American Power Electronics is a divisive sub-sub genre for me. My tastes tend to lean towards the more industrial/punk tinged, politically ambiguous European type (Genocide Organ, Grey Wolves, etc), because the US projects are too often hung up on violent misogyny or politically unambiguous shock tactics. Projects like Nyodene D, however, manage to transcend the clichés and put together albums that stand entirely on their own, such as Edenfall.
One of the absolute strengths of this record is, no matter how chaotic and dissonant the songs get, there is always a sense of organization and structure, even if it might not be obvious. The slow lurch on "Edenfall" that mixes overdriven noise and violent crashes comes across immediately as rhythmic, and propels the piece throughout, as additional layers of noise are added in a way that makes sense compositionally.
On "Scars of Anthropology" it might not be immediately obvious, but there is a distinctly melodic undercurrent that drives the work throughout, even amidst the dialog samples and buzzing noises. "Anasazi" even goes further and focuses on a looped sample of Native American chanting that, once noise piles on, the result still feels a bit more open and spacious compared to the dense affairs that preceded it.
The other especially strong aspect of this album is the use of vocals and lyrics. The vocals, especially on the title track and "Scars of Anthropology" feature the heavy flanging and commanding bark that Mike Dando has always done so well with Con-Dom, who is one of the best vocalists in the genre as far as I am concerned. The words are not always intelligible, but the mood and emotion is quite clear, and the included lyrics make it clear that Nyodene D avoids the usual genre pitfalls.
The collaboration EP with Sektor 304 makes for a strong, if not essential compliment to the album. What I mean by that is it does not feel intrinsically tied to Edenfall, even if Sektor 304 utilized songs from the disc as source material. Their reworkings of material into "The Human Fractal" and "The Shaft" come across as less organized, with an added emphasis on percussive bangs and organic found sounds. "Furnace," however, feels much more like a traditional song, with structured bits of static and steady metallic percussion, giving it a distinctly old school flair.
Nyodene D's reworking of the Sektor 304 material feels more in-line with the sounds on Edenfall, although the muted percussion of "All Over All" is a bit different in comparison, while the flanged vocals and dive-bombing square waves of "Vulture (For Gil Scott-Heron)" fit right in. Both the collaborative EP and full length album make for dense, aggressive works, with their own distinct beauty. Thankfully devoid of the trite thematic elements and unstructured knob twiddlings that all too often plague this kind of material, Nyodene D stands quite nicely above his often less-impressive peers, both on his own and in his collaboration with Sektor 304.
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