Jul 2013 28

Dumb Machine - H.P. KittencraftDumb Machine
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: H.P. Kittencraft
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Owing more to the avant-garde and dark ambient, Dumb Machine creates an album as weird as the fiction of the title’s namesake.


Unless you’ve actually read his works – for instance, The Cats of Ulthar or The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath – or know anything about his personal history, one might not imagine kittens being associated with weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft, making the title of H.P. Kittencraft all the more humorous. Indeed, with song titles like “Fucked Up Shit” and “Fuck,” along with a cover image of some kind of octopus, it would be easy to assume this album to be little more than some juvenile homage to the author. The reality, however, is perhaps more disturbing for across the five tracks on H.P. Kittencraft, Laird Sheldahl bombards the listener with a barrage of scathing experimental textures to produce an effect that can truly be described as weird as the fiction Lovecraft created. As such, the album proves to be something of an endurance test as each track presents a vicious and incendiary array of distorted electronics and hammering percussive grooves, laden with samples that even in their manipulated state are clearer than the vocals. For instance, “Down” begins with a light helping of dark ambience driven by a bouncy pulsating bass, the beats gradually rising in tension and acidity before a wall of overdriven electronic noise arrives in lieu of a melodic progression with all the virulence of a chainsaw, finally fading back into the darkly ambient intro of “Die20.” This track, as do the rest, follows a similar pattern of steadily building layer upon layer of industrialized noise and decrepit sound design, the squelching bass synth, organic drums, and chugging distortion creating a rhythmic cadence reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. The same can be said of “Fuck,” which eventually descends into a swirling abyss of hellish and hollow sonic atmosphere, as if the listener were drowning within the wretched bowels of some strange alien malignity, ending with a sample stating, “Now, that is some fucked up shit,” adding a circuitous mentality to H.P. Kittencraft akin to Pink Floyd’s great albums. Suffice to say, this album is not for all tastes, and Dumb Machine does well to assault the listener with a truly experimental edge. This is not accessible industrial music, although those whose niche lies more in the avant-garde and dark ambient genres will likely find much to behold in the complexity of Dumb Machine’s approach. If you can withstand the onslaught, H.P. Kittencraft reveals a well composed presentation of audio horror.
Track list:

  1. Fucked Up Shit
  2. Friend
  3. Down
  4. Die20
  5. Fuck

Dumb Machine Website http://www.dumbmachine.net
Dumb Machine Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dumb-Machine/118193594870412
Carbon12 Records Website http://www.carbon12records.com
Carbon12 Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Carbon12Records
Carbon12 Records Bandcamp http://carbon12records.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Carbon12 Records Bandcamp
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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