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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

Ataraxy - Dear Diary [Vomit Bucket Productions - 2012]

“Dear Diary” is a four CDR set of mainly HNW recordings from this German based HNW/Harsh Noise project. This project started in summer 2009, and has since amassed: around 20 full length stand alone releases, a vast amount of split releases, and 20 to 30 singles or EPs. The projects all the work of Gag G, who also runs the respected German  underground label Vomit Bucket Productions, which has been active since early 2007.

I must admit I’ve found this projects work some what mixed in quality/execution in the past, but I’m happy to report that for the most part this is a rewarding collection of just over four hours worth of HNW, with some slight detours into Harsh noise territory latter on in the set.

The four discs come a DVD style case with a brown & yellow inked cover that’s made to look like a book cover.  Each of the four discs features a black & white label that takes in dramatic pictures of rushing & crashing water. The set also features a double sided inlay sheet which also features more river pictures, and full track listings.  The set takes seventeen tracks in all that run between just over the ten minute mark, to around about the half an hour mark. Theme wise the release is literal meant to be a noise diary with Gag recording  tracks influenced by his thoughts, or events in his everyday live.


Disc one features  four tracks that last between the ten to near on twenty minute mark. Opening up the set we have “Undefinable” which starts off with a sustained buzzing drone & subdued galloping noise texture in a semi ANW manner. At around the two minute mark it launchers into a mixture of back drone billowing 'n' juddering with slightly crusty noise texturing- it stays like this for the rest of the track.

Track three is entitled “Paranoia”,  & it finds Gag starting up the track with a low down 'n' focused grain buzz, which is soon joined by a higher pitched fixed sear. Before it moves onto a boring bass drone that’s weaved with thinner & locked jitter static tonality- this remains for most of the track, but  in it’s last few minutes a nice accelerating tone takes hold & pushes the track towards a fading end.

Track five “Adoration” opens with scrawling noise tone over a mass of fairly normally feed-back buzzing. Pretty soon we get a sudden hiss of sustained tone, then we move into a billowing 'n' rapid low end judder that’s bayed by crisper jittering tonality. The ‘wall’ thins back from time to time, so you can hear the scrawling background noise tone again, but pretty soon the ‘wall’ thickens back up

Disc two features another five tracks, and these last between just over the ten minute mark to around the twenty four minute mark. We go from the first track “White Russian” which brings togeather a growing storm of billowing/ juddering noise that has a nice higher pitched semi-junk juddering scraping element mixed in with the fixed rumble & judder.

Onto track number three “Strange “ which goes straight for the throat with a mixture sliding ‘n’ rolling low-end noise that’s battered by semi-crisp jittering tones. Through to  track four which is entitled “25 Years” which finds a  stretched-out  metallic grating/ fan belt slipping tone under fed by hiccupping / looping mix of smaller noise tones


Disc three features only three tracks, and these each last around or just under the thirty minute mark. All but the last track here has very much Harsh noise learning’s to them.  The second track “Voluntary Solitude” is the better of the two more Harsh noise weaved tracks. It starts with circling & juddering spacey type vibe mixing mid-to-high end tones. Pretty quickly it lunches into a dense & wall-ish mix of thick juddering 'n' billowing low end noise, that has high pitched jittering in it’s guts. Latter on the track moves into more focused yet searing single tone dwells, before once more picking up pace & depth again, and ends with a more swirling out 'n' fading mix of billowing wind tones & industrial harsh noise drone. While the discs last track “Beautiful Joker”, returns to mostly to a more fixed HNW setting. It starts with on/off thinner/ thicker hissing noise dwells before moving into a more sustained wall fixes, which mixes together mid-paced rumbling & jittering galloping HNW. As with the other tracks on this disc the pace shifts, but really it just thins back & forth- instead of the more harsh noise  texturing of the other tracks here.


Lastly Disc four offers up four tracks which last between around fifteen minutes to just shy of the twenty seven minute mark. These go from the disc's opening track “Occupied Mind “ which starts out with a muffled & crude low-end feed back drone, before pretty soon a drilling/ juddering layer of tone is added to the mix & the ‘wall’ sets in.

Track number three “Belluno” opens with Grey feedback buzz that pretty soon gets joined by a feasting & amassed wing rush of water, before locking down into a very meaty & intense mix of bass judder which is under fed by rushing/ battering undertones. The track apparently utilizes field recordings taken from the river Piave in Belluno in northern Italy. This is one of my favourite moments here.


On the whole this is a consistent & rewarding collection, which finds the project offering up a relatively varied collection of mainly ‘wall’ based work, with some later dips into more Hash Noise texturing. This certainly is some of the best work I’ve heard from this project thus far, and I can heartily recommend it to those looking for no nonsense European walled noise.

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

Roger Batty
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