Review: Tinnitustimulus – Soft Rains (Foul Prey, Jul 3)

The elusive Tinnitustimulus has been one of my favorite modern harsh noise projects ever since I first heard 2017’s Punct / Contrapunct on Monorail Trespassing. On that tape as well as subsequent releases, a dual appreciation for both enveloping, crushing textural mash as well as high-pitched feedback manipulation, electronic error-glitches and blips, and other more piercing, minuscule sound objects. In contrast to the prolificacy of many noise artists, Tinnitustimulus usually only puts out one tape a year, so when that happens you’d best believe it’s an event to be celebrated. 2020’s Soft Rains takes a spellbindingly deep dive into everything I love about the project, starting things off with a single track A side that twists itself in and out of a razor-sharp sonic birdcage prison of punishing, sterile whines and shuffling microsounds, trading time with a full-throttle noise assault. About halfway through the 15-minute piece the latter takes over and one is left to languish in the deafening din of distortion, which culminates in an amazing conclusion. The following three shorter tracks are maelstroms of howling analog winds, caustic drones, and meaty crunch that really put this talented artist’s skills on display. Will a Tinnitustimulus release ever not be excellent? Only time will (hopefully not) tell.

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