The Sentinel

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Category Archives: Noise

Biota – Biota [full album]

After they changed their name from Mnemonists to Biota, the US acts sound started to shift into something more subtle. However, this album has that darker, denser feel that they were known for under their former moniker. This is their self-titled album from 1982.


Biota – Tinct [full album]

Biota’s 1988 album ‘Tinct’ is, like the vast majority of their work, a winder to behold. The music defies categorisation and, seemingly, the natural laws of physics. This is music that constantly shifts in and out of focus, disintegrating and re-forming before one’s very own ears. Hints of warped Folk, Jazz, and Rock (?) move in and out of one’s field of hearing, all knotted together with noise (albeit very quiet and subtle “noise” at times); rendering the listener queasy and unsure of their footing. Oddball stuff, and certainly the “real deal”. All of their albums are incredible, and this is a perfect one to start with, though this music is certainly not for avant-beginners.

Manorexia – Chloe Don’t Know I’m Alive

Ominous Avant-Classical moves from Thirlwell’s Manorexia project. This is from the 2nd album, 2002’s ‘The Radiolarian Ooze’, which managed to be just as great as the fantastic debut. Check these albums out if you haven’t already.

The Body Lovers – Track 9

A track that sits on the fence between creepy and melancholic, switching to one or the other at various points. This was Michael Gira’s side project from Swans, and possibly grew out of the aforementioned bands ‘Soundtracks For The Blind’ sessions. The Body Lovers produced a single album, which was 1998’s ‘Number One Of Three’.

Techno Animal – Red Sea

Glittering sound piece from Techno Animal’s 1995 album Re-Entry’; this is from the second disc, aptly titled ‘Heavy Lids’. Disc one was titled ‘Dream Machinery’ and was all zombified, apocalyptic Trip-Hop, whilst the second disc was spaced out doom drones.

Fille Qui Mousse – Esplanade

This French band were on the infamous Nurse With Wound list, and it was also rumoured at one point that the band were made up by NWW (with the fact that the word “Stapleton” was in the bands album title). However, it turned out that the band were very much a real entity, and released a single album, ‘Trixie Stapleton 291 –  Se Taire Pour Une Femme Trop Belle’, in 1971. It’s a strange affair, although not always entirely successful. This track, however, is wonderful, and one can see how Stapleton and co could groove to something like this. The track opens with a serrated, phased effect, before a woman recounts a tale in French whilst dogs bark throughout. There is something very effecting about this despite its staggering simplicity. This then cuts into a thick sheet of demented noise, which continues unrelenting until it simply stops.

A Bad Diana – Notes From The Underground To A Crazy Girl

Fantastic electro-acoustic shenanigans from Diana Rogerson, Matt Waldron, Steven Stapleton, and Colin Potter off of the 2007 album ‘The Lights Are On But No-One’s Home’.

Current 93 – Sucking Up Souls

Stapleton stated he was going for a hospital vibe with this one; though he apparently left the word ‘psychiatric’ out. This is from the 1985 album ‘In Menstrual Night’

Faust – Miss Fortune

Faust’s debut album was a dizzying collage of avant-rock, noise, freak folk, and everything in between; it was certainly radical at the time, and would still unsteady the uninitiated to this very day. The third track, which covered the whole of side B, continued in this cut up style, and takes the listener on a journey through the 1971 German underground. One minute you feel like you’re walking through a beautiful meadow, only to suddenly be confronted by a hideous industrial structure belching smoke. Also, check the section where the band clearly took direct inspiration from the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Murder Mystery’.

Biota – Rackabones (Full Album)

Incredible stuff from the American band. This was after they’d changed their name from Mnemonists, and forged forward as the musical project Biota. Under the new moniker, the collective were quieter; more discrete. However, the music oozes towards you in an extremely unsettling manner; rolling, cracking, clumping, and dissolving then reforming before your very eyes. This is the whole album from 1985.

[0:00] “Vagabones: Part I”
[26:39] “Vagabones: Part II”
[52:59] “Rackabones: Part I”
[1:11:02] “Rackabones: Part II”

Laurence Johns

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