Jun 2017 05

ASKEW - Volume OneASKEW
Category: Noise / Ambient / Experimental
Album: Volume One
Stars: 3
Blurb: While not essential listening for those without an affinity for exploratory noise, this full-length debut from Justin Bennett’s ASKEW should please aficionados and offer a few moments of sonic discovery.


 

As one of several extensions of the spirit of free improvisation and collaboration that is Studio 23 Bologna, ASKEW offers up the noisier side of Justin Bennett; having worked alongside Rustblade head Stefano Rossello in such acts as Bahntier:// and kETvECTOR, as well as working with such industrial and dark rock heavyweights as Skinny Puppy, ohGr, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and Peter Murphy, Bennett certainly has amassed an impressive resume. While still featuring contributions from the likes of Jeff Smith, Filippo Corradin, Databomb, and Rossello, ASKEW is very much Bennett’s singularly distorted vision. Originally debuting in 2014 with a split album with noise maestro Merzbow, Volume One is the project’s full-length outing, presenting nine tracks and just over 72 minutes of caustic ambient textures that are sure to claw past the listener’s mental confines. As is common for experimental noise manipulations of this sort, to listen to Volume One is an endurance test on one’s auditory faculties as the onslaught of sound belies the conventions of harmony or rhythm. For example, “AAHHH” is primarily driven by the distant sound of what could be a human voice, reverberating with a metallic echo and chanting in odd patterns that at times intimate a rhythm, but gradually dissipate as the droning of two insistent and alternating bass notes as the miasma of synthesized oscillations continually wax and wane to keep the listener in a constant state of unease. On the other hand, “EEAAK” follows spastic manipulations along a discordant drone, while “KTCHH” fritters and scatters with indiscernible voices amid the haze of disturbed transmissions, almost evoking the kind of EVP experiments ghost hunters would conduct in a long abandoned industrial factory. Each track of Volume One seems to move at its own pace, moving through peaks and valleys of sound and dissonance that yield more than a few moments of intrigue and sonic discovery. While Justin Bennett’s other output may present more accessible moments of musical familiarity, ASKEW does come across more as an enjoyable excursion for him and his collaborators. Volume One is a rather arduous experience, but worthwhile for noise aficionados at the very least.
 
Track list:

  1. EMBEE
  2. FFNLE
  3. AAHHH
  4. ZPKTK
  5. EEEAK
  6. BFFWW
  7. KTCHH
  8. AMMII
  9. ZZYZX

 
ASKEW
Facebook, Bandcamp
Rustblade
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
 
Purchase at:
Bandcamp
Rustblade
 
2017-01-31
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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