Various Artists

Macska Leves

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Experimentation is the very heart and soul of the Macska Leves compilation album -- the difficult, painful, occasionally unlistenable kind. Released on Manufracture as a limited-edition CD-R and bearing the names of Bastard Noise and Cock E.S.P. in its track list, it gives the impression of a threatening harsh noise comp, but it turns out to be somewhat mellower than what you'd expect. The almighty Bastard Noise's track kicks off with one of its trademark let's-eat-the-mic rants but soon percolates into deep space vacuum. Cock E.S.P.'s "Acoustic and Intimidating," a meeting with the Nihilist Spasm Band's Art Pratten, is exactly that and makes quite a racket. The other artists all keep ties with the noise ethos, but some contributions are very quiet, verging on sound art. Fat reverb and crude sound collages abound though. Standouts include Sudden Infant's incredible take on Jacques Brel's crooner ballad "Ne Me Quitte Pas" (looping a trickle of piano and a weeping violin line under Vocoder chipmunk vocals), Jalopaz's Arabic "Siegfried's Schwab," and Noexit's strange feedback etude "Chaines." Other contributing artists include Andrei Dergatchev and Tea Man With Tea Gum from Russia, Urbanoxfailure from Slovakia, Sist en 343 from Slovenia, Kiko & Marylise from France, and Gábor Tóth from Hungary. Not everything here is mandatory listen of course, but there are only a few bummers (Dave Phillips' opening ode to bodily functions "Eat Beyond Taste and Sensation" is a particularly uninspired offender) and the packaging (embossed recycled cardboard) allies class and D.I.Y. attitude.

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