Russel Haswell has worked in a variety of supposed genres but noise (sorry, nO!se) is certainly his first love: he's even made rave music out of it. 'CONCEPTUAL nO!se' is pretty self-explanatory, but to give you a little more information, it's a six-track LP comprised of several noise experiments: it even promises an offering of the good old noise wall -- extra harsh, for your enjoyment. Haswell's music is invigoratingly heavy, and he's performed with artists who share his interest in the pulverising, having recently performed with gruesome techno maverick Vatican Shadow. Surrender to the nO!se.
9/10 Ant Staff review, 05 September 2014
Because I think I'm hard, plus I'm stupid, I've elected to review the latest offering from Poland's fine Bocian imprint by professional racket-monger/ braincell destroyer Russell Haswell using headphones. Well that's not strictly true... actually I've left it until past childrens bedtime to knock this review out, but if I play 'CONCEPTUAL nO!se' through the speakers and awaken one of three sleeping children; I'll not only be sleeping alone tonight but I'll probably be busting Z's solo until my soul is no longer for this earth. That's if she doesn't murderalize me sooner. I'm fairly sure this is not the intended playback method and although I'm a Haswell fan, I suspect I'll probably be irreversibly deaf after about 10 minutes...
Armed with his arsenal of machines, Haswell in true maniac mode, sets them to hyper-intense sonic overload for a brutal harsh noise/ power electronics mind thrashing with all the free abandon and uncompromising excess of your favourite Japanese noise conjuror; Incapacitants, Pain Jerk, Astro, C.C.C.C, Merzbow, Black Telephone 666 etc. but with a more "electronic" sound that shreds relentlessly through the sound spectrum. The usual no frills functional track titles are present here such as the intense, glorious insanity of 'Dual nOise Study' and the dense, gargantuan slabs of searing electric heat that is 'nO!se Metal' which is what I imagine it sounds like if you stick your head in a volcano. Having said that the overall sound is really pleasant on the ears too, real sweet on headphones despite my inital fear. I dunno if it's down to the mastering/ recording or the mix but even some of the harsher frequenciess are inviting rather than feeling torturous or oppressive; especially on closer 'Extra-Harsh-Noise-Wall' which sucked me straight in, eyes closed, lost in this powerful beast of a record and then spat out the other end feeling somehow cleansed. Haswell's stuff just seems to get better, hat's off he's on a roll recently. Recommended for any true nO!se fiends or anyone seeking catharsis through pure sonic oblivion.
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- CONCEPTUAL nO!se by Russell Haswell
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