STORM OF NOISE – The 1st Offensive

So it’s time for some of this, everyone.  In the past we received a decent amount of noise promos for review, or let’s just say experimental to cover everything under the sun so no one feels like an outsider.  But recently we’ve been hit with a wave of metal of the ‘blackened’ variety, or just black metal, including post.  Why is this happening?  Not sure, but we need to even it out again, so thus we’re beginning a new feature here, titling appropriately (though take heed punkers, we need more of that too).  So what are we doing here with this article?  “I have been raised on technology to consume quickly and without reading,” you say.  That joke would be funny if you actually read it, because you probably haven’t gotten this far, but if you did you just laughed and then realized the laughter wasn’t warranted, so we need to make amends.  And today we’re going to do that with a hefty selection of noise and only noise, four different artists, four different releases, in one big storm of static that will make tornado season seem as weak as snow in a jungle.  In the future expect more of these, which is rather nice considering many noise artists are totally underground and beyond obscure, and we tend to promote these features a lot more than normal reviews.  Anyway, enter the storm!

Alfe – Take Me In Your Cruel Arms

Before you’re completely torn asunder, we thought it best to start things light, like the brief, chilled breeze before the hurricane, which still bites.  There’s little to be found about Alfe, though we know it’s a solo project of the underrated Ann Deveria, whose experience with power electronics is something of legend, or should be at least.  Take Me In Your Cruel Arms is a testament to her skill with delicacy and intricacy through simplicity.  Relying almost entirely on pattern loops, enjoy the stimulating, hypnotic wave of noise, light on the ears, but dense on the brain.  Each track has a different atmosphere, always intense.  The true beauty of it is the way Alfe requires the listener to evoke their own mental images.  As each pattern rumbles, lightly shrieks, or flows around your head, they take hold, and when they do your mind is dipped into a lull, a sort of spiritual purging where it begins to find further patterns within patterns that are, in essence, not even there.  Excellent work, a true standard to follow and incredible in how it engages the listener to create more sound themselves, as though Alfe has an innate sense of how the human mind works when listening to noise of this type.  Envelope Collective Official Facebook  Score: 5 / 5
La faille – felt dreams

This is a first submission from French DIY label Phalænia.  DIY is something you expect out of noise, it’s part of the aesthetic, almost a requirement by some estimations, and perhaps derisively considered the vanity press of the underground because of it.  In fact for harsh noise wall (HNW), it appears to be the only way.  Why?  Well the genre tends to get the brunt of criticism when someone wants to tear at pettiness of modern noise.  Many noise artists jump from pedal to pedal whilst mic-screaming as though it were revolution, but HNW takes that to the next level of suck since it’s 100% consistent and usually doesn’t have any screaming to distract.  The term literally explains what to expect, it’s a wall of noise with usually minor, if any, variation.  Step on a pedal, get some sort of harsh sound, and put that on record for…ehhhh how about an hour?  So if someone’s going to work it like a hippo twerking an ant to climax, it needs to be artful.  To our surprise La faille have got this HNW thing.  felt dreams is a fine selection of all things that rumble, but whereas most HNW we’ve received in the past went straight for the assault, La faille instead works with natural patterns present in crackling atmospheres.  By necessity the brain begins to find patterns in the consistency, creating variety where none exists, as we found above with Alfe, just way harsher here.  Without a sense of the meditative, HNW is largely “see how loud I can make it and record for about an hour.”  This is the opposite, thank ye gods.  Two long tracks on this cassette for those of you who like to ruminate to the sound of electrical wires on fire.  Score: 4.2 / 5

Model for Assembl – Vivisection

Now here’s one that sonically slices your throat open, stitches it shut, and then pulls out the stitches before they’re even close to healing.  Fitting, because the title is Vivisection, and though we’re talking about humans you probably won’t be alive for very long if you listen at anything above medium level, which is exactly how we like our noise.  Coming from Siberia, Model for Assembl appears to be a reference to Assembly Language, and we thought at first perhaps the transliteration of the Russian, but it’s not exactly the word they use.  Either way, Assembly is a good reference, because Vivisection is next-level, hard-as-hell programming, looping, and cutting.  It consists of only the harshest tones, crackling breaks, metallic slamming, microphones tossed into grinders, and the like, except it sounds so very awesome without an ounce of “oh this crap again.”  In fact, considering how chaotic it is, it’s really quite amazing Model for Assembl pulled it off.  It’s something like the insanity you see in MLG videos with obscure references in split-second timing, overloading your brain, and your speakers, with something you know is immediately cool but need to take several hours to decipher.  Of especial interest is the way he tales the typical, shattering metallic bursts recorded through distortion and mixes it with brutally quick, computer sounds for a truly bizarre effect.  A real blast, pump this one on full volume and enjoy, because it’s even a free download.  Model for Assembl Official Facebook  Score: 4.7 / 5

VFSecurities – Sound Investment #1

Now that you’ve been turned into a being of flesh-turned-machine, it’s time to reprogram, and we’ll do that with some noisy beats.  Vacant Fulfillment is a totally DIY, and free might we add, British label specializing in sickening, degraded beats, ambience, noise, all that good stuff.  This is our first experience with them, and VFSecurities appears to be a direct project of the label head.  If Sound Investment #1 is any indication of what they can do, please do more.  The process here is thus; simplistic, repetitive beats, overlayed with a variety of technological sounds to create a mechanical body of rhythm.  Now look at that title again, and then the tracks.  There are only three in total, “Stocks”, “Bonds”, and “Derivatives”.  Get it?  The opener is like the energy of a first-time investor feeling their revenue increase with the pulse of their heart, then turned into a stress-laden mess, like a nicotine’s addict’s straining pulse, finally ending with a dying heart surrounded by cricket-like echoes of life support.  This theme is further developed through the grim imagery of the cover, which we assume is a concentration camp or some sort of high-security prison.  Either way, the idea is clear, the process from stocks to derivatives captures the soul and turns it into a lifeless, wandering menace trapped in a cycle, completely enclosed.  VFSecurities can get you out, but only if you’re willing to accept the mind ripping sonic assault we gave you this far.  If so, let the beats of Sound Investment #1 replace what was once there and be reborn.  We also strongly recommend you check out what else the label has to offer, ahem, again, for free, on their Bandcamp page.  VF Securities Official Facebook  Score: 4.7 / 5


Written by Stanley Stepanic