The coffee is brewed, the stereo is warmed up and turned to 11, the cassette is loaded; time to enjoy some sweet noise and observe the very promising first steps of a new record label, Union Finale!
S/V\R – Sur les Femmes is the first cassette released by the newly formed Canadian record label Union Finale. The label was created by the highly experimental and avant-garde black metal duo, Menace Ruine from Quebec, CA. A band know for their very dark and experimental sound, decided to start a label focusing on releasing stuff from their respective projects, and for special releases from Menace Ruine. Sounds like a formula for success to me! Plus, a good eye for sleek and tasteful design gives the label an air of professionalism, not often seen amongst newly formed experimental/noise labels. And the label’s first utterance confirms my expectations of Union Finale from the first screech blasting through the speakers!
S/V\R, or Sévère, is a noise/darkwave project started in 2011 by Chanoine V. & Futur S.(one half of Menace Ruine). The project has released a couple albums since the formation and it has an overall focus on rhythm, or as S/V\R themselves say, “[the] sound of restraint behind punishment”. The comparison between S/V\R and Prurient is quite true, the first half of the cassette is quite similar to the early works of D. Fernow, with the heavy focus on textures and rhythmic amalgamations.
The A-side of Sur les femmes, I. Le Chaos, blasts of instantaneous with a noisefield of organised chaos of feedback, screeches, and noise. S/V\R manages to capture the sound and feeling of old school noise, the analouge sound quality, the sound loops and total disregard for not making feedback loops through the effect pedals. But they keep themselves from just layering every sound on top of each other, and delving into total wallnoise territory. They keep a constant soundscape of chaos, but let the rhythmic forms of the different sound ring through and form a pseudo-melodic harmony with each other. And I must say, that I most definitely enjoy the glitch element of the hyper fast looping sound towards the end of Le Chaos. For some reason it’s not something I haven’t heard much in the noise genre, but I wish it was more explored.
The B-side, II. La Nuit, on the other hand takes a more calmer tone to a more creeping and unsettling soundscape of sinister, monstrous noises with simple rhythmic percussions, kinda in the vein of the synth and darkwave style. But do not think that the power and energy has been lost because it’s more calmer, the energy is very much still there, keeping true to the overall soundscape and cohesiveness of the album. And it makes for a very pleasant finish to the energetic and unique chaos of noise and rhythm.
Sur les femmes is a great cassette for any noise, or extreme music aficionado. The consistency of the soundscape and the restraint of not going overboard with the noises shows a great understanding of the genre by the artists. But the use of individual track names feels a bit redundant, since the track mostly meld together anyway. The cassette itself, with one side black and the other white, is a very nice and creative touch!
Sur les femmes was a great debut by Union Finale and if they keep releasing this high quality music, I think we will have a contender for the new label of the year award!
A: I. Le Chaos
B: II. La Nuit
Next time on YTiMS, the hammer of the night will strike…