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K2 / Positive Adjustmentsı - Sprouts And Memories [Murderabilia Records - 2012]

Murderabilia Records, recent brainchild of the guys behind excellent italian industrial/power electronics duo Deviated Sister Tv, has been constantly releasing great noise for at least a year and a half. One of their latest works is this split (pro) CDr between Japanese harsh noise legend K2 and Positive Adjustments from Sweden.

The absolute master of junk metal-oriented harsh noise K2 puts his favorite weapons of choice aside for this record, focusing on other sound sources instead. His first track "Going Into The Bloody Sea" is a feast of old school japanese harsh noise, with layers of dense, devastated electronics, abrupt silences, an excellent abuse of panning and a frantic, constant movement that keeps things hectic and interesting.
The second track "This Is The Musical Suicide" features pretty much the same sounds, but this time we also get completely mangled and distorted piano sounds, something that it's not so common in this kind of music.  Once again, an excellent noise track.
"The Pump" is the longest track of the split, clocking at over twenty-three minutes, and it maintains the shifting, sudden and overwhelming sense of movement of the previous two numbers. It's a characteristic I absolutely love about Japanese harsh noise and that makes my ears drool in excitement. Nothing does it like twenty-something minutes of pure, fast and pumping harsh noise for me. The only complaint I have about K2's side of this split is the general digital compression/distortion of his tracks that maybe wastes some dynamics, but it's something that it's hardly avoidable these days and most of all it doesn't change the fact that this is great, powerful noise by one of the best and most eclectic musicians of the genre.

I'm not familiar with Positive Adjustments' material, so I didn't really know what to expect, but the start of "Disorder" put me in a good mood. You can't go wrong by pairing rumbling low-frequency buzzes and fierce high-pitched microphone feedback. I also appreciated the sudden shifts from loud noise to quiet moments and the unusual mix of laid back electronics and crackling walls of static. Everything feels more "composed" and planned  in comparison of the wild harsh noise mess of K2, but my impression could easily be completely wrong. The following "Burning Paradise" starts on a more quiet basis, with synth-ish horror soundtrack sounds surmounted by white noise and feedback. Things suddenly become louder and carry on for a while. The whole track proceeds a bit like a tug of war between loud harsh noise and quiet samples, crackling static and high frequency feedback.

Positive Adjustment's harsh noise moments sound a bit flat but the changes in mood and timbre try to make up for it. I think that the skills are there, but the material needs more focus and strength, and maybe different equipment.
The slow-moving synth drones of final track "Purification" are maybe my favorite bit of this side of the split. I think that the computer line-in sound compression, just like for K2, is the biggest problem here. The sounds suffer a bit from this condition and lose a lot in power and punch, resulting in a disappointing sonic mud that could otherwise have been much better.

In conclusion this is a fairly good noise split.K2's side is especially good and highly recommended to all connoisseurs of the genre, while there's much room for improvement on Positive Adjustments' part. Support underground noise and at least give this CDr a try, there are a few excerpts on Youtube!

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Nicola Vinciguerra
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