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Facialmess / Developer - Split [Factotum Tapes - 2014]

Factotum Tapes presents another split tape of raging cut-up madness by Developer, this time teaming up with Japan’s Facialmess. Matthew Reis’s Developer project has had quite a busy year, releasing a number of solo, split and collaborative releases (many on his own Factotum imprint), including with the likes of: PCRV, Scant, Custodian, Hostage Pageant, Ahlzagailzeguh, and now with long-running noise act Facialmess. The split is available on a c40 cassette and digitally through the Factotum Tapes bandcamp site.

Side A is occupied by Facialmess, who delivers 3 tracks of pummeling cut-up dynamics. His pieces entitled: “Lust and the Prospect of Revenge,” “By No Means Self Evident,” and “Slowly Our Eyes Adjusted,” all revolve around hard-edged stuttering noise and quick cuts as their foundation. Truthfully, there’s really no clear delineation between each track, which is fine, because it works as one long contiguous piece. Each piece is further fleshed out with well-placed samples, high-end feedback, repeated abrupt stops that trail off (sometimes almost sounding like a Jason Vorhees ch-ch-ch…), stressed electro-acoustic metal damage, squelchy and buzzing synth tones, and some low-end thudding. It’s all rather jarring and disconcerting, that leaves little time for respite. It’s a mind-numbing experience from beginning to end.


Side B belongs to Developer and it is one long untitled track. His side starts off with clashing percussive sounds colliding with fragmented harsh noise, sputtering synth sounds and fast stops and starts that unfold in rapid succession. Unlike Facialmess, Reiss breaks up the unfettered chaos with 2 lengthy quiet passages. The first comes early on, with a long block of atmospheric ambience which rolls along for several minutes before being disrupted by machine squeal, electronic buzzing and other harsh noise dive bombs. A second chunk of relative calmness unfolds later on with some minimal electro acoustic metal manipulation that melts into a field recording of crashing waves. It’s a welcome departure from the aggression that preceded it. Of course, the peace and quiet doesn’t last too long before being disturbed once again by an amalgamation of crushing lows, piercing highs, churning machinery, and sporadic bell-ringing. It’s a pitch perfect tension between the harsh and the calm...the yin-yang of noise I supposse.


2014 has turned out to be a fine year for the cut-up aesthetic, in no small part to the contributions of Factum Tapes and Mr. Reiss. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the releases I’ve heard from the label this year, and I don’t suppose they’ll be slowing down as we roll into 2015. Another fine outing by Developer and friends.

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

Hal Harmon
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