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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

Dejection / Big Hole - Split [Altar Of Waste - 2015]

From September 2015  here’s a very troubling & suicide focused two split way between Minneapolis based Dejection & Denton, Texas Big based Big Hole. The tape offers up a blend of pressing & airless synth drone, and bleakly battering walled-noise.

The release came in an edition of twenty copies. With the unlabeled grey shelled tape coming in a doubled sided monochrome sleeve, which features  two stark line drawings- on the front a woman walking up to a noose hung tree, and the inside a silhouette drawing of someone who has hanged themselves in a tree.

On the first side, we have the Dejection track- this project is one of the more recent projects of uber-prolific drone, wall noise, sour ambient, etc artists Cory Strand. The track is entitled “Worried and Alone, and it all starts off fairly pared back, stark & unsettling. For the first five or so minutes of the track we get a series of sustained & discordant tones, played with a gloomy organ setting on the keyboard.  At around the 6th minute the feed-back & depth of the drones are slowly but surely amped-up, to creating this buzzing & ultra-bleak droning mass which seems to drill deep into your very being. To start with the track is quite brooding & unbalancing in its feel, but as the layers build & build the whole thing seems to press in on you more & more with is extremely oppressive depth. In it’s last quarter the track shifts to more drilling ‘n’ buzzing drone-meets-wall noise setting, and really at this point, it feels like you are in a sonic vice, which is squeezing ever bit of hope out of you. In the last four or so minutes a slow live drum pattern is added, and this gives some slight release, though it also ebbs up the more unsettling side of the track.

So flipping over to the second side, and we, of course, have the Big Hole track- this project has been active since 2014, and has slowly but surely released around forty releases, going on to become one of the more respected & reliable names in the US wall scene.  The track on this side is entitled “Sullen And Resentful”- it opens with a building selection of starkly jittering ‘n’ flickering static textures, these are underfed by a growing roasting billow. As we get to around the four & a half minute mark the weave of the wall has become denser & busier, yet the whole thing remains extremely stark & bleak in it’s feel. Much like the first sides track the oppressive tension is tightened & tighten, to the point where there feels little or no air or hope left anywhere.

In summing both sides here are suitable building & bleakly intense works of crushing sonic nihilism, and the each complement each other well, yet managers to have their own identity too. All in all, it’s a most effective suicide focused split of unflinching sonic bleak-ness.

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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