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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

Many Blessings and Pulsatile Tinnitus - Collab Tape [Anti-Corporate Music - 2019]

In the world of electronic and experimental music, collaboration or split albums of two projects  are fairly common. Every day a certain number of such albums are released. Some of them, unfortunately, go unnoticed. Others, sorry for this, do not deserve attention. But there is a category of albums that fans of experimental music should pay close attention to.

This review will focus on the joint album from two American experimental noise projects Many Blessings and Pulsatile Tinnitus. I was not familiar with either projects work, so I had to look for some information on the Internet.
 
So, Many Blessings is a project of the Colorado musician Ethan McCarthy, a member of the sludge metal band Primitive Man. Combining such styles as Harsh Noise, Drone and Dark Ambient, Many Blessings in its music, according to the Bandcamp page of the project, since 2017 has released one full-length album, three mini-albums and the collaboration album presented in this review. The project is Tennessee-based Pulsatile Tinnitus. This is a project of Kayla Phillips, a former member of the grindcore band Bleed The Pigs. Kayla Phillips adheres to a similar approach to writing music, as well as Ethan McCarthy. However, in Pulsatile Tinnitus music, more emphasis is placed on drone and ambient with the touch of noise and power electronics. Since 2015, the discography of the project includes 3 full-length albums, one EP and several mini-albums.
 
The collab album of Many Blessings and Pulsatile Tinnitus, called simply Collab Tape, was released in 2019 by the American label Anti-Corporate Music as a tape. It is available for order on the label website. The digital version of the album is available for order on the Many Blessings Bandcamp page.
 
The album cover is a black and white digital collage, which depicts four asymmetrically placed hands, two of which hold black circles. Perhaps these are the hands of project participants. Hands are located on the image of a handful of soil from which a pair of sprouts stick out and, as it seemed to me, doll legs. The main background is, it seemed to me, a rather dirty window through which, at the very bottom, the roofs of houses are visible. I think this is a very good design job. Perhaps the meaning of this collage is understandable only to the author and artists, but, nevertheless, it perfectly fits the musical part of the album.
 
The album, with a total duration of just over fifty-seven and a half minutes, consists of five rather lengthy tracks. It is worth noting that, even though the album is positioned as a collaborative work, there is only one common track. The remaining four tracks are solo works of projects.
 
The first track is called "Many Tinnitus" and is a joint track of two projects. The listener is immersed in the frightening atmosphere of raw drone, supported by noise elements that make up most of the stereo panorama of this track. It’s worth mentioning right away that the sound of all the tracks is rather dirty, which, in my opinion, is an interesting move and gives a unique atmosphere to the whole album. As for my impressions of the joint track, they are very positive. I think that the track turned out to be very solid, which, is rare for collaborations.
 
The second track is authored by Pulsatile Tinnitus and is titled "An Echo For The Future To Take Care Of". This is a droning monotonous track, turning closer to completion in something symphonic. Drone is supported by acoustic noise and Kayla Phillips recitals. It also seemed to me that there are elements of field recordings here too.
 
The following is the third track, entitled "Isolated", which is recorded by Many Blessings. We hear a very crude single-channel Drone, which at some points comes in contact with the border of the textured Harsh Noise Wall. This is especially noticeable closer to the end of the track.
 
The fourth number is Pulsatile Tinnitus with a track called "Bloodworm". This is a pretty extreme track, combining elements of power electronics, drone, and walled noise. And again, unlike the works of Many Blessings, there is a pronounced stereo.
 
The last (fifth) track is called "Everything against you" and this is Many Blessings. Here we again have a single-channel raw sound. However, the track, in its structure, is more diverse than "Isolated", and more closely resembles the first joint track. Honestly, at first, I thought that this track is a solo part of the collaboration composition (they are so similar).
 
This is a very interesting and powerful album, which presents good and integral material, despite the apparent different approach to writing music. But for me, there is one controversial point. In my opinion, the order of the tracks is misplaced. I feel the first track should have been the Many Blessings "Everything against you" by , and the final track should be the collab between the two projects. But, thanks to this album, I got acquainted with the work of two good projects, which I will follow.

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

Sergey Pakhomov
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