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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

Harsh Noise Movement - Digital Cunt Ripper [Harsh Noise London - 2020]

This charmingly titled release is an eight-track CDR from UK based  Harsh Noise Movement (aka noisemaker Ade Rowe). And it’s a decidedly varied album- that both bombards & unsettles the listener in equal measures. I’ve been aware of the Harsh Noise Movement project for a few years now- hearing bits & bobs, and I must say this is most varied & largely worthy release I’ve heard from the project thus far- and it's certainly made me curious to dig deeper into it's discography..

This CDR release appeared on British noise label Harsh Noise London, and it was part of a series of ten releases put out by the label- which featured glitched & warp-out artwork.

The Harsh Noise Movement project has been active since early 2014, and going by Discogs listing it has two-hundred & seventeen releases to its name, though I suspect it’s put out more than that as a lot of noise artists release on labels, not on Discogs.  The project has put out a lot of split/ collab releases too with names like The Incapacacitants, Smell & Quim, The Haters. Vomir, and many more. The projects take on noise is often decidedly proactive & playful- and sadly it seems it’s now called it a day.

The CDR album slides in at the seventy three minute mark- and as I mentioned in my opening it’s a decidedly varied affair, drop-in & out of different noise sub-genres from track to track. We kick off with the just shy of nine and a half minutes of “Eye for an eye”- it begins with a snippet of a lecture recording talking about the controlled state of humankind- when the noise kicks in it’s a blend of rapid & muffled churning, which is topped by mid-to-high tone noise bays, wails, and sears. And from time-to-time in the background one can make lose industrialized junk texturing- it’s certainly a worthy opener that balances well choppy & muffled texturing with the jaw-grinding sear. By track three we’ve come to bleakly worming industrial drilling ‘n’ draining of “Chemobrain”- where we find just over five minutes of crude sludgy clutter & purr, that’s moodily whined by feedback sweeps.

Moving towards the last few tracks & we have the blunt buffeting ‘n’ rattling walled noise of “Cwmbran”- the just over sixteen & a half minute is built around layers of muffled drone purr, lo-level rattle/ hover texturing, and distant skittering tonal detail- all making for a most grim-yet-oddly entrancing wall.  Next, there’s the just shy of seven minutes of “Back Shoes”- here we have an initialling sinister bobbing, then quicking sustained & seared synth tones- these are topped by a selection of different voice samples/ snippets- some are fairly normal if a little odd, while others are rather creepy/ puzzling..the more bobbing & darting feel of the synth tones returning latter to a most rewardingly unsettling effect. Finally, we have the nearing nine minutes of “Serene Fusion Serene fusion”- this features the talents of sax player Akano Shibahito. The track starts surprisingly musically with a bobbing ‘n’ grooving blend of fixed horn ‘n’ drums, with Shibahito wittering & wailing his horn over the top. At around the two-minute mark the sways of moodily swirling & shifting noise comes into play, but they are kept very controlled & atmospherically focused- and I’d compare they use to the more effective musical collabs Merzbow has been involved with.

In finishing, if you enjoy your noise varied, at times moody & inventive I’d say you’ll be needing to pick-up a copy of Digital Cunt Ripper- as it certainly ticks all the above boxes very well.

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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