Gnod is the name of a collective band that in the latest years has explored unknown territories in rock music. As a matter of fact, they can be considered a punk band that doesn’t know the meaning of power-chord and it’s more confident in subjects like drone, minimal, looping, psychedelic industrial frenzy and noise to give you the idea. Just like this isn’t enough, they’ve got a Research and Development section where the co-founders Paddy Shine and Chris Haslam experiment way more in order to get new sounds for future works of the main band. On 3rd September they released the Vol. 4 of Gnod R&D and this is what you will read about.
All the music matter is condensed into two long tracks for a total of 40 minutes length. The first one, Void, projects the listener in submarine territories. Just like a submarine in deep, dark waters, the song takes you into the depths via drone low notes that always cycle around like the engines of a machine. Some blipping reminds alarm sounds announcing the emersion. We’re six minutes into the piece and the machine is on full power but the engines can’t resist the effort and begin to screech. This causes a moment of confusion: Alarm tones and beating machine are the elements that alternate each other with no precise direction, causing the shipwreck. The motors stop to function; the radar is so high on the gain that its blip is totally distorted and the sound of the snare too. New drone and a triplet-feel is everything that remains alive until the coming of insane, distorted beats that prosecute the track in odd groupings, some crashing glass in the middle and the final bleep bloops that report the last sign of life of the computers. The general ending pulse is in 5/4 but the brain refuses to accept regularity as a codeword.
Do you remember the aliens named Jawas who collected abandoned robots in the desert in the first film of the Star Wars saga? Listening to Droid, the feeling you get is being an abandoned robot in the middle of nowhere, with dunes of sand around you and nowhere to go. Droning sounds go hand in hand with a pretty improvised melodic synth line with some oriental flavor in it. A marching drum’n’bass section gives the rhythmic part and, obviously, it doesn’t pass enough time before hearing some droid-like blipping. Then, a sort of airplane comes in and welcomes a sinister echo in the distance and the march becomes even more urgent: some bombs explode along the path, and monster-like creatures appear, announced by their verses. Just like the previous track, this one is very creepy. You will recognize some of the monster sounds of movies. The above-quoted echo slowly transforms into a distorted radio signal from mysterious places. At the 15th minute, a string section links this piece to the soundscapes of classic horror: violins to create an effect and not to orchestrally arrive at a climax. At the end of Droid, a new alarm fades in and some computers wake from the sleep. Like a sort of alarm clock, a whistle wakes up the machines, computers start to bleep and engines start to run. Some liquid sounds is all that we get before the song fades out. Something artificial and terrible.
Who knows if Gnod will use part of this material for future purposes? If yes, it’s good promising.
Written for you by Music Pills
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