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Professional grimacing noisy bastard "Lovely" Bill Bennett (as me girlfriend likes to call him after he cadged a ciggie off her at Supersonic) brings forth the percussive terror once more on his second Cut Hands long player. This stuff is so portentous and claustrophobic at times; listening to the single and album title track is tantamount to being locked up in a dank chamber with a computer spitting out fragmented loops of heavy metallic tribal drumming. The torment is lessened on the rather beautiful 'Krokodilo' which is no doubt in celebration of that wondrous skin-enhancing drug they're cooking up in Mother Russia. There's some divine sensual drones and spidery cosmic trails on this track and the drum action is slow yet ponderous rather than bludgeoning.
Following a further dark shimmering drone piece we arrive at 'No Spare No Soul' which carries some real brooding tribal weight but also, briefly, the electrified screech of souls trapped in limbo. It's a mental, horrible scrawly sound that I'm glad doesn't overstay its welcome. Another blackly spiritual piece of creepy woodland drone breaks up the rhythmical bash-ment (no this ain't a dancehall record) in fine style. Next up we have 'Kongo' which is dense and oppressive, it basically sounds like someone shooting rattlesnakes at night. 'Brown Brown' is well snaky and intoxicating with some eerie drone work. It sounds quite like Shackleton's Dad but with the sub-bass left to chill in the fridge.
'54 Needles' sounds like prime Brian Eno, all languid pattering ambience with something sinister lurking in the shadows, 'Nzambi Ia Muini' reveals itself to be a spooky dark ambient piece with some unusually feral frequencies, 'Erzulie D'en Tort' brings about the return of the clattering drums, nothing as mad-assed as the title track thank fuck, then the final piece 'Nine Night' delves down a heady tribal ambient techno path that sounds like it could happily have woken up on an Artificial Intelligence comp 20 years ago. A little like early Autechre, this is cracking, my favourite track ends the set!
'Black Mamba' ain't quite as insane and pulverising as 'Afro Noise Vol. 1' - there's some tough-nosed bits but then some real sublime beauty to be found on this album. A dark polyrhythmic maze for hardened minds but weighing in much lighter sonically than the majority of Whitehouse's material.
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- Black Mamba (The Album) by Cut Hands
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