Royal Hungarian Noisemakers – Downside

The art for Downside, by the Royal Hungarian Noisemakers features dead growth rising up out of bleached earth. Nothing here looks living. It is as though we are looking at the consequence of a life, at present stilled; brown sprouts grasp upward for sun and air unobtained within a crevasse torn from dirt.

The art for Downside, by the Royal Hungarian Noisemakers features dead growth rising out of bleached earth. Nothing here looks alive any longer. It is as though we are looking at the consequence of an attempt at living, a life at present stilled; brown tendrils look as though they were grasping upward for sun and air unobtained and, now, passed on, they are frozen lifelessly in mock of their ultimately futile struggle, trapped within a crevasse torn from the dirt that bore and anchored them. I suppose that’s just the downside, though. On the positive, you won’t have to mow.

Hey, it’s Alex again. I woke up and it seems most of the power’s gone out in this place now. Thankfully, the generators are running our backup lights, otherwise we probably wouldn’t be able to see anything.

The power company must have felt that art didn’t justify electricity… or, they decided music reviews weren’t sufficient bill payment. Whatever the case, it got a whole lot darker and creepier in here very suddenly… some the walls are the color of dried blood, and the rest are a rusty greyish brown. I think I hear noises sometimes. Loud noises. It’s almost like there’s some kind of giant thing walking these gallery halls. Occasionally, I’ll hear a low growl, too. Could be my stomach, or, I don’t know… maybe the art is “settling”?

Or… it’s a werewolf.

Not to jump to conclusions or anything, but that would be our luck, eh? Do they put werewolves in museums? No… I guess not, since they aren’t real.

Well, whatever it is, I’m sure it will not find us. It’s dark, and werewolves aren’t known for having great sight. Because, they aren’t real… I mean, otherwise, yeah, they’d probably have great night gallery vision. Much better than ours.


On that note, let’s forget the song and listen to something else entirely. How about the one right in front of us?

Downside begins with a piece titled, as you may assume, ‘Downside’. Immediately textural and complex, it feels like an electronic jungle comprised of tape machine chatter, typewriters, R2-D2 whirs, the hum of a hundred microwaves cooking tv dinners. The click clack is rhythmic and soothing. Hard to find a downside here… I’m liking this a lot. The frequencies have an organic quality to the way they seem to move so erratically. Mechanical tones swirl around in the mix, and it gets very heady. The rhythmic layers intensify. Sharp, filtered beep tones pulse through. All I feel is noise after awhile… an onrush of distortion at different frequencies penetrate the skin, move the blood around. Still, beneath is all rhythm, rhythm moves the air of the piece totally. A robotic sequence, splash of dense electronic drum groove. It then reels itself back, to gritty digital sequences. I really enjoyed this!

The second and final piece on this album is ‘Kickback’, which starts where ‘Downside’ ended. Very heavy granular drums with punchy distortion bang through at first, tearing down the factory walls to reveal the ceaseless mechanical labour of punchclock drones. I hear what sounds like a smoking burnt terminator trying to speak through broken steel vocal chords. What I love so much about this album thus far is how rhythmic it is in such a subtle way, using percussive noise low in the mix as well as peculiar ring mod sequences to create a low, disorienting groove that feels more like shifts in the noisefield of space rather than overt pummeling of electronic drums, yet achieving that effect simultaneously in a really unique way. The sequenced synths become completely bizarre, there is an alien tonality. Soundtrack to abducted videodrome footage of factory murder.

I heard so much here that I enjoyed, but now that it’s gone quiet I think I’ve heard that growl again… it sounded closer… man, I hope Caffeinate’s alright, and not completely delirious from awesome music by now…

… oh, great, it sounds like our generators might be going down now, too…

… well, anyway, take a listen to this excellent noise album at the following link:

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