The New Low Standards - Dire+
Artist: The New Low Standards
Label: Pointless Blank Records
TRT: The New Low Standards is Jake Vida’s ambient side project and released on his label Pointless Blank Records. There are five previous released tracks and one unreleased track. I am a big fan of ambient material, artists like Dead Voices On Air, Aube, Ctephin and Ghoul Detail. After hearing this release I think I have a new favorite. It’s not just ambient noise, it’s musical sounding and there is a lot of texture in some of the tracks. The first track, We Die, is a great this ambient music I was talking about. A drone is played in the background with a light high note put in here and there and there is also a very faint loop, like a hum playing throughout the track. Lots to focus on and it’s a great opening track. There are some low notes too and this makes it sound very creepy indeed.Track two, Dire Wolf, begins where the last one left off. The low hum loop starts off and most of the same noise are heard but played different. I think I hear a guitar but it could be anything these days. At 3:40 something happens. A great organ type sound comes in. High and light, and drones away till the track ends at 4:45. Well done.Track three (the longest one at 11 minutes), Werewolf Sexomnia, begins with some faint drones that you need to be very aware of. Soft and light sounds that cascade around your room. In the background there is a very light drumbeat as well. It doesn’t take away the drone effect cause it is very soft. This track seems very tribal and has a worship-the-werewolf feel to it. It works very well and happens to be my favorite on the disc. There are a lot more high-pitched drones in this track past the 5-minute mark and they very well could represent the Wolf howl. At 10 minutes the drum beat gets louder to end the track. Well produced and planned all around.Track four, Rotting Ice, carries more of the same type of drones as in the last tracks. It’s not like these tracks are all the same though. They have their own place on the disc and Jake is just using the same methods. Out of any of the other tracks this one has the most high pitched notes in it. Along with a looped symbol hit from a drum it sounds. It ends beautifully too and although it’s my least favorite on the disc I still thinks it’s great.Track five, Seeing Evil, is the low note drone track. Lots of layered sounds and all at the low pitched style that I seem to like more. This track is for the darkness. Play loud and close your eyes for an experience. Within the low drone there is a scraping tickle loop that fades very nicely into the track. It ends as the tickle picks up noise at the 7 minute mark.The bonus track, Stone Tongues Speak Part 2, is much like the first five in style and fits this release well. I wouldn’t have known the difference if it didn’t say it was an unreleased bonus track. Very soft and faint drones layer in and out of each other over 9 minutes. This track ends nicely to with some high pitched sounds moving in and out. A very good track to end a marvelous disc.With all Pointless Blank Record disc this is very limited and made to just 20 copies. The printing is fantastic and the CDr itself looks like a pro job. Jake needs to limit his works to over 50-100 so that more people can hear his works. It purely amazing material and I recommend that if anyone sees a copy of Jake Vida’s projects, like this one, to snatch it up quick and never get rid of it
Jake Vida - Ten Arrows
Artist: Jake Vida
Release: Ten Arrows
Label: Pointless Blank Records
TRT: 42:10Jake Vida, an artist out of Ontario Canada, and has always been on my favorites list since I first heard him in early 2005. His style of noise always manages to impress my senses and I have yet to hear the same thing twice by him. He mainly does the cut-up style noise, but it’s put together with thought and planning it seems. Ten Arrows is no different.There are two tracks, titled Ten Arrows 1 and Ten Arrows 2, one is 24 minutes and the two is 18 minutes. The first Ten Arrows track is just brilliant. It starts off pretty slow for the first minute. Drone, harsh, drone, harsh, and then after the 2 minute the barrage of 1 million things going on at once begins. Lots of channel switching and mind fuck manipulations. This is one type of release where you can play it over 50 times and get something different out of it each time, much like Merzbow’s Pulse Demon or Massona’s Frequency LSD release. There’s vocal screams that come it at times and they’re harsh and with a purpose. "Let me the fuck out of these speakers!" Bloody amazing track. I was 7 minutes into it and this release was already on my top 10 list for 2006. At 8 minutes you can finally recognize some sounds sources and what sounds like feedback and some delay, but then the lashes come at you again. Perfect, as it gave me time to breathe. At 11 minutes there’s another break where the vocals really come in. A long scream from hell. At 12 minutes we get some great delay loops playing in the background along with the mish mash of noise. The track ends perfect too. It was like I was listening to a song or something. After 22 minutes of a total noise attack it fades out into this nice trickle loop.Track 2 is just as good. It begins with a soft metal scraping and then a static loop comes in and repeats for a while. I get the feeling that this is just setting you up for something fierce, and I was right. The same cut-up style begins and lots of sounds are running through your head at once. It’s perfect noise to me. It’s just as harsh as the first track and just a mad! It seems more "live" than the other one though and I don’t really know how Jake does it, but kudos to him. During this release I found myself a few times replaying what I just heard cause; "…it was a cool fucking sound." Love it!Unfortunately this release is very limited. Made to 12 copies at first and then an extra 5 were made with different colour covers, which are printed on beige textured paper. Looks nice and professional for just a short run. I’d recommend Jake do some vinyl some day as this is the type of noise that is worthy of keeping around for 500 years and not just the life span of a CDr.
