Fight Test EP
Oddball leftovers collection from Yoshimi...

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lowercase-sound 2002
The finest compilation of its kind...

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Shot of Love
Never was such ridiculous cover art so completely appropriate...

Review: Gavin Mueller

May 2, 2003

Sonic Youth

May 1, 2003

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft Pink Truth
The Wind-Up Bird

April 30, 2003

Pale Horse and Rider
Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers

April 29, 2003

Set Fire to Flames
Various Artists

Undir, Feilnótum
Vertical Form
Reviewed by: tobias c. van Veen

If, in the heat of summer, you'd much rather be reminded by the darkest cold of winter, of a deep and looming evil that resonates with each false step behind your back late at night in the dusty grime and dirt of a dangerous city, of a sordid and cold Northern exposure to the madness of the midnight sun and the brilliant harshness of the Northern Lights, and keeping in this dark rhythm, closed in your dark apartment, you are pondering an alternate soundtrack to an existence mapped out in cinematic grandeur in John Carpenter's The Thing, then the deliberate and drawn out crackling IDM beats, broken and chopped with an entrail-encrusted cleaver, tower as your most perverse fantasy of sonic sadomasochism provided by the Mistress EINÓMA.

Track 4, "Amonie," percussion-scythes with tic-tac needle-pins into the skin. A heartbeat kickdrum pounds. A devilled-zipper builds the counter-rhythm against a moaning backdrop of drones and far-off metallic hammer drops; a march towards impending doom; an apocalyptic track that would start a 4am minimal techno set--of the dark and Richie Hawtin Concept variety--off quite nicely. It all moves from here: a break that leads into a renewed vigour for the slow claw-shutters of the destined sort that turns the eyeballs into the soul at obtuse angles; squeaks and inhuman angles, electric lines across a fried, burnt corpse left on the edge of a slug, a bohemo(u)th crawling out of Antonin Artaud's reeking mouth as he recites the last rites, in last liturgy, to Van Gogh's entrails.

Which leaves us, quickly, a shaft of silence, back at the pin-drops and the hint of where we had been. And yet, besides this hint, the album only pauses before where it could have erupted (larval volcanic ash). EINÓMA retain their structures, their slow beats, their broken-and-dark-IDM sounds to the point of broaching repetition not of origin but of cliché. A critical note: we may have heard this passage before, but we still cannot help but praise those who explore its depths to the recesses of bowels and caverns. And yet, at what point have we mapped out this territory, again and again? EINÓMA end up, lamplight dripping wax on their pale left hands, mapping the worn map rather than mapping new territory, although, where the map is most frayed, they reinvent the tracings of previous pioneers long forgotten, and in doing so, claim with enough validity as the next their unchartered sonic waters.

Not without a sense of melancholy. And of desperation. Of stuttering silence, of teared percussion, of small and delicate piano pings contrasted with a muffled hard techno 16th note repetition across a slow and lethargic--yet impending--bassline break. Note all of this in the magnificent Track 6, "Celvoir," which, out of all the movements, leaps and bounds deep into the passageways of the crypt, where dripping liquid becomes indeterminate between water and the black bile of death, and with a grin opens coffins to sleep with wet corpses, the water of life, birth, and death. And I mean all of this sonically: you can hear the child's tears, there, at learning of her own death much after the fact, and of the whispering ghosts, noise-like, radio-channel, that swoop down to devour her virgin and delicate soul--so quick, so quick, and already, at 80.

Outside there is sun--across my desk. Inside the sonic space there is no sun. If we are on a river this music comes from the night of the forest. If we are in a city on the park by the canal these perverse sounds come from the cardboard shacks under the bridge long past the bourgeoisie hour of sleep. Haunting drone-synths, taking their cue from Lustmord, shimmering, cousin of Scorn, bastard son of Mick Harris, derivative ...

"Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,"

Indeed. Who shall scorn a sonic-path so well carved, even though the ruts may be deep? For the path has been so well curved and prepared that the weary traveller will encounter few surprises although he will be treated to the most delectable parade of horrors, a carrage ride through a potpourri of death knells, lumbargo death smells made sonic, dives and drives through a well-tuned dark drop of the mind to the point where the body sheds through skin to the abject.

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