Review: Gemengung – The Indifference of Nature (Black Artifact, Jul 2)

I already reviewed a Gemengung tape on Black Artifact this year (January’s E.O.T.F., a brutally dissective reimagining of Suffocation’s Effigy for the Forgotten), but the promising new project deserves all the attention it can get, especially for The Indifference of Nature, a shorter and perhaps less intimidating follow-up to the debut. The information on sound sourcing is more scarce for this one, but I’d wager based on the music being “inspired by Nature’s bestial violence” (a wording I’m not sure I’m on board with) that at least some of the crunch ‘n churn has been distilled from outdoor field recordings. Though Kjostad is an obvious comparison based on such an approach, Gemengung takes a route that’s less cracked frost and feedback screech and more catastrophic forest landslide, and in fact stuff like Laurel Noose ends up being a more apt stylistic connection to make—much to my delight. Most of the A side tracks seem to fly by too quickly after the fact, and yet within each the cocoon of restless distortion seems to sustain forever, crumbling with structural imperfections that are quickly patched with shifting sonic platelets, quivering on the edge of piercing chaos. They all contain some sort of movement, which is most likely what enables their paradoxical pace, but that changes with “Autolytic Debridement,” the sole cut on side B and a much more stagnant, sluggish, suffocating slab than the ones preceding it, which makes me excited for the prospect of a future release from Gemengung exploring static noise with their already distinctive focus on shredded, splintered harsh textures.

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