Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Discovery Channel...4 Reviews (God Pussy, Mare Di Dirac, Felix Perez, How I Met Lauren)

Here are 4 reviews containing artists who submit their music to me and music I found online that impressed me.

No ratings, just my thoughts on music I would happily recommend to others.

In this first instalment of 'The Discovery Channel' we have: 
Political Harsh Noise, Ritualist Musique Concrète,
Old-School Prog Ambient and Uplifting Drone.

Let's get started!

The second Discovery Channel can be read here


God Pussy:  Retratando A Realidade Bélica (Portraying the Reality of War) DIY self release

Many thanks to God Pussy himself Jhones Silva, who helped me translate his song titles. 
I first heard God Pussy (Rio de Janeiro’s premier Harsh Noise activist) on the brilliant Ton Doigt Dans Mons Cul compilation Laptop Hooligans 2 alongside Koobatoo Asparagus, Painburn and Yung Stab. 

For ‘Retratando A Realidade Bélica’ (portraying the reality of war) God Pussy deals with a range of themes including: slavery, police brutality, PTSD and the deaths of the innocent caught in the cross-fire of brutal everyday violence. 

Using nothing but his noise equipment Jhones replicates the chaotic, aggressive and terrifying atmosphere of streets descending into a battleground between baton-wielding police and angry, rioting mob.

Opening track ‘Senzalas Contemporâneas' (described by Jhones as: the slave quarters of the past, the prison system today) is a tiny scraping sound transformed into a glitching explosion of furious energy, that crumbles into a throbbing twisted mass of bass, while distortion rains down like a hail of molotov cocktails.

‘Mais Uma Mãe Chora Na Perda De Seu Filho!’ (Another Mother Cries at the Loss of her Son!) 
Is less loud but no less intense, a low hum underneath vile screeching that mirrors the tinnitus filled aftermath of a bomb detonation. 

‘Hoje Noticia - Amanhã Estatística’ (Today’s News - Tomorrow’s statistics) throws in random banging noises and a guitar coughing up some putrid like wah-wah effects in between the sizzling noise assaults. Track 4 ‘Explícito Morticínio’ (Explicit killing) is an automatic rifle firing off rounds of piercing white noise and iron clad feedback. 

‘Trauma E Memória ás Vítimas Do Genocídio’ (Traumatic Memories of Victims of Genocide) sets up the longest track of the release: Repressão, Aniquilamento & Velório (Repression, Annihilation & Funeral) in places this one made me imagine screaming sirens of emergency vehicles being fed through giant piles of effects pedals as well as the faceless wounded writhing in pain. 

‘Justiças Com as Próprias Mãos' (Justice with your own Hands) and ‘Menó Sangue Nos Olhos' (Blood in our Eyes) both feel slightly Harsh Noise Wall, or to be clearer, a Harsh Noise Wall with a few gaps in the brickwork for the other loud, discordant elements to flood through! 

Track artwork is included in the free download
of Retratando A Realidade Bélica

You can really feel Jhone’s heated anger at these various injustices fiercely directed through his noise, two examples of this include: ‘Pobre na MIRA’ (Vulgo ‘Bala Perdida’) Targeting the Poor (a popular saying is an ‘accidental shooting’) which is a vortex of electronic caterwauling and the high frequency tsunami of ‘13 De Maio É Uma Farsa' (the 13th of May is a farce) historically referring to the day in 1888 when Brazil officially abolished slavery and became the last nation in the West to do so.

5 tracks bring this short lived apocalyptic revolution to a deafening close: ‘Ciclo De Corrupção Ativa' (Corruption Cycle Active) ‘Protagonista De Um Filme De Terror’ (Protagonist In A Horror Movie) ‘Cade Os Esquecidos?’ (Where are the Forgotten?) despite all being well executed the one that really picked me up and smacked my ears around was ‘Caos Nosso de Cada Dia' (Our Daily Chaos). 

Concluding with a creepy music box and a single gunshot, ‘Obituário… FIM!!!’ (Obituary ... END !!!)  is both a theatrical and fitting end to an abrasive, hateful but ultimately thought provoking noise barrage.

All things considered, ‘Retratando A Realidade Bélica' is a seriously vicious and appropriate noise diatribe for our times. If you are beyond pissed off at the corrupt establishment then make sure God Pussy is setting fire to your eardrums while you go out and tear it down!

