Review: Cyess Afxzs – No Bull One Left Behind (Krim Kram, May 5)

Krim Kram’s third batch maintains the label’s MO of eclectic selections new and old, and also delivers yet another definitive disc from a noteworthy noise newcomer; first it was Ireland’s Dressing, now it’s Cyess Afxzs (a.k.a. Stuart McCune) hailing from Switzerland. Having already begun making the EU rounds with releases on Industrial Coast and White Centipede, I see this project as aligned with an amorphous tradition of “post-harsh” that’s hard to qualify, but I always know it when I hear it. No Bull One Left Behind especially deals in complex textures that resist simple divisions of abrasive vs. atmospheric, processed vs. pure, etc., wielded in tensile strands that are rattled, strung, and braided across an expansive stereo field. Opening couplet “Shine 96” and “Everything’s Alright” are probably the most straightforward track, building anticipation with shuffled clutter and feedback-wracked downtime and then fulfilling it with dense, caustic blasts. The title track introduces more of the earthy, psychedelic concrète core that makes this CD so memorable, and it’s expanded upon throughout the lengthy and enthralling “Longer Ticket.” I want to reserve any description of “Scared Money Never Wins” because, as with much of the best noise music, better to experience it unspoiled.

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