Saturday, 27 June 2009

Shift/Romance - Gateshead Sessions Split c25

Here is a great and sadly quite low run tape. Came out in 2007, only about 60 copies on the always cracking Unrest Productions label, run by Shift.
Now, as much as a fan of Shift as I am (Unable to Abide a World of Silence is SERIOUS fucking BUSINESS, get it) I definitely got this tape mainly because of Romance, who doesn't release a lot but always serves up great slabs of harsh cut up greatness and is a serious treasure of UK noise. Predictably, his side is amazing, beginning with an epic string loop sample and building into his trademark stop and start harsh as heck cacophony. One thing that I've always liked about Romance is that his sounds seem to have a kind of recognisable production value (stupid term for noise but maybe you know what I mean?) as though each sound is really meticulously put together and processed and then layered perfectly. Real mad scientist stuff and thoroughly pleasing.
Shift's side is an interesting one. By his own admission when it came out, this is a far more harsh noise approach than his usual dark power electronic stuff. Two tracks here and this was made using a radio and a string of pedals and as a result is a lot more simple and even humourous that you'd expect. I always come to this tape thinking the next time I'll hear the Shift side I'll hate it, expecting the sort of boring, predictable bullshit you'd imagine someone might come up with by distorting a radio, but I'm always blown away by how well it comes off. For such obviously improvised pieces, this sounds really composed with disgusting and decaying speech just BUBBLING away under the horrid wash of white, crunchy noise in a way that reminds me of many early industrial experiments and is still very in touch with what Shift usually does. There is still time for some radio funnies though as we get to hear that cunt Robbie Williams have his voice ruined for the sake of a small run cassette release. In short, the Shift tracks are just as good in it's own way as the Romance stuff and the two sides work very well together.

If you download this, it might say it's a c20 in the title. MY BAD.


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