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(75:23; Cuneiform Records)
Bleak, industrial, avant-garde, experimental, noise, punk, extreme, heavy, this 2014 release from Richard Pinhas and Oren Ambarchi is all these things and yet so much more. This is not music for the fainthearted, and indeed many of those wouldn’t even describe this as music – I can imagine parents the world over screaming at their children “What is that noise?” which is something I heard plenty of times in my youth, and now get told the same thing by my children. But in many ways this album is noise, but noise with a purpose. The two guitarists are deploying feedback as musical notes, looping their instruments so that drummer Joe Talia is all over his kit trying to keep it all together and also making himself heard, and for the most part failing in both tasks. There is even a “second circle” of musicians who add their parts, but the attention is drawn always to the sonic maelstrom being created by the two guitarists who have obviously never heard of the concepts of using space as an additional instrument, or having light and shade to create dynamics. This is a nihilistic over the top bleak rendition of the world, with the musicians allowing their nightmares to have full rein. This is music which hurts, which could be used as an aural assault weapon, and Ambarchi allows himself to have fun away from his normal projects with the likes of Sunn O))) and Attila Csihar while Pinhas continues on the road he has taken since he started Heldon in the early Seventies, and the result of this collaboration is something I found both incredibly compelling and repelling at the same time. This may not be an album I can see myself returning to often, and there is no possibility ever of singing the songs around the house as there aren’t any, but there are times when this is the perfect reflection of the world we live in, and the only album which will do.
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