent CDs thrown in for good measure ("Akasha Gulva", "Oestered", "Loves" with Emil Beaulieau, "Rectal Anarchy" with Gore Beyond Necropsy), as well as the destruction of nine Merzbow cassette cases. Doesn't get much more immersive than that, does it? It would be easy remix Merzbow tapes and force them into sounding even more disorted, more harsh, more noisy, more fucked up than they already do, and where's the challenge in that? Luckily these three are too good to avoid such a pratfall. The 12 untitled tracks on "Kommerz" are, for the most part, thoroughly composed and downright mature, suggesting a tremendous amount of respect for the original recordings while simultaneously morphing them into something brand new and equally grand. Track three, for instance, is a mighty impressive statement of intent. Over the course of 12 minutes, Origami Replika reconstruct Merzbow's sound into a slow-building, dense electronic threat, before it sharply fizzles out...only to come back twice as fierce like the the final, unexpected drop on what was already an exhilerating rollercoaster ride. The trick is tweaked somewhat on track eight, where the sound grows progressively louder and angrier with each passing second until it hits an apex, plateaus, and vanishes again. Other tracks like one and four are so rhythmic-yet-noisy that they hit a stride between Masami Akita's initial Dadaist tape-mangling chaos and his 2000s-era "Merzbeat" et al. explorations into near-beat oriented noise tunes. And remember, this was done before the "Merz-" series even came about. It ain't all pedal to the metal though - I have no idea what was being sourced on tracks five and six but they're both, for the most part, lush space-vaccuum floats through the more pensive segments of the early Merzbow catalogue, while the last track is a similar hollowed siren-in-the-distance dream sequence that again inspires incredulity when considering the source. Overall, Origami Replika have done a fantastic job moulding Akita's work into whole new beasts - clearly retaining the original sonic properties of the source but assembled in such a way as to suggest new realms, dimensions, and hitherto-unimagined possibilities. Next time any mouthbreather tells you Merzbow's just a load of meaningless noise, show them this disc and ask em how three dudes manage to extract such magnificent new life from it. Good stuff indeed.
"The Perpetuum Mobile Space Vehicle" is a collaboration between three experimental Russian artists. Bardoseneticcube is the duo of Igor Potsukailo and Sergey Matveev on electronics, while Igor V. Petrov is a saxophonist who I know next to nothing about. This album was recorded over the course of five years and features six incredibly bizarre, spacious tracks. When you think electronics and saxophone, you might think heads-down pedal-pushing knob-twisting ear-bleeding mania and heavy horn skronking and throttling, but I guess they do things a little differently in Russia. Bardoseneticcube's portions consist of samples of speeches, slow-plodding drum machines, otherwordly ambience, found-sound industrial/darkwave snaking, and maybe that's even them on piano too. Petrov blows soulful sax lines that border on the romantic at times, totally not the ragged-breath heaving I was expecting in the slightest...and together these three synthesize beautiful, organic pieces that eclipse mere thickheaded experimentation and enter well into the domain of some kind of undiscovered alien jazz existing on a totally seperate plane. "Shkapina St." pulses with a techno/ambient flare all the while accompanied by a watery, distant, operatic vocal track and Petrov's patient, lonely, sorrow-filled sax. He really stands out on the too-short "Brownend", as close to ghostjazz as you'll ever hear (with apologies to Mr. Braxton). "One" is equally brief, but centered more on Bardoseneticcube's shimmering electronics and ominous, ritualistic thumps. The closing "Logosax" is the culmination of their collaboration, with Potsukailo and Matveev putting down a repetitive, crunchy beat and Petrov weaving gorgeous lines through and around the dripping sinew. If you liked the Ariel Kalma/Richard Tinti "Osmose" record I always come back to, you pretty much need to hear this, although it really doesn't sound like anything I can plot specifically. Which is a good thing.
Last is Necromondo, from the U.S.. All I know is that it's one guy, apparently by the name of Tirdad CK, and the only other work he seems to have to his name is a 3" CD-R called "Quarantined Quarters" that comes with the first 50 copies of this self-titled disc. If the cover wasn't enough of a tip-off, Necromondo is inspired by 70's cult horror movie classics, certainly not the first nor the last noise project to claim as much. I'd also take an educated stab (no pun intended) and venture mondo and giallo play as much of an influence in Tirdad's work. His first full-length harkens back to 80's Broken Flag/Iphar/Come Organisation actions in many ways, which is a blessing and a curse - not that anything on here is bad, it's just not very new ground either. Necromondo's at the top of his game when he engages in long-form pieces that have plenty of time to Sink Their Fangs Into the Listener (ha ha!) - ""No One Leaves This Island Alive" at eight minutes is a grind, creating a palpable feeling of tension and desolation juxtaposed against a rainy backdrop, and "Soaked in Blood III" at seven-plus boasts ominous, locust swarms of synth noise and suffocated gasps to greater effect. "Soaked in Blood I" is equally effective, setting a chainsaw-like whirr against psychedelic oscillations and the sharp gleam of "Theme for a Machete" is enough to literally make you jump if you play it loud enough. Unfortunately the rest of the tracks (especially the middle) pass by with relatively little to latch onto, although maybe I just need to give it a few more listens before it really sets in. Or maybe someone needs to make a movie around all these chilling sounds - it's really more of a soundtrack record than anything else. I guess I just don't have the imagination to mentally draw up my own murder scenes while I'm listening to it. I'll be keeping my eye out for anything else under the Necromondo moniker in the future, because the potential's definitely there.
I'm testing out a new method of posting MP3s, using iMeem's Flash playlists. You don't need to install anything to use em, just click the link below (it'll pop up in its own window) and stream away. Let me know what you think in the comments section, if you feel so inclined. Personally I think it's a lot easier than going to Sendspace and downloading each one seperately.
Click here to listen to MP3 samples from the above albums
Bardoseneticcube & Igor V. Petrov and Necromondo MP3s courtesy Mechanoise Labs