She Spread Sorrow – Midori

She Spread Sorrow – Midori CD Cold Spring Records 2018

She Spread Sorrow is a solo Italian project fronted by Alice Kundalini, with Midori being her third album since 2015. In making reference to the first two albums, those were broadly promoted as being of a death industrial and power electronics type, however in truth Alice’s approach was a far more restrained and minimalist take on such styles. Thus by forgoing the typical outwardly aggressive elements, She Spread Sorrow’s sound was (and is) framed around creepy and vaguely disturbing atmospheres. To then speak of Midori, it has taken the base template of earlier material and added a heavy dose of ritual dark ambient tonalities to further widen the sound of the project. The trademark vocals also remain as a constant, where they are clearly recognizable for their drawling whispered style, being delivered in English with an obvious Italian inflected accent. In an overarching sense Midori is an album of tensile widescreen ambient soundscapes with smatterings of noisier textures and sonic elements, but those elements are clearly dialed down in tonal intensity when present. Additionally, Midori has embedded a greater use of orchestral synth pads also pushes the album towards dark ambient expression, yet are also used sparingly for added impact.

The evolution of She Spread Sorrow’s sound is then clearly demonstrated on album opener Escape, being an excellent piece of orchestral washes, muted drones, vague percussive elements, with whispered vocals mixed upfront. Following track Night One is a heavier and grim bass addled piece, but ritual chimes give it a differing overall sensibility. That ritual aspect is further amplified on The House through the use of a central ritual percussive texture against an undercurrent of minimalist layered drones. Who Are You, Midori? is of note as it features the most varied instrumentation of the album, including sweeping orchestral strings, a distant plodding piano create a darkly cinematic atmosphere, coupled with sporadic percussive hits and the trademark vocals. To The Light is an album standout based on its darkly moody sweeping orchestral framework and clearly of a neo-classical tinged dark ambient offering, while the album concludes with End of Midori, and has an almost abstract dark jazz tone due to the slow rhythmic percussion set to sweeping sub-orchestral drones.

Clearly building on what has come before, Midori is the strongest work yet from She Spread Sorrow, being an expertly crafted album which has an expanded sound palate and feels to have been created with a greater degree of compositional confidence. Clean visuals and design of the digi-pack cover rounds out the visual presentation, with full lyrics included to further outline its thematic and conceptual story-line which is clearly implied through the titles of the album’s six tracks.

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Noise Receptor Journal Issue No.1 – third and final edition now available

Noise Receptor Journal Issue No.1 – third and final edition now available

By way of background, the first edition of Issue No.1 was printed in 200 hand numbered copies, followed by a second edition (unnumbered) of 150 copies. However during the printing process of the second edition, the printer accidentally excluded the inside front cover and inside back covers, with these ‘misprinted’ copies having been sitting in a box unused.

As there has been substantial ongoing interest in Issue No.1, and that the first and second editions have completely sold out, I have decided to use the 150 ‘misprinted’ copies as the third and final edition, where the missing pages have been glued in as ‘fold-out’ pages (refer to images below).

Copies can now be ordered here: http://noisereceptor.bigcartel.com/product/noise-receptor-journal-issue-no-1


 

Anemone Tube – The Three Worlds: Allegory of Vanity/Forget Heaven/Vanity of Allegory

Anemone Tube – The Three Worlds: Allegory of Vanity/Forget Heaven/Vanity of Allegory 3xCD Box The Epicurean/La Esencia 2017

Anemone Tube has been rather prolific in recent years involving main albums and collaborative splits; however, this triple CD does not contain new material, but functions to draw together a collection of earlier out of print and previously unreleased material spanning the years 1997 to 2013.

With the tracks on CD1 and CD2 dating broadly from the period of 1997 to 2000, they are notably looser and less refined, but do still retain a semblance of structure and direction, rather than being overtly chaotic. Overall there is a sense of the tracks being sprawling in scope, built around atmospheric yet abrasive sonics and fleeting musical moments which are revealed through synth washes, sampled Asiatic strings, clean-plucked guitar, pulsing programming etc. (depending on the track).  An overall impression of this material is that the production sits towards the murkier grey-toned end of the sonic spectrum, which is particularly highlighted when compared to the tonal clarity of current material. Another observation to make is that as the material featured on the first two discs is from the earlier phase of the project, it is perhaps more typically representative of the abstract post-industrial sounds being produced at the time. As such the material on the first two discs is specifically interesting in providing context to the early developmental phase and is equally demonstrative of how far Anemone Tube have progressed with their sound and approach to composition and production on current releases.

