Carlos Giffoni - Severance
With a back catalogue of extreme noise it’s quite a change in direction for Carlos Giffoni to tackle things from a subtle standpoint. To the uninitiated some of his work can resemble the sound created by throwing a handful of coins into a vacuum cleaner. But Severance is a far craftier beast, using guile and subterfuge to wreak havoc with the listener rather than pure brute force. From the off as the repetitive metallic hacking of ‘Severance I’ begins it’s not apparent where you might be heading, but every fibre of your being knows something is very wrong.
The album itself it split into four main pieces interspersed by three shorter blocks of unnerving noise. Almost field recordings of unimaginable horrors, they scuttle in the background waiting for you to let your guard down. These cadences of disorder transition between scenes suggesting what may lie ahead. The longer pieces themselves start with ‘The Hermit’ which throbs like an early warning system, its minimalist and simple approach forcing the listener to fill in the gaps of what lurks in the darkness. By stripping things back to such a simple level and exhibiting greater control of the dynamics of silence and noise the impact of each is amplified when juxtaposed against the other.
As the album progresses the complexity builds - but so in turn so does the pressure, tension and horror. ‘Knife’ lifts the tempo and buzzes like a demented mainframe, adamant on adding your organic matter to its circuitry. Nothing is hiding in the shadows during ‘Shaved Arms’. On full display is the blistering distorted pulsation of a pumping, evil heart of something from the works of H.P.Lovecraft. Finally album closer ‘Athens’' schizophrenic meandering suggests maybe the only escape from this evil is insanity. Like a corrupted child’s toy its simple melody soon distorts into a vulgar but breathtaking wall of sound.
Severance manages to create a space so terrifyingly real and full of gruesome possibilities from sound alone. Make sure Mr.Giffoni never gets hold of a video camera, as an assault this brutal upon multiple senses would mean none of us will sleep ever again.