After recently loving the Sun Splitter cassette on Land of Decay, I had high hopes going into this split and they most certainly came through. Their half here stands up proudly with that tape, which is no easy feat, and the Bridesmaid side is no slouch either.
While many (including myself) associate the Prurient moniker with Dominick Fernow's abuse of distortion and feedback, the project has been shifting more and more into some hard to define realm that has slowly engulfed more "traditional" musical elements. Here that has taken hold even more, putting less of a focus on the harshness and bringing out a different beast of equal darkness.
In its fourth iteration (including the Gristleism special edition), the duo of Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian have once again created a small box of rudimentary loops that, in its increased technological capacity, has somewhat diminishing returns.
On this beautifully presented little 7", Japanese artist Sawako Kato uses a variety of found sounds to create an audio representation of what are or will become fossils, either literally or conceptually. With one side sourced from handmade crystal radio recordings and the other being field recordings of a then-abandoned amusement park, the sense of emptiness and decay is clear among the subtle sounds presented.
Clocking in at a meager 20 minutes, these two tracks mix ambience, noise, and traditional instrumentation into a fog that is sparse, yet complex, and has moments of arid beauty as well as dark, sinister passages. More than a few times this young composer reminded me of some of Organum's best moments, which is a massive compliment.
The title and content of this EP could be interpreted many different ways. For one, the seven short tracks were all built using a single household implement, such as a rubber band or metal pan. Second, the sparse, short pieces are prime sampling material for DJs and other artists, making the disc a "tool" for recycling. Regardless of its potential uses, the material makes for a compelling example of Ielasi‚Äôs ability to turn the mundane into the extremely listenable.
Recorded live as a duet between turntables and keyboards (with editing and overdubbing bass added later), the main track here is a slow, dramatic piece, with the flip side conjuring the best moments of electronic dub.
Following up their four track debut (originally titled 4), here are two additional tracks from the former Clockcleaner vocalist's sideproject. Again, it is an exercise in unabashed goth revivalism, encapsulating the sensibilities of the genre without sounding like a tribute band or an overly derivative project. Here is simply two additional songs, following the mold set forth on the previous EP, of quality death rock with a modern influence.
Usually I’d imagine something coming out on the Hanson label to be a bit more obtuse and rough than what is presented on this album. Instead of leaning to the noiser end of the spectrum, the two side-long tracks here instead define themselves via classic analog synth drone that is so thick and sustained that it almost becomes tangible, yet never mundane.