Monday, June 27, 2016

REVIEW - ARVO ZYLO - HELLO WALLS - CD

ARVO ZYLO - HELLO WALLS - CD
NO PART OF IT RECORDS
MINIMALIST HARSH NOISE/EXPERIMENTAL NOISE/AMBIENT NOISE
PRO PRESSED CDR IN A JEWEL CASE WITH INSERT.


I.) BODY OF DEFECTIVE MEMORIES:
"Hello Walls" was originally released on cassette by Enemata Productions
in 2008. Later re-issued on No Part Of It Records in 2010 on cassette in
a black latex bag filled with funerary soil. Finally we have a cd version
also re-re-issued via No Part Of It. This is an album I missed out on the
first two times around and one that I am extremely happy to own a physical
copy of now. ARVO ZYLO is a project that you never know what to expect from.
Past albums have presented everything from Harsh Noise, Extremely experimental
Industrial and Glitch, Sequencer experimentation and music closer to Electronica
and a dozen other sounds and styles that would take up far too much space to list
here. With "Hello Walls" my first thought was "Is this a Harsh Noise Wall style
release from ARVO ZYLO?!?!" Three long tracks with dark and dingy minimalist art
also added to that initial impression. Well it was wrong. What we actually have
here is a Minimal Harsh Noise masterpiece. "Body Of Defective Memories" opens
the album and drags us into a nearly thirty five minute sprawl of cavernous,
Sub-terrain exploration. A very slow build up leads us deeper down and further
in. Short bass movements cloaked in small traces of distortion are looped along
with a silent hum. Foggy atmospheres are invoked by a resonating cloud of long
stretched moaning sound. Crunching sounds like fragmented voices appear and vanish
until they become a frequent addition. Upon length we hear that they are wet and
sloshing sounds like that of foamy water licking the shoreline in repetition. 
Additional Ambient tones begin to rise after some time. Tranquil reversed drones
that create a faint, But beautiful melody. Meditative and thought provoking. Over-
time these transform into ghostly choir like voices and high pitched distant ringing.
The vibrations made feel as if they bounce off of the walls of your skull endlessly.
Harsh bursts like steam billowing from some hidden schism in the center of the earth
come in phased loops crossing from one speaker to the next in cyclic motions. Secondary
textures begin to accompany this from somewhere far in the distance. The effect this has
on the listener is entrancing. More and more harsh sounds are added to this to form an
expansive and immersive listening experience. Eventually this winds down into a more
minimal and stripped down segment. Crunching rhythms are looped along a backdrop of
synth organs and choir-like tones. Curiouser and Curiouser, Further down the rabbit
hole we go. Again the rhythmic sections become more dominant and things begin to
warp once more. Deep melodic tones are heard in tiny intervals. Harmonic keys play
a spooky intermission like something you'd hear on a classic Scooby Doo cartoon.
The theme of something mysterious lurking in the shadows. Highly experimental and
very weird sounds become the main focus as the melody continues. Playful, Pitch-
shifted voices are heard coming from every direction like a gathering of mischievous
Ghouls, Goblins, Imps and entities. This slows down into a spiraling downward slope
until all is hissing and exhaling static and muffled inhuman vocal patterns.  

II.) HELLO WALLS:
(FEATURING GUEST VOCALS BY: INFECTIOUS REX/MORGAN MCDONALD/NIKOLA VASILIC) The following title track is much shorter at under nine minutes. A gathering
frenzy of sound is heard. Crowded rooms full of obscured and voices and deep
windswept textures. It sounds like there is a 1950's era party on the other side 
of several walls. This is slowly drowned out and engulfed by the massive gathering
of a powerful storm brewing. High end Harsh Noise style feedback and signals begin
to make their presence known. High pitched frequencies of spacey sound. A large
vacuum expands and lets loose a cosmic storm. Ultra dense tones blend with distant
high pitched pulses creating what sounds like an interplanetary war. The audio 
equivalent to something out of a 50's dime store Sci-Fi tabloid. Harsh Noise elements
come in a mangled array of scraping, Destructive force. Stretched out ambient drifts
are laid over top gently in haunting patterns. Sub-bass grows like to an earth shattering
quake. Loud, Rumbling and devouring. The guest vocals noted at in the album insert must
be very buried in the mix. I can hear traces of what sounds like voices but they are
too far gone to comprehend. Things become much quieter suddenly and softly sung female
vocals are heard barely above a whisper which concludes the piece.

III.) PHANTOM DECORUM:
The final track "Phantom Decorum" is slightly over thirty minutes long, Making this
quite a demanding listen. It begins close to where "Hello Walls" left off. Windswept
atmospheres wrap around and whip about as a gentle piano melody plays a slight-fully
mournful and contemplative tune. Blowing gusts and random field recordings of what
sounds like activity at a market or busy street are heard. The fumbling of objects
and children's laughter, Distant whistling, Car horns, Etc. Free-form organ playing
is heard at times. Resonating tones rise and fall and rise again to loud drones.
Random voices call out random words. Sound collage meets free-form experimentation.
Very different from anything else I've heard from ARVO ZYLO while also featuring
signature tones and things that bridge the gap between this and other releases making
it feel like part of a whole. Wet phasers contain strange otherworldly noises. Brakes
squeal. Children scream. And the main drone begins to invoke uncomfortable feelings.
Impending doom, Dread, Anxiety, The fear of something awful on it's way. Hammering
sounds make me imagine the citizens of a once quiet and peaceful town boarding their
homes shut in anticipation of a coming nightmare. The drone grows louder and brings
with it a more threatening and urgent feeling. The streets sound mostly deserted other
than clueless hooligans and trouble makers. A sense of panic is conjured by what has
become a very bleak soundscape. Bass tones flood distant streets as the previously 
mentioned wet tones re-appear. More alien and violent this time...Whipping with deadly
strikes. What sounds like a steam engine screeching on distant tracks is heard as oscillating
bass tones mimic speeding vehicle engines. Weird synth/keyboard sounds and Industrial rhythms
begin. Power tools grind metal on metal. Things begin to take on a "Factory sound." Perhaps
preparation are being made for a coming terror? Clanging, Metallic piano keys play a playful
melody that sounds almost devious. Things are quieter now but things still don't feel "Safe."
Drones are still present sounding like some infinite infernal machine motor whirring for an
unknown, Sinister purpose. Things warp into another dimension. Alien voices take over the
remainder of the track. The End? Not quite. There is a hidden surprise at the end but I 
won't spoil it for you.

A TRULY UNIQUE ALBUM. RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF ENDOMETRIUM CUNTPLOW/BLOOD RHYTHMS/
NITE SHADEZ/UNCERTAIN/GHOST MINER/ETC:

7.5/10
-ABATTOIR-

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