Posts Tagged ‘Live recording’

Cruel Nature Recordings – 6th November 2020

Christopher Nosnbor

The latest release from Heat Death of the Sun, aka Eugene Davies, was recorded live in Newcastle at The Cluny – a venue that provided a space for many oddball / alternative / noisy gigs and hosting many of the artists on local labels Cruel Nature and Panurus Productions – in May 2019. Yes, back when live music was a thing. There’s a semi-ironic joke to be made that people were practising social distancing at shows like this long before it became a thing, and that there’s likely less chance of catching even the most contagious of viruses at an ultra-niche gig than in your local Aldi, but the sad fact is that while it’s tough for the everyone involved in the music industry, the impact of lockdown on the micro-communities which exist through underground music is immense in mental health terms.

It may not be a fresh observation for me to note the other irony here, namely that people who are disparate, disconnected, and often prone to anxiety and low mood come together over some of the darkest, most challenging music. Often, it’s because they find it articulates their feelings in ways they can’t, and music has a near-infinite capacity to transcend words.

Listening to Drinking Oil From The Black Fountain – a single, continuous piece spanning twenty-eight minutes and documenting HDoTS set – I find myself lamenting my inability to travel to Newcastle and the fact I wasn’t present at the show. The atmospherics are deep and dark and I imagine at the appropriate volume, in a darkened room, the experience must have been immersive and fully multisensory. The range of frequencies is extensive, and winds buffet long and low against tremolo notes that seesaw and drone, intermittently interrupted by swells and glitches. Despite the distance, it holds up well as a recorded audio work.

As the piece progresses, the ruptures become more pronounced, the thudding detonations of bass more resonant, and the whole sonic web begins to tangle itself more irrevocably, twisting and knotting, with the result that what began as a softly oscillating wash transmogrifies into an unsettling, uncomfortable source of tension, and there’s still fully ten minutes to go as I ding my muscles tensing, my jaw clenching, and my stomach beginning to lurch.

Twisted folksy drones shudder in and out of the increasingly warped array of sounds as they slowly melt together before collapsing in a liquefied state as storm clouds gather and thunder rumbles ominously and culminating in a slow, looped throb to fade.

It’s a powerful, hypnotic work that evolves nicely over its course, with just enough angles and disjointed corners to render it challenging without being a total headfuck.

AA

a1428120230_10

keitkratzer productions (zkr0020) (CD) / Karlrecords (KR027) (Vinyl) – 26th February 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Reinhold Friedl’s keeping it in-house with this one, with the Zeitkratzer collective which he helms performing a reworking of one of his own pieces. Kore is a development of his earlier Xanakis [a]live! (2007), which was an homage to French-Greek composer Iannis Xanakis. Originality may be dead, but artistic evolution is not, and here we see Friedel engage fully with the organic processes of influence and appropriation, and the idea that a work is never complete but continually subject to re-evaluation, reinterpretation, reconfiguration.

Pained screeching of tortured strings, form long, agonized screams and wails. On the lower register, cavernous rumblings and ominous echoes. It quakes and trembles and teeters and bucks, crashing and lashing, a sustained and calamitous wall of sound akin to how one may reasonably imagine a galactic storm. And it goes on for what feels like an eternity, light years of shuddering textural depth stretching out and fully enveloping the senses.

While the CD track-listing shows ‘Kore’ as being presented in just two parts, its mastering in fact replicates the vinyl edition’s four sides, with each piece between 11 and 16 minutes in length. As a single entity, it crashes and grates, squalls and shrieks, grunts and groans. And it never lets up, a sustained crescendo of sonic and psychic disturbance, a tempest of clashing noise, a raging storm.

The segmented arrangement works well: for while ‘Kore’ is clearly a single body of work, there are distinguishable differences between the four tracks. The second is comparatively quieter and less intense than the first, but the tones still forge sharp shards which slice into the cerebellum. Trilling and tweeting shrilly in the upper reaches of the spectrum, dark scrapes create perilous undercurrents which build in density.

Vast crashes of sound, immense gongs of violence slice the atmosphere in the third, more percussively-orientated part. It shudders and heaves, before finally screaming onwards through the tumultuous final 11 minutes. A blasting wall of noise which assails the listener with all sounds all at once, it’s an immense sound and an immense sensation that sounds like no orchestral work you’re likely to have heard before, and, quite conceivably, nothing else you may have experienced, period.

Zeitkratzer - Kore

zeitkratzer Online