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panacea shares needles with tarmvred
ad noiseam   2002
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album rating: 3
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submitted by anton on 6-Feb-2002

after "subfusc" by tarmvred that entered my top 10 for the year, this is the second truly remarkable output from ad noiseam. among all the material in the genre that unfortunately seems to recycle the same ideas over and over again, this collaboration between three musicians presents a refreshing and very optimistic outlook on the future of technoid rhythm&noise (or whatever you choose to call this genre).

opening "clicks per second" by needle sharing is an instant hit - it has simple dark drum&bass rhythm and sweeping ambient textures punctuated by minimal clicks. imagine latest squaremeter powered by attractive driving drum&bass - cold, atmospheric feel, controlled by precise minimalism of clicks+cuts, propelled forward by technoid rhythms. this is probably one of the best examples of this fusion of the genres. next needle sharing track, "rasta bash" is a free-flowing goofy drum&bass piece that might raise some eyebrows, but in the end is just plain fun. third needle sharing track, "nordic rampage" restores its drive with distorted rhythmic textures, spiced up with some female vocal samples - altogether dark and danceable track in the style that the band is famous for.

panacea's "mothership 2" hits closer to power rhythms of kate mosh, advancing from eerie atmospheric pieces to bass-saturated percussion backed by tweaked frequencies. overall this is a very interesting track that moves between uneasy menacing ambience and stomping percussion. it seems to never fully develop any of the themes, this controlled, subdued energy adds a peculiar twist to the track. "faggot house" (somehow the title seems to remind me of needle sharing) continues much in the same vein of heavy technoid rhythms drowned in chaotic layered ambience (that at times seems to be somewhat overbearing). third panacea's track, "kill the processors", is a wonderfully crunchy, slowly building track playing with monotonous power rhythms nicely mixed with incessant waves of saturated basslines and vibrating frequencies.

and of course tarmvred is at its best, not only building the most complex and perfectly-placed arrangements of unique sounds, but also managing to do it with style and emotion. his first track "kanyl" starts out with beautiful melancholic simplicity, and slowly builds up, introducing complex aggressive drum&bass structures, breaking and exploding throughout the length of the track, building up to a violent rhythmic noise crescendo, and yet somehow managing to keep the spirit of the track intact. "primitive germanic" is yet another gem of hyperkinetic percussion (think idm on steroids with relentless power electronic undertones filling the track with hisses, broken noises and ominous bass rumbling) brilliantly spliced together with cold synthline and melancholic key sequences. tarmvred closes the disk with "universalmedel" that is an amazing atmospheric piece building up an incredible world filled with layers of random percussion drops, fading noises and beautiful strings; a wasteland of cold mechanized ambience, shifting masses of drones, pulsating frequencies, stuttering clicks, monstrous percussion drops, unexpected rhythmic attacks. it flows through so many moods and tempos, keeping you on your toes, as you are trying to catch up with the music, and yet it creates an impression of stylistically and emotionally cohesive piece, with constant underlining mood. what can I possibly add? if you have not gotten *any* tarmvred in your system, this is yet another proof and reminder. this swedish act is undoubtedly a single most significant discovery in the scene last year.

the best about this album is its diversity that presents so many sides of the genre, so many ideas about blending various styles together, taking drum&bass, industrial, rhythm&noise, dark ambient, glitch to the next level. one can trace the roots and influences of participating musicians, put them in context of previous works, or simply enjoy this release for everything it has to offer.


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