Review: Manja Ristić & Murmer – The Scaffold (Unfathomless, Mar 18)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1w ago
I’ve been listening to and writing about the work of Belgrade’s Manja Ristić for as long as this site has been around, and by now I have reviewed more releases by her than anyone else, which, needless to say, is well deserved. Her latest work, The Scaffold, is a collaboration with Estonia-based project Murmer (a.k.a. Patrick Tubin McGinley) and probably my favorite entry in the Unfathomless catalog since 2019’s being there. Born out of a “friendship in sound and constant appreciation for mutual efforts” (Ristić’s words) and conceptually inspired by a preliminary recording made by McGinley ..read more
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Review: Max Nordile Hair Clinic – Hanging by a Fan Over Wet Cement (Gilgongo, Mar 15)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
2w ago
Perhaps the stylings of Max Nordile’s recordings under his own name and those as Hair Clinic were destined to converge. The distinct outlets have always shared a good-natured holism in their approach to soundmaking, prizing wrong notes and accidental overhearings alongside half-arranged basement serenades and focused object-bothering. But the exact relationship between the two is hard to pinpoint, which is likely intentional. Hanging by a Fan Over Wet Cement, credited to Max Nordile Hair Clinic, has a lot in common with the solely eponymous Gilgongo releases Building a Better Void and Copper i ..read more
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Review: Death Kneel – Burning Grip (Life of Sensation, Mar 4)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1M ago
Following the recording and eventual release of the Dawn Simulation full-length CD on Chondritic, perhaps the project’s most ambitious and fully realized work yet, Tomb Mold titan and underground mainstay Max Klebanoff has continued to keep busy with his Death Kneel alias, putting out a series of short ‘n sweet tapes on in-house imprint Life of Sensation over the past seven-or-so months. Each of the succinct slices (a C10, C11, and C14, respectively) has provided an opportunity to explore the more caustic facets of his distinct and multifarious take on heavy electronics: both Seneca Hill Haym ..read more
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Review: Lean – Sounds (G-Tech, Mar 1)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1M ago
Improvised music is at its best when it just is, pure expression without pretenses. Necessarily self-funded, this humble approach has sustained itself via open-access internet platforms in recent decades and home-taping/trading long before that. The latter tradition is no relic lost to history, but a stubborn survivor even in a devoutly digital age, and we have it to thank for excellent art like this. When G-Tech operator Seamus Williams (TVE, A[e]yurvedic Tapes) and Mickey O’Hara (whose Bituminous Concrete Curb Detail on Ayurvedic I reviewed here last October) record and/or perform as Le ..read more
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Review: Clinton Green – A Conduit (Shame File Music, Feb 25)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1M ago
At the heart of Clinton Green’s latest is the humbly bewitching sound of several broken Walkmans looping over themselves and each other in a jittery, microscopic dance. According to the Shame File star himself, “Loose internal speakers from the Walkmans are positioned between the spindle and play-head. The parts cling together magnetically, yet are agitated by the turning spindle, creating not-quite-regular rhythms punctuated by magnetic/electronic interference.” It’s an approach that has a lot of potential despite its minimalism, a potential that is explored in depth throughout. But in a surp ..read more
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Review: Lès Modernos – Ciutats (Bruit Direct Disques, Feb 16)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1M ago
Ciutats, for all of the meticulous composition that went into its production, has the spirit of channel-surfing on the car radio as you cruise around on a lazy afternoon. Lès Modernos (Noiseau sound artist and DJ Loïc Ponceau) makes use of an eclectic range of source material for this short suite, each piece a loosely assembled skeleton of soulful loops, spectral dissections, and rebellious harmonies. “Lacques 1” immediately introduces the fleeting, fragile intrigue that drives the brief collages, its fractured rearrangement of a darkly dramatic folk song echoing the haunting palette of Arca’s ..read more
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Review: Weston Olencki & Laura Cocks – Music for Two Flutes (Hideous Replica, Feb 6)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
1M ago
Music for Two Flutes is one of those numerous documents of modern composition with deceptively humble titles. Both Ceòl Meadhonach and SLUB, the pair of pieces presented on this digipak release from Hideous Replica, are certainly written for and performed by flutes, but what each actually sounds like transcends (yet does not hide) such a minimal approach. I’m revealing my own inexperience when I admit I have always associated the instrument with an almost saccharine whimsicality, all delicate twitter and flutter. Artists like Olencki and Cocks, however, are recent fixtures of an extensive ..read more
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Review: Ashcircle – Yet More Warnings / Object Permanence (Chocolate Monk, Jan 28)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
2M ago
Offering the irresistible deal of two Ashcircle sessions for the price of one, Yet More Warnings / Object Permanence is some of the best material yet from London’s most incorrigible sampler spammers. I dub Mackle and Macarte as such affectionately rather than accurately; over the past few years they have developed a musical flow and language that is anything but random. The sound-species they have neatly chopped up and rendered as readily accessible custom soundbanks range from physical instruments like winds (Level Up Everywhere) and guitars (Doubling Down, just released on Hideous Replica) t ..read more
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Review: STUMPED – Shallow Buoy (Corephone Sound, Jan 26)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
2M ago
Part and parcel of the STUMPED process is “shallow listening”: a modus operandi less weighty and austere than the oft-invoked “deep listening,” but one that doesn’t forego the appreciation for the subtle beauties of sounds usually dismissed as mundane or trivial (to be clear, “shallow” is not meant to connote the level of artistry at work here). Adam Buffington (Pennsylvania) and Page Swanson (Berlin) always keep seasoned ears out for tidbits and trimmings—out of doors, over the radio, buried in closets and corners—to mash into the alluring paste from which the duo’s recordings are ladled, the ..read more
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Review: Stefan Maier – Nervous Systems (Party Perfect!!!, Jan 26)
Noise Not Music
by Jack Davidson
2M ago
From the earliest developments in digital synthesis to the advent of the laptop and beyond, those who operate within the tradition of “computer music” have always confronted its uniquely symbiotic balance of manual and automatic soundmaking. Vancouver’s Stefan Maier is an artist who refuses to restrict his methodology to one or the other, instead electing to “[walk] the thin line between barely controlling a sound and accepting that it has its own inner life.” As a listener I tend to prefer extremity in this genre, a quality that is more often than not associated with direct artistic input; Ma ..read more
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