Night Science – Issue V

NSV

Night Science – Issue V Cipher Productions 2014

Here we have the fifth instalment of Chris Groves’ Night Science magazine, some long 4 years since the last and although the release of new instalments does not happen at a rapid rate, each issue is absolutely worth the wait.  Issue V is the biggest issue yet spanning a massive 158 pages; 8 detailed and lengthy interviews; a monumental 92 pages of live show and album reviews; and topped off with a CD of tracks from interviewed projects.  Artists featured in this issue include: Alberich, Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar, Hal Hutchinson, Anemone Tube, Mlehst, Skin Graft, Kazuma Kubota and Fragment Factory.

Here we have the fifth instalment of Chris Groves’ Night Science magazine, some long 4 years since the last and although the release of new instalments does not happen at a rapid rate, each issue is absolutely worth the wait.  Issue V is the biggest issue yet spanning a massive 158 pages; 8 detailed and lengthy interviews; a monumental 92 pages of live show and album reviews; and topped off with a CD of tracks from interviewed projects.  Artists featured in this issue include: Alberich, Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar, Hal Hutchinson, Anemone Tube, Mlehst, Skin Graft, Kazuma Kubota and Fragment Factory.

Although Issue V follows a similar visual and stylistic template, there has been a subtle refinement of design, where everything is slightly more clean and defined in presentation. The print quality has also stepped up a notch too, which is slick clean and very professional. Regarding the interviews, these are all detailed and long-form, being written specifically for each artist and generally speaking demands at least a cursory level of knowledge of the underground music being covered to get the most from the questions and responses.  As a specific example the Hal Hutchison interview introduction makes reference to an earlier interview in Special Interests Magazine, thus using that as a ‘springboard’ for a continuing series of questions. Having read all interviews in detail, personally the one from Alberich, Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar, Hal Hutchinson and Anemone Tube made for most immersive reading (based on my listening preferences).

Regarding the reviews these are uniformly excellent as Chris is a strong and descriptive writer, where his writing style is sharp and focused, intelligent and insightful and covering a wide variety of known and obscured releases in a broad industrial/ death industrial, noise power electronics and experimental spheres. He also clearly holds strong opinions on what in his estimation are less focused elements of a particular release and is willing to state his view. Likewise for those items which I have reviewed myself, on occasion I noted some divergent opinions that Chris and I have, which made for interesting comparisons of opinion and re-evaluation of said releases.

Moving onto the CD, to my mind this really functions mostly as a ‘taster’ for interviewed acts if readers are not familiar with their work, thus I have chosen not to review it as if were a typical compilation album. However I will say that in this day and age when most music is available to sample at the click of a mouse, it is commendable that Chris has continued to issue the sampler CD as part of the magazine.

For me personally, the strongest element of Night Science is the fact that Chris’ listening preferences contains only a partial crossover with mine, given a large portion of his listening is firmly entrench in the noise and related fields. This then means Night Science contains lots of lesser known projects and reviewed releases, making for very informative and immersive reading and listening (rather than simply me reading interviews and reviews of artists/ albums I might have covered myself). Without question Night Science is absolutely one of the strongest underground industrial/ noise/ power electronics print magazines out there and is mandatory reading, regardless of you initially recognize interviewed artists or not.

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