SINO Re-Build Projects
Category: Industrial / Noise / Techno
Album: Ruined Silence
Blurb: Aggressively simple and straightforward and presenting an old-school, almost techno style of industrial, this latest album from this renowned Japanese act falls short of its full potential.
Having begun its life as the solo project of SINO in 200, SINO Re-Build Projects has steadily risen over the past 15 years to become one of Japan’s most exciting independent outfits. Relying on a purely instrumental approach that eschews the standards of vocally driven music, SINO Re-Build Projects’ formula is simple and straightforward to a fault; so much is this the case that the music on the group’s latest outing, Ruined Silence, that the music can often lose its potency far too soon. The album begins strongly enough as the simple reverberations of a sustained guitar riff atop shuffling mechanical ambience and a minimal yet poignant melody make “Ruin” a rather marvelous opener that hints at more orchestral complexity to come. “Blast” then begins with the distorted warbling of what could be distant voices, the thunderous percussion and approaching slithers of a repetitious synth loop eventually erupts into an equally repetitious guitar riff that is actually quite rocking despite rarely deviating from its three note structure. The same can be said of “Null,” the pulsating synth and bluesy riff waxing and waning amid jabs of static and distorted noise, the pervasively and almost disconcertingly sparse percussion keeping the groove going from start to finish. By this point in the album, SINO Re-Build Project’s modus operandi is so clear that the remainder of the album becomes more an exercise in keeping the listeners’ attention; tracks like “Junk Me…,” “05,” and the Burst mix of “02” retain the same architecture of fiercely mechanical percussive and synth loops topped off by repetitions of guitar power chords, with the latter track containing some icy pads that do give way to a melody, albeit a very sparse one. Other tracks either remove or at least diminish the role of the guitars, allowing the programming to take center stage as pummeling distortion and glitches drive “04” like a procession of malfunctioning robots struggling to maintain their operation, while “Wreck” makes for a more energetic track with an almost techno bass line, broken up by overdriven breakbeats. Overall, Ruined Silence bears the hallmarks of SINO Re-Build Projects’ sound, and there is something quite enticing about the purely old-school industrial approach that is employed; like a vicious crossbreeding of the seething aggression of early Cubanate and the metallic groove of Der Eisenrost. The simplicity lends itself well to the qualities of a soundtrack, particularly for a video game where the repetitive flow and the constant and predictable ebb and flow of the arrangements works well to such kinetic imagery and action. Though this could also lend itself well to a DJ set or two, it unfortunately also renders Ruined Silence a somewhat tepid experience when taken as a standalone album, and is thus not conducive to repeated listening on its own.