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Raven / Astro - Raven / Astro [Autistic Campaign - 2015]

Autistic Campaign presents a new-ish split cassette by a couple of international heavy-weights: Raven and Astro. Raven is the alias of one Djordje Miladinoviæ. Hailing from Serbia, Raven toils with harsh noise mixed with an Anarcho-punk aesthetic. Active since 2011, Djordje Miladinoviæ has released a dizzying stream of releases in a few short years, enough to give the Merz a run for his money. Astro, a staple in the Japanese noise scene, began in 1993 as the solo project of Hiroshi Hasegawa (C.C.C.C.), but has been a duo since 2013 with collaborator Hiroko Hasegawa.

This C41 offers two side-long slabs by each artist. Side A belongs to Raven. His 20 minute piece is a long block of bulldozing noise, which is a bit more static in delivery than some of his other work I’m familiar with. Long swaths of it almost feel wall-ish in nature. For sure, there’s a lot of synth bending and churning going on underneath, however it’s largely obscured by caustic, juddering tones. It sounds like at it’s foundation “Harshbringer” is a HNW piece, then layered with more dynamic synth work. The more dynamic work is overshadowed, engulfed by dense blanket of static noise, however it’s there. And part of the fun of this track is dissecting through the sonic detritus to discover some interesting nuggets of sounds.

Astro’s contribution to this release is “Kiyoshima Apartment,” which runs just shy of 20 minutes. It’s a long sprawly, noise crawl, rife with: squelchy, sputtering, and squealing synth tones, sci-fi esque flourishes, and lots of crunch and static wash. It’s a pretty wild ride of improvisational explorations at the hands of a couple of masters at work. I won’t lie, I get a major hard-on for these sort of free-form, harsh noise journeys.

The artwork is equally intriguing, using all black & white art on standard j-card and vellum inserts. The cover pictures shows a bunch of people sitting and staring up at what? Who knows? I not sure where the reference means, but it works well enough for the release at hand.

In conclusion, there’s a lot of interesting bits of sound to be found by each performer. I might tend to favor Astro slightly on this outing, but both artists play nicely off one another and I anticipate many return listens.

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

Hal Harmon
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