156 is conducted by Adel Souto, who is a Cuban-born musician, multimedia artist, and writer. The outfit started in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood in 2010, but has recently relocated to the Florida Everglades.
Adel began playing music in the late 80s, and had formed or joined many punk and hardcore bands, plus contributing to several albums by other acts. He has written for his own fanzines starting in the early 90s, and has devoted pieces to numerous magazines, fanzines, and websites since. He has released several books, including a “best of”, and a chapbook on the subject of a 30-day vow of silence, while also having translated the works of Spanish poets. His work, both art pieces and photography, has shown in galleries in NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami, as well as in Europe, and South America. His music videos have been screened at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives, and he has lectured on the subject of occult influences in photography at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development's Department of Art and Art Professions.
WAX FRUIT began under a different name, with at least one CDr under its belt, probably around 2010. St. Louis couple Michaella and Dom pool together their lengthy experience in this project, which finds Michaella using her influences as a DJ/Synth Fest curator/bonafide record geek to fuse ideas with Dom, who did synth-based experimental music and noise under the name Sigulda for many years, as well as running Side Of The Sun Recordings for much of that time.
Wax Fruit is clearly inspired by early 80s minimal wave and synth pop, perhaps also some choice synth soundtracks and other things, but I think there are some vocal melodies that contribute something compelling to the genre(s) history, if not carefully crafted lyrics that can easily resonate with most humans in our nauseatingly well-informed period of time.
While there are a few tracks here that are instrumental in nature due to collaborations with hylidae, and although the total running time is less than 26 minutes, DROWNED BY THE WORLD WE LIVE IN still plays like an LP, with the distinct feeling that a story is being told, and that the listener is in good hands. In hopes of reaching a wider audience, DROWNED BY THE WORLD WE LIVE IN has been reissued by NO PART OF IT label from a pro-cassette edition from around 2018, which were also accompanied by CD demos in slimline cases.
Sterile Garden has been active since 2006, a project headed by Jacob DeRaadt, with and without regular collaborators. DeRaadt also runs the fantastic Basement Tapes label. His collective's output has evolved to include visual art and film. The project could be characterized by the use of primitive tape manipulation, blown-out field recordings, and just general good, old-fashioned industrial noise, but often without the regular gestures that have come to be constraints within the legacy of these mediums. Some people master the posturing of noise and experimental music; the hills and valleys can be predictable and reliably anticipated. Sterile Garden is even more amusical than those folks, with structures that often sound like archaeological excavations more than compositions.
With over 40 releases on labels such as Monorail Trespassing, No Rent, Dumpster Score, Fusty Cunt, and a recycled tape on RRRECORDS, Sterile Garden has weaved a diverse tapestry of mostly tape-based material, often traversing territory in or around the realms of sound collage, drone, and fluxus level material action. ACIDOSIS sees the project pursuing an updated approach to harsh noise, with DeRaadt's unique way of making his 4 track recordings sound like they were assembled in a burning basement, or dragged through a mud-pit.
To be short: repetition as a form of drone music, or ersatz machine sounds, have been part of the repertoire since the beginning. Here we have Zylo taking his more ambient leanings, which were never quite soothing, and often more abrasive in nature than most, to maybe more of a rational extreme. As part of a natural evolution, these tracks exhibit further leanings towards a dense drone atmosphere, although not in a typical style of looping synthesizers and hoping for the best.
Instead, there is a bit more adventure to these tracks, as they're not afraid to be abrasive or raw, and they don't stray far enough from the bounds of noise music to be considered pleasant by the academic crowd. Herein, one might hear string instruments, harpsichords, factory machines, insects, and the air pressure of hissing steam. However, sometimes one sound has been juxtaposed in a way so as to resemble another, or be quite indistinguishable through all of the layers of different sounds, which one hopes at times, would make for a "third voice" to appear. "The Universe..." sees Zylo's signature "failed minimalist" style manifest with what is ostensibly drone music, but in actuality is often jam-packed with layer upon layer of nuanced stereo activity.
