156/KNURL “Split” C40 (Humanhood Recordings)


The nasty “The Collapse of It All (Pts. I-III)” by 156 on the A-side of this hellish split is twenty minutes of creeping drone and industrial rhythm and piercing feedback, all rammed together for maximum discomfort. That's what 156 does though, you know? There’s never a moment when you can relax, never a point when you shouldn’t be on your toes. And that’s just good preparation – you can’t take anything in stride with something called “The Collapse of It All,” because it’s just going to crumble to bits and you’re going to be standing there looking like an idiot if you’re not ready for it. 156’s side crumbles to piano notes instead of bits.
Knurl’s “Retalophase” is even less subtle and stable than 156’s side – and that’s saying something! Knurl is a noisy noisenik, and his interest in replicating the sound of metal objects in his work continues here, as these twenty minutes of sheer grindage act to hollow out any solid matter that’s left in my head. Seriously, Knurl clears everything away, all the pesky brain and skull and whatnot, sandblasting it all to a smooth sheen. Piggybacking nicely on 156’s “The Collapse of It All,” my personal human head collapses in only one part, although it stays erect and alert throughout “Retalophase.” But as soon as the sound of all those seizing gears and heavy friction ends, it’s like a tent coming down. It’s a wonder I’ve been able to type at all with this happening to me in real time.