Cassette Review // Aether "Janice Fears Dogsand" (Black Ring Rituals Records)


One of the things I've found in listening to music which can be harsh noise is that a lot of it drones, even when it comes through heavy, so when I hear someone using those harsh noise sounds in different ways it makes me excited.   "Janice Fears Dogsand" begins with this beep glitching sound and heavy breathing, but it eventually goes into this screaming.   At times, it can feel like just screaming through the HNW.

What's interesting about the screaming is that in some ways it's almost like singing to where this could be along the lines of a hardcore/metal type of idea.  But at the same time, the screaming is just pure agony.  It's that idea of going up onto a mountain or somewhere in the woods where you know no one else is around and just letting it all out.  This comes through glitching electronics and static until it feels almost like laughing and the beeping becomes like Pong. 

A pause, between songs now, and we come back with a loud "1234!" which takes us into wild percussion and screams.  What I love about listening to this is that it's pent up frustration being unleashed on your ears.  It's somewhere between hardcore and metal, harsh noise and noise.  Like a locomotive it comes through, pushing, and then the resonating bass really sets the mood.  

The whole time you hear this and think of HNW you're also thinking about this just being the most ruthless and loud band that you've ever heard before.  I'm hesitant to name names, but just thinking of someone like Darkest Hour and knowing it's wilder than that says a lot.  You can hear the drumsticks hitting each other, it gets heavily distorted and louder before ringing fades out to end the first side.

On the flip side we start with forceful blasts of distortion.  We get into a deeper bass synth type of sound.   Unlike the first side, there are no vocals here and this takes us on a magical noise ride.   Alien-like now, as if a spaceship is taking off, and then we go into the void.  You can hear airplanes and static skips before the screeching comes in.  It's cutting through the wind and then by the end you'll hear these Darth Vader-like movements.  

Everyone experiences music differently and that's one of the most beautiful things about it-- it doesn't hit everyone the same way.  When listening to this cassette by Aether, I feel like for how abrasive the first side was there was no choice but for the flip side to sound the way that it did.  I'm not saying that the B side was soft and quiet, but compared to the A side it felt like it was needed to sort of calm down for not only the listener but also the artist.