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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

The New Blockaders / Merzbow / Anomali - Kali-Yuga Karma [Hypnagogia - 2011]

The "Kali-Yuga Karma" CD is a collection of three sold out 10" releases from 2003/2004 plus an entirely new collaboration between The New Blockaders, Merzbow and Hypnagogia's founder aNoMali (aka Paul Coates).

First two tracks, "Falten" part 1 and 2, feature raw sounds provided by legendary U.K. band The New Blockaders, which was then composed and mixed by aNoMali. As anybody who knows TNB can imagine, the sounds they provided are indeed properly RAW: metal clanging, smashing, grinding and mangling at its purest. For someone who loves this kind of atmosphere the two "Falten" tracks are  total bliss. It's very primal, rough and bestial noise, not too heavy on volume aggression but nothing could be closer to the heart of every respectable noise-head. A special mention goes to the excellent panning work on track number two. I say this CD is worth getting even just for the first two tracks.

"Oumagatoki" (part 1 and 2 of course) is a collaboration between TNB and Merzbow, again with raw material by the former and additional sounds plus composition by the latter. A clash between such titans of noise music is a very interesting premise, and I think that their match here is quite successful. Merzbow's touch is definitely recognizable especially in his typical digital white noise buzzes and brooding low frequencies that serve as a carpet for TNB's trademark junk dada mayhem. A very distinctive tract of the first "Oumagatoki" track is that somehow it's the most restrained of the bunch. Merzbow  has managed to obtain something gentle, delicate and even relaxing from supposedly extremely nasty sounds. Of course we're not talking about new age music as this is still unbearable noise for most ears, but the effect obtained by this collaboration is interesting. The second track is trained by a chopping and pulsating loop and it's bit more aggressive especially in the first few minutes.  Again, TNB sounds are perfectly merged with Masami Akita's style. In a way  a lot of  "Oumagatoki" tracks reminded me a bit of Merzbow's cut-up crude industrial style of the eighties….so Thumbs up !

Needless to say, the weirdest tracks of the collection are aNoMali's "Nitya-Baddha" 1 and 2.The first one is a chaotic and nauseating mix of ultra-annoying empty jack cable buzz, random FM radio tweaking and bizarre vocals. I found this track very good and very "old school". It does include material dating back to 1989 after all. The second track is pretty similar, even if a bit less challenging, since the sounds it features are less piercing and the composition is less "crazy". The radio dada fuck-up and weird vocals are back, paired by extremely crude unidentified (tape?) swooshing sounds and something that seems like very fast contact microphone rubbing. Excellent stuff!

The final track is a brand new material, with raw sounds by TNB & Merzbow and more sounds + composition by aNoMali. Paul Coates delights us with an extremely silly start and then the track proceeds to total noise mayhem. Various layers of metal clanging, digital feedback and cracking harsh noise mass perfectly interlace with each other and the piece finishes with a bang: the very appropriate sample of a cow mooing.

The artwork is very TNB-esque and I didn't like it much, but this CD is an excellent opportunity to get great sold out material. Recommended to fans of crude noise and old school cut-up industrial music.

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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