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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

A Week Of Kindness - Nürnheim [Unlimited Drift - 2011]

A week Of Kindness is the new project from Texas based noise maker and uncomfortable mood setter Sean E. Matzus; also of The Secret Geography, Last Rape, Black Leather Jesus and The Land Of Archers.  This new project finds Mr Matzus building unsettling and suddenly jarring/noisey long form soundscapes from minimal electronics, buried/ distant acoustic elements, controlled noisiness and field recordings. ‘Nürnheim’ is a cassette tape that offers up two thirty minute tracks which each take up a side of tape each. 

On side one we have ‘The Puppet Theatre’ which is the more subdued and less tense/active of the two tracks on offer here. It all starts off with a distant on & off mixture of slow electro hover, distant metallic cluttering, banging and shifting. Plus there's also the constant sound of the tape  recorder running, which sadly does become a tad annoying and takes away some of the mystery and detail from the more quiet elements.  By the seventh minute everything starts to get a bit more near and less distant, though it’s still very quiet and subtle. Just before the eighth minute Matzus lets out a series of spaced-out and sudden loud bangs which literal makes you jump out of your skin, as you've being listening so closely to the elements. This sudden loud activity doesn’t stop or break the slow ebb and drift of the track, but it does find slightly more formed and eerier elements coming into play like: snippets of church organ drone, phaser like electronics sustains and drifts, creepy metallic cluttering and descending,  eerier space bound reverb judders,and the sudden jumpy/ louder bashers or bangs of the more metallic and junk like elements. Yet none of the elements ever become fully formed or totally constant as Matzus keeps pulling back the track into near silence or distant sonic movement. All told it’s an effective and very edgy track that keeps you nicely twitchy and creeped-out; through I’m afraid to say I do find the sound of the tape recorder running offten quite frustrating and noticeable especially at the start and in the more silent and quite moments of the track which does rather lessens the tracks potent/creepy ebb and flow.

Over onto side two and we have track entitled ‘Chicken Little Was Right’. This track starts  off with a slowly fading in mesh of: field recordings of dusk like bird and distant car sounds,  drifts of feedback hum and textual ebb, and subtle  junk noise drags ‘n’ hacks-  all this feeds into the building feeling of uneasy.  Just before the 5th minute you get a few snippets of weird bovine like moan appearing, and by the sixth  minute these creepy swirls of lo-grade electro organ simmer appear- they sound like they could have come from either the soundtrack for Night of The Living Dead or Carnival Of Souls. Around the ninth minute the junk noise drags, bangs, hacks and pokes get more aggressive and persistent, yet they never take away from the creepy air of the track as bird sounds, organ drifts, and snippets of hooting or laughing voices stay constant around the noise ebb and flow. The rest of the track really keeps up this edgy, creepy and tripped-out air mixing bird sounds, organ hovers and feedback hums. With snippets of hooting, groaning and grunting appearing ever so often too, added to by all manner of 'getting more unhinged' improvised junk noise that takes on all manner of windings, bashings and scrapes. I guess the track does become thicker and more detailed as it goes on, but it never becomes too full or overloaded. All told the tracks a great, very uneasy and creepy psychedelic soundscape with Matzus wonderfully controlling the tracks ebb and flow.

So ‘Nürnheim’ is a great opening shot from Matzus new project, it’s just a pity that the first sides track is marred by the sound of the recording process. Never less this  is very worthy of your time if you enjoy often subtle and surreal soundscaping thats flecked with subdued, yet creative and dramatic noise matter.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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