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Kevin Drumm - Sheer Hellish Miasma

Behind the gothic façade and stark black design lurks Kevin Drumm's fine noise assault. Drumm is a notable figure in the Chicago music scene and past endeavours have involved collaborations with has worked with Evan Parker. He is particularly well renowned for his table-top guitar work. With Sheer Hellish Miasma, he follows fellow Chicago musician Jim O'Rourke to Austria's prime Mego label.

Sheer Hellish Miasma is my first exposure to the works of Drumm, and this is an impressive noise piece all crackling textures and powerful droning material. Drumm wield his noise wisely, and intelligently preferring long, long expansive atmo-soaked noise workouts. Drumm has a wide palette of instruments at his disposal - Guitars, tapes, pedals, analog synthesiser, computers - and he uses them to great effect. Ignore the references to Merzbow and other Japanoise exponents you've read elsewhere as Drumm's work is never over bearing or too jarring on the ear. 'Hitting The Pavement' is a slow building piece of gritty textures and shifting abrasions where distortion reigns supreme. 'The Inferno' is a turbulent soundworld of flickering electronics, splinters of richoted noise, metal riffing and other audible debris. It's carefully controlled chaos that manages to sustain a feeling of momentum as it hurtles toward its own sonic oblivion.

It all closes with the tranquil drone of 'Cloudy', a gentle counterpoint to the Sheer Hellish Miasma that precedes it. Mastered at an outrageous volume, Sheer Hellish Miasma is a fine piece of noise that recalls the likes of Bruce Gilbert and Mika Vainio. For more information go to