With the first two discs providing a history lesson on the project, the material featured on the third disc more readily resembles the current sound and direction of Anemone Tube (six tracks are from the 2007 to 2013 period, with a further three from 1998 to 1999, but only released in 2013). The first unreleased piece, Obscure the Sun, is grim and ominous in tone and expertly blends field recording elements, mid-toned distortion and melodious synth lines; it unites nicely with the following three tracks which are previously unreleased pieces from the Death Over China recording sessions. While these pieces are equally complex and as engaging as the material on Death Over China, they are notably different for their distorted ferocity, junk metal crunch and pulsing structures (it’s then understandable why they were not included on the main album). The following four tracks are broadly similar in that they are short tracks which opt for a looser and sprawling, partly attacking, industrial noise approach. This then leaves the final track From Anthropocentrism to Demonocentrism II to conclude the set with a more recognized (and excellent) piece of heavily-treated field recording elements, invasive distortion, and looped melody-tinged drones.

On the visual side of things, the beautifully designed packaging, highly conceptual imagery and overall slick and refined presentation functions to unite these various recordings under a coherent banner. Available in two editions, including three separate CDs each in six panel digi-file (300 copies) or as a special edition hand numbered edition in a cardboard sleeve including a poster, sticker, and patch with logo (100 copies).


Editor’s postscript note: The above review was prepared based on receiving a pre-release digital promo, thus I did not have the complete artwork and packaging in hand at the time it was written.  However, now that I have received the full physical release, I have noted it functions to more clearly separate the work into its three parts, which includes separate covers with individual artwork and liner notes that allows the strength of each disc to shine through. I have also found it necessary to reevaluate my prior comments above regarding the first and second CD’s, particularly as this new found appreciation has revealed far more variation and sonic detailing in the earlier works than the above review might otherwise suggest. So while each disc can certainly stand on their own, it also reinforces the impression of this triple album as a strongly focused conceptual set and is best appreciated in its intended totality.

Noise Receptor Journal Issue No.5 released!

Issue No.5 of Noise Receptor Journal has just been released on 5th October, 2017

Copies can be ordered via: http://noisereceptor.bigcartel.com/

CONTENT: In depth interviews with: Anemone Tube, Armour Group, Human Larvae, Inade, Trapdoor Tapes Young Hustlers. Tower Transmissions VI live report with photos (8 pages). Two ‘visual essays’ by Anemone Tube, spanning 14 pages.

FREE CD: All direct orders will receive a copy of the newly released Cold Spring Records Sampler CD ‘PYRE’, featuring 15 tracks of Industrial, Esoteric, Dark Ambient, Ritual, Japanese Noise, Drone, Power Electronics, Doom, Death Industrial, Experimental. More details here.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: here.

Pre-orders for Noise Receptor Journal Issue No.5 starts now!

PRE-ORDERS FOR NOISE RECEPTOR JOURNAL ISSUE No.5 STARTS NOW.

The new has just been submitted to the printer, with a target release date of 16th October.

Copies can be pre-ordered here: http://noisereceptor.bigcartel.com/

CONTENT
In depth interviews with: Anemone Tube, Armour Group, Human Larvae, Inade, Trapdoor Tapes Young Hustlers.
Tower Transmissions VI live report with photos (8 pages).
Two ‘visual essays’ by Anemone Tube, spanning 14 pages.
70 in depth music reviews (ambient/ industrial/ experimental / power electronics etc.)

FORMAT
A5 Format.
Professional grey-scale print. ‘perfect bound’ spine, with matt laminate, thick card stock cover.
100 pages in length.

International distribution: TBC, but expected to include:

USA: Malignant Records, Tesco Distro, Alalog Worship, Vacation Vinyl, Heaven Street/ Material World
UK: Cold Spring Records, Unrest Productions
Germany: Tesco Organisation, Deutsche Asphalt, Schattenmann’s ZineZone, The Epicurian, Loki Foundarion/ Deep Audio
Finland: Freak Animal, Aural Hypnox, Filth & Violence
Sweden: Tordon Ljud, Reverse Alignment
Norway: Where Frost Reign
France: La Plaque Noir

FREE CD: All direct orders will receive a copy of the newly released Cold Spring Records Sampler CD ‘PYRE’, featuring 15 tracks of Industrial, Esoteric, Dark Ambient, Ritual, Japanese Noise, Drone, Power Electronics, Doom, Death Industrial, Experimental. More details via: http://coldspring.co.uk/2016/09/va-pyre-cold-spring-sampler-cd/