Various Artists – DRET fyller 2!!!

Posted: 26 December 2022 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dret Skivor – 23rd December 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Swedish microlabel Dret Skivor may be many things, primarily a champion of the obscure and staunchly uncommercial (hell, they even put out a split release with one of my spoken work / noisewerks this time last year), but exuberant is not one of the adjectives that comes to mind. But look at those exclamation marks in the title!

But following the customary roughly annual Procter / Poulsen collaboration, they’re putting out a bonus release – release twenty-three, no less – to celebrate the label’s second anniversary. It’s a just cause for celebration and a display of public exuberance, not least of all because the catalogue they’ve swiftly amassed is a treasure trove of wonderfully weird and dark experimental noise, and this three-tracker featuring Fern and Fåntratt is no exception.

Fåntratt’s fifteen-minute excursion into harsh noise wall sits between ‘frolics from Fern! It’s an F-macka!!’ the blurb tells us (which I assume is a good thing, since my ears tell me it is). And the contrast works well: the two Fern tracks are brief, at least in comparative terms, with the five minutes of ‘Field Trip’ pulling together dark, damp, ominous ambience and achingly spiritual choral singing which drifts and glides in and out of the nightmarish soundscape. It creaks and rumbles and thunders with deep, murky tones, the vocals rendering the experience even more unsettling. ‘Heaven in my Hands’ couldn’t be more different – a snarling blast of industrial/grindcore crossover, where everything is so mangled and distorted it’s impossible to make anything out other than the broken-sounding beats. It’s as heavy as hell.

Yet, perversely, it feels like light relief after the release’s centrepiece. Fåntratt’s ‘Morot’ is fifteen minutes of high-end hell. It’s harsh even by harsh noise all standards. And whereas many of the Dret releases have been HNW exemplars, the majority have featured subtle variations in tone or frequency: not this cut. This is pure HNW. We’re in Vomir territory, but pitch-shifted up a few notches to a pitch that drills through the brain penetrates to the core.

I did, for a moment, think I had detected some slight sonic shift, but then realised, after further exploration, that this was simply an effect created by moving my head to one side or the other in relation to the stereo speakers. Swallow, move, it sounds different for a fleeting second, but the fact is that this is solid noise, a sheer and unmoving wall of noise of the kind that will induce migraine, tinnitus, and seizures. Possibly. While some noise can be quite soothing – admittedly, I speak for myself here, but can’t be alone in finding this – Fåntratt’s ‘Morot’ is torturous, tension-building, painful-inducing. It’s powerful stuff, and the perfect party tune for Dret’s second birthday. Here’s to the next two years.

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