Stimbox - Lazer Noise Up Your Ass
Release: Laser Noise Up Your Ass
Label: Hebi Like A Snake
TRT: 69:39Stimbox, Lazer Noise Up Your Ass, is a collection of tracks that were "previously released" in one form or another and is now released on his label "Hebi Like A Snake" in one CDr. The first track is the epic "California Scheming" which has caused a kind of rift in the space time noise scene continuum. The idea behind this track was that some of these sound sources appeared on the four sides of the 10 LP California Boxset which was released by Troniks, RRRecords, and Groundfault. Half of the people that have heard of or are part of this boxset will claim that Stimbox did not add any noises to these four live sets at all, while others claim that you can clearly hear Stimbox’s ‘lazer noise touch’ in some of the tracks. I’ve heard examples from the LP sides and this track, "California Scheming" and I’d have to say you’d need to be a maniac not to tell the difference. Yes, noise is noise and has no notes, but an ear can tune into sound and I hear the Stimbox samples in these LP sides clearly. Don’t ask me which LP sides they are cause I can’t remember and that’s for you to find out. Yes, most of the noise in this long 22 minute track sounds like lazer blasts, but they’re good lazer blasts. Cannon shots ripping from channel to channel with great echo effects. Lots of hiss too! One thing is certain, whether the sound samples are there or not I think it helped boost sales for the 10LP set as well as Stimbox’s releases, which is all I really care about in the end.Track 2, 5:51, was a biz-card released on Troniks a while back and is a lot more tame compared to the last track. It features some electric scrapes along with electric bleeps and blasts. This track has the same style that makes up the last one and I like this one a lot better simply cause it sounds more "live" than anything. A good short shot!Track 3, Squid Ripper, was a track that was done with the split cassette tape on Troniks with The Cherry Point. It sounds like what it is too. High pitched feedback with a slow drone tumbling in the background. Not my favorite track but it ends nice and harsh. The last 3 minutes make up the first 7.Tracks 4 and 5, Impulse I and II, were featured as a 3" that was released on Sewer Records. Impulse I is great. It starts off slow with a few high hisses and some feedback and then it goes into a great terrifying non-stop barrage of slashes and heavy smashes. Lots of movements and the track is ever changing. Not in a cut-up sense, but just in great hand movements with Tim’s pedals and knobs. Impulse II is a bit different and has a lot more echo and delay. Something I like as I do this style often myself. About half way through the track then comes at you with more harsh walls and flicks of paint start shooting at your face from being ripped of the wall. A great 3" this was!"Lupus Tuberculoso" makes up the remaining tracks, 6-26, and these were previously released as a 3" as well. All the tracks are short and range from 43 seconds to 1 minute. It seems to be mastered quieter than the other tracks but they all flow together like one long track. This is my least favorite noise in this compilation. There seems to be no movement just a bash of noise that echos for a bit until another bash of noise follows it. The tracks do get harsher as the CD ends and it’s good cause I end up liking it more by the time the whole CD is over. This is some of Tim’s older material too, recorded in 2001, so it’s not bad, his new stuff is better.The artwork is great and features a large collection of laser toy guns with the "Metallica" looking symbol of Stimbox over it. The printing is sharp and the CDr print is well done too. All in all I think this is a great collection if your new to Stimbox and also a makes a great guide to that fabled tale; "Was Stimbox on the 10LP California set or not?" Buy both and tell for yourself.