Finnish musician Marko Neuman has been busy as hell lately. I'd been following his work previously via the assorted high-grade bands he has been in (Dark Buddha Rising, Overdose Support, Sum Of R, Ural Umbo, Waste Of Space Orchestra). But until very recently, I hadn't heard his noise project Boredom Knife. It made an impact on me, though. Checking out previous releases like the split with Crepuscular Entity ‚Äéon Basement Corner Emissions or the Your Pain Is Getting Worse tape on Bent Window introduced me to a cruel, cold strain of harsh noise, a form of deep-field black static, flecked with elements of power electronics and K2-style junk-avalanche. I was already getting deep into it when Neuman sent me his latest recording, Stalker.
This twenty-three-minute release pairs two corresponding pieces, "Envy" and "Snap", the first a long and winding chaos-channel into the doom-laden intensity of the second. The atmosphere around this release is felt in the cold stare, the mindless gaze, and the resulting vortex of emotional destruction that was written in the postures of celestial forms long before the final act of exterminating envy and dominance occurred. Lines cut through the star-map of lethal obsession. The predetermined hunt.
Boredom Knife's Stalker emits a cold, piercing gaze instantly, the first side "Envy" churning out a dense wall of hollowed-out drones, black static, bursts of corrosive hiss, and strange pulse-like rhythms buried deep within the core of this ghostly noisescape. While there's much to digest here for enthusiasts of the "wall", Neuman produces something much more complex and dramatic. Feedback and speaker-rumble are carefully probed and manipulated, vicious high frequency noise expressed through rivers of metallic skree that are easy to drown in. That first track gradually and deliberately evolves from the mechanical whirr, junk-style clatter, and mangled (but weirdly melodious) carnage at the beginning, morphing into a steady field of layered screech and endless hum, sharpened metal scrape and clusters of bizarre, almost subliminal gurgling that continue to resurface throughout the track. It conjures a hypnotic, possibly psychedelic state of sonic overwhelm, each layer of cruel noise obsessively carved and sculpted into a latter half of near-complete roar, before it finally circles back to a final stretch of rhythmic squelch, immutable drone, and hideous shattered distortion that resolves into a final noxious junk-loop at the end.
This brief bit of structured noise is instantly obliterated with the onset of the b-side "Snap". Everything is sucked inward, imploding in a vast mass of roaring, raging static. Some semblance of the humanity heard on the previous track is dragged to the surface and obliterated. This piece concludes Stalker with a blast of oppressive, dominating black static that remains almost constant over the entire runtime. Bits of machine-like jitter, traces of peripheral musicality, horrifying shrieks, it is all swirling inward, into itself, this titanic maelstrom of over-modulated electronics and eerie voice-like entities, teeth-grinding distortion, and covert structures of sound, all going down the drain forever. This is where Stalker really turns into something psychedelic, affecting your senses and your perception of the space around you as that chaos keeps seething and spinning, occasionally shooting out chunks of strange sonic debris and whiplash tentacles of high-end feedback. And then, for the first time, a volley of fearsome shrieks and howls come flying out of that chaos, incomprehensible screams of abject horror. Just for a moment, those nightmare distorted vocals blow your hair back, and it all suddenly collapses into itself, leaving you with a brief moment of deadened electrical thrum before it abruptly stops.
I've listened to a number of Boredom Knife releases, and while much of his material shares this tenacious sadism and auditory blast-violence, this one gives me the creeps. Stalker finds that blood-specked middle ground between the gargantuan murderous PE of Slogun, and the obliterating heaviosity of classic harsh noise.