Lefthandeddecision – “Instinct & Emotion” CD
Limited to 496 – Released April 2000 – Sold Out
“Instinct & Emotion” marks the first widely available release from project with nearly 35 releases and compilation appearances on the books at the time of release. “Instinct & Emotion” is a guttural deluge of constrictive Heavy Electronics, thick, grinding frequencies & acidic vocals, that maintains an underlying subtle darkness beneath it all. The first 50 copies came with an additional CDR called “Personal Precision” of new and out of print material as well as various odd & ends from the artist.
Audio Samples… Coming Soon
“Instinct and Emotion” is the new CD from the San Francisco based project Lefthandeddecision and another proof that Phil Blankenship, the man behind this album, loves distortion. The 9 tracks of this CD consits in various sounds, rhythms and samples abused, sliced, overtreated, till they melt and merge into a bubbling furnace of noisy variations. While staying aggressive and corrosive all the way throughout the CD, Lefthandeddecision produces here “songs” that are quite different from each others. As far as you can distinguish what is behind the saturation, some tracks feature beats (“The Second Walk”), whereas other seems to be more relying on drones (“Brief Vision”). However, the intensity stays constantly pretty impressive during all the recording. This is exactly the kind of music that makes you listen, by all means necessary. Either you stop doing anything to focus your attention of “Instinct & Emotion”, either you are so strongly aggressed by this CD that you surrender and gives it your ears to play with. “Instinct & Emotion” is a very dense album of Power electronics, without any compromise and with a lot of of very intense and breathtaking moments. The maximum pleasure comes on the 33 minutes long “Isopraxism”, which could very well have standed as a release of its own. To sum up, this is concentration-inducing music, a very heavy CD for deflowered ears. – Nicolas
9/10 – Ahhh yes, very well executed harsh power electronics with flavor! Largely consisting of bass driven low tones and over distorted attack with far more audio decay than usual. There’s a very attractive degeneration of sound present, and this material is surely not generic. “Self-Restraint” beings with a brief moment of sheer perfection? a great deceptive introduction with a quick, quiet whir suggesting a more ambient track; only to immediately rush into pure harsh tones. “Limited Incentive” is equally impressive, with some speaker destroying bass hum that sounds like a rap CD under about 1,000 layers of distortion. Most of the tracks are around the 3-5 minute mark, the exception being the epic “Isopraxism” which clocks in at well over 30 minutes!? At the end of the CD after much delay, there is a hidden track of hilarious proportions! Beginning with tasteful ambient beats leading into some backwards noise antics, the track eventually leads to distorted talking over top of a very discernible MC Hammer track!? Can you beat that, really? What’s more, this disc is limited to a mere 496 hand numbered copies. The real kicker, and what makes this package a 9/10 rather than an 8, is that an extremely limited edition version (numbered of 50) comes with a bonus CD of exclusive and rare material, packaged in a huge clear blue envelope. Some of the other goodies thrown in for good measure are tons of artwork from older Lefthandeddecision releases, hilarious rejection letters from Relapse Records and other assorted critics, and lots of random information and other items. If you’ve read this entire review, you might be too damn late to get your hands on one of these so I suggest you act immediately and grab this piece of underground noise history while you can.
[Notable tracks: The Second Walk, Self-Restraint, Limited Incentive, the hidden track]
GRINDING INTO EMPTINESS
This disc is a landmark release for Lefthandeddecision: not only does it make Phil Blank’s warped sonic creations widely available for the first time, it was professionally mastered by Phil Easter (Stone Glass Steel), which brings out a level of precision and clarity that hasn’t been available on any previous LHD release. The warnings I heard about Instinct & Emotion before I received it in the mail were more than enough to make me very hesitant and apprehensive when it finally came time to play it. I plugged in my headphones (no way I was gonna trust my speakers with this) and turned down the volume real low, just in case. After a deep breath I was ready to begin… Anyone familiar with his lengthy discography that has accumulated over the past three years will understand that Blank has an ear for destruction (and the noisy reconstruction that ensues). With this CD he takes the ferocity of his intimidating output to new heights. Tumultuous lengths of static shift through various stages of unrestrained intensity with a rumbling low end that chews at your eardrums. It’s an hour-long aural attack, decaying audio built up into compositions that pay homage to the distortion that is so carefully eradicated from the fine-tuned, ‘perfect’ sound of most recordings. My neighbor is running a ban saw in his back yard right now and instead of being an annoyance it’s actually complementing this CD. Instinct & Emotion is raw and powerful, and though my headphones would love me to forget about it the day I stop appreciating this masterpiece is the day I go deaf (which may be sooner than I think if I keep discs like this in my stereo).
Every once in a while a release comes along that just floors you with its sheer brilliance and power. If LeftHandedDecision’s new album “Instinct & Emotion” doesn’t fall into this category, then I don’t know what does. Quite simply, this album is one of the best noise releases I’ve ever heard. Unrelenting, merciless, and unsettling, “Instinct & Emotion” beats you into submission and leaves every inch of ground it covers bloody and mutilated. Roaring, maxed-out walls of noise and static bludgeon the ears over a mass of squirming low frequencies and severely distorted loops and samples. Together, it forms a nasty and corrosive noise stew that demands your utmost attention for every second. Really, this text can’t do the album the justice it fully deserves, as the amazing density and depth of these tracks has to be heard to be believed. The amount of stuff going on beneath the surface is just phenomenal, as all kinds of frequencies and loops crash against each other and come in and out of the mix. Credit here must be given to the mastering magic of Phil Easter at Malignant Sound Technologies, for managing to make this CD both immensely loud and crystal clear, yet not at the expense of sacrificing all the wonderful nuances of the music. There is not a single bad, or even mediocre track on this album. And each has something different to set it apart, whether the occasional use of an almost beat-driven undercurrent, or the use of drawn out and layered droning static. From the epic 37 min+ “Isopraxism” to the just over 30 sec. “Brief Vision,” each track on the album offers its own unique descent into hell. The untitled track at the end certainly warrants mention, however, for its unusualness, as bursts of noise attack over a severely distorted song that sounds like some alternarock anthem from MTV. This is then followed by even more weirdness, including what I think is a distorted MC Hammer sample! Yes, folks, MC Hammer and noise? LHD’s “Instinct & Emotion” is a milestone in experimental music and not to be missed. If you even consider yourself a fan of noise/power electronics/experimental music then you must buy this disc. Definitely one of THE releases for this year.