Review: Aureal Goddess – Chemaera (self-released, Nov 11)

This is probably even stranger for many of you than it is for me, but the fact is that even though I still think of myself as pretty young in the grand scheme of things, many of the creators whose work I listen to and write about these days are even younger. For example: the artist behind the new Mexico-based project Aureal Goddess (thanks to a self-admission on RateYourMusic) is just 18, and they’re already producing noise music far beyond anything I or most others could even dream of making. Chemaera is a superb debut, one that marks countless fertile areas for future excavations even as it hits plenty of bullseyes. Extremely short tracks are often a good place to start for experimental musicians still honing their techniques and carving out their niche; longform composition and/or improvisation is almost always more difficult to pull off than it seems, so the frame of a fragmented onslaught of quick sketches provides the structural footholds that can support underdeveloped elements that might otherwise sag or fall off completely. The 25 “Phase” segments, each no more than 30 seconds long, are a merciless mixed bag of tympanic membrane–shredding harshness, with the spectacle of violence ranging from overblown power electronics rot (“Phase 96”) to Spacek-tier squalling blurcore (“Phase 120”) to vicious, high-octane electronic maximalism (“Phase 101”)—and yes, that’s just the first three. The whole album, even the much lengthier closer “Hidden Phase,” is tightly unified by a thick, oppressive nocturnality, but Aureal Goddess deploys more than enough variance to keep things interesting, namely in the form of the erratic drum machine that pops up intermittently. Listen to this as loud as you can stand.

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