WHIRLING HALL OF KNIVES “Knukke” C40 (Cruel Nature Records)

Like the Butthole Surfers song of the same name, Whirling Hall of Knives is dissonant, edgy, dangerous … a little bit fun? A lot fun. I had “a lot fun” listening to “Knukke” (god, I hope that’s not pronounced like “Nookie”), the latest tape from the devious Irish duo of “Magnetize” and “The Last Sound.” Four lengthy pieces make up “Knukke,” with the final one taking up the entirety of side B. Despite all that fun, the “dissonant, edgy, dangerous” part of the equation caused me to barely escape with my life. Here is my story.

It’s a boring one, so I won’t tell it. I will tell you that “Knukke” begins with drums trying to stay in sync with one another before dropping out into some heavily distorted sonics in the bass spectrum. Feedback ensues, glorious feedback, then techno … just like the prophecies foretold. Then more noise. Then lo-fi ambience. Back to “fun” again – the surprises just keep on coming, and WHOK keeps us on our toes.

Side B’s “Single-Use Earth” is a full-on psychotic psychedelic sludge feast, a noise-rock epic that drifts (somehow – yeah, “drifts”) into moody minor-key ambient, truly showcasing the Knives’ abilities and imagination. This should not be a surprise: the duo has honed their approach over the years, with releases reaching back as far as 2006, so an intense, however bizarre, unity of purpose wouldn’t be at all out of the ordinary. “Knukke” delivers the goods.