Gruntsplatter/Slowvent – “Split Release” CD
Limited to 500 – Released December 1998 – Sold Out
This marks the first CD release for CRIONIC MIND. GRUNTSPLATTER provide 30 minutes of grim Noise Ambient and darkened isolationist textures. Rich with subtlety and introspective horror. SLOWVENT make their debut appearance with 30 minutes of viscous Death Industrial. With thick, low end electronics, sluggish rhythmic distortions and subterranean atmospheres grind forth. The projects compliment each other well, while remaining distinct.
Audio Samples… Coming Soon
It appears that the US is finally getting its act together in terms of producing some good Death Industrial projects. On this split GRUNTSPLATTER is up first, opening with some damn heavy bass rumblings, manipulations and slow keyboard tones, before exploring some noisier, semi-structured textures on the following track “Ascending Marrow”. “Bloodsoil” is slightly more atmospheric, holding a somewhat random sound held together again by the use of a slow keyboard passage, reminding me slightly of VOND’s “Green Eyed Demon” CD. “Gravemound” has a more ominous sound that is gradually raised on a base of sound akin to a distant tornado. Some deep factory sounds and manipulated electronics help to fully flesh out the track, however I feel the track is alittle muddied overall because of the amount of sound sources used. Despite this small criticism this is one of the best tracks GRUNTSPLATTER have on offer. The final track for GRUNTSPLATTER is “The Prophetic Maw” which again uses a basis of multi layered, muddied sound that has comparison to the German project DRAPE EXCREMENT. The second half of the 60min. disc is by SLOWVENT and from the self titled explosive volcanic opener, it shows a great mixture od Death Industrial and more Noise Ambience. Here the track is looped and repetitive over it’s 6minutes. “Spectral Violence” has a random experimental Noise edge, not unlike what ATRAX MORGUE is producing with his MORDER MACHINE side project. “The Cold Slugs” uses a subdued repetitive Death Industrial basis while random factory clangs and rumbles appear sporadically. Gradually the looped structure subsides leaving the sporadic tones as another loop gradually rises up. “Rust Resurrection” is short and simple again using a straight forward repetitive guise. The final track for both SLOWVENT and the CD is “Impaired Descent” which chops and changes from noisy ATRAX MORGUE styled electronics to more Death Industrial moments. For a debut CD for this label the packaging is well presented and laid out, using the obligatory black and grey tones. Given the promise that these two projects show, I will be interested to see what both of these projects come up with in future releases.
SCRIPTURES E-ZINE #1
I was very happy to see this one arrive seeing as how Glass Throat Recordings RUHR HUNTER/GRUNTSPLATTERCD was a favorite from last year,also noting that it is the first CD release by GRUNTSPLATTER’s Scott Candey’s Crionic Mind label.First up is GRUNTSPLATTER who start things off on a somber note with the icy cold “The Flagellant”,breaking quickly into a noisier piece closer to side project BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA aptly titled”Ascending Marrow”. With this release we see GRUNTSPLATTER shape-shift into a minimal ambient beast,that broadens and thickens as the tracks progress.While it has less going on inside the structures,they are more focused on depth and fullness.It’s not like all is completely different,it seems all the familiar pieces are here,the puzzle is just put together differently. A good step forward for this act to watch out for. Up next is newcomer SLOWVENT, representing his first release. The self titled first track wastes no time getting down to business and setting the tone for what’s to follow.Levels peak as noise Explosions erupt from the speakers.The majority ov the material presented here is a weird combination ov harsh, peaked out white noise that is structured in such a way that it becomes a dark ambient listening experience, putting you firmly in the same zone. Even though this has some harsh and noisy things going on it isn’t the newest MERZBOW rip off by any means,this is so much more listenable than that.It will be very interesting to what comes next for SLOWVENT, seeing as how this first taste already shows some masterful song crafting.
KDVIATIONS “Spring 99”
GRUNTSPLATTER present here 5 bits of minimal, noisy dark ambient. imagine huge, roaring bonfires with shadowy figures skulking about carrying dead things. a bit of tasteful synth work adds that extra brooding touch to “The Flagellant” and “Gravemound”. Well done, creepy stuff. the six SLOWVENT tracks that follow are far more abrasive than the GRUNTSPLATTER half, but not so much that i would call it “harsh”. shifting distorted textures give way to odd drones, feedback, and the occasional looped rhythm, making it far more engaging than the GRUNTSPLATTER material, which works better as background music. SLOWVENT’s “Impaired Descent” is brutal. limited to 500 copies.
