Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CEREBRO MORTO Label: Andrew Coltrane, Gianluca Becuzzi, N.

Cérebro Morto, based in Portugal, is releasing some very interesting exploratory sounds these days. As label owner, Tiago Jerónimo says: "Cérebro Morto is interested in manifestations of the so called experimental, unconventional, or exploratory music, with special focus on electronics, electroacoustics, and improvisation." I like everything about this label, the sounds they are putting out, the snap-shut plastic cd cases, the artwork graphics, even their logo! Not to mention their name translates to "Brain Dead", one of my favorite over-the-top horror movies ever (early Peter Jackson). Besides the three excellent albums reviewed below, this label has also released another favorite noise project of mine, Pregnant Spore, and very soon Maurizio Bianchi. Cérebro Morto is one to keep an eye on.

 ANDREW COLTRANE (Cérebro Morto, CM007) Urge To Kill (2011) CDR

I've favorably reviewed Andrew Coltrane's music before (HERE). His work is always fascinating, recorded under a variety of guises and informed in equal doses, it would seem, by the noise movement, free jazz and the German electronicists (TD, Klaus Schulze, etc). It would be damned near impossible to hear everything he has released over the last ten or more years, just due to the huge scope of it, numerous small run/limited edition releases in various formats, but noise fans/collectors should do themselves a favor right now and acquire all they can of his varied and inventive discography.

His new release on Cérebro Morto, titled "Urge To Kill", is another superb effort, this time with Coltrane putting his stamp on the "horror noise" sub-genre. The nearly 18 minute (untitled) opening track begins with grim electronics and voices like out of a Fulci movie, frantic, strained emotives, fever rising, and then jump cuts into a sweeping synth filter opening and closing ever so slowly. Small events happen within this minimal structure, echoey noise attacks poking, phased and pitch-shifted voices droning almost invisibly in the background. The synthetic tones become more assertive as analog textures modulate and recede. Essentially what I would call a "noise-ambient" composition, forbidding but with many interesting sounds happening inside the dense sound structure. A palpable metaphor of a lunatic mindstate on the edge and about to do something terrible. The second track is shorter, about 11 minutes with a more propulsive sense, an unfurling center that seems to burn, random high pitched whistles flying past like harpies. Only more volume can do this track justice as it rushes along breakneck, all hissing and frenzied. This is the point where rationale has become undone by a compulsion too great. What was foreshadowed on the first composition becomes real, with a malevolent ending dead-end cutoff. RECOMMENDED! Get it HERE.

GIANLUCA BECUZZI (Cérebro Morto, CM008) Haunted (2011) CDR
Gianluca Becuzzi has been around since the early 80's working in the areas of electroacoustic and noise music. His creative activities under such guises as Kinetix and Noise Trade Company, in collaboration with industrial band, Pankow and with another Italian noise composer, Fabio Orsi, have resulted in a wide range of experimental releases. "Haunted" consists of four untitled tracks, the middle two longer compositions are the same length, 12:48, and they are bookended by two shorter compositions also both the same length, 2:33, creating a sort of magickal symbol, or equation. The longer two compositions inhabit a similar space, long reverbs and expansive ambient textures rising/falling in the mix with striking atmospheric punctuations and scraping sounds. Even with a flair for the cinematic touch, the clanking of chains, pots and pans rattling, junk metal being dragged around, are typical filmic devices that create a "haunted" ambiance. In correlation to the title, however, this seems a little shallow, it's got all the trappings right, but it doesn't scare, so the payoff isn't quite there for me personally. But when considered apart from the album title's allusions, this is still an interesting, even extraordinary, excursion into electroacoustic soundscaping. Get it HERE.

N. (Cérebro Morto, CM006) Macabre Lust/Destination Morgue (2011) 2xCDR

The mysterious N., aka Davide Tozzoli, has been active in the Italian noise community since the late 1990's. Known for his work in the death industrial/noise genres, one look at his discography and such titles as "Hospital Murders", "Asphyxiating" and "Born To Die", you know what to expect. My expectations were confounded, however, on this release because, where one would expect clichés, there are none. This is an inspired approach to the noise aesthetic.

Macabre Lust, recorded in 1998, begins with a synthetic loop, repeating rhythmically, very minimal, the changes in the structure are small and happen incrementally which makes for a good sport of active listening. The second track lets you know that the rest of the album is not going to follow along the same sort of repetitive approach as the first. All the voices are up close in this environment, with distorted synths talking, singing, sometimes mourning, other times clutched in fear. These sound structures have a twisted, chattering life to them. The heavy (digital?) distortive processes wrenching the subtext here, each composition is it's own holographic image of a world that may be a part of the one we are in, or may not. The second half of this set, consisting of a single 22+ minute track titled "Destination Morgue", was recorded live at a 2007 festival of the same name. Seems to me the mysterious N. has not significantly changed his approach in the nearly ten years that separate the two discs. This noise shows possibly more of a debt to MB in it's stern conception. It is very strange to hear audience members having what sounds like casual conversation during N.'s live set. As it went on, the voices captured became another element of the experience and I found it quite invigorating, the ending applause is enough to realize there were many who really were listening! Much recommended. Get it HERE.

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