Review: Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin are both well known for their intricate, neo-classical drones. The former has released one of the best experimental albums of the last five years, the enchanting Ravedeath, 1972 while the latter goes by the name of Oneohtrix Point Never, an alias which has resulted in the formidable Replica LP. Both artists are meticulous experimenters of sound, and although the LP opens with the relatively gentle "Uptown Psychedelia", a winding collection of synths being disrupted by chaotic explosions, it's quickly dismantled by more apocalyptic pieces such as "Instrusions" and "GRM Blue II", where the duo carefully place the tranquillity of soft pads next to the doom of lurid feedback noises. But it's the long and continuously evolving sounds of tracks like "Racist Drones" and "Grey Geisha" that shine through most brightly, and the title track "Instrumental Tourist" is a carefully detailed mutation of timbres and atmospherics. This is the mature side of noise and drone, shifting Hecker and Lopatin into deeper, more treacherous waters but still retaining a strong musical foothold, and is exactly the sort of thing we want to see from these two great talents.
Review: Pete Swanson, formerly of Yellow Swans, continues to merge noise and techno with ear splitting results on the Punk Authority EP for Software Recording Co. Last seen blowing synapses with the triumphant Pro Style EP, a distinctive looking and sounding release for the Type label, Swanson evidently is looking to surpass that attempt to merge his background in ear piercing noise with the rhythmic tropes of techno with this four track release. Allegedly named in homage to the 80s Guttenberg classic Police Academy, the Punk Authority EP has wisely been daubed "deformed warehouse techno" by Software with a "vomited pulse half-heard through a Stuttgart toilet stall" at its heart. Such vivid descriptions are well justified on the basis of Swanson's productions, most notably the final 12 minute track "Life Ends At 30? which we advise you approach with caution (and the bass turned down).