Not Bleeding Red

Nothing But Noise

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Not Bleeding Red Review

by Rick Anderson

Anyone old enough to remember Belgian industrial music and EBM pioneers Front 242 will likely be expecting something very different from what is offered on this, the debut album from former Front 242 members Daniel B and Dirk Bergen (with Erwin Jadot). The familiar jackboot rhythms and shouting are nowhere to be heard; instead, we get floating clouds of warm analog synthesizer (reportedly including such old-school mainstays as the Moog Voyager, Prophet 8, Juno 106, and even an old Arp Odyssey) buttressed by gently throbbing beats that don't compel dancing as much as they simply create a temporal scaffolding to which the layers of simple melody and complexly layered textures can cling. And that's on disc one; on the second disc, things are even more gauzy and ambient and frequently beatless. The very long suite-form second track (titled "CK" and featuring two subsections, the slyly titled "242 Hurtz" and "Vorspiel") is particularly lovely and also borderline soporific -- the line that separates a track like this from new age music is discomfortingly fuzzy, but nevertheless real and has something to do with musical intelligence, which these guys really do have in abundance. There is darkness in this music, but it's never oppressive; it's consistently attractive, but never cloying or saccharine. And their mastery of these old but still beloved instruments is reflected in the dense complexity of the sonic textures they create, even when the music seems simple enough on the surface.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Nothing But Noise 08:47 Amazon
Nothing But Noise 13:14 Amazon
Nothing But Noise 06:45 Amazon
Nothing But Noise 18:21 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick