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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

Barrikad - We Make Nihilists Smile Again [Phage Tapes - 2011]

At first glance, with its psychedelic flower-power nudie cover, this CD looks like an Acid Mothers Temple release but its contents couldn't be more far away from the Japanese collective's noise psych rock. Instead Barrikad is a pretty well known industrial noise act, with usually politic thematics and a very ample range of sounds. Each of the three tracks on "We Make Nihilists Smile Again" features the support of another artists.

First track is a collaboration with kvlt old school industrial band Kriminaaliset Mersanhaltijat and it's a long dirty ambient noise ride based on throbbing low synth frequencies and what sounds like crude field recordings of metal junk being kicked around. Very oppressive, obscure and mean, with few slow variations that keep things interesting and flowing.

Second track features Russian noise unit Fear Konstruktor. It's more or less the same kind of noisy ambient but with different ingredients. It sounds like a boiling cauldron of piss and static, a bit more distorted than the first track and with a few minutes of totally broken vocals.

Third track is a collaboration with Government Alpha, one of my favourite noise musicians. The duo already released a 3" CDr years ago on the German label L.White Records, and after having listened to both records I think that these guys are a good match. Solid harsh noise with all the right elements: hiss and crackle, head-bobbing rhythmic loops that rise from the static mud, abrupt shifting of intensity and frequencies. It's nothing shockingly incredible but it's what I love best.

The booklet features lengthy writings by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben that frankly I didn't really bother to read. I guess they're part of Barrikad's ideas, concept and intents but anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the weird mixture they create with the hippie (swedish?) boobs on the cover.

In conclusion this is a very good release from an interesting project and a great and promising young American noise label. Fans of harsh noise and dirty industrial music will not be disappointed.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Nicola Vinciguerra
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