Screloma – Dirt MC Vanity Recordings 2020
Screloma – Rotten Sarkoma MC Vanity Recordings 2020
Screloma is a Japanese solo industrial noise project Jun-ichi Takahashi operating since the early 2000’s. Yet these two tapes do not feature new material, rather are reissues from the earliest phase of the project, namely the debut Dirt from 2004 and the sophomore Rotten Sarkoma from 2008.
Straight out of the gate Dirt, displays a thick and punishing industrial ‘rhythm and noise’ approach which was very much in vouge in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and catagorised by labels such as HANDS and ANT-ZEN. Given its original issue of Dirt in 2004 it place it very much the middle of the movement of that style at the time. Featuring over the top mid to fast paced clanging metallic beats, swirling noise and thick pulsing basslines, the sound is still nowhere near the ‘over the top’ sound of another Japanese industrial project Dissecting Table. With each of the six tracks which make up Dirt exceeding fives minutes in length, the longest track Skum-Teck is the longest at nine minutes and by doing away with a driving beat and dialing up on the distortion is the sonically most freeform. Likewise, although Rosten provides some early respite with a slow elevating intro, but soon enough it launches headlong into a chaotic maelstrom of fast pummelling beats, throbbing bass, air raid siren tones and lashings of distortion.
Released four years after Dirt, Rotten Sarkoma immediately displays a reorientation in sound and approach from industrial ‘rhythm and noise’, to a hasher and more freeform noise and power electronics frame of reference. Beats are present, yet are buried under a plethora of distortion, and wile bass is also present, it is generally not as a central driving element, thus the greater mood is one of rough and blustering industrial noise / power electronics with occasional random samples and vocals making an appearance. In fact, the main stylistic link between the two tapes is the new hash noise blasted version of Skum-Teck II [At 20000V], which is the most divergent track to the rest of the material on Rotten Sarkoma, being partially structured, spitting and fierce material, yet which also knows when to show moments of moody restraint. Atomic Test is a particular standout of mid-paced swaying loop, charred vocals force-fed through warbling distortion effect. Nuclear Winter is another standout with its slow pounding oil barrel and freeform metal type percussive approach, where the scorched vocals are rendered as a layer of noise.
Perhaps my general appreciation of the material featured on Dirt comes for the perspective of it being a heady ‘blast from the past’, rather than something I would typically seek out to listen to today. While on the other hand Rotten Sarkoma clearly feels to have a far greater individualistic / stylistic bent and more closely aligns with my current listening preferences. As for presentation, each tape is pro-duplicated with pro-printed case and j-card, and limited to run of only 100 copies each.