This split release is the first CD release (after a couple of tape releases) from San Francisco’s Crionic Mind; it is, hopefully, a sign of more to come. GRUNTSPLATTER is Scott E. Candey, who also heads Crionic Mind; the GRUNTSPLATTER materiel here consists of thick, concrete on concrete excretions that create a dense, grinding wall of noise, deep into the heart of final destruction (Armageddon through the windshield, wind-swept and radioactive); in most cases, to add the proper dramatic flair, end-of-the-world synths compliment the noise, a combination forged in the flames of the inferno. Jonathan Lang manipulates sound as SLOWVENT. The sounds he mangles are from the same concrete decimated landscape bulldozed by GRUNTSPLATTER, but he tends to gnaw on the concrete, scratch and tear, somehow trying to escape the inevitable binds of destruction; no matter how much he tries, though, hammering on the concrete with metallic implements or chipping with feedback squeals, destruction looms menacingly over his shoulder. And it is destruction that is the prominent focus here, both bands wallowing in the distorted radiance of Pandemonium’s impending reign. Powerful stuff, indeed! (More, please…)
GRINDING INTO EMPTINESS
The split release tactic is very common with noise music, an incestuous way of releasing material in an already close-knit scene. In fact all three of GRUNTSPLATTER’s releases to date have been shared with other artists. The driving force behind both GRUNTSPLATTER and the Crionic Mind label, Scott Candey, wastes no time in beginning this shared hour of noise, the din of carefully distorted drones abruptly lurching from the disk. A mask of restrained distortion envelopes every semblance of a melody, almost like adding pepper to a meal. Deep drones weigh the tracks down with their dense rumbles. If one was to leave a microphone on the deck of a small ship in the middle of a Pacific rainstorm, rain-spiked wind ripping through the crashing waves, you might end up with an organic version of some of these tracks. This disk marks the debut of Jonathan Lang’s SLOWVENT, who stylistically shares quite a bit in common with GRUNTSPLATTER. If it were a blindfolded taste test the unfamiliar listener might find them as similar as two brands of cola, although the two are definitely distinguishable from one another. GRUNTSPLATTER’s side is heavily rooted in long, deep, drones with a prolonged, relaxing quality to them. Ambient meets distortion, tones meet texture. Most of SLOWVENT’s tracks have quicker, higher pitched swells which are looped with sharper distortion. There are less constants to latch onto and it’s less predictable. Some of the distortion has a crumbling, decaying sound to it, almost like being dragged over a gravel road. SLOWVENT is definitely responsible for some of the harsher tracks on the disk, with sharp squeals worming through the walls of noise like termites. The only thing I can recommend, aside from picking up this CD, is strictly using headphones to listen to it. Like most noise it needs to isolate your hearing in order for it to fully sink in without agitation, and the somewhat soothing elements are an effective catalyst in this process.
THE ZODIAC CHRONICLE
Herewith we have yet another GRUNTSPLATTER split disc, this time coming from the Crionic Mind label, as their previous was released via GlassThroat Recordings. This limited (500 copies) disc proves itself to be a devastating clarrion call in the noise-experimental genre. GRUNTSPLATTER urge sickness and despair by conjuring several episodes of horror-filled sound crunches and seemingly darkwave tinctured soundscapes (though subtle as it may be). SLOWVENT makes their debut CD appearance on this split with a similar expression of sound, though this time more oriented towards pure noise-distortion and frequency overload. The pleasureable aspect of this is the subtle tape hiss I recognize in the background…only offering more interest in the sound, not too mention the kult feeling of an obscure underground cassette. Both of these groups work very well together on one disc, as the sound merges from one scene to the next, carrying the querent through hollow drifts and bone crushing atmospheres. This CD is recommend only to open minds who desire something dark and unique for their musical archive!
WORM GEAR #8
“Attention all noise freaks and dark souls jonesing for mood sculpting visions though sonic manipulation, here is a split release that acts as the soundtrack for the oncoming Armageddon. Sound intriguing? First five tracks on this monster go to San Francisco’s own GRUNTSPLATTER, who have developed into a deadly power in the noise underground. Expertly fusing chaotic fits of harsh tones with a definitive dark ambience to pile on the mist enveloped atmosphere, the Grunt one moment reproduces the sound of a giant bag of dinosaur bones rolling down the stairs on the mighty “Ascending Marrow”, only to incorporate haunting synth lines as on “The Flagellant” and “Bloodsoil” that bring to mind the horns of war as long ships emerge from the turbulent seas. Infinitely layered, these five tracks walk the line between aggressive abstract art and compositions that swarm with a symphonic slant that beckons for the fall of night. Chilling, paranoia inducing and varied, GRUNTSPLATTER takes twisted sound bytes and makes them almost -Gulp- Musical. SLOWVENT is up next and though they may not be nearly as structured as GRUNTSPLATTER, they are just as effective at creating powerful sounds and molding them into bombastic pieces that crush the listener. This is most predominant on tracks like SLOWVENT where the feeling being expressed is as caustic as nuclear winds nipping at infant flesh and “Spectral Violence” where the piece begins with a sound resembling a large piece of gristle sizzling in a fry pan. There is a very menacing thread that ties all these tracks together and instead of mixing in different layers to give depth; delay and reverb soaked tones rather drone off in a repetitive manner for bruising effect. SLOWVENT’s style is very percussive (metal on metal perhaps) and it gives this disc the needed separation between both projects. With 2 sonic entities that each possess a life of their own and excellent artwork that perfectly emulates the sinister vibes contained within, this split release is a fine addition to the experimental music connoisseurs collection. When listening, be sure to leave the night lite on or the boogy man will come a calling”