Monday, September 17, 2007

SWORD HEAVEN / JASON ZEH AND DAVID REED (Little Miracles/Sick Bliss)

Stark split tape co-released by Mark Van Fleet’s label and Antwerp noise outpost Sick Bliss. Right away: WOW. Exquisite, ecstatic savagery from the Sword Heaven camp that only further sledgehammers into the ground how outstandingly, mythically brutalizing they can be. Their side is a demo version of the song “Tongues,” recorded straight to boombox, and the raw immediacy of the audio only helps it cut into the flesh that much faster. Machines drag across concrete with the scraping rage of victims being hauled to the SAW room while war drums pound out blood rhythms and doomed SOS signals. This is what SH do, and they do it fucking perfectly. The Zeh/Reed piece a live-to-minidisc set recorded in Cleveland and it explores a radically different fringe of the electric musical wasteland. Stretched tones shimmer while phasing clouds of waveforms bleed back and forth across the space…subliminal pan-dimensional rumbling lurches up from below and everything chimes together in a synergistic mirage of zen wobble. Eventually ebowed Oms materialize and some higher notes sparkle in the stratosphere but no element overly rocks the boat…order is maintained and the set closes on a mood of pensive hypnosis. A really stunning showing from start to finish. Neither label has a website (I think) so write the parties involved if you want one (you should).