Another one of Tim Olive’s Kobe team-ups can be heard on No Flag (COPY FOR YOUR RECORDS CFYR020), where he grinds up a storm with visiting American Nick Hoffman in 2012. Actually as storms go it’s more like a long and persistent rainfall than an all-out hurricane or twister, but it’s a groovy piece of inert noise-making which suggests that Hoffman dominated the session with his grim, nihilistic ways thus casting a cloud over Olive’s usual happy-go-lucky demeanour. It’s about the most abstracted piece of stern blankness I’ve heard from either party, and that’s saying something when you consider that Hoffman is on a personal mission to cast a demonic paralysis spell across the civilised world, travelling coast-to-coast with his secret burlap bag of witchery dust. Four mechanised grind and whine tracks, each starting nowhere and leading nowhere else, can be yours for less than the cost of a personal traffic accident. The first one, ‘No Flag 1’, starts with an uncharacteristic piece of “tasteful” electric piano music which gamely keeps on playing while a hideous noise-jaguar scratches out its inner intestinal guts. Apparently this was a live recording. If it was, it beats me how the performers managed to retain such icy self-composure while performing this monumental statement to futility. As to the audience, they went home in an army medical corps truck…all two of ‘em. The title of this one reminded me of Broken Flag Records, whose punishing back catalogue we can safely assume is owned jointly by this Canadian-American pair of bleaksters. From October 2014.