Richard Pinhas: Desolation Row (Cuneiform, 2013)

May 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Richard Pinhas: Desolation Row

Richard Pinhas: Desolation Row

I’d been aware of Richard Pinhas’ solo work for a while, as well as his recent collaborations with Merzbow and Wolf Eyes, and I’d always enjoyed all of those, but I finally got around to hearing Heldon recently, and WHOA. Totally insane progressive synth-prog-noise-rock, and maybe a bit underappreciated. Now he’s back with a politically charged solo album, and Etienne Jaumet, Lasse Marhaug, Noel Akchote and Oren Ambarchi are on board as guests. Arpeggiating synths, smoldering noise guitar, and trippy drums. Seriously top quality avant-noise-rock. Songs go on forever and you wouldn’t want them not to. “North” is molten lava overload, “Square” is relatively chilled and straightforward, and “South” starts spacey and pulsey and gradually gains drums. “Moog” is a long Moog drone with 4/4 dance beats and cosmic sax. “Circle” has a constant, shifting drum beat which gets buried by delay/flange-heavy guitar and insectoid synths. “Drone 1” is a long, fractal noise drone with sax and heavy, shredding guitar, in line with most of Pinhas’ solo albums. Another great album from a truly innovative artist, always pushing the boundaries of progressive and electronic music.

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