Buben – Kernel (NJMP3-0073)

Buben - Kernel

The artwork for Buben’s album Kernel. Or “Kernel”, if you prefer. “Kernel” makes it sound like we’re having a jab or something here, at what is pictured maybe. I decided to drop the quotations in discussing the album because of this. Oh, and the picture appears to be of a missile or something.

Artist: Buben
Title: Kernel
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0073
Keywords: Noise, Downtempo
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Belarusian native Buben was one of the earliest contributors to Noise-Joy, not too long after I first created the net label. I love the guy for so many reasons, not least of which is because he’s like a hawk, finding places to release his sounds on the net, and always sending along some giant block of text that often resembles the following, from his page on Discogs:

“Vladislav Buben – musician, promoter, artist, creator of some radio and art projects from Belarus. Vladislav did TV show about alternative electronic music ”Called for the electricians” on local MTV (Belarus).7 years Vlad represented radio show “The Lost World” (the oldest radio show in Belarus about extreme & alternative music) Radio “Mir” 107.1 FM Now Vladislav is main coordinator of Unsound-Belarus festival, concerts and events. Buben creates some musician groups and projects in diferent styles. Some music projects: Buben, Prus, Zeroism, Donald Dark, Ego, Zhraja, Manstappz, Kein, Shamaniac, Over Voltage, Bolshevik, Perpetual Deathic, Skvarka, Criminal Chromosome, I Me Mine, Bachus, Panie Kahanku e.t.c.)”

Though I can point to it on a map (or globe, if you’ve got one on hand), I otherwise know very little of Belarus. However, when I was working at a local grocery store a few years ago, we did have an on-again/off again regular customer who was from Belarus. I originally thought he was Italian, because he’d always be wearing a track suit, Armani, or a leather jacket with Rayban shades, all looking like they were bought in the 1980s. Very coolguy.

Getting to the sounds…

‘Kernel’ is just under seven minutes of strange, filtered noise and drone, that expands into a subtle rhythmic vapor with traces of low string pads. It’s got a wild feel to it, the shrill noises filtering constantly while underscored by the shifting rhythmic complexity of the other sounds. Low, bassy bursts of static and overdrive swell. Toward the middle, several sounds seem to drop off completely, allowing us to focus momentarily on the swirl of breathy, warping air. This changes throughout, until the end, getting louder, filtered occasionally. Sucking bits of noise flicker. Very intense, very much an experience worth having. Your hairs may stick up on end!

Oh yeah, you know I’m gonna put a link right down here, baby. Relax. I got this.


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