Review: Princesse Isabelle d’Évreux – Cogito Ergo Sum Paradox (self-released, Sep 24)

The Finns strike again, this time with the digital-only Cogito Ergo Sum Paradox via a new alias from prolific Helsinki artist Paju Talvilintu (a.k.a. Static Noise Bird)—perhaps a historically dubious portmanteau of French royalty is the only kind of linguistic conduit that won’t crumple or shatter when these vicious sounds are forced through it. Under their primary moniker as well as many others, Talvilintu has explored all shapes, sizes, and shades of abstract music, but as Princesse Isabelle d’Évreux they scorch the barren earth with violent, radiating shockwaves of shrieking electronics, thick seismic churns, and crisply mixed pedal-chain blasts that wax and wane between hyperactive structural splintering and hypnotic stagnancy. Besides the obviously appealing image the title evokes, “Scythe Wielding Girlfriend” offers an elastic sonic storm of the meticulously spaced, eviscerating psychedelic crackle arrays that they and their countrymen always seem to pull off so perfectly, while “Tortured = Pleasured” falls into deep, confining grooves of static between moments of wrack and wrath. The bleak “Erase Me, I Don’t Wanna Be Perceived” is perhaps the most summative demonstration of Talvilintu’s virtuosic noise wrangling, with detailed concrete-scrape cross-sections quickly but carefully exploding into unrelenting chaos, complete with strangely rhythmic blares of some dying machine.

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