LINEKRAFT  Kikai Ningen  CASSETTE   (Nil By Mouth)   8.98

††As he did on his excellent debut for Malignant sub-label Black Plague, Masahiko Okubo employs an arsenal of junk metal, electronics, tapes and vocals to create a series of baleful industrial deathdirges for this newest tape from his one-man project Linekraft. Kikai Ningen is intensely heavy and aggressive, but not in any sort of "metallic" manner; this is true industrial music, dark and dystopian and filled with an inhuman hunger for chaos.

†† The first side of this blistering little tape is made up of four long studio tracks, beginning with the grim industrial pummel of "Nouzui": ritual drums pound slowly and hypnotically within a swirling black fog of factory rumble and collapsing metal. Coarse, acrid electronic noise sweeps across the heavy rhythmic pounding, like some grim industrial rendition of an ancient Japanese funeral march. Mountains of rusted-out metal and concrete and glass crumble in slow motion as ghostly voices mutter and groan in the depths. Slabs of steel clank together with deafening force. The air is thick with an atmosphere of technological decay. As the tape progresses into "Mercurial Ptyalism", massive mechanical loops grind like halftrack tread over more rumbling factory ambience. Rapid-fire jackhammer rhythms sputter and roar as stray chunks of metal debris whirl violently through the air, and massively distorted synthesizers send out stuttering martial rhythms in the increasing din of high-frequency feedback. The last two tracks on the first side ("SI" and "Nark/Interrogation") move from jarring oil-drum rhythms banged out on huge metal containers, booming sonorous tones that vibrate the very earth itself, gradually giving way to waves of crushing distorted drone and more howling, looping noise. And then finally, into a din of squealing lock-groove noises and skittering tumbling rhythmic chaos, like radar patterns repeating endlessly beneath the sounds of huge earthmoving machinery tearing at the ground and stacks of bamboo collapsing and rolling apart, this noisy surrealistic loopscape becoming more maddening as it goes on, until it eventually shifts into the sound of buzzing electronic drones that close the side.

†† The second side features live recordings captured from performances in Kyoto and Tokyo throughout 2012 and 2013, compiled into a single side-long track titled "Kikai Ningen". This stuff sounds even more nightmarish than the previous side, a low fi racket of screeching feedback and squealing electronics that are blasted out in controlled bursts over the steady, hypnotic clank of metal and drums, slow powerful rhythmic banging that echoes beneath the squall of noise and Okubo's howling, psychotic vocals. There's an old-school power electronics feel to this side of Linekraft's sound, but it's stretched out into something much slower and more tortured, an abject scrap-metal death ritual enshrouded in a toxic fog of petroleum fumes and lung-scorching chemicals, plumes of nightmarish glitch and highly distressed voice transmissions, descending deeper and deeper into realms of cruel sonic horror by the tape's end.

††As with other Nil By Mouth tapes, this is creatively packaged, enclosed with an insert in a full-color sleeve with a metal clip, and limited to one hundred fifty copies.