This 4-way split between House of Low Culture, Caustic Touch, Daniel Menche and EMS provides a powerhouse selection of experimental tracks to attract every kind of noise head.
Lets dive in.
House of Low Culture
The split starts with the mighty House of Low Culture consisting of Aaron Turner and Faith Coloccia. Higher toned textures and curious scraping sounds start the track with some decaying tape samples making their way into the mix. Things begin to swell at a slightly hurried pace before being brought back down by some far away, subtle feedback. The track then leads us to some bells and more prominent feedback tones that intertwine with each other. We’ve reached our first valley. Aaron and Faith masterfully use their 11 minutes to its full potential. We go further into the valley with what sounds like a looped guitar texture and a wash of sound. We begin making our way out of the valley with some searing hot guitar feedback and eerie tape loops to close out the track.
We now move onto Caustic Touch. This is my first exposure to this solo act and I’m really happy to have learned about it. These 3 tracks within the split are definitely the harshest of the bunch and the noise head in me loves it.
It begins with Desiccating Wind which stylistically picks up where House of Low Culture left off, oscillating and pulsing its way into the next track. A steady bass heavy beat makes the mood change into something sinister and foreboding. The blasts of harsh synth sound like hot, electrical arcing. Things get even hotter with the third track, no gradual build up, just straight into a void of harsh textures and what sounds like very short delay times giving the sound source a nice metallic tone. This is perfect harsh noise. I hope to hear more of Caustic Touch in the future and will certainly be keeping an ear out for new material.
We now move onto Daniel’s side of the split, Is She Electroplasm? For those that don’t know, Daniel is a prolific Sound Artist and Composer out of Portland, Oregon having done work with John Wiese, John Haughm, Joe Preston, William Fowler Collins and many others.
Immediately I’m reminded of more recent Swans and Jon Mueller with this track. Rhythmically hypnotizing, densely layered strings and having a good sense of building intensity. This is an amazing track to listen to while driving. It almost puts you on auto-pilot. By the time it’s over though, you’re brought right back to reality. I’m sure if the track was longer you’d be way far off from your original destination. Disheveled, hairier, a thousand-yard stare and for some reason half naked, but ultimately learning some sort of new truth about yourself.
“Hierarchy of Bodies” is the last track on this wonderful split, though this track was a confusing rollercoaster for me. It lulled me in with some nice LFO’s and subtle textures before turning into a bleepy, beat driven track which I’m not always a fan of. It’s as if EMS had ESP though and could sense that in the listener, so she brought me back with some nice spacey, minimal, krautrock-like, interstellar synth exploration. The track reaches a crescendo with a nice wash of reverb and oscillations before abruptly and masterfully cutting off as if someone opened the space shuttle hatch leaving you in the vacuum of space.
My overall impression of this split is that it’s a diverse collection of different styles that can be found in the experimental realm and I appreciate that variety. Many times you’ll see splits that pair similar sounding acts, which also have its benefits but I personally prefer a good mix of sounds. Listen for yourself and most importantly, buy this LP!
Release Date: 12/15/2017
Label: Accident Prone Records
Favorite Tracks: The Pervasive Mind, Coarse Harrowing