The pace of releases issued on the new Australia Novichok label continues, noting that six 7”ep have been issued in 2021 already. Following below are reviews of two ep’s from the latest batch, with both issued in an edition of 150.
Krang Music / Browning Mummery – How I Want To …. Ronald Reagan (Extract) / Lament For Comrade Time 7”ep Novichok 2021
This 7”ep functions as a tribute to the late Australian percussionist and underground experimentalist John Murphy. The first side features a short excerpt of a longer work from John’s long-running Krang Music project, originally recorded and released in 1981. Being of a raw noise-industrial style, the tone sits at the mid to higher ranges, with a windswept and washes out lower end. Sonically it is an immediate headlong dive into sustained layered noise with a solid dose of industrial grit. With little in the way of tonal variation, it is a short but sweet homage to John’s early industrial experimentation.
Australian stalwart Browning Mummery (aka Andy Lonsdale) takes up the flip side, and is sonically completely different, and features the inputs of John’s wife Annie Stubbs (vocals) and further contributions from Julian Percy and Rob Cumings. Being far more song-oriented than Side A, Lament For Comrade Time it is perhaps most reminiscent of a 1980’s experimental industrial type. Framed around a loose bass line, mid-paced minimalist programmed beat, and smatterings of abstracted sounds, it is then strongly characterised by the lamenting but almost jazz-inflected vocals of Annie. Divergently engaging.
Psychward / Concentration – Morbid Paralysis / Deathmarch 7”ep Novichok 2021
Psychward, the solo project of Australian Thomas Miller leads off the split with Morbid Paralysis. Here it features tightly wound coils of charred noise and spitting static, which are framed around a central queasy oscillating tone. Ripping junk metal clatter and scrappy noise sonics add variety to the noise-industrial soundscape, while the overall feel is one of laborious control rather than psychotically unhinged. With the track abruptly cutting off rather than fading out, it concludes a short but very on-point track.
From what little information I can glean on Concentration, it is a new noise-industrial meets power electronics project of another Australian Larissa Kunst. On Deathmarch it features distortion which resembles distant thunderclaps, low bass rumble and a stilted death industrial-like pulse which acts as a backing to a (sampled?) poetic spoken voice. Yet that vocal element is smeared with just enough distortion so as to be difficult if not impossible to interpret, while late track further noise layers and metallic clangs give a slightly more chaotic edge. With a lo-fi and no-frills approach, it is a solid introduction to this project.