Recently, God Pussy released ‘riot’ and had a compilation appearance on UK Harsh Noise CD-R label ‘harsh noise movement’ you can check them both out here:

Mare Di Dirac: Fumes  (Dusktone records)

Mare Di Dirac are an electroacoustic, Musique Concrète noise duo from Italy. Not just staying put with 2 members they are often found collaborating with multiple musicians. Also the brains behind their own music imprint 'Dusktone Records' to put out physical CD releases they are passionate about as well as their own material.

Donning masks and erecting surreal-soundscapes on the grandest of scales, Mare Di Dirac's work transcends the song structures of normalcy and their performances in venue or studio become theatrical events.

The last MDD record ‘Tupilaq’ featured guest appearance from Mauro Sambo and Paolo Sanna
creating an intriguing blend of experimental jazz, sinister drone ambient and found sound/field recordings. In short, it's a sound artist's dream. ‘Fumes’ continues that wild exploration but ventures into even darker realms. Light an incense stick and prepare yourself.

Opening Track ‘SacraFormula’ amongst many audio entities captured includes: 
An unidentifiable (to me at least) reed instrument, a creaking door reversed into a low rumble, and a human voice so manipulated by effects it almost sounds like a cawing crow or some other nameless nightmarish bird. To name a few there are fizzes, sobs, scratching, and heavy breathing all overlapping in the boiling, spitting cauldron of sound. All of a sudden, when it seems to be reaching the tip of it’s summit with a horrified scream, the surging heat is turned off with one discharge of breath.

'Ceremony 00' is more of a slow burner, but still ups the ante with various scattered percussion and a overhead trilling. The low voices return, becoming a grainy, ethereal chant. The primal beating of the drums really give the track it’s ritualistic theme. This undercurrent of drone turns into some heavy sweeping static before dropping the dynamic back down again to soft mouth-made noises looped for a short time like a dripping tap and thumps that seem to resemble footsteps echoing down an imaginary hallway. 

In a faster segment, cymbals crash like merciless waves upon coastal rocks. At this point, the low vocals (are they even human voices anymore?!) start to resemble an ancient boulder being rolled away, the track is laid to rest by clanging rattles and the distant trill.

The ritual continues….

'Representation 01' begins as a loud, snare drum beating away that has a slight industrial feel to it, but still retaining that devotional quality. Layered voices groan and growl away, building until their place in the mix drops totally. Soft cracklings and insect-like scurryings between low buzzing and rustling, clinks of bottles all come together to form a sphere of sound consciousness that swaps to cracking floorboards.

A low piano note rushes in, on probably the most terror-filled track on this release, ‘Deification 10’. Squelching footsteps kick over a spinning glass bottle that falls into a gushing water source, and I can hear what could easily be somebody playing around with the guts of a grandfather clock.

Metallic breathing brings in the piano note again, the water now sounds like it’s draining away but you get the sense that another more malicious, insane presence wishes to make itself known, a pitch bended bell and another rummage inside the clock only add to this descent into madness. The water sounds return, now churned into a fury, meanwhile the sound of birds singing changes into maniacal laughter, only the piano note can signal the end of the darkest chapter in this trip.

Closing Track ‘Quinta Matrice’ sends us off with slow, lightly tapped cymbal hits interspersed with ticking that confirms the clock in the previous song has now been fixed. Fumbling and scrunching are unearthed somewhere beneath it all making the tempo a crawling shuffle. Amongst the ever present stone cold chants is a harmonica drowning in strange effects blaring out brash signals to the untapped regions somewhere inside your brain box it then switches to more of a mosquito dialogue over a tinkling of cymbals. The chants intensify as the ritual nears its climax and with the higher registers of the mouth organ once again at fever pitch, it flares up and it's all over.

What I enjoyed most about this release was that it's a great example of putting dynamics to good use. At times it attained the most tension filled of crescendoes, while the quieter sections still remain threatening. Brilliant vocal work and instrumentation all around. 

Fumes will take you in search of an esoteric utopia, but it is not afraid to drag you through purgatory to reach enlightenment. Heightened awareness and sharpened senses await! 

Listen with a good pair of headphones.

