Review: Augurio Drama – The Noise Box (Audible Violence Tapes, Jan 7)

I’ve become quite fond of a specific subset of noise music that is, like so many of the other Pepe Silvia connections and conclusions I’ve mentioned here over the years, easy to identify but difficult to define. Examples are easy—Discrete Vacaction’s Dreaming Through Chlorine, :RAH:’s Songs of the South, Odd Pike and ЖЕРТВА’s recent split tape,​ and, just in the past week or two, great releases by Vampire Girlfriend and Peasant Farm—but when it comes down to specifying what it is that makes them similar, it gets murkier. And yet here, with The Noise Box, relatively new project Augurio Drama has created such a colorful, ostentatious prime example of precisely what I’m trying to describe that it can just do the work for me. This eight-track full length offers up plenty of noise, there’s no doubt about that, but where others sculpt theirs into mesmerizing currents, chop it into fragments, blast it with inhuman force, Augurio Drama allows it to sputter, screech, slough; more “squeezed” out than “slammed down.” The sluggish, almost careless wrangling of mono-favoring feedback torrents and distortion-smeared rumble; the snatches and shells of jarring atmospheric electronica that feel like fractured afterthoughts; the kinesis that feels just as much gestural as it does passive; the thoroughly comprehensive weirdness of it all—these things are not only the essential features of The Noise Box, but are also key elements of the sort of deconstructed, hollowed-out, ephemeral pseudo-PE that I can’t get enough of.

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