Harvesting #5: Have we passed the test or are we nostilevo? [Part II]

Time for another edition of Harvesting. This time, it’s Part II of the nostilevo anthology. A pretty obscure label from the former industrialized town of Detroit. Since the first part wasn’t that big, I’ve decided to enlarge it further. Four artists and releases from the nostilevo label will accompany you this dark and rainy October-night. Those that are included in this part are the following: Craow, Siobhan, and Slaymaker Welding. I must warn you about the nature of this music, it isn’t for those of you that are experience an excessive headache right now. So, if you’re not, you shall look no further – because this is some of the hardest experimental music I’ve heard in a while. Before you move on to the music and the reviews, you should check out their page over here. Brace yourself, because this is going to be one hell of a ride!

Craow – C-Bank

What could this be? It sounds like 8-bit meets industrialized havoc, squeezed into a barrel of power electronics. This is Craow and the release C-Bank, which will be out tomorrow on the 7th of October. It feels like Craow issues a great big chunk of lost industrial with this tape. It certainly feels like that, when you listen to the first song “No Time“. Whirling mechanical noises, a sturdy base drum and monotone meets monologue. At times it even feels glitchy, but it’s hard to put any weight in categorizing this. The total mesmerizing sound of the past, combined with the wickedness of experimentalism. It’s not an exaggeration when I say I just felt the end of the fucking world, like pieces of earthly matter crumbling beneath me, incorporated with total anarchy and chaos. There’s such a contrast between the first song and the second song on the album, because “Square Blocks & Dead End Streets” feels like some retro-80’s meeting cold wave darkness.

Maybe this is the part where they battle their way through many levels of alien forces. Further into the song, wailing vocalists make their entrance. It feels like a weird combination, but it actually works. Somehow, it feels like they’re putting on a serenade just for me, personally. And since I love the 80’s so much, I’m reminded of the Streetfighter soundtrack for some odd reason. Maybe I’m just deluded, or maybe it’s just that. I think I’m pretty off to be honest, since it was released in the 90’s and I’m here babbling about the 80’s. However, it might just be the fusion of the two that make this great. Also, the lack of a conventional approach to it, with anarchy as a motto but controlled chaos as a secondary objective. I’m impressed by the album as a whole, but those tracks are probably my absolute favorites.

Get yourself a copy from their bandcamp. Digital-only download for five dollars, a physical cassette for eight dollars. It’s also limited to 100 copies, so snatch one as soon as you can. There are some really mesmerizing tracks on that album, and you should have it as a cassette so you can brag in front of your friends. Support their cause and buy one, it’s not that expensive to be honest.

Siobhan – Mind Court

This is not the first time that I write about unconventional stuff, but there’s also a guy named Siobhan whom releases some of that stuff. His release Mind Court is a real genre-hopper and is made up out of two different sides. Side A and Side B, which means that there’s a big possibility for including things you like. On “Side A” of the coin, there’s a lot of things happening. Starting off with some lo-fi lounge that sounds really funky, which transgresses into an abomination that could be called “industrial“. I like the wide array of different genres that are mashed together within this Side, it leaves nothing to the imagination and actually sounds like a good mixtape. My favorite parts might not be the skull bashing industrial side of it, one of my favorite parts actually consist of some hard-hitting electro. No, not that stuff that’s being put up and sold as electro, I’m talking about the real deal. Robotic, fat base drums and bone crushing beats. At first it starts off with a siren and ambiance, consistently pushing through a harder sound and letting the steam go, which drops the fattest bass drum you should ever hear in your life.

Reminding me of a lo-fi version AS1 at times, but with the heaviness and girth of Ra-X. Since this bad boy is lo-fi, it makes the sound-scape much more enjoyable. It also feels like the drum is going to pierce my thick skull at any given time. “Side B” also has some memorable passages, I like the down-tempo techno one, crushing everything in its way. There’s also a deeper passage which sounds like something in between darkwave and goth rock, with hard-hitting industrial at the core of it. Shooting lasers, guided missiles and an overall bombastic experience, if you listen to it as a whole. Everything neatly packed into lo-fi, for your listening pleasure.

You get the same prices as you’d get for the other tape. There’s the five dollars for a digital download-only release and eight dollars for the limited edition cassette. Latter one includes a digital download version of it also, and the cassette is limited to 100 copies. It will be released on the 9th of October and I hope you’ll be one of the first to get it. So get yourself over there and order it, follow the link at the end of this sentence. My mind is starting to crash on me right now, but I’ll have to endure the other two releases also.

Slaymaker Welding – Ov Melt Ruin

It’s probably one of the more loud releases I’ve covered so far. Going to the extreme and pushing it to the limit, with Slaymaker Welding and the release: Ov Melt Ruin. How does it sound when you hit different objects against metal or other surfaces, do they create a reasonable amount of noise? The answer is: yes. Experimenting in between the barriers of glitch and power electronics. Some industrial is also included, and can be found within the first side of the mix: “Side A“. My ears tell me that this music is just pure noise and nothing more than that. But my brain begs to differ, you can hear distinct noises as they hit each surface at different speeds and different angles. The more metallic and enduring noise gets switched out with a more electronic one, as if there are sparks flying across the pavement. If electricity can make noise, which it can, this would be the embodied sound of it.

Listening more closely to it, you feel like there’s something haunted going on in the sound-scape. Sounding like a resonating heavy metal sound, quickly delving deep into a sea of metal. No, not the conventional heavy metal – but heavy metal as in the metal itself and not the genre. As I’m starting to get into it, it feels like Side A is much harder to get into than “Side B“, because the b-side of the tape sounds like something that could be much closer to the general sound of power electronics. My ears are being torn apart and I finish it by listening to the b-side and discovering a whole other side to it. I feel like such an amateur when describing it, but it could be described as: you don’t tread into these lands, they tread on you. When the noises fade out, it feels like I’m being blessed, because I couldn’t endure that much of it to be honest. But I guess that’s what the producer of this music would want me to feel, like I’ve experienced something beyond normality. And that’s how it feels, now I’m going to rest my ears for some time.

I was going to take the last release in consideration, but since my ears and my brain need a little rest from this, it will show up somewhere else. Fetch your own copy of it, digital-only download for five dollars as usual and eight dollars for the limited edition cassette. Limited to 100 copies. You should get this if you’re into this kind of music, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it. Since I’m not into it, I’ll be enjoying the aesthetics of it instead. There’s some damn fine esthetic components in this release and I believe it could become a collectors item at some point. Get it over here.

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