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russell haswell
livesalvage 1997 > 2000
  see also
dutch east india
mego label

album rating: 2

submitted by jc smith on 25-Aug-2001
Live Salvage 1997 > 2000 finds OR label chief Russell Haswell trekking through a sonic scrap-yard of "live material recorded by others," taking said material and manipulating, corrupting, and otherwise re-designing it all into a percolating mess of concentrated noise. Much of this noise sounds like a bastardization of the work of Japanoisicians like Merzbow and K2, Haswell gleefully contributing--what? An even more skewed outlook, I'd say, distinguished by more variance of assault. Track one, derived from live material recorded in Metro, Kyoto in 1999, consists of garbled, rumbling currents of subterranean noise, tongues of static lashing out from within the cavernous maw (it almost sounds like it is trying to communicate at times). Haswell takes the noise and straps it into a straightjacket, the noise belching and coughing, agitatedly defiant in protest as it struggles for release. Track two, live recording from Klangturm, St. Polten in 1998, opens with needles of muffled tapping that puncture the eardrums in annoyingly sporadic intervals and bleats of skull scraping sounds, sounding like samples of something vague and melodic, but stepped on and squished. After a rain of parachuting, metallic insects (?!), a moment of silence shifts the track down a passageway into the arteries of the earth, caressing igneous walls along the way. Bubbling lava and locomotive scrubbed tones (yes, this track goes through many weird transitions) leads the listener to the rough terrain where the insects have landed, their fleet, multi-footed retreat munched under crude bass textures dipped in acid distortion. Live recordings from the National Centre for Early Music, York, in 2000, serve as the foundation for the pummel and rage clatter of feuding machines locked in combat during track six. Though noise is the focus, Haswell is not afraid to temper the sounds, a quality that allows them to slip under the radar and into the body. Live Salvage 1997 > 2000 is a wild, tempestuous affair.

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