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Experimental Music: Long Hair, Nokalypse, Tokyo Mask

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LONG HAIR: The Rise, Progress and Termination of Long Hair (CD on Fortyseven Records)

This release from 2006 features 58 minutes of rock-laced ambience.This album features three extra-long tracks.

The first piece utilizes soothingly strummed guitar chords to achieve a dreamy panorama punctuated by finger-snaps, until remotely discerned rhythmic crunches lead to a gutsier passage in which the guitar turns brutal, consuming its own outcries in a guttural feast of expressive industrial fashion. Percussion swells in tandem with the emergence of spacey electronics. The guitar is coaxed into more melodic substance while remaining dark and foreboding. Then the tune takes a sudden dampening turn into softer territory as fragile strumming reconquers the flow for a peaceful coda.

The next track flourishes with pensive strumming which gradually becomes augmented by drums that want to but lack the verve to rock out. The introspective guitar holds the percussion in the background until treatments overwhelm the beats and the meandering rhythms dominate the piece for a while, slowly accreting power and strangeness until the guitar reclaims the music's focus.

The last composition sheds all hesitancy and embraces a warped pop demeanor with sharply defined keyboard notes amid a swelter of bewitching synthetic effects. This playful character suddenly mutates into a rock mien with crashing guitar heavy on the reverb. Subdued percussion provides a forceful backdrop as the guitar displays hypnotic tendencies of a growling nature. Oscillations gradually overpower the music, rendering everything into a terse finale of contemplative minimalism.

Despite the carefully crafted low fidelity, this music exhibits a certain power that elevates it with rewarding results, producing ambience that stimulates the audience's latent imagination.

This release is available in its entirety as a free download from the label's website.

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NOKALYPSE: Ocean of Inexistence (CDR on Triple Bath)

This release from 2006 features 81 minutes of moody drone ambience.

Nokalypse is Themis Pantelopoulos.

Dark ambience is the keynote here, with sparse layers of environmental sounds spliced together with desolate electronics designed to instill the listener with extreme foreboding. Scraped cello lends a hint of classical presence to the overall stygian ambience. Strummed harps waft in the distance, as if too frightened to integrally join the rest of the music. Passages of delicate ambience erupt with illbient fury, pursuing a grail of electronic fury before falling prey to their own exhaustion and sinking in a mire of minimal pulsating drones. Aggressive outbursts are liable to sputter out without warning, giving way to further expressions of dark sonic wrath. As the pieces progress, mass accumulates, punctuated by a rising sense of melody buried in the gloom. Harsh sounds swell and periodically overwhelm the atmospheric night like meteors plummeting from the sky, but the irascible melancholic mood proves triumphant in the end, returning the tunes to morose structures of minimal expression.

These compositions explore a strict dedication to decay and rebirth from the resulting ashes. Structures are built and then collapse under their own spurious weight. The consequent mood is one of brows furrowed under duress while entropy feeds on the world.

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TOKYO MASK: Hinterlands (CD on Low Impedance Recordings)

This release from 2006 features 50 minutes of metallic industrial music.Tokyo Mask is Kostas Karamitas.

The first track is a gritty dose of looping drones which exhibit a decidedly metallic flair, as if ship hulls were scraped to produce tones that could be blended with hostile pulsations.

The second piece employs a touch of mournful horn calling from the midst of a windswept glacier as an intro for a structure of harsh percussion backed by breathing textures designed to evoke wastelands under a cold sun.

Next, more metallic scrapings unite with a metronomic beat while a bassline rumbles underfoot to achieve a haunting disposition. A tide of angry electronics rises to provide a harmonic presence to the industrial composition.

This industrial sensibility is maintained in the next track, as vicious tones swarm like hungry vultures to worry a dying man.

The next piece works through a hesitant clockwork phase to reach a stretch of stark percussion underlined by electronic cycles that achieve an ominous mood and ultimately overwhelm the rhythms.

Again, stark percussion rules the next track, while dark tones marshal vitality and gradually attain a melodic presence.

Moody tonalities usher in a nucleus of portentous beats that swells until the track erupts into a menacing tune bristling with the promise of mechanical bloodshed.

The last track explores a terse void, slowly filling this vacuum with deadly textures that accrete substance until they reach a resounding crescendo of incredible ferocity.

This music is a pensive blend of abstract structures laced with industrial compositions designed to increase the audience's tension level.

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