- Nino Pedone gives you just what his name promises: squalls of noise corralled into vaguely recognizable shapes. He doesn't come at it from the typical angle—the curious noise artist dipping toes into techno—but rather from the other end. As co-founder of Repitch, this Italian producer has real techno cred. He made powerful stuff as half of Violetshaped, while his solo work for Opal Tapes and Hospital Productions is more gleefully destructive. (His new trio with Mumdance and Logos, The Sprawl, reveals loftier tendencies towards dismantling.) Different Selves, his debut on revered experimental outpost Type and first solo work in over a year, takes it to a new level.
About half of the tracks on Different Selves have a discernible rhythm, and they're all brutal in different ways. On "Intruders," every kick drum feels like a meteor strike, bursting as the ground quakes underneath. It's an impressive piece of sound design, which is what makes Pedone's work stick out from the rest: his brand of noise has substantial impact, perhaps due to his background as a sound engineer. But if "Intruders," which comes early in the LP, feels tough, then brace yourself for the rest. "What Is It Like?" and "Heart-Energy-Shape" make for a formidable one-two punch later on—the former sputters like a rusty muffler, while the latter chews soundwaves into grotesque textures. It's among the most savage ten minutes I've heard all year, even after Prurient's double album.
Junkies for punishment will love Different Selves through and through. For everyone else, the way the LP is put together—increasingly furious techno that gradually melts into less comprehensible noise collage—means all that thrashing can fatigue. Closer "Escalation" is one of the record's harshest tunes, but if you came to it via "Intruder" and "Heart-Energy-Shape," it doesn't make the same impact it might have with some dynamics worked in. The two moments where Pedone does let up are revealing. The Broadrick-assisted opener, "Enlightenment," shows that there's a different way to get Pedone's point across, and it does so in a wide-open soundstage that amplifies the details rather than the surface-level noise. "Travels In The Universe Of The Soul" is a two-minute interlude in the middle of the album that makes a big impact: its delicately hollowed-out texture is the only respite from the barrage.
More dark ambient than noise, "Travel" hints at the kind of variety Pedone presented in his brain-scrambling FACT mix earlier this year—a kind of dynamism we don't really get on Different Selves. It’d be interesting to hear what Pedone's project would sound like if he didn’t reach for the brass knuckles every time, but in spite of the LP's title, there's only one Shapednoise on display here. And when it comes to the foaming-at-the-mouth noisy stuff, he's never sounded better.
01. Enlightenment feat. Justin K. Broadrick
03. Dream Within A Dream
05. Travels In The Universe Of The Soul
06. What Is It Like?
08. The Man From Another Place