Aischrolatreia – Sentient Prison MC Fieldwork 2013
This is the debut tape for the American project Aischrolatreia and associated label Fieldwork where it seems the same two individuals are behind both entities. Noting Fieldwork’s mission statement that they are a: “NYC based label for confrontational and unique sound work on analogue formats”, this professional duplicated tape and cover fits the bill perfectly, given the presentation is slick and visually grim in equal measures. As for the sonics, the tape presents an album’s worth of grinding noise and industrial debris strewn soundscapes (4 lengthy tracks spanning 40 minutes). The overall tone is one that verges on loosely constructed power electronics aggression, but also holds a clear affinity in style and sound to the Swedish ‘post-mortem’ project Alfarmania and associated morbid industrial noise cassette culture.
Essentially a dank claustrophobia permeates all aspects of the sound, where fractured, churning factory machine rhythms and grinding industrial filth proliferate. Although ‘noise’ is used as a descriptor, this however does not verge anywhere near HNW territory, rather there is tonal separation of noise layers to allow a breadth of sound with room to breathe (yet to further qualify this, the atmosphere of ‘Sentient Prison’ is akin to breathing a tainted atmosphere of choking smoke and ash). As such this is obscure analogue worship of shuddering distortion and squalling noise, which are presented as loosely constructed arhythmic industrial soundscapes. Sporadic incursions of anguished vocals are also evident yet relegated to another layer in the oppressive sonic mass, thus with an unhurrued and calculated approach it generates an atmosphere of slow brooding menace despise its outwardly jagged tonality.
With the name ‘Aischrolatreia’ roughly translating to: “the cult of the obscene; the worship of filth; a devotion to or worship of filth and obscenity”, the chosen moniker could not have been better suited to the project. Thus in a no-frills capacity ‘Sentient Prison’ is a solid, gritty and oppressive tape, and one which highlights both Aischrolatreia as a project and Fieldwork as a label to keep an interested eye on.