Wednesday 10 July 2013

Review: MERZBOW Vs NORDVARGR - 'Partikel III'

'Partikel III' 

'Partikel III' is the third in a series of collaborative releases from noise sculptor Masami Akita (Merzbow) and industrial experimentalist Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (MZ.412, Folkstorm, Toroidh).One would be hard pressed to think of a more natural pairing for collaboration. Both highly prolific and influential in the worlds of power electronics and noise, the combination is more art than terror. The four long tracks hold the listener's attention throughout.

The combination of electronic feedback and synthesis is at once meditative and monumental. This is an arena that is often oppressive with dystopian visions and invocations of mechanistic terror. 'Partikel III' is the Machine gazing into a skrying bowl and communicating with angels born of the singularity. If mind expansion though psychedelic consciousness enhancement could be distilled into sound, 'Partikel III' would be it.

With an underlying layer of rhythm beneath the low-end drones, 'Heterotic String Hybrid' is cut through with stabs of noise and electronic sounds like the firing of they synapses of the hive mind brain. On 'Lorentz Covariance' the feel is ritualistic, with a slow percussive pulse and drones like the synthesized chanting of Tibetan monks whose consciousness has been digitally uploaded to a now sentient network. 'Submaton Color Pt. 1' develops slowly with high notes held for minutes at a time, occasionally rising and dipping with a breath-like portamento. Distorted rushes of sound and drones move below the surface, heightening the trance inducing character of the piece. This segues seamlessly into 'Submaton Color Pt. 2', with low and mid frequency drones like electronic pranayama and synthetic and electronic noise playing in the space opening out like bursts of kundalini rising.

As one can rely on from Cold Spring Records, the production is flawless and graphic design fits the meditative and artistic sounds of the release. These sounds are from masters of their art that discerning collectors will treasure.

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