Cruel Nature

Avi C. Engel – ‘Too Many Souls’
Avi C. Engel is an independent non-binary artist and musician based in Toronto. Their most recent album, “Too Many Souls”, features voice, acoustic guitar, gudok (a 3-string Slavic bowed instrument), percussion, and melodica. Genre-agnostic, handmade music that is playful, sorrowful, and ecstatic. Plucked and bowed stringed instruments and organic ramshackle wooden percussion build sensory worlds that coalesce with Engel’s sung-poetry.

Aidan Baker – ‘Everything Is Like Always Until It Is Not’
Aidan Baker is a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist from Toronto (now resident in Berlin) with the electric guitar his primary instrument. Using prepared and alternate methods of playing the guitar, along with various electronic effects, Baker creates music which generally falls within the ambient/experimental genre but draws on influences from rock, electronic, classical, and jazz. A highly prolific artist, Baker has released numerous recorded works, both solo and with various group projects, including Nadja, ARC, Caudal and Mnemosyne. The third solo album Aidan has released on Cruel Nature, “Everything” works well as a bridge between the free-form jazz ambience of “Stimmt” (2021) and the bass-heavy fuzz of “Tenebrist” (2022). It’s still heavy on the low end but with added shoegaze/noise-rock ambient ethereal atmospherics.

Nnja Riot – ‘Violet Fields’
Violet Fields is the new studio album from Nnja Riot, the solo project of multidisciplined London-based artist, Lisa McKendrick . A fusion of noise compositions, darkwave aesthetics, and an experimental attitude. McKendrick interweaves the raw energy of noise with melodic layers and pulsating beats to create shamanic experimental songscapes.

H.R. Giger Counter – ‘What Do The Atoms Hold For Us?’
H.R. Giger Counter is a new electronica/ambient project from Andrew Gladstone-Heighton (waheela, Radio Free Ul-quoma) and Jeremy Hunt (QOHELETH, Aint Pancakes), two salvagepunks with a shared love of classic 20th century sci-fi and horror pulp media. Using found sounds, samples from obsolete futures and discarded machines, they present across 12 tracks, this collection of future-gazing instrumentals conjuring a world spun off of QOHELETH’s Black Kite Broadcasts, bringing to life one of the imagined bands from that record. As part three of four in the NoiseFeast release series, this album hopes and dreams of a world where systems of oppression have been dismantled, humanity has rediscovered its worth, and now moves in greater communion with creation itself.

The Last Sound – ‘Veered’
The Last Sound is Barry M, one half of Irish techno mercurial noiseniks Whirling Hall Of Knives. “Veered” started life in 2006, when the early collaborations that would lead to WHOK were just forming. Until 2010, the bulk of the album was developed in the background but remained unfinished until 2023, when it was dug out of the archives and brought to life in 2024, providing a great document to a period of transition between TLS and WHOK but also standing up as a timeless The Last Sound album. “Veered is, from a certain angle, a hazy, corroded time capsule filled with darkly euphoric artifacts from the macrolabyrinth… The first track was started in 2006, roughly around the point when elusive electro/drone don Magnetize suggested trying a one-off live collaboration (this happily developed into an ongoing concern, later named Whirling Hall Of Knives). From then on, broadly speaking as the WHOK sound grew darker, The Last Sound became a bit lighter, incorporating more normal song structures and vocals, so Veered represents this transition period. Nine of the ten tracks are from 2006-2010 (with one replacement added from 2017). As an album it wasn’t shelved but it wasn’t quite finished at the time either, so in 2023, rather than dusting it off, some extra dust was added (regular and fairy) to bring it wheezing into 2024. Apart from a 2023 mastering by Alan O’Boyle, most of it is left untouched, but there are EQ enhancements/degradations and other subtle augmentations here and there. ‘Cold Is The Brittle Hand’ previously appeared on a 2010 EP, and a distorted, looped version of ‘Outskirting’ appeared in video form in March 2020 as a harbinger of imminent lockdown psychosis. An ever-evolving ‘Drugged On The Rugged Plain’ became the closer in nearly every one of the few live appearances from 2007 onwards (though the version here is very close to the original), and ‘DOTRP Macrolabyrinth’ shows some of the paths the original track could have taken. Otherwise, everything else is “new”.” (Barry, TLS 2024)


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