Review: Coma Winds – Fuoco (Abhorrent A.D., Jan 13)

The jagged, caustic hills and valleys of noise that comprise Fuoco are sourced entirely from “raw amateur home footage of severe weather,” the recordings deformed into textural chunks of distortion via analog effects. I’d imagine almost every aspiring “noise musician” tries a similar thing at some point, simply layering a few digital plugins or physical pedal chains over an innocuous stem, but it doesn’t usually result in something very compelling—any actual noise generated by the process is often weak and lifeless, for example, and what are enjoyable dynamics for an unprocessed sound piece or event may not translate. Coma Winds, the new solo project from Abhorrent A.D. operator Branden Diven, both does and doesn’t acknowledge such a “lazy” approach. There’s clearly more considered compositional work that’s gone into this, but at the same time many aspects still feel messy, imperfect, even unintentional. This is a good thing, for the unique character of Diven’s base sonic materials is somewhat retained; while some stretches have been sculpted into loud, churning crackle chaos indistinguishable from any recognizable “severe weather” phenomenon, we also hear rain falling with changing force, trees cracking and falling, and even verbal reactions from the individuals filming. This last element is one of the most interesting things about Fuoco: the startling and humorous exclamations that parse the muck on the A side function in a very similar way to the vocals in power electronics music, albeit more novel and self-aware (and somehow less ridiculous).