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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 & Idée Fixe - C30 Split [IdFx - 2020]

Here we have a rather neatly packaged C30 split which brings together bothersome-yet sluggishly moody wall noise- from Spanish based Belgian Damien De Coene, and textured noise meets unsettling noisemaking crossbreed from Netherlands based Idée Fixe.

So let’s talk about that neat packaging before we get into the noise with-in…the white shelled tape features small labels on both sides, and then this comes inside a clear cassette case- which features a fold-out monochrome inlay- this takes in a picture of a troubled looking priest, and discoloured chain hanging from a wall. These are all packed inside a thick brown cardboard fold-out, which takes in pictures of torture instruments & handcuffs- with on one side the text “My Boredom Should Worry You”. Also in the set is a fold mini-poster- this features a monochrome picture of a creepy & dark-eyed little girl, with a quote from the Old Testament. So a very well thought out & neat bit of packaging- the release was out on Idée Fixe's own label.

First up we have the Damien De Coene side, and this takes in just a single track which is entitled “My Boredom Should Worry You”. Here we have a decidedly glum-yet-oddly pleasing ‘wall’ which brings rumbling ‘n’ rattling bass like choppiness, with slicing ‘n’ hacking static grain. Together these elements create a ‘wall’ that is both mid-pace & persistently bothersome, yet textural rewarding in its spiralling-yet lulling mixture of slice, hack, chop, and spinning static texturing.  All in a grim-yet-nicely encasing example of wall-matter from Mr. De Coene, which I could have easily listened to for twice it’s length.


Flipping over the tape & of course, we have the Idée Fixe side- and this is split into two tracks- first, we have “Pain Pleasure Principle” this comes in at just shy of the seven-minute mark, and I guess is best described as a blend of textured noise and brooding industrialized noise with grim ambient undercurrents. It begins with a thick blend of spiralling 'n' shredding textured noise, underneath this we get a growing ebb & sway of sinister skittering reverb, and dragging brooding bass drones- with all the while the textured elements nicely enhancing  the whole thing- as it slowly but surely slides deeper & deeper into unease- we also get the addition of well placed high pitched spinning grain to enhancing the feeling of souring dread
Next, we have “Pear Of Anguish” and this takes up the rest of the side- and it begins with more layered & detailed texturing that has a rather junk/ industrial feel to it- as we have a blend of spinning & serrated tones, burring & hovering elements, and cluttering drones- blended in with these we have these truly unsettling vocal tics & whispers. After around a minute the track takes on a lose/ more shifting, though still very controlled feel- as we get a very detailed blend of longer rustle & churn grain, smaller spin & cluttering elements, and a growing undercarriage of brood industrial drone. I must say I was very impressed & taken by this second side, as the way the noise genre tropes are blended is very sinisterly compelling, creative & skilful- and the vocal elements at the start of the first track are some of the more unsettling things I’ve heard in some time.


All told this most certainly stands as one of the best splits to appear this year thus far- as both sides noise is well created & realized, with De Coene more bass bound lulling wall suffocation, working nicely alongside Idée Fixe detailed-yet unsettling sub-genre blending….now for the rather frustrating thing about this split, since this release was sent in for review a week or two back, both Idée Fixe Bandcamp & FB pages have disappeared- meaning I can’t confirm how many copies they were of this release, and how to get hold of a copy…let us hope the project resurfaces as this is a damn good split, that needs to be heard by a lot more folk.

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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