NOISEOTIC - HARSH HOUSE:
Unbelievable. This is by far the
best record I've heard all year. In an industry that includes
everything from Covenant to Pan Sonic to Coil to Aqua,
Noiseotica is the freshest, cleanest, and most interesting
electronic masterpiece to hit the scene in recent memory.
Released on New York's Harsh House label, Skyline is definitely something worth
Let's start at the beginning.
Skyline is four members: Skyking, DJ-Z, VO, and JB. Interesting
monikers, sure, but the experience doesn't stop there. The
creation process, as explained on their promo sheets, begins
with JB who starts up some "grooves" while the others
follow suit with improvised "sonic calisthenics."
What? Exactly. Using guitar, vinyl, and other electro-induced
manipulations, Skyline's improv sounds like a cross between a
Zorn-produced Tzadik release and a five a.m. rave wind-down.
Noiseotica begins with a grabbing, but chillin' (as they say),
house influenced track called "ABC" that keeps you
and prepares you for the monster of the album, track two, "Razorbarbreakfast."
An amazing track full of loops, twiddles, and samples that
sound as though they come straight from The Tear Garden's first
record, this track eases into a groove that lasts seventeen
minutes. The repetition of a handful of vocal samples, the
laid-back funky beats, and the low drone make this the album's
highlight, but also make it an apt entrance to the rest of
up where "Razorbarbreakfast" left off, conceptually
at least. Fourteen minutes of sampling frenzy, this time with
the eerieness of Skinny Puppy and the record-scratching of a
drunk DJ Coldcut. The album doesn't live down this high
standards once: "Hardgrove" is an African drumming
styled number, while the two-minute "Skyline" is full
of intense hooks that grab you and leave you wondering what the
hell happened. The album ends on an upbeat note, totally
reminding me of some live bootleg stuff I have from Puppy, but
also sounding a lot like very experimental Mentallo meets Wave
Workers Foundation with politically motivated samples-and
base-a la Snog. But it doesn't end like some records do-it
closes. It really has a sense of craftsmanship, as if it should
be finished at that point.
Produced by band member JB and
algorithm-guitar-sonic manipulator Damian Catera (who just
released his new album Process, Object, Intuition on Harsh
House and who also finished touring with KK Null last year),
Noiseotica is simply worth owning. Whether you like some light
grooves to warm up (or cool down) a dance, or if you like
falling asleep to ambient sounds, Skyline's improv will catch
your ear. You can order a copy from the Harsh House website at www.harshhouse.com or search for Skyline on Amazon.com. 10/10.