“Noise” in the industrial sense is a very broad church – and perhaps a definition that is nowadays overused. It nowadays seems to me that it is used as a lazy definition for anything remotely “difficult” that can’t really be pigeonholed anywhere else, and thus notionally similar artists are often anything but.
As happens here. A lot of this album is far, far removed from most noise, being more concerned with mood than anything else. The first four tracks are a perfect example of this, opener Headspatial and later track Letter from Miki City are blissed out meanderings through sunlight, while the tracks in between are much darker in tone – This Is The Hollow Point conveys a deep sense of darkness, a void perhaps, while White Cover is a furious bass led charge, and Meet Me Halfway is an oddly schizophrenic mix of blissed out wide open spaces and punishing drum’n’bass.
Of the oher tracks – Tell Me When To Care drifts by as if it doesn’t want to be noticed, while Tomorrow It Rains skitters the album back into the forefront. The Same Hole As Yesterday has a great, bouncing rhythm and could, perhaps almost be considered ‘catchy’. The end of the album proper is the cold, dark ambience of August Sunday Afternoon, little more than waves of sound lapping against the shore.
Unusually, some of the (six) remixes included actually add something more – especially When To care (vs. Jeye), which is vastly better than the original, with the slow beats and bleeps beamed in from a parallel universe, and the Pneumautoclavic Poison Mix of White Cover, which doesn’t quite turn it into a Pneumatic Detach track, but it sure as hell leaves a stamp all over it!
The Slacknote remix of Meet Me Halfway is curiously unengaging, while the Iszoloscope mix of White Cover is notable for two things: it’s supercharged, breakneck pace, and also the only use of any form of human voices on the entire album (admittedly in sample form!). The Eva|3 mix of Tell Me When To Care again inserts otherworldly life into the morose original (but from a totally different angle), and last track (Noise Girl remix of Meet Me Halfway) appears to hurl most of the original out of the window, stamping on the remains and recording the twisted results. Which, by the way, is a good thing – if not entirely comfortable listening.
As a whole, it is cold, insular and rather more emotionally charged than your average “noise” album – but this makes it a very difficult album to love – it feels at some points like you are intruding into someone else’s headspace. But it is easy to admire.