Rhythm & Noise

  • Rhythm & Noise
  • Contents Under Notice (Ralph) 1984 
  • Chasms Accord (Ralph) 1985 

The experimental, largely unstructured sounds on Contents Under Notice fall roughly under the umbrella of the band’s name, but just barely. One side consists of various-length sonic mood pieces (“Lull,” “Vagues,” “Looms,” etc.); the other is filled with “Monomenon,” a long hypothetical score of indescribable audio goings-on. It incorporates industrial sounds, other audio vérité, synthesizers, tape manipulations and god knows what else. In its raucous, multi-layered complexity, the piece asymptotically approaches sheer white noise din. Maybe this is what Martians with insomnia listen to.

The troubling anti-new age ambience on Chasms Accord could serve as the soundtrack to any number of offbeat films. Cut up into 13 segments with wonderful titles like “Lingering Fingers,” “Bent Metal Forest” and “Delve,” the LP — which acknowledges the assistance of Z’ev, Diamanda Galas and others — is high on drama and low on intentional ugliness, making it a vivid and apropos match for the stress of modern life.

[Ira Robbins]