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KEARNE - Of Pain And Pleasure REVIEW

mercredi 4 novembre 2015 à 17:52


Kearne is the solo project of Detroit ambient/noise/soundscape artist Cody Lobbestael. Blending a multitude of different textures, atmospheres, dynamics, and at times ear-piercing explosions of sound, Kearne creates a 40 minute piece of ambient music that at no times seems meandering or boring. Constructed delicately and produced excellently, this release evolves and grows maturely. Rather than simply being a prolonged crescendo to harsh fuzz madness and cacophony, Kearne molds and forms the noises, sounds, and melodic walls of somber atmosphere all together and explores each theme and sound to their absolute fulfillment. 

Side A rolls and bellows through, often being interrupted by brief micro-explosions of harsh noise, only to be met with soothing ambient walls of distilled fuzz and rumbling. The track has a very organic feeling, giving off the impression of the entire piece being constructed of found sounds and natural field recordings. Nothing here feels repetitive or lazily executed - this piece feels alive and truly involved. 

Side B employs strange samples of rattling coupled with further examples of harsh noise explosions. Synths also make an entrance on this side, holding these low epic resounding notes, giving the track a haunting, harmonious feel. The last half of the track becomes field recording and Masonna worship, delicately yet abrasively releasing high frequency crashes and static until the track abruptly ends. 

An ambient noise record that is extremely easy to be lost in and enjoy, this is a highly recommended listen. 


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mercredi 28 octobre 2015 à 02:54


Infamous New York power electronics titan Waves Crashing Piano Chords, the recording alias of Sean Beard, is arguably one of the most popular and respected acts in the American noise scene. With his confrontational stage presence, intense, unapologetic persona, and visually intimidating aesthetics, Waves Crashing Piano Chords blurs lines, crosses boundaries, and frankly doesn't give a fuck about your safety bubble during his performances. As with many controversial performers - especially in the extreme genres of "music" such as noise - most artists because more well-known for their live antics and violence, many of these becoming the works of legend. However, few noise artists are able to transpose the intensity, harshness, uneasiness, and aural anxiety of their live performances onto a recording quite like WCPC. And nowhere in this performer's catalog is that more evidenced than in "I Can't Get The Taste Off My Tongue". 

Self-proclaimed as his "proudest release", WCPC starts this release off rumbling, loud, and intense. With what sounds like cymbals crashing under walls of high-end static and feedback, WCPC crackles, explodes, and throws his noise at the listener. This is one of the few releases I've listened to where listening to this record at absolute full volume almost becomes overbearing and caustic - and I mean that in the best way possible. The sounds radiate and drop down in reverb-soaked exhales - very much so reminiscent of his live performances - only to elevate back up without warning into these cacophonous scream-fests from what sounds like a performer who has truly left all inhibitions at the door. 

Pure, true, unfiltered, and unapologetic Power Electronics from one of the few American Noise artists who are still content with not pleasing everyone, and hopefully creating an enemy or two along the way. This is a strongly recommended listen for anyone looking for the most extreme and abrasive examples of Harsh Noise/Power Electronics. 


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jeudi 6 août 2015 à 02:18


Waves Crashing Piano Chords is the harsh noise project of New York dynamo Sean Beard. Whether you love or hate his abrasive, perverse, intense, and horrific persona and aural assault on his listeners - or perhaps onlookers is a more appropriate term - you can't deny that he is turning heads in American noise. I had the opportunity to talk to Sean, and this is what followed:

