†††There's kind of a convoluted history behind the cult Japanese industrial outfit Nord, who started out in the late 70s as a minimal electronic duo, made up of members Katayama Satoshi and Hiroshi Oikawa. The pair only record a single album together, a self-titled debut that was released in 1981 on the Pinakotheca label, after which the members split apart, each carrying on a different project that still retained the Nord name. And this is where things start to really get confusing. Satoshi's version of Nord was primarily a live outfit active through the rest of the 1980s, while Oikawa would record a handful of records under the Nord name, before eventually disappearing later in the decade, apparently never to be heard from again. It's those now ultra-rare LPs from Oikawa's version of Nord that have become highly sought-after documents of primitive nihilism by hardcore devotees of dark early industrial music, released through his L∴S∴D∴ Records imprint that existed up till around 1985 or so. Two of those albums, NG Tapes and L∴S∴D∴ (both originally released in 1984) have remained out of print in the decades since, but a label called P∴C∴P∴ Records emerged in recent years, apparently with the sole aim of reissuing these albums for contemporary audiences, though they've all been painfully limited editions that have themselves gone out of print by now. We've managed to grab a few copies of both, though, and both are highly recommended slabs of classically morbid industrial that sit at a fascinating nexus between the earlier psychedelic sounds of the Japanese underground, and the more extreme directions it would take as the noise scene began to rise to prominence.
†††With its unsettling hand-drawn album art, Nord's LSD is a lost classic of creepy primitive synth music and psychedelic black-hole industrial, taking form with the minimal buzz and throb of the opener, a simple melody searing itself in a bright line across a field of distorted, throbbing synthesizer drone, simple yet strangely epic; there's some of the discordant electric guitar debris that would surface more on later recordings from Nord, with clanging chords drifting across the robotic throb of the title track, distorted synth notes squiggling and bouncing over the desolate fields of electronic whirr, hinting at the fractured psych-noise of later work. Surprisingly heavy at times, those blasts of discordant guitar echo and linger in the void, twisted chunks of metallic shrapnel tumbling over the pulsating black electrical currents, gradually leading the album into more menacing, more unsettling territory inhabited by hypnotic ghost-noise and deformed synthesizer music; there's a weird choice to employ strains of Jefferson Airplane's music on one track, but elsewhere Oikawa sends bits of fundamentalist Christian radio drifting through the void, gradually overtaken by vast waves of interstellar whirr and swarms of bacterial drone. These sounds seem to flit randomly through an immense blackness, blistered drones searing space like fragments of transmissions from some orbital death-planet, enshrouded in swarms of locustbuzz horror. These often stunning sonic descents into oblivion are laced with some intensely eerie moments, the closing track in particular leading the album out into a chilling minimalist deathscape that ends LSD with a nightmarish, funerary vibe, suggestive of some of Dennis McCarthy's eerie early synthesizer compositions as well as the charred electronics of early Bianchi. Limited to five hundred copies, already out of print.