Harsh noise

Sea of Poppies – Sea of Poppies

a3018950448_10Sea of Poppies is best described as experimental harsh noise. The submission notes of the first album of Sea of Poppies explained that the artist had a hard time with health that led to experiments with some analogue stuff to let out some steam. A form of catharsis. The analogue experiments also make the release sounds oldschoolish, pleasantly non-digital.

Usually when a first-timer makes an experimental album, painting or a poem to help with the healing process it’s value is merely for the healing itself. It can be very effective as a sort of therapy but when a 50 year old truck driver picks up the brush first time since being in primary school and makes a cubist painting to battle his depression, the results are often a bit funny. But since it’s therapy you aren’t even allowed to laugh at it! Sad but true. I’ve found so many “I did this to recover from a problem x”-releases that are very unlikely to interest anyone in multiple art forms it’s not even funny. But hey, whatever works for ones recovery right. Luckily Sea of Poppies seems to have ambition beyond the healing process!

Even though the artist explained himself to be a new noise artist, his bandcamp lists Sea of Poppies as a sister project to Deprivation Chamber that released an ep in 2010. Maybe that explains the well-formed sound.

About the tracks

When the first track kicks in, I start to quickly yearn for tempo switches though. The constant jarring tempo may be cathartic to most harsh noise lovers, but I tend to find it tiresome. Luckily second track has a pleasant watery background that breaks the tempo artificially. A high whistling sound does get a tad annoying but it has a bit of build up during the process of the track.

0013635072_10Third track is the highlight of the release, clearly the most varied piece. The standard tempo has altercations that break it and at 1.30 the main theme is also changed completely. All this flows together and sounds natural, very nice! The next theme builds up and has more changes, but it takes till 8 minute before shit all the sudden gets really loose with analogue jerks. Few times one can even nod your head to rhythmic changes. Does 9.20 have a modulation hook? A modulation hook in noise? Hah!

All three tracks are named “untitled” so I took the liberty of renaming them stupidly to differentiate them for each other (and for the lols):

  1. Just another cathartic harsh noise track
  2. Watery electronics
  3. Nearly rhythmic modulations

End notes

In the submission text the artist also explained that he used different methods to make each track to have an own personality but also to learn something new. Gladly it is apparent; all three different tracks have a different identity and sound. I find the last track alone interesting enough to be eager to listen this release from time to time after this review is done. Good stuff!

Free download in bandcamp: https://seaofpoppies.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-poppies (you can also buy the release as a cassette for a very affordable price).

Playing with Nuns – 1805 // NMMREM X

God knows how manyth split of Playing with Nuns, 1805 is named after Mary Nuns, an infamous woman born in 1805 and also by one of the base books of nunnerism “The nuns of the desert, or, The woodland witches”, released in 1805. No really im just shitting you. The nuns of the desert is a rather hilarious title of a book anyway.

Playing With Nuns is a noise/experimental artist hailing from Argentina and like previously mentioned, he has made over a hundred splits, cd-r’s and webreleases in just a few years. Of these releases my favourites include 4-way split “Origami Chupacabras”, Cd-r “North Korea in 5 minutes” and another Cd-r “Horse surgery”. I’m actually shitting you again, I’ve never listened to any of these but you must agree that the names of the splits are entertaining.
Time for your own thoughts

Time for your own thoughts by maxon / HBC

by maxon / HBC
From this baseline I placed 1805 to my record player, alas an mp3 in foobar2000 audio player v.1.1.8, a basic drag and drop manouver in between the artists Plain Ride and PMMP. Head-on collision with a soundwave is the easiest description of the beginnings of the first track, “The consequences of a chain reaction”. Huge soundwave some harsh noise but overall a more pleasant sort; I find myself not getting petrified by it, no matter where I am. My most enjoyable moment with this release is 3 am at lan party, where it worked well as seclusing myself out of this world.

The consequences of a chain reaction has an almost metal interlude at 10:05 with lovely bass-soundwave bursting in. But then continues mostly the same except for some entertaining oddities, for example mechanics at 13.00 which; if made by the British Death Metal band Carcass; could be titled “Chainsaw & Circular Saw Macabration of Mutes”.

1805, the title track, is considerably more soft, mostly half-way gentle glitching harsh noise. The end of it advances to Rainbosws (name dropping an obscure artist you haven’t heard about) like glitching pleasant sound. Almost like water pouring outside and dribbling against the glasses. After two different tracks the fittingly named “One more to annoy you” closes the album like it started.

For a harsh noise release based on mostly just white noise 1805 has some interesting variation, but lacks originality. With some track notes and linear specifications of the tracks and or themes, harsh noise tracks such as these would be far more interesting. If there is any? Is there ever, really?

I Like noise, most of it is entertaining to listen for one or two times when you don’t know what is behind the next hill of the voyage. After that many noise albums tend to lose much of their initial interest, if they aren’t filled with nuances. Playing with Nuns – 1805 is one of those albums though I can imagine listening two thirds of it from time to time when in need of seclusion and concentration; and ordinary music isn’t doing it.

Download Playing with Nuns – 1805 for free here: http://archive.org/details/siro274PlayingWithNuns-1805