GRVD: I want to really get the full picture on WCPC's transformation from unstoppable New York show-crasher to one of the most prolific and polarizing acts in the American noise scene. Can you describe the very first noise sets you performed, receptions, animosity, and perhaps nervousness associated with the early early days? Also, what would you acknowledge as a "turning point" for the project? When did people really start noticing WCPC? WCPC: Thanks. I started the project in 2005, but the first live performance (that I acknowledge) wasn't until 2008, and all the gigs from that year were just showing up, and crashing local events without permission. The most memorable one is obviously when I tore all the ligaments in my left knee crashing a metalcore show, but that's just memorable to me in general. Other early gigs ranged from total awkward, to complete waste of time (being unplugged instantly or found out before I could even perform). I never got to finish a set back then which is probably for the best because I wasn't very good, and had I gotten to it most likely would have been less entertaining than the venue unplugging me and throwing a fit. I forget most of them, but the very first gig I definitely fried the venues PA within probably fifteen seconds, and once they realized that I wasn't even on the show they called the cops. After that gig I started using a self contained set up that way I didn't have to communicate with anybody, and I could just plug in, and start. I think the turning point was in 2012 when live footage started getting online, and I started recording, and putting out records. Up until then I didn't really bother promoting online or recording. GRVD: Something I think has always interested me about the project is a lack of gear and perhaps leniency to minimalism in your sets. You seem to rely on the atmosphere and abrasive energy between yourself and the audience. Care to expand on that idea? Would you consider the live show to be a true embodiment of WCPC? WCPC: Without a doubt. I waited seven years to even attempt to record because I wasn't sure if a show that's so focused on physical interaction would even translate well to record - hence why a good portion of the discography is made up of live recordings. I do have a few releases that aren't very representative of the live show, and are more focused on creating a shrill atmosphere with the same set up I use live, and room placement (Childhood, It Turns Me On Because It Shouldn't), but outside of that I don't see the project as anything more than a live show, and the records are just artifacts to back it up. I actually don't plan on doing too many more releases from this point on - I feel the discography represents the project for what it is, and I have no desire for progression, and I especially don't want to oversaturate it with rehashed recordings that sound identical to past releases. The live show however will continue until I physically can't do it anymore. GRVD: I've got to ask, how did you come up with the name Waves Crashing Piano Chords? I know it's quite the boring question, but the name has always resonated with me personally. Is there a story there? WCPC: It's a secret! Pretty though, ain't it? It helped me a lot in 2009 getting booked on shows I had no place being on due to promoters doing little to no research outside of liking the "band" name. GRVD: Were you associated with the metalcore/hardcore/grind scene in New York prior to WCPC? If so, how were the relationships with people in that community affected by your alienating persona and unforgiving show-crashing? Were any relationships severed? WCPC: No I was never really associated with any scene locally. More of a loner type. I would say most people locally just know me as WCPC, and of course a lot of them dislike me for one reason or another, but I was never really seeking their approval either. I suppose I knew a few people prior, but they wrote me off pretty instantly after that show where I tore my knee, and that promoter dude got all pissed. I kind of went out of my way to sever any relationship I could have with the local music scene. GRVD: There's a lot of strong opinions in noise. There are plenty of individuals who have a very exclusive attitude towards people trying to embrace the noise community. Do you think the idea of elitism is destructive, stupid, necessary, or are you ultimately indifferent to it? WCPC: The true elitists or "scene leaders" as I like to call em are the dudes putting on festivals just for the status. They are basically dependent on the opportunist mentality of douche bags who will kiss their ass, and tell them their project is good just to get on their fest and expose themselves to fifty other dudes all there for the same bullshit reason. None of these people would survive one week without each other to leech off of. Wanna be a well known noise artist? Convince a bunch of dumbasses on facebook that your noise fest is the shit, and that they need you. The people who are exclusive towards people getting into noise are the same people you remember in high school monitoring who sits at the cool table at lunch. GRVD: I also had the opportunity to interview Ethan of Swallowing Bile a while back. He definitely had some qualms about the New York noise scene. He told me he definitely felt isolated and that it was hard for his project specifically to find traction with other communities that leaned more towards the artsy side of things. Has WCPC had this same problem? Have things improved since then? WCPC: Well, there's noise artists around here (Rochester, NY), but as far as harsh noise and power electronics goes - not so much. I've been to a few of those shows, and confrontation just doesn't really fit the bill. I don't really know if I would even want to be on one of those shows so I don't really feel that isolated from them not asking me to perform them. That'd be like the local death metal band getting upset about the local Black Sabbath tribute band not asking them to play their show. Plus I don't really like playing noise shows as it is. GRVD: What do you wish more noise artists did and didn't do? WCPC: I wish they'd stop asking me to do a split with them.
GRVD: Any final comments/shout outs/recommendations/etc. you'd like to leave us with? WCPC: MMFWCL - WHOOP WHOOP


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lundi 6 juillet 2015 à 19:02


While this is a blog dedicated to covering artists - or perhaps "anti-artists" - who pursue the sonically liberal extremes of harsh noise, power electronics, drone, and HNW, this is quite a change of pace for this blog. And a much needed and appreciated one. Dark and grimy, but smooth and punching enough to last, this promising demo from the U.K.'s own Negative Space is a fast, quick, and exhilarating release of focused post-punk with a tendency of paying homage to the classic acts of No Wave and goth rock. 

The compositions here and straight-forward and haunting. While this band certainly doesn't stray too far from certain contemporaries (Iceage, Lakes, Night Sins, Wreck And Reference) they also incorporate enough classic textures and atmospheres to make the most devoted DNA fans happy. 

A highly recommended listen, and a must have for noise fans who are keeping an eye on the U.K.'s contributions to the genre (Reece Green of Alocasia Garden and Vanity Pill Records is also part of this project). 


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lundi 18 mai 2015 à 18:24


The American Noise scene continues to astound and impress me with powerful and unique groups and projects. This East Coast (NJ to be exact) group, Transient In Barcelona is no exception. In a brief 20 minutes this group is able to release one of the most solid industrial noise releases I've heard in a while.

Experimental noise duo Transient In Barcelona are a talented outfit that focuses on hypnotic rhythms, banshee vocal deliveries, well-produced, yet still raw electronics (sharing more in favor with Nine Inch Nails, Death Grips, Nah, and Zola Jesus than say Whitehouse) that makes for an engaging and unique listening experience. 

Each track executes a single idea - inspired by a minimalist aesthetic I'm assuming - and expanding that idea slowly and slowly over time, but not allowing the track to drag and become a bore. This is not a minimalist drone release, rather a repetitive industrial noise EP that aims to dismantle the listener's expectations with every single minute that passes. The swing beat on the third track "Paratrooper" is easily the greatest highlight of this recording and of the point I just addressed earlier. 

Belonging to the Uninvited Records label, Transient In Barcelona stand on their own, denying genre expectations and scene-political safeness for the integrity of the artistry they present to us. A must listen for any noise/industrial fan. 


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