Shapednoise is the perfect name for this project from the owner of Repitch Recordings. One imagines bundles of sound, scratchy and serrated, being molded by a pair of sonic hands into unusual audio shapes.
The album starts with menacing beats and drones and eventually dissolves into abstract darkness. In the early stages, it’s all industrial smashes and intimidation. We can credit Justin K. Broadrick for his participation on the opening track. But the shredding kicks into high gear on “Intruder”, a sample of which can be heard below. This piece begs to be played at top volume, as the grinding and roaring threaten to obscure its subtleties. Glass breaks, drum skins shatter, and the bass threatens to disintegrate the walls of Jericho.
The drums – often repetitive, in a tribal manner – mark the majority of these tracks like dogs peeing on trees. There’s never any doubt of ownership. But the power increases when they vary or disappear. A threat whose location can be identified is not as dangerous as one whose location remains hidden.
The shaping grows more obvious as the album lurches forward. Side B begins with a brief, beatless overture, “Travels in the Universe of the Soul”. Yet even this provides little indication of how murky the record will eventually get. The in-your-face blasts of “What Is It Like?” are downright playful when compared with the closing one-two punch of “The Man from Another Place” and “Escalation”, a pair of tracks that might best be described as extreme audio sculpture. All appeal to accessibility is dropped; these works are instead like the signposts of deep, dark caves, saying, keep out. And yet, none can resist. The maw is open; this is what it sounds like to be consumed. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 3 December