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Owl – “Tapes 97-99″ – [Freak Animal Records]


Dynamic, hurtful tape noise, recorded 1997-1999 and “finished” in 2012, the same year this CD was released on Freak Animal, the Finnish noise label run by industrial/black metal evil genius Mikko ‘Sicko’ Aspa (of Grunt, Nicole 12, Clandestine Blaze, Stabat Mater, Deathspell Omega, Fleshpress et al.). Owl (or is it O.W.L.?) was the project of another Finn named John Helola, who has apparently gone on to make noise under several other names. According to the Freak Animal website, these recordings were created using only “crude boom boxes, one cheap multi-FX unit, no distortion… and rudimentary recording techniques,” and “[a]lmost all overdrive here is purely from tape saturation.” It seems that Helola used radio broadcasts as the initial sound source, snatches of which can still be heard on t.s 1, 3, 4+5. This is disgusting stuff– frenetic, overloaded walls of buzzing static, stuttering oscillations and devastating feedback stretch from beginning to end. It’s very much a reactionary record hearkening back to the glory days of 80s analogue mutilation. All the material within is quite satisfying, and in no way boring; each track morphs significantly over time (although T.5 drones on a bit more than the others). Legalize torture!

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on December 15, 2013 at 2:24 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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