Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nacht Und Nebel - W>A>S>P>S> - Lea Cummings - SCKE//

Nacht Und Nebel/Lea Cummings - Split

W>A>S>P>S/Nacht Und Nebel - Split
SCKE// - Ornaments
MEIR 2004/KIKS/GFR 2012
7”. 300 copies

What is this mixture of acronyms, German language and angle brackets you ask? It’s enough to drive a reviewer batshit. What does it all mean? And who uses angle brackets in-between CAPS these days anyway? This jumble of CAPS, >’s and //’s has me yearning for simplicity, clarity and clean lines, but fear not, all is not lost for when I actually make my way through these three releases I find that there’s life in a small label..

Like with that Lea Cummings, the purveyor of the horribly monikered but you got to like him for it anyway ‘Kylie Minoise’ [who may now be defunct anyway]. Putting aside his Minoises he lays down a warm drone made from an unchanging set of held down keyboard keys.  Cummings is no stranger to the drone having released a number of such compositions under his own name and on his own label but I feel this track has a deeper purity and is all the better for it.

Nacht Und Nebel deliver stuttering sub wooer fart PE like atmospherics where the screams of tortured souls are replicated by circuit board abuse. A brooding atmosphere of uncertainty for those who like their nights in to have a darker edge. This is true of the split with Cummings and to a certain extent the flip of W>A>S>P>S but overall I feel that Nacht Und Nebel have yet to make the most of the grit in their oyster for once in a while a sound emerges that puts the teeth on edge has you squinting out of one eye hoping that there’s isn’t another one around the corner. Still, both N&N performances here hold enough promise to make further adventures into dark ambient industrial territory worthy of attention.

W>A>S>P>S meanwhile delve in to the Whitehouse back catalogue and emerge with a remixed b-side from 1981 where the synth buzz of bent circuitry leads to a constant barely shifting drone of amp crackle and jack socket abuse. Played at 33RPM and at a loud volume its drone like effects and unbending nature are stimulation enough. Like Power Electronics without the histrionics.  

Which leaves SCKE// and two sides of glitch electronica. Described on the website as ‘2 X gritty loops and piercing feedback over warm undulating tones’ I found it to be anything but - which just goes to show you how two people can hear the same thing and give completely differing views. I found harmonics and yes, loops, but of a Harry Partch strings hit with water balloons kind of thing. The treated sounds of an analogue phones engaged signal that loop into rhythms in a Penguin Cafe Orchestra kind of way, only with PCO playing Otomo Yoshihide’s table top gear instead of detuned cello’s - if that makes any sense.

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