Topheth Prophet aren’t the most prolific of record labels. This is only the 7th release since the labels inception in 2002. Quality not quantity seems to be their mantra. You only have to check out their back catalogue to see what I’m getting at. Releases by Chaos as Shelter, Grundik & Slava, Barzel (who appears here) and Der Blutharsch sums up their ethic to a tee. Everyone one of those releases pretty much essential listening deserving a place in your record collection. Well you can add “Noise.IL” to that illustrious list.
” Noise.IL’ features the following artists: Mortalmanifest, Drone Lebanon, Gedem, GAOP Vs Aboolele, Wreck & Drool and Barzel all of whom inhibit the noise spectrum of music. Some of these acts you may recall from previous AP reviews (GAOP Vs Aboolele and Barzel) whilst the others mark their debut on this site. But fear not… for not everything here will have you reaching for the glass of water and Hedex. Although you may like to keep them close at hand… just in case. It all depends on your own pain threshold. The music features the usual high frequencies and thundering blasts of electronic punishment with some unusual samples thrown in for good measure. Which actually makes it sound rather run of the mill. And which…if truth be told…it occasionally falls into. This cannot really be helped as there’s only so much you can achieve when you venture into creating music of the power / extreme electronic variety. Here’s some noise. Here’s some samples. Here’s one I baked earlier. Listen closely though and you’ll actually find some neat touches throughout the release. Very neat touches that separates this release from the usual V/A fair that gets released. Even though I’ve struggled previously with some the music by GAOP Vs Aboolele, their tracks contributed here put them in a new light. Mortalmanifest were a revelation. Absolutely adored their first track. Drone Lebanon impressed. Wreck & Drool had me doing just that. Gedem…. come on down. Barzel was… well typical Barzel in many respects… and for that I’m very thankful.
The question, I suppose if there has to be one, is: Why should I buy this when there’s so many other compilations out there like it? Three answers. First: “Noise.IL” is on the Topheth Prophet record label. Which is reason enough. Remember… this is the label that brought you the “Tel-Aviv Aftermath” compilation. Once heard, never forgotten. Secondly: The acts involved are diverse enough in style and approach to make this stand out. Lastly: Because I recommend it. “Noise.IL” puts Israeli noise music firmly in the spotlight. Shine on you crazy diamonds.
The genre of music I find most difficult to write about is noise; be it ambient, harsh, industrial, drone, power electronics, glitch, experimental or any other sub-genre out there. It’s as hard to write about as it is hard to listen to, it’s mostly a type of music you’ll get into late (after experiencing various different kinds, and mostly if you started off with Hardcore or Metal) and for a pretty good reason too… noise (in general) is as experimental as it gets, there are no rules or boundaries within this genre and as a direct result of this it can be very unpleasant to most people – having said that I can now try to tackle this collection on noise.
Israel has a growing noise scene with a growing number of artists, who from time to time organize noise nights/shows – such as the one recorded here on “Noise.IL”, sometime in the summer of 2005.
While not as large as the Japanese or anywhere near as large as the American noise scene, the Israeli scene is alive and kicking in various styles. Each one of the six artists on this nine-track album shows a different part of the spectrum, from easy-listening tracks such as the bizarrely dramatic opening track, MortalManifest’s “Fear establishment for Lucifer Jupiter”, or the foggy closing track, Barzel’s “Rebuild the temple now” (who weren’t a part of the live show), to harsh and complex tracks such as Gedem’s “My Bleeding Ears” or Wreck & Drool’s “Idle Petitions”.
There is no place to actually describe each of the nine tracks, for each is a separate experience and can be described in numerous ways; surprisingly enough, the album does manage to flow from one track to another despite the differences.
Highlights in my opinion are Gaop and Aboolele’s “Telemarketing the temple of hatred 2005” due to the combination between the buzzing background, low-pitch electronic drones and the high-pitched squeals, glitch, and narration which create an overall apocalyptic feeling, as well as Drone Lebanon’s “Zionistzermatism” where the religiously-connected speech is swallowed by a wave of electronics – as if the world itself is saying how insignificant one being (or on opinion) is, as if zooming in and out of earth.
Many interpretations can be come with this kind of music; each track is a combination of ideas, repetitions and variation, stripping down to minimalist primal beats and building up effects and layers to a wall of noise. One way or another, this is a fine representation of the noise scene here in Israel, and certainly pins the aforementioned artists on the map. A small proof for this is the reviews worldwide, a larger (and much more important) one is the existence of more and more noise artists, albums and events such as the one that resulted with this collection.
Israel is not the first country we think of when we talk about noise and dark ambient music. So this album has eight new names for me, all projects from Israel and Chaos as Shelter isn’t even amongst them!
The tracks range from minimal electronics over power electronics to harsh noise, and it’s definitly an album which gives you the oportunity to explore.
During listening I wrote down the tracks that impressed me most on a personal level, and – though there isn’t a real ‘bad’ track to be found on it – both numbers were collaborations between or remixes by Gaop and Aboolele. Coincidence? No idea, but it seems I DID discover something! *happyboy*
So I clicked to the website from the Topheth label and checked out the links to the pages from these and the other bands. Most both of them have one or more online albums available. Free and good.
I can’t emphasize it enough; This is a corner of the world where there is still a lot to be discovered and therefore it’s almost a ‘must have’ !
At the Gaop Myspace site it’s very well put into words: “sounds like noise .. power electronix .. dark ambient .. post industrial .. experimental .. avantgarde but its all of them combined together with a touch of sadness and a hint of hatred.” But this goes for the whole CD, not just his tracks.