Sleep Sessions/Arefyu/agit8 – ‘Restrict|Suppress|Censor’ [Review]

‘Restrict|Suppress|Censor’ is a three-way Noise split between Poland’s Sleep Sessions (David Kowalski) and Australians Arefyu (Michael Ellingford) and agit8 (MD Bailey).  Comparisons are ready across the disc to Japanese wall noise, but more accurately, those Americans under the influence (Bastard Noise, Menche, Wiese himself), as well as Australians of the Extreme scene more close to home.  Complementing the frenetic, mechanistic, cut-up style of the like-minded artists involved, the disc’s glossy, commercial production is a nonlinear blast of language and texture which sufficiently obscures authorship; the precious space allotted to each artist is used to thank one another, and the label repeatedly – an act of glad-handing which taken positively is a collective abdication of ownership in the true spirit of collaboration.  For this reason, attributions will not be made, and the granular barrage of this disc must speak for itself.  The first chunk of tracks follow a most aggressive pasting technique, splicing broadcast materials – pop music, speeches – between pitch-bent frequencies and hard loops in gabber anti-rhythm.  Given the brief length of these 1-3 minute tracks, the aggregate effect is easier to spot, and makes these little sketches (“Mute But Armed”, “Adroit”, “Cunning Duplicity”) something more expository.  Moving on to what appears to be the first of the “Kokoda Trails” trilogy (again, this sleeve is a fucking runestone), longer piano/string/drone samples offset the erratic contours of the blister-and-scratch laid overtop; where the former tracks suggest intense composition, these echo the movement and two-handedness of live performance.  By the final third of the disc, all sweetness and light – once the human element, then the symphonic sounds – has dropped out, and a confluence of the edit-heavy first block blends into the sustained attacks and recursion of the middle segments.  Pooling with blood into the final, 10 minute piece, the whole affair seems to (literally, sonically) materialize as it slows, revealing the manual sweeps, blows, and scrapes that the artist filters and affects in accelerated time.  In many ways a lot of classic Noise in a relatively new bottle, the disc has multiple options to offer the initiated despite its own prohibitions.

Now….This! CDr

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