Voices in the Madcap Clouds

Some very tasty science-fiction inchoerent noise escapades from Masayuki Imanishi, whose Land (DESERTED FACTORY DF-8) is filled with many distorted, swirling and hyper-edited adventures in boldly reverberating insanity. Unlike many noise artists who place too much faith in violence and volume, Imanishi pays close attention to fast-moving dynamics and juxtaposing of sonic layers, and somehow maintains a high degree of obnoxious unlistenability throughout. Recommended to all you noisician sophisticates who are getting bored with the usual daily diet of Hair Police, Pain Jerk and John Wiese. From same label we have a promotional copy of Alien Symbiosis (DESERTED FACTORY DF050-2008), a joint effort by D.B.P.I.T. and Xxena. This 42-minute example of urban nightmares and fiery paranoia was executed with minimal means, the main auteur D.B.P.I.T. being unable to access his usual panoply of equipment as he paid a visit to the film-maker and visual artist, Xxena (the latter making her debut entry into the world of sonic arts). If it’s true that these excitable, blanched-out terror-noises resulted largely from domestic objects and a broken laptop, then all credit to this plucky duo for realising this imaginative Blade Runner-styled cybernoise-work. Many thanks to Ryosuke for sending these from Kyoto.

Japanese vocalist extraordinaire Ami Yoshida continues to distinguish herself in the world of minimal European improv, with the help of percussionist Freddy Studer. On Voices (UNIT RECORDS UTR 4208), Yoshida is joined by Lauren Newton and Saadet Türköz in the vocalising department, for twelve contemplative studio cuts that simply reek of ceremony and ritual. The record is largely meant to showcase Studer’s work, however; as producer and instigator of these improvising actions, he is cast as both “listener and actor” in a series of instant dramas, which he does his best to interpret as he follows the strange interior monologues of his very vocal collaborators. More than just singing, there’s plenty of disturbing and elaborate mouth music on offer too, involving the lips and tongue in juicy salivatory outbursts.

Dark ambient texture-works may be had from Meerkat, whose Kapnos (AFE RECORDS AFE121CD / GREY SPARKLE GS CD 02 / NIGHTHAWKS TAPES / CTRL+ALT+CANC CTRL666) is the third in a line of recent releases by the team of Maurizio Bianchi and Matteo Uggeri / Hue. One of them was about clouds, another was about a desert. Fans of Bianchi who prefer his altruistic and wispier side to the early cassette noise-releases of the 1980s may or may not be interested in investigating this release, although Bianchi himself doesn’t actually appear on it; Meerkat are in fact ten Italians who claim they like to operate under a “cryptic name”, and to prove it they provide three pages of biographies and a detailed discography by way of a press release. On Kapnos, they play in various duo and trio pairings, and the results are very polished combinations of field recordings with highly treated electronic music, creating slow-moving but strangely immersive environments.

The Manchester group A Middle Sex have grown from a duo to a trio and improved their act somewhat since we last heard them on a rather feeble CDR called Look, which they made in 2007 for the Slightly Off Kilter label. However, judging by their half of this split LP (CARNIVALS 001), I feel they still lack a musical identity that’s all their own. Their ‘Unclean Yawn’ is an entertaining rondello of tribal drumming, chants, noises and weird voices, but it feels like they’re just trying very hard to “do a Boredoms”. The Temperatures half of the split, ‘Bifurcation’, is much more interesting and original. Mangled voice loops present an instant vision of unpleasant but intriguing ugliness, much like the purple face of a troll or dwarf; ere long, we’re dragged further into a world of gnarled guitar work, propelled by stoned-out free-form drumming which suggests their stickman has taken a caseload of uppers and downers, and washed them down with a bottle of Jim Beam neat. Great! Looks like the debut release from this Manchester record label, and it’s got two photocopy inserts and a strong front cover image, almost worthy of a lost frame from a Jack Smith movie.

From Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, we have a double ten-inch LP called Neunundvierzig Entgleisungen (AUFABWEGEN AATP23), as puzzling a segment of vinyl as you’ll ever own. Guido Huebner is reprocessing a set of recordings he had made in Caen between 1998 and 2003, some of which have been deployed at his live concerts and art installation pieces, usually involving playback over large-scale and complex speaker systems, and designed to interact with (or be projected upon) the environment in unpredictable, slightly absurd ways. What you hear on this pack is four delirious sides of hermetically-sealed confusion, playing havoc with your acoustical preconceptions and expectations until you won’t know which way is up. Noise, glitches, murmurs and clicks are abstracted by careful processing, and apparently edited together into microscopic mosaic patterns to stimulate your perceptual receptors in ways you’d never have thought possible. Jean René Lasalle contributes profuse printed texts inside the cover, which are likewise streams of cut-up absurdist poetry containing such deathless observations as “glances irrigates elytrons in a trembling headlight”. Françoise Vigot did the cover paintings, featuring the domestic (and amorous) adventures of the red and blue cipher-like figures whose antics I have seen, I think, on a Hypnagogia release by DSM. Verily, Huebner’s universe is an elaborate many-layered puzzle which is slowly coming together for this listener.