Malebolge – “Evil Pouches”

This CDR release, released by the Umbrella Noise Collective and Roil Noise, is not unlike the concentric circles of Hell it being referenced from the Divine Comedy– for contained within the disc are many separate concepts, artists, and one seriously dead Italian author.

The quick version is that Rabbit Girls created some hyperactive breakbeat rhythms,  and gave a shopping list of track times to Ctephin for random noise generation. The two were finessed together with the gentlest of nudges, and voila! Instant album. If that wasn’t ballsy enough, Ctephin goes ahead and names everything after sections of the “Inferno” portion of the Divine Comedy. Why not?

Fortunately, it all sounds just fine. Believe me, it’s not the best way to make an album– there’s plenty of things a couple of noise artists might have stuck together that certainly wouldn’t have worked–  so its a happy accident that “Evil Pouches” listeners end up with some really nice moments where the rhythm and the noises switch places, grapple with one another, or dissolve into an aural slurry.

But while I’m not about to give anybody a hard time for a musical experiment, the inclusion of Dante can seem a bit forced, even fraudulent, considering Dante’s inclusion as an afterthought. Do the artists believe noise listeners to be too closed-minded to accept that an album doesn’t have to be “about” something? With any sort of distance, of course, its hard to tell– and there is certainly no need for finger-pointing– everyone involved (well, except the dead guy) lives and breathes for art, and probably works a “real” job besides.

Anyhow, don’t leave yourself in review-land Limbo.  The mp3s are free at Umbrella Noise, or order the CDR from Roil and get the nifty artwork featuring one of Gustave Dore’ woodcuts.

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