If its associations with Spinal Tap hadn't left the phrase with a lingering whiff of ridiculousness, this record easily could have been called None More Black. But Sheer Hellish Miasma works pretty well too: the bulk of the album is composed of a grinding, grating digital churn that makes Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music sound like easy listening. The first moments of opening track "Turning Point," the generic system bleeps of a CD player being rapidly advanced, work like a kind of practical joke: played back extremely quietly, they send you reaching for the volume knob — and just when you've raised it, the assault begins. A transcription of the music would probably look like a collection of Batman-styled onomatopoeia — Pow! Krak! Kazaa! — but with each phoneme granulated and time-stretched into a kind of concrete poetry whose subject is the Apocalypse rendered as the eternal now.
By Andy Battaglia on 12.19.13 in Reviews
Musically speaking, there's regular, garden-variety "heavy" and then there's heavy — the kind of weight that seems to give rise to its own sense of gravity. The latter counts as a specialty of both Stephen O'Malley and M...
By Andy Beta on 11.07.12 in Reviews
Over the last few decades, wheezing analog synthesizers, tranquil New Age textures and the bracing noise-cassette tape-trading underground have all enjoyed minor renaissances. In Emeralds, these three distinct trends con...
By Andrew Parks on 06.21.10 in Reviews
Don't let the nihilistic noise at the start of Oneohrtix Point Never's fourth album fool you: once the dust settles and the speaker-stabbing effects subside, Returnal segues into a series of dream sequences and b...
By Philip Sherburne on 12.22.14 in Features
"If you want to know what song made me feel most alive this year, that’s easy."