Various Artists

Geologists and Professional Tourists, Vol. 2

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The second volume of what appears to be an ongoing compilation series of Russian/Scandinavian experimental electronica and noise is a professionally pressed and packaged CD (Vol. 1 was released as a CDR with no booklet). N&B Research Digest founders Alexei Borisov and Anton Nikkilä on at least four tracks (three as a duo, plus Borisov is one half of F.R.U.I.T.S.). The other contributing artists run the gamut between harsh noise and meticulously chaotic laptop sonic art: Leif Elggren, Benzo, Pink Twins, Mebranoids. Even the Japanese noisician KK Null and the sound terrorists Government Alpha make appearances. The Borisov/Nikkilä tandem delivers some very good tracks, playful and nutty but also challenging. Other higlights include F.R.U.I.T.S.'s "Mineral Water" and Pink Twins' "A Fistful of Fingers" (a live piece that gives using modem sounds a fresh look). And Techincal Acoustics Lab pairs growling digital harsh noise with a naive electric piano melody. But Null steals the disc with "Assasin from Outer Space," a dark, pulsating alien transmission. If the first volume of this series retained some interested for dancefloor-oriented listener, this one takes things further into the extreme, with a serious emphasis on noise. And it does it well.

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