Shapednoise - Aesthesis

  • Speaker-crushing rhythmic noise.
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  • The outsider camp of rhythmic noise has a devotee in Nino Pedone. The Sicilian producer known as Shapednoise has bridged the gap between noise and techno primarily through Cosmo Rhythmatic and Repitch (labels he runs with D. Carbone and Ascion) and collaborative partnerships like The Sprawl and Violetshaped. Pedone's background in sound engineering has sharpened a knack for complex soundscapes, setting him apart from lo-fi-leaning noise-techno peers. Whereas many artists working in that space have operated at a remove from clubs, Pedone, who came of age in Italy's illegal rave scene, has lived in Berlin since 2011 and seems to have one eye on the dance floor, as demonstrated on his recent RA podcast. "There is music that is more appropriate in different contexts, but that doesn't mean that you can't play experimental noise music in a club," Pedone said of his 2015 album, Different Selves. On his latest LP, Aesthesis, he revisits this dystopian dance floor perspective, pockmarking sparky electronics with craters of metallic noise and irregular rhythms. Featuring lyrics and vocals by multimedia artist and poet Mhysa, the LP's opener tips its hat towards avant-pop, with Mhysa dreamily intoning, "Give me back my faith / Give me back my ecstasy" over broken, industrial-edged beats. Tones, if not quite melodies, haunt Pedone's meticulous sonic junkyard. On "Blaze"—where Justin K Broadrick, another artist working at techno's noisy fringe, features on bass guitar and synths—Pedone employs extraordinary levels of low-end distortion, through which you can just about make out Broadrick's synth blasts. With "Elevation," warped, battered percussion suggests industrial machinery sputtering into life, but its groans and growls are almost musical. The album's searing closer, however, a collaboration with two experimental heavyweights, Drew McDowall and Rabit, is a gridlock of noise. Across these hellscapes, the devil is in the detail. Pedone sculpts and tweaks where others hammer and hurl. "I was thinking about manipulating sound in an almost sculptural way—thinking not about the music itself, but about the artistic intent," he's said. For some noise fans, Aesthesis may be too textured, musical or rhythmic to satisfy their needs, while four-on-the-floor techno heads will have to go elsewhere for their kicks. But Shapednoise isn't necessarily laying claim to either style. By his own admission, he's "not interested in doing really extreme music for the sake of doing really extreme music." Marked out by its slow-burning sound and Pedone's intriguing sonic embellishments, Aesthesis occupies a liminal space in the noise-techno canon.
  • Tracklist
      01. Intriguing (In The End) feat. Mhysa 02. Blaze feat. Justin K Broadrick 03. Elevation 04. Rayleigh Scattering 05. The Foolishness Of Human Endeavour 06. CRx Aureal 07. Blasting Super Melt 08. Unflinching 09. Moby Dick feat. Drew McDowall and Rabit