Actuary/The Black Scorpio Underground - Split [Love Earth Music - 2011]Both Actuary and The Black Scorpio Underground come from California, but you will not find the sunny beaches and old Austrian bodybuilder deflated muscles usually associated with the Golden State here. In fact, both sides of this tape are quite dark and nasty.
Actuary's side "Stricken Host Lies Down" starts with creepy dark ambient drones, chopped electronic sounds and tibetan monk-like chants that get soon mangled by distortion, sharply turning the track in a synth noise assault not that far from Astro and C.C.C.C.'s music.
Layers of over-saturated synth fall onto each other with great speed and power, just like it should be. It's nothing but perfect harsh noise. "Stricken Host Lies Down" is a really well done and effective track, and Actuary managed to fit lots of different stuff in just five minutes. Bravo!
As usual The Black Scorpio Underground's side is the weirdest. Their noisy loops and guitar, chatter and mansonesque hippy drumming blend together surprisingly well, carrying the mind to the wrong side of California . The chatter continues, surmounted by tape hiss and swooshing, to disappear then into low frequency tape loops and obscure sounds, calling to mind the good old days of Inseminoid. I didn't imagine that Long Beach and North England could have something in common. Their sounds are hypnotic, ritual and again, very well done. Also worth to mention is that the first track on their side is called "Genital Minotaur", which is one of the best titles I've had the pleasure of coming across lately. This stuff gives me hope for more genuinely weird and mean American noise.
In conclusion this c10 split is great and highly recommended to any respectable noise fan. I'm not really up for such short lengths but I can't deny that the music here is good.Nicola Vinciguerra