Dissecting Table - Chaos Attractor [3"] [R.O.N.F. Records - 2010]
Veteran industrial/noise act Dissecting Table actually put out three releases entitled "Chaos Attractor" in the last two years, the first being a tape/CD boxset containing the original full length 48 minute track "Chaos Attractor" as well as three different 15 minute remixes, and the other two being re-packagings of the same material. The 3" CDr currently under examination features a single 17 minute remix of the song, labelled as "Chaos Attractor (Remix 2)". Having never heard the other mixes of the song, I have no choice but to evaluate the twisting harmonized tones found here completely on their own merits.
The first sounds on the disk are bell-like synthetic tones pushed to the brink of distortion, resonating in a metallic chamber and oscillating back and forth across the stereo field in reckless random bursts made quite unpleasant by the shrill crackle of digital clipping on each intense resonance peak, which distracts significantly from the subtler timbral aspects. It comes off as a hearing impaired noise musician's shallow, indecisive attempt at ambience, in which dynamics and textural detail have fallen by the wayside due to lack of understanding of the finer details of acoustic soundspace creation. These same sounds could have been improved so much just by pulling the levels down a few decibels.
The track continues like this, increasing in constancy and density until the 4 minute mark, when it is abruptly halted by a frantic, whining wall of pitch-shifter pedal enhanced noise, most likely generated by an enthusiastic performer with a microphone, judging by the unpredictable, spastic pattern of its movements. The use of harmonizers gives the noise an oddly tonal sound in which the harmonized higher note remains clearly audible as it parallels the lower tones of the original signal. It's somewhat energizing to listen to, and certainly preferable to the intro segment, though anyone who's messed around with guitar pedals for a few hours has found a sound something like this.
Around 6:30, the track again switches gears and returns to a place similar to the spacey quasi-abrasion of the beginning, though with a different rhythm and increased amounts of space between the siren wails of synth. A delayed band of white noise sneaks in behind the bells, but unfortunately starts to take on the same ugly clipped characteristics of the other sounds as it too reaches the threshold of distortion.
A bubbling, overdriven phaser kicks in around 11:00, silencing everything else in the mix. Finally free of the obnoxious digital clipping, this is the part of the track I am most able to enjoy. Distorted howls, thankfully exhibiting fewer abrasive metallic reverberation harmonics than earlier in the track, cascade gleefully over the phaser and eventually drown it out, bringing the track to climax of sorts with a flurry of wailing harsh noise that unexcitingly thins back to the bell tones of the beginning a couple minutes before the end.
Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with this noisy 3", and ultimately felt it was a waste of my precious hearing. Which cheap effects are in use at any given moment is only too obvious, and I feel that few noise listeners would enjoy the shrieking, thin and very digital sounds on this disk. There are moments of promise, and the overall energy level of the performance is solid, but I can't help but hope Dissecting Table spends considerable time revising his equipment setup and recording methods, rather than putting out more sloppy releases like this oneJosh Landry