It’s great news that SIN:NED, one of the aliases for Hong Kong noise maker and label runner Dennis Wong (also known as Wong Chung-fai) is heading out to Tokyo’s Wish Less gallery later this week to inflict the sheer metal intensity of his latest record ‘Organs Without Body’ on an audience no doubt thirsty for some Kowloon noise.
I’ve been listening to ‘Organs Without Body’, which Dennis put out on his Re-Records label, since late last year. It’s a punishing beast, four tracks of screeching hell recorded during several live sessions at in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macau in 2012.
Dennis was a friend of the Polish experimental music and composer Zbigniew Karkowski, and this SIN:NED record shares Karkowski’s unflinching commitment to duration and intensity. With four long tracks, three of them clocking in at over ten minutes, listening to it is a bracing experience.
It’s difficult to describe the particular, wrenching metallic quality of the nose that dominates these tracks. It’s somewhere between the classic tube screamer / metal shredder guitar, but with all the bottom end removed, with a harsher, more digitised sound, as if screeds of diseased data were unleashed by some corrupted hard drive.
Wong uses a Stick – a kind of multi-string polyphonic guitar, played by tapping the fretboard rather than plucking or strumming – for most of the pieces here. The Stick is usually deployed by technically accomplished players of the prog or metal persuasion, but for SIN:NED, Dennis takes it in a wholly other direction, pushing it to extremes of searing sound. The sounds is similar to how, I imagine, being dipped into an acid bath feels like.
It’s also a strangely dynamic sound. The act of tapping on the Stick’s fretboard gives the waves a more irregular, physical feel that other noise recordings, which treat their torrents of sound as blocks to moulded and shaped, like clay.
Find out more about Organs Without Body from the Re-Records website.
If you’re a fan of this type of harsh noise, it’s also worth checking out the two SIN:NED releases for the Re-Records ‘50’ series: Memory Lost / Machine Lost, in which Dennis uses bass guitar and electronics to explore murkier, queasier territory; a collaboration with Macau guitarist e:ch, This Is Not Of Our Sickness,where bursts of noise vie with elongated drones and tapes in an unholy collage.
UPDATE!! More dates in Hong Kong announced! Have a gander at Dennis’s Facebook page for the latest info.