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V/A – Six Doors (Housepig)

Posted: November 11th, 2006, by Pascal Ansell

Hark! What’s that noise? Well, it’s a fairly new compilation from Housepig records, and it really is noise. Housepig are an established ambient-electronica/experimental label from Minneapolis, and this compilation is a sparse listen with each song averaging 11 minutes of atmospheric synths, throbbing soundscapes and minimalist bruumpling, for need of a real word.

It starts of gently, Unicorn’s ‘Sleeper Wave’ lulling you into a false sense of security with a beautiful three note synth line strung out to barren echoes, but from then on it’s pretty daunting stuff. Japanese maverick Aube kindly offers us ‘Shackle’ – 5 minutes of cicada noise and scraping metal, then another half of piercing blips which gently slice the eardrums in a strange, almost seductive way. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this is oddly inspiring. The song reaches places in the sonic spectrum of which I have never heard before. It’s not just inspiring. This is fantastic, the song “tickles the ears” in a sense. Noise terrorists Bastard Noise unleash pure rage to terrifying extent on ‘Flesh Near Automation’ – like ‘Come to Daddy’ stripped to the vocals and background noise. Lovely ambient telephone bleeps with radio static and dark soundscapes disperse the remaining 3 songs, and the description may not sound incredibly appealing but it definitely is interesting. Pressing ‘stop’ on the player shocks you, this album becomes part of the background, filling the room with dense waves.

This album forces you to consider the possibilities of music without, err, the music. This then prompts the question: is this actually music? After all, Aube – real name (big breath): Akifumi Nakajima agrees: “I don’t think of myself as a musician or an artist. I’m a designer. I therefore consider my sound works to be designs as well.” They do say that music is ‘organised noise’ and this, in my opinion, is indeed noise but masterly pieced together, with a huge emphasis on space.

Reviewing this was like trying to describe something awful but equally attractive at the same time, and I really think there is something to get out of it. This compilation comes highly recommended to anyone with serious horizon broadening to do, or anybody with an open mind looking for a whole new way of listening to music.


Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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