Aires & Rui.P.Andrade – Pânico​-​Ambiente

Aires’ self titled debut album last year was a fantastic release. Combining drone, ambient and shoegaze with field recordings, the result was an incredibly sparse, bleak listen, the lack of melody and emotion making one envisage absolute nothingness. However, the new album, a collaboration with another Portugal based artist Rui.P.Andrade shows a very different approach, with the two instead creating devastating harsh noise, and another great album.

The album has two tracks, Pânico​ and Ambiente, translated, unsurprisingly as Panic and ambient. The former is a twenty minute scathing noise behemoth. Layered brilliantly, devastatingly shrill white noise pierces the eardrums while layers of messy distorted noise meander around rhythmically underneath, amidst an ever changing layer of textural noise, waves of which sound almost like shoegaze gone horribly wrong – a wall of sound that’s scathing and ugly rather than dreamy and ethereal. It’s a violent wall of noise, only occasionally punctuated by slow synths, giving a tiny degree of melody to the furore beneath, sounding enigmatic and somewhat surreal against the background. As unpredictable as it is harsh, the use of dynamics and pacing is what makes the track so brilliant – sometimes relenting slightly, suddenly reducing the wall of sound to one buzzing drone or shrill burst of noise, only to stick the knife back in with a violent twist and assault the senses with more ear grating sound. It’s definitely one of the more engaging pieces of harsh noise I’ve heard in it’s unpredictability, and its incredibly well done.

As one might expect, Ambiente is less intense, but it’s no less interesting. A low pitched rumble of distortion opens the piece, a cathartic bubbling drone that soothes the ears after the intensity of Pânico​, occasionally broken by sharp jolts of high pitched electronic noise. Their use is really interesting, unpredictably paced and pitched, building up by the end the track to a sharp high pitched drone.

There’s two brilliant noise pieces here, the immediacy and intensity of Pânico​ making it the stand out here. All in all it’s an enigmatic harsh noise album, highly recommended.

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