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Genetic Transmission - Last [Zoharum - 2016]

Zoharum presents Last, the appropriately titled, last album by Genetic Transmission. Last is Chapter 9 in Zoharum’s IYHHH series. I couldn’t quite discern what the acronym stood for, but the theme of the CD series is to present unusual Polish sound artists in unconventional ways. Genetic Transmission is the moniker of long-running industrial artist Tomasz Twardawa, who on this recording, focused on creating sonic miniatures from acoustic/electro-acoustic sound sources.

The packaging, to go along with the theme, is also presented in an unusual fashion. The foldover cover is postcard size with a postcard sized insert. The cover art almost looks like charcoal etchings with highly stylized text throughout. The pro-pressed CDs are full color and limited to 444 copies.

Last is a series of 15 short to shortish pieces, that can best be described as the backdrop to a David Lynch nightmare realm. It’s a collision of digital and acoustic/electro-acoustic sounds that vacillate from short form horrorscapes to sonic junk metal detritus. It’s the balancing of these methods that ultimately makes Last so great. The album starts with slowed and mangled carnival sounds and then travels the corridor of steel drum and suspensions chord experimentations. Junk metal clang and rustle meld with digital artifacts and manipulations. The tracks are brief, but there’s a contiguous thread running through Last that connects these sonic tentacles to the same beast. As the disc progresses things seem to get eerier and eerier with the disc finally culminating in a track that sounds like hordes of demons trying to escape some hell dimension. Everything is superbly executed, with just right amount of tension building and horrorshow atmospherics.

There’s been a lot of great artists to come out Poland in recent memory, Genetic Transmission is no exception. It’s a shame that this will be Twardawa’s final statement under the the GT banner. However, I look forward to seeing what Twardawa has in store for us next.

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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