Haswell & Akita's partnership started taking shape back in 1995 when the former called up Merzbow for a performance in the UK, at the Disobey Club. They started to record some material together only later, in 1999. I think you already know who Merzbow is: one of the first experimenter who mastered improvised live noise created with different devices (if you ever saw one of his early live pictures you should have noticed the amount of little effect stomp boxes and the long tangled wires). Russel Haswell has been active for about five years and collaborated live with Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, Peter Rehberg and Mika Vainio, just to name a few. "Satanstornade" contains material recorded live at London's "The Abbey" in June 1999, and the sound has been transferred directly into a Sony MD four tracks device. The four tracks of the album are noisy, chaotic and confusing. "Fend Off Your Miserable Grief" opens the album with four minutes of grinding noises interrupted by digital pain. Because of its cyclic background sounds, the seventeen minutes of "Unlock The Mysteries Of The Sun" remind me of the early Boyd Rice's experiments done using his roto-guitar, but the duo added tons of hiss and stuff. "Track 5" (which is really the third) has got a slight rhythmical structure made of bouncing noises, but along with that there's a tornado happening between your ears. The last one is the most powerful of the batch and it's called "Testicular Fortitude". With this one you've got "listening suffering" at its top: in the background there seems to be a guitar sample which is raped by an incredible amount of digital hiss, bleeps and buzz. For this release, which will hit the streets on November 25th, Warp decided to skip a bunch of catalog numbers and jump all the way to number 666. You've been warned! If you are into brutal industrial/power/noise then you got yourself a winner right here: two of the greatest geniuses of the genre for a CD that is a good as it is extreme! Don't miss out!
Review by: Maurizio Pustianaz