Black noise, icy minimalism

One goodly vinyl slab this week – it’s a potentially blistering artefact of UK noise, credited to The New Blockaders and Putrefier, and bearing name of Schleifmittelb√∂gen (BIRTHBITER 09 LP). Has been loosed into the world’s maw courtesy of the Birthbiter label, which I presume to be owned and operated by Mark Durgan (who is also Putrefier). The Rupenus TNB project continues over time to generate new sonic chunks such as this, even when in recent years it’s usually a recycling / remaking episode, which I think is what this will prove to be. References to earlier LPs can be found in the press release. I’m advised to listen out for acoustic and field recordings in the mix and that, once spun, my preconceptions about Rupenus and Durgan will be pleasantly challenged and surprised. Durgan’s work has graced my ears in the shape of one intense live LP, and a definitive four-CD retrospective collection which, to be honest, was somewhat wearisome overall (even if packed with many nuggets of invention). The title of the record continues a tradition of fictional German compound words, which have graced many a TNB project; this one translates roughly as ‘sleep-central-elbow’, which is something I can personally identify with as a major insomniac. Also rather taken with the humourous image on the record label, which is a ‘found’ photograph of a street sign reading ‘RESTAURANT NADA’. Given that Rupenus has often sought expression in the furthest reaches of nihilism, I feel confident that he’s a regular diner at this emporium of nothingness. Limited pressing of 500 copies, of which 100 (including mine) have a supplemental CDR inserted. With track titles like ‘Tiras abrasivas’, I’m expecting something that’ll sandpaper my bedroom walls and bring me a nice cup of coffee in the morning, but what do you make of something called ‘Fleksible Slibeark’? You must be the judge!

Ben Owen writes from New York, where he operates the Winds Measure Recordings label. ‘Longtime reader here…’ he pens, ‘finally sending something for review (revile)’. Credited to ting ting jahe, it’s called simply 18 (16) and is housed in a minimal, elegant letterpress cover in the postcard format. Described here in somewhat mystical terms, using phrases and words like ‘icy communion’, ‘ghosts’ and ‘electromagnetic conversations’, this may turn out to be intriguing low-key sound art episodes, based perhaps on ethereal impressions of weather and atmosphere, making whatever sonic marks they may on digital recording media. The presence of Deep Listening star Scott Smallwood (on mastering duties here) lends further credence to this possibility. This is wm 03 on the label; wm 04 features a personal fave Jeph Jerman with Greg Davis and Albert Casais.