Review: Painflux – Anew (Gates of Hypnos, Jun 3)

a1049711654_10Poland’s Gates of Hypnos netlabel has been putting out some of the best material in contemporary wall noise since its inception last year, already boasting an impressive catalog of over a hundred forward-thinking releases by established and unfamiliar names alike, and Anew (perhaps somewhat ironically) is no different. The 31-minute piece marks Thai project Painflux’s second solo appearance on an external label (following a number of splits and Pratyahara on ░░ HNW ░░ ) and fits GoH’s eclectic, descriptivist aesthetic to a T. Like a massive robotic butterfly trying to escape from a thick, sticky chrysalis, gummy goop and oil and chitin clogging creaking joints and sheet-metal wings, Anew embraces intense textures both organic and synthetic. Vine-like stems of bulbous crepitation are tightly wrapped into a single shifting mass that seems to at once be implanted in the center channel and free to extend its countless tendrils outward—it’s like a tremendously complex cluster of rhizomes bulging with so many nutrients that its aboveground form is nearly animate. Fully executing this “rattling cage” type of wall in terms of sound design is quite difficult, but when done well, as is certainly the case here, the effect is spellbinding, even immobilizing. After a long enough time caught up in the strangling grip of these flagitious flora, the listener themselves begins to feel caught in the trap, and not long after realizes here is where they were always meant to be (pay no attention to the root that has covertly replaced your brain stem).

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