Various Artists - Power/Field / Kilt - Snow White in Hell / Redglaer - Aneleutheromania (Anarchymoon 2xCD-R/LP/CS)

Grab bag of fairly new Anarchymoon trans-missives on mixed format...in case you need help decoding, the compilation is the 2xCD-R, the Kilt is the LP and label proprietor Redglaer aka Bob Bellerue lays claim to the tape. Anyway you probably remember Anarchy Moon (or "anokmoon") from the bang-up job they did with that Dead Machines/John Wiese/Damion Romero set not too long ago, and ideally even the Roman Torment/Feed the Dragon 12" splt and the Redglaer 10" because those were worth a look too. Bob's back in a big way with these three and more, a Smegma LP compiling disparate 7" tracks (!) and a five-way split 7" with Raven Chacon, Redglaer, Alchemical Burn, AGL, and Mark Beyer. For now though, let's focus on eating what's on our plate, starting with the compilation.
According to the bit of info included on the "Power/Field" xerox, all 23 tracks across these two discs were "performed and recorded live on-site somewhere, outside of the studio and the stage", hence the title in large part I do imagine. The first disc is a pretty even split between power and field, with certain artists devoting themselves to the former (most of these found towards the front of the disc, it seems) and others to the latter. I have to say I'm more a fan of the field recordings - \\\'s "Vive Le Rock" sounds great for what could be a bunch of rocks (geddit?) bouncing around inside an aluminium bowl like metal kernels popping, while William C. Harrington's "LAX 9/17/06" and Christopher Fleeger's "Sea Gulls at Lake Ella" sound exactly like what the titles say they are, and all the better for it. The sinister gnaw of Chronicles of Lemur Mutation's "Cattle Gate" and David Kwan's "Howl" find their power in understated recordings from out in the backwoods of the planet and are a perfect oasis peppered between noisier jaunts like Phroq's static/glitch "Glass Building II" and No John's all-out noise attack "Nieuwpoort 2006". If the previous tracks hinted at some kind of "noise" inflection, he's the first to say what we were all thinking, and it marks a definite seachange for the rest of the disc. Jeff Gburk roars out of the gate with a sinus-blowing drone that whittles its way down to nervous static through distorted radio frequencies within its 8 minute running time and Infiltration Lab goes the opposite direction, starting from nothing and working up an impressive boiler room lurking pitch that'll take your fingernails clean off. From there though, the tracks get slightly faceless - tracks by Oubliette, David Kendall, sheaMgauer and Gen 26 all focus on electronically-generated rackets and drones with a low degree of memorability about them. Only Stephen Cornford's simple yet elegant "Air Con Quartet" (which I doubt is really what it claims to be but who the hell knows) sticks in the grey matter with its dull, wavering hums, but then again it does have almost ten minutes to get its point across.
The rest of the lengthy pieces are given over to the second disc, and there are six to speak of - one each from IDX1274, Dave Phillips, Ecomorti, Burial Hex, Nova-sak and Bellerue's Redglaer, all at least 11 minutes in length. Similar to disc one, these tracks waver in between the "field" and the "power" but you really wouldn't know it judging from IDX1274's hulking opener "Field of Waist High Grass (II)" which doesn't really sound like a field of waist high grass at all unless it has come to life and is attempting to swallow you whole. IDX1274's M.O. is that he doesn't use any keyboards or samplers and everything you hear is hand-manipulated from original ("clean") sources. Hard to pick out anything clean from this slobbering mess, but that's really more a compliment to IDX's knack for obfuscation. And it certainly sounds cut up and re-stitched too, but I think he's telling the truth. I think I'm more a fan of the methods than the results, but that's just me being a pussy more than anything. Nova-sak's "Field Power" (hm) is of a similar vein, this one sounding altogether more spacey and with some dropped-out moments but still noise-rooted and birthed from decidedly non-nature-al equipment. Burial Hex's "Reaping the Keep (Outsider Version)" has me on the fence, like a ten-minute slice of greyish blur spitfires, storm activity, darkened skies over vast farmlands, and shoot it even starts with a cowbell...I'd probably enjoyed a more slimmed down version of all this electrolysis, this one just seems to ramble. Ecomorti's "amaz on p inkele PHANT s eal for the Xtinct" uses the sounds of two endangered species' (I'll let you piece together which) in an off-kilter hum that's still more of the field, but doesn't quite sustain itself over its alotted running time. Curious I should say that because Dave Phillips' fantastically titled "Most Adults Are Atrophied Children Whose Fire Has Long Since Been Extinguished" (a phrase lifted from William Bennett's blog, sez Google) almost befalls the same fate but has a certain je ne sais quoi going for it that just sweeps me up in its ghost limbs like a princess. What it is, is an absolute slow burner of married high-pitched whine and pond sounds; ducks, loons, crickets, the like. Its only build up is the last two minutes when the drone fades out entirely, with the soothing sounds of waterfall and a duck to take it home. Beautiful! And it's as close to new age as you're ever gonna get from the Schimpfluch group so just take it. Redglaer closes off the proceedings with an awesome pieces that combines the best of both worlds, taking a full six minutes to slowly start to churn and transform into a static-speckled acid-burned noise jam with just thee most glorious oscillations that, at this point, sound more like heaven than anything Yod himself plunked onto the globe. Guess when it's your compilation, you gotta step up your game? Challenge met!
Sequencing questions on disc one and general - let's face it, inevitable - inconsistencies aside (and that's just my own personal take, maybe you'll dig how it is just fine), this one was definitely worth the two years of work that went into it. Painfully limited to 200 copies and housed in one of those sexy cardboard tuck-in sleeves, it's too bad more people won't get to enjoy it. But as of today there's still hope for Y-O-U.

