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Flutwacht – …mit nichts…

Flutwacht - ...mit nichts...

CD-R, Licht und Stahl, 2010

Sometimes you have to be very patient when listening to experimental music. Sometimes it takes quite a long time for anything of interest to happen. But often, when you’re patient and stop demanding instant gratification, you will hear something really powerful. “…Mit Nichts…” (“with nothing”), is quite an appropriate title for the new “Flutwacht” album, partly because I can find nothing about it online, but also because casual and careless initial listening gives the impression that nothing much is going on. But with repeated listening there is some quality ambient noise on offer here. The only significant complaint is that many of the tracks might be longer than they need to be, and it doesn’t help that the longest track by far comes first.
“With nothing” most likely refers to the sound sources used to create this album, as the minimal nature of the soundscapes suggest that very limited equipment was employed. The opening piece’s elongated head-cleaning session has some wonderfully harsh, abrasive noises, although it does appear at times that there are at least two audio tracks running, so my sound source theory might have to be altered slightly. Progressing to a more soothing ambient passage following the aural abuse, we then have the grinding and churning second track, a slightly obscured depiction of some undefined form of machinery. Track three has a good depth to its drones, gradually being overtaken by fuzzy distortion, rising to a dangerous crescendo of good old horrible noise! The next track then offers a well earned respite from the brutality, while still keeping with the industrial themes, although it does tend to become slightly monotonous as it progresses to a denser sound.
The fifth track opens with a mechanical, almost rhythmic loop, which continues uninterrupted for nearly eight minutes, only slightly disturbed by some erratic, vaguely vocal noises intermittently appearing over the top. Track six has a good bass sound reminiscent of several of the better death-industrial bands, and the strength of the lead noises and their deployment makes for probably the best moment of the album. Track seven is then softer, resonant tones suggesting a recording inside a large metal container, before the closing track brings some harsh electronic pulses and jumbled, frantic, struggling noises, to send us away suitably uncomfortable and agitated. So some good moments on here, but too many long, repetitive passages causing frustration and occasional boredom. As with a lot of experimental noise, I think this would be a lot more enjoyable at a live show.


— Nathan Clemence

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