One of a clutch of recent releases on the redoubtable KIKS/GFR label out of Nottingham. Aficionados of Belgian new wave musicking will no doubt be disappointed to find that this is not an archival unearthing of a lost classic from the band that brought you Beats of Love (150,000 copies sold in Belgium, pop fans!). This iteration of nacht und nebel hails from Nottingham and a cursory glance at its Bandcamp page reveals a creditable discography, along with the following terse announcement: ‘all sounds originally made with a cello’.
This Dogme-style focus on a single instrument is repeated here. Pretty beguiling stuff it is too, a combination of earthy drones and facesplitting noise that comes front-loaded with grumbling unease, prickly barbs of interference and obnoxious vibrations. Its two long (20 minutes-ish) tracks lurch into your listening space like a huge mechanical digger appearing out of nowhere and hanging around outside your front door for a bit, before shrugging its metallic shoulders and trashing the place.
Side A’s I am falling into the sky sets up a nice slow build drone, characterised by a disconcerting whirling, milling sound. A burst of white noise scuzzes up the vibe about a third of the way in, but for the rest of the time the gritty, evolving grind is kind of hypnotic. Occasionally you can make out a hint of a cello’s woody burr, but the sound sources are generally pretty well messed up, sometimes looping in a repetitive grid, other times coming to the fore then disappearing.
More exuberant is the flipside’s A Foulness, which goes straight for the forehead, diamond bullet style. Blasts of white noise morph and twist in a tumult, with strange rising and descending tones oozing through the blizzard. Now and again, there’s a kind of subwoofer thrum, Merzbow plays dubstep style. It’s an inventive take on things, with the internal rhythms giving the gale of glitch and static an almost sinuous set of contours, if sinuous is the right word for something so confrontational and abrasive.