Rope Society – Dissolve MC Trapdoor Tapes 2015
David Tonkin (aka Isomer) has returned with his second release under the Rope Society moniker, noting this is his side project focusing on a mix of rough analog focused industrial noise and power electronics abuse. In an overarching sense the approach of Rope Society which could be described as David’s personal and current take on ‘classic’ hallmarks of early industrial/ power electronics cassette culture but also sidestepping any sort of cynical attempt to emulate an obvious ‘old-school’ sound.
‘Head Above Water’ commences the tape is relatively subdued fashion, with a low shuddering oscillation and semi-buried barked vocals before things really kick in with ‘Behavioural Interventions’ – a track of skuzzy, squalling and choppy industrialised noise with spoken vocals are positioned low in the mix and semi-mangled with echo treatment. A particular highlight of the tape comes in the form of the final track for Side A, where ‘Hate Campaign’ features a buzzing power electronic drone at its core which has a burrowing and corrosive sonic quality, as some more sporadic and deeply echoed metallic elements are gradually infused to building effect. A focussed and effective sound.
Side B features a further 3 tracks, where ‘Answered In The Negative’ is the first and being quite ‘post-mortem’ in sound – i.e. deep, muffled and distant sounding industrial noise clamour, with a great degree of echo and metallic heft, again with a gradually elevating intensity. ‘Eyes Shut Tight’ then function to amplify the tone again by featuring a straightforward singularity; incorporating a bass rumbling / squealing toned sonic mass with sporadic incursions of rough barked vocals. ‘Bestial’ is the final of 6 tracks, and concludes the tape on relatively subdued industrial noise terms, with an excellent breadth and tonal separation to its layers. As such the echoed vocals sit well off in the distance; the rumbling bass textures hover ominously overhead; with clattering metallic elements separated within the mid tonal spectrum. An excellent concluding piece.
Overall ‘Dissolve’ is a strong release and to this ear is more focused than the debut ‘One Word Definition’, however this impression is also driven by my own personal sonic preferences, where this tape sits towards dank, bass intoned industrial noise, rather than harsh noise elements which were more prominently displayed on the first tape. Also noting that a few more upcoming recordings from Rope Society are already in the pipeline (including releases on Tesco Organisation and Untergeschoss), meaning the project’s profile should continue to positively increase.