The sound of Max/MSP being choked to death is what greets the listener into the noise-suite of 'Fistula', the new split release form Sujo and futuresequence's very own Sun Hammer (AKA Jay Bodley). With the name as an obvious initial example, 'Fistula' propels the listener back into that early era of noise music as a deliberate disturbance to one's immediate listening environment and a vehicle for appreciating all sounds, be they environmental or (more often than not) starkly mechanical in nature. The sounds present on 'Fistula' serve only to invite equal measures of environmental appreciation and outright dread, with the release as a whole being perfectly suited to a solo venture through a Chernobyl warehouse; attempting (and sometimes failing) to stifle rising nerves. Sonically, the album consists almost entirely of the sounds of machines failing to operate as first intended alongside simple, pure electronic tones treated and re-treated through cavernous reverb, over which the pair add powerful, minimal bass, broken vocal glitches and the homemade patches both artists are renowned for.
'OSD' begins the record with a circling descent into the landscape that the duo have created on 'Fistula', with whirring out of time loops fighting for headroom in the too-tight environment, before disintegrating into purely environmental noise, overdriven to the nth degree. It is this tendency of the album to slowly pan between instances of broken, struggling sounds, field recordings and outright noise monoliths (such as the almost orchestral 'Safian') that makes it such a sublime listen overall - despite the rather rough sonic territories it often explores. Understated title track 'Fistula' is a composition that could perhaps be seen as a microcosm of the entire release, moving slowly from gently treated clicks into deep, subtly oscillating organ-like tones that seem to stretch to infinity. Sonic material aside, the title track highlights the calibre of both artists’ work, for with neither of them hiding behind the outright violence that so many acts do, this track showcases noise at its most harrowing and long-lived, with all six minutes of the composition serving to carve deep furrows into unsettling musical and emotional areas.
Yet the real importance of this release lies in its rekindling of those original noise or industrial sounds that led to the creation of such a vital, reaction-craving genre. Alongside artists such as Luke Younger (whose notable projects include Birds of Delay and Helm), Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet on PAN, Sujo and Bodley are bringing a certain sense of immediacy and organic interaction back to the genre that it certainly began to lose in the 2000s, aside from the occasional release. ‘Fistula’ is a collaboration that seems to be screaming out for a longer term musical pairing.
Available here: http://sunhammer.bandcamp.com/album/fistula
Review by Max Hampshire