This incarnation of Blood Rhythms features source material from Dave Phillips and Daniel Burke. Art by Bradley Kokay. Harpsichord was recorded by Blake DeGraw at Cornish College. Thanks to Christopher D. Turner.
This release is a reissue of an extremely limited CD from 2012. While it has the overall application of many harsh noise and heavy electronics artists, being that it is created mainly with guitar pedals, Chemtrails stands apart in that it has a wide cinematic curve, with wild crescendos and sharp, rhythmic patterns that sometimes lead to climactic and engaging soundscapes. One-Eyed Zatoichi was kind enough to elaborate on nature of the release:
"...it was based on a concept. I noticed that out in Colorado in the middle of nowhere, we had a continuous abundance of chemtrails in the sky. It bugged me not for the chemicals raining down on us, but for the haze left in the sky which directly affected my astronomy efforts at night.
Around that time, I was aware of various conspiracy sites that talked of the Chemtrail issue. While I'm not hardcore or rabid on the subject, I did have concerns and thought that chemtrails would be an interesting subject to create some noise after. Following some research, the first thing I did was to come up with titles for the pieces... ...on Chemtrails, I had the titles first and then created sounds to go with those titles, almost like creating a soundtrack to a word instead of an image.
While I came upon quite a few "happy accidents", there was usually clear intent when I was creating sounds. Thus, as you are listening to the pieces on Chemtrails, you can look at the title of the piece and I'm hoping you can see what I was trying to achieve. Also, the pieces themselves follow a path. From the people, to the idea of inoculating them, to the method of deployment, to the chemicals themselves, to the visible result, and finally the end result. With all the forethought that went into creating Chemtrails, I am close to considering it a 'Concept Album'...
...The piece Useless Eaters is from a quote by Henry Kissinger: "The elderly are useless eaters". He also said the world population needs to be decreased by 50%.
The photos on the front and back of the cd are photos I took from the [solar-powered, completely isolated] house in Colorado. Being at an elevation of 6800 feet, the jets overhead seemed to be a lot closer than when I lived in California. That is how I was able to take a clear shot of the jet flying overhead. Considering this and the sheer amount of chemtrails overhead on any given day, one could say that I was more directly influenced to 'speak out' about chemtrails than a more casual observer."
Eerie Cinematic Vignettes.
Haunting, serene, and at times unnerving like dreams of lovers long passed, entropy, and the death of hope. A collection of modulated strings, samples, and ambient sound collage by Washington state’s Kevin Lewis culled from unreleased selections by this magnificent composer, released August 2020 by the label No Part Of It (Chicago). In a word, perfect.
This release, which was released in a cassette edition by deadbeat Czech label Nova Alternativa, is now available on pro CDR in the states, because the label failed to send artist copies after over three years of waiting. I do not recommend ordering the cassette edition, and the label had requested not to have the full release on bandcamp because of it. So now, after two years of only being a single, the full release is available to stream, download, or purchase in PRO CDR format.
This is the second full-length collection of Upheaval versions. The first was released on cassette by Tymbal Tapes, and features versions 63-69. More than just drone material, this edition of "UPHEAVAL", traverses several different approaches, from soundtracky ambient "vistas" to abrasive industrial repetition.
Nital Etch, Credo In Deum, Blood Rhythms, Thirteen Hurts, and TROU were reviewed by The Critical Masses. Here is an excerpt about Credo In Deum's "Blood Soaked Sand"":
Nital Etch, Credo In Deum, Blood Rhythms, Thirteen Hurts, and TROU were reviewed by Vital Weekly. Read the reviews HERE.
Releases on the no part of it label were aired on the Signal-to-Noise radio program: Nital Etch and Thirteen Hurts! Also in there are guest appearances and tracks by Penderecki, Quicksails, Daniel Johnston, Peter Brotzmann, and more! Thanks to Nick Roseblade!
This long out of print cassette release has been reissued on pro CDR in a DVD case! Still Arvo's most musical work to date, but it's chaotic and noisy a lot of the time, too. Much of it was recorded in a closet, directly onto a tape recorder, during bouts of life-threatening insomnia. 2001-2003 ish.