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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

Damien De Coene - The Present Is a Hostile Place [Geraeuschmanufaktu - 2018]

The Present Is a Hostile Place severs up two half-an-hour slices of bleakly toned & starkly seared walled-noise from this Flanders based noise & stark drone artist. The release appeared October of last year on German noise & experimental label Geraeuschmanufaktu- coming as either a C60 or Digital Download.

Moving onto the packaging of the physical version of the release- and the black shelled cassette features a white label on one side- this comes in a white shelled case, that features a ripped collage-like artwork- bringing together building architecture, children dancing, flowers & rope tied flesh overlaid with texts. And as of writing, the label still has copies.

The first track is entitled “Homesick Orphan”- here we get a rapid & often rough shod blend of rip bound low-end galloping, skittering slightly crunching static grit rush, and some thinner jittering ‘n’ juddering sub-tones. The whole thing brought to mind a highly revered motorbike been launched into, then stuck in a roasting & hissing mass fire. There’s a real feel of taut ferocity about the wall, yet underneath this feeling of pained loss & regret.  As the wall moves on I seemingly make of more fleeting & darting sub-tone detail, but I think this was there from the outset- it just took some time to kick in. On the whole, it’s an effective enough example of rapid 'n' raging wall-matter, with some touches of pained harrowing deep within.

The next track is “The Benefits Of Destructive Behaviour”- & instead of jumping straight in with the ‘wall’ action we get just over a minutes worth of moodily bobbing & darting 80’s synth craft- not sure if this is a sample, or created for the track- but it starts things off in a nicely atmospheric yet low key manner. When the ‘wall’ does kick-in it’s a blend of deep judder bound hacking, jittering static feast,  and smaller pelting ‘n’ stinging grain- underneath this, I’m sure I can make out this sustain warbling harmonic sustain, but you can never fully define exactly what it is. The wall once again had quite a roughshod & rapid focus to it, and once again there’s a feeling of sadness & loss in the guts on the track.

The Present Is a Hostile Place is my first taste of  Mr De Coene more wall focused work, after very much enjoy the stark & numbing bleak drone work he does under his Charles Razeur project name. I can’t say I was as taken by this release as I’d hoped to be- yes the feeling of starkness unlaying both ‘walls’ is rewarding- I just felt the ‘wall’ themselves felt a little avenge- certainly not a bad release by any means- it just didn’t hit me how I hoped.

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

Roger Batty
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