Bellerue's also got a stake in this one, the debut full-length from his Kilt project what also features Raven Chacon and Sandor Finta. When I first got it and had no idea what it was, I confess to hoping it was a Scottish noise (or, going by the cover alone, black metal) band making a play on using the word "killed" as a band name, but some things aren't meant to be. I'll settle for what I got, and what I got ain't so bad either. "Snow White in Hell" is two long sides of noise demolish that purports to have actual track times and seperations but I'll be fucked if I can hear any of it, it's pretty tough to distinguish from all the general wreckage taking place. Sounds like all three have their hands in pretty deep here with overloaded circuits, junk pedals pushed to extremes, gibbering Porky Pig metallic stammers, and heavy abuse of what can only be described as a cross between a dentist's drill and a world-razing gamma laser (Light of Judgement?)...these cats are rough and raw and bringing it back to how you remember the good times circa early 90's Japanoise filth a la Incapicants or Hijokaidan. It's good to be reminded every now and then that blasts as harsh as this are still rippling through the strata. Because yes sometimes I do need to be reminded. If you do too, then get Kilt. Ahahaha, moving on.

A bit of full disclosure before I get into this one(-sider): I'm predisposed to like any tape with "fuck the government and the people" stamped on the inside because well I'm a sucker like that. "Aneleutheromania" brings together a selection of live Redglaer performances in a rather brutish cover wrap, and hits all the aforementioned aspects of Bob Bellerue's noise fetishism. It veers bodaciously from tinnitus-inciting sine scrawls to guttural noise sludge and a full spectrum of oscillations in between conjuring up feelings of radio transmissions, field recordings, 80's industrialism, concrete, and more. At the "lighter" moments it sounds like a Wolf Eyes/American Tapes thing and current Whitehouse by way of Africa in the darker spots. The odd vocalized grumblings and/or shouts, generally deformed by all the electronic gnarl they'll battling through, are just the sweet touch needed to push this one from sassy to salacious...but it's got bite, believe you me. Only complain is that it's a touch long for my tastes, but so's everything else in the world so I can't fault Bob for that one. Definitely a cool smattering, but I'd recommend the "American Masonry" 10" before this one, if it's still available.


Blogger Stephen Cornford said...

Just came across this, and as one of the artists involved (Stephen Cornford) I thought I'd thank you for taking the time to listen to and review Power/Field.

For the record, my track is exactly what it says it is. The quartet part is the microphones: 2 piezo, 2 condenser placed on/around the air conditioning fan units behind a petrol station, live mixed through a 9V mixer straight to minidisc. No post-production except a modicum of hiss-removal.

1/17/2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger transparent abelard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/24/2008 4:14 PM  
Blogger transparent abelard said...

Thanks for the review. Just for the record my name is spelled Jeff Gburek. The track was recorded by using a shortwave radio to recieve ever-shifting bands and ripples of electromagnetic and electrostatic pulsation in the underground passages and on u-bahn trains at Berlin's Alexanderplatz This is a small excerpt, it changes quite dramatically but it runs 25 minutes by itself so this was not possible for the Power Fields comp.
I myself would have prefered it should have been a bit quieter relative to the other pieces. It was a piece of phonography, not intended as noise music. Not that i don't like noise ;)
--Jeff Gburek

2/24/2008 4:19 PM  

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