Review: Spacial Absence – Primal Machinery (Deadleg Incident, 2017)

Even though this one came out quite a bit ago, I only recently discovered it and really think it deserves more attention. Primal Machinery is the debut release of Pennsylvania artist Spacial Absence, who also operates under the aliases Cador, Aether, and others. It’s undoubtedly an album that would best be placed under the umbrella of harsh noise wall, but it also approaches the genre in unique ways. Each track is based on field recordings from various sources; according to the artist, “Air Fatigue” uses noises recorded on an international flight to China, “Nighttime Panic 100°C” consists of sounds made by insects, and the two-part “Shower,” unsurprisingly, is formed by a recording of a shower. The odd one out is “Forest Fire Fishing Trip,” which was produced using manipulated microphone feedback, but it’s just as lush and diverse as the others and doesn’t feel out of place in the slightest. The whole album feels just as organic as the source material; the dense walls are static, yet build and contract. Despite the dynamics and structure still being incredibly subtle, the focus is not only placed on the noise itself, but also on how it moves, unfurls, and decays; a concept that makes Primal Machinery one of the most interesting and engaging harsh noise wall albums I’ve ever heard.

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