If you enjoyed Fumes check out Mare Di Dirac’s debut record ‘tupilaq' here

Internet Findings

Mindphaser: Canticles of Dune 

Introducing Chilean artist Felix Perez and his Electronic Ambient project ‘Mindphaser.’ Primarily taking influence from the 70s-80s prog era as well as artists from the Berlin School of Electronic Music scene (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze etc) Felix’s musical talents have seen him gradually gaining many online followers over the last few years. 

Recently he released a short full length album inspired by the Frank Herbert book & David Lynch film ‘Dune.’ 

The instruments used help to recreate the scenes and introduce the various characters/events important to the storyline. Felix included a track by track description of the epic audio tale in the link below, so even if you aren’t familiar with the Dune story (like me) then you can still follow the basics of it all.

First in the sequence is ‘Melange’ which has a peaceful meditative feel to it, only hinting at the expanding musical universe to come. The building synth textures in Track 2 represent the enormous spaceship of such magnitude FP mentions in the album’s liner notes. But that soon becomes a more tension filled, fluctuating pattern, as if the vessel has entered more dangerous space-territory. 

On ‘Hammer & Worms’ the frantic scramble for the resources on Dune is shown through a quickening bass line, and washes of keyboard chords. A well played guitar solo helps to complete the track’s ‘desert mirage’ feel.

Listen here:

‘Canticles..’ also features 2 shorter tracks dedicated to machine characters of Dune, the first is an affair of beeps and bleeps representing the supreme living computer of Dune known as ‘Omnius’ who considers humanity unreliable and therefore useless. While the second machine based track’s robotic theremin cries and whooshing noises represent ‘Erasmus’ an evil robot who conducts diabolical human experiments.

Almost coming back on itself,Beyond Space and Time’ feels like the second part of the intro with rising/falling patterns that seem to take you around the outer rings of the universe. To round things off, a second version of ‘Hammer & Worms’ this time with an arpeggiated synth line fading in and out of audible reach. 

In Closing, ‘Canticles of Dune’ paints a wonderful musical picture of the Dune universe. If you’re a progressive space ambient/film soundtrack fan with a penchant for the bygone 70s-80s Science Fiction entertainment, this is an essential slice of synthspiration.

Enjoyed MindPhaser? Check out an interview with Electronic Ambient / Berlin School musician Michael Brückner here 

How I Met Lauren: ‘im spektrum’  (Zero Sum Recordings)

Zero Sum Recordings is a newly formed tape label based in Brooklyn, New York City. 
Already Dishing out fast-selling limited edition cassettes featuring the ambient sonics of Empty Venice Beach and Abstract Audio Systems. ZSR's motto is: "Low on the noise, high on the haze." 

Put together by the multi-talented Ben Hudgins under his Machine Tribe Recordings umbrella
which also includes his many awesome music projects and the excellent Harsh noise, HNW and Dark Ambient tape label: Endless Landscape of Decay.

Last month, the label had it’s debut release ‘im spektrum’ a 2 part drone piece by German ambient/drone/noise-maker How I Met Lauren. 

SIDE A: After the prologue of a guitar jack lead being noisily plugged in and a handful of slowly passing reverberations like trains in the night, ‘im spektrum’ begins to form as a highly resonant sound beam, topped with ripples of light, fuzzy distortion. 

Building from the ground up, it’s atmospheric audio foundations interlink with soft surface noises making a Brian Eno-esque powerhouse. The emerging drone casts a long, flickering silhouette across the mind’s sky. 

SIDE B: Still flying high and shining bright, the shadowy drone continues it’s slow cloud like movement never pausing once to take in the aerial view. But as we all know, what comes up must come down and the descent from the upper echelons is due. Almost reluctantly stripping itself away until nothing but the gentle hissing of tape is left. Roll credits. Now leave in peace.

Pre-judging by the artwork I was convinced this was going to be a depressing ride, but instead you have the musical equivalent of a slow motion daybreak that turns into the brightest of auroras. 

'Im spektrum' is uplifting Drone, done right! Turn it up, close your eyes and let the music engulf you. 

There’s only a few copies left of this one, so get it or regret it!

Thanks to those who submitted their music to me, keep ‘em coming in!

If you would like to be considered for a review or a  press interview send me an email containing a link to your music here: 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much Edward, I appreciate your very good review !