Maussade – Mecaniques Sociales

The very first noise release ever reviewed on Archaic Triad was Maussade’s À la néantisation de la vie par l’homme rationnel. That CD was released in 2011, whereas Mecaniques Sociales made it unto audio cassette tape in December of 2016. To speak of harsh noise wall being “different as night and day” would seem like folly in the eyes of the world, but the world is not here right now, is it? Thus, we are fully free to state that this is indeed something very different from much other wall noise, as well as from earlier Maussade material.

If previously Maussade felt a deep love for Vomir, which would not be an unreasonable supposition, that love has now faded to a respectful, platonic friendship. The first track, entitled “MS-I”, does indeed start off very much a pure harsh noise wall. However, almost immediately we are treated to a palette of additional sounds. An obscure melody skulks in the violent noise winds, and high pitched squeals are struggling to get out. Towards the end they succeed, and the wall turns into pure harsh noise. Nothing Japanese or crazy, mind you, but certainly something different from pure HNW.

The second track, “MS-II” takes another route, beginning with industrial junk sounds and a somewhat unmelodic melody. It then escalates into a massive, bass dominated wall. There are dynamic changes, but once the basic pile of feedback, distortion and static gets going, the track rarely if ever lets up. It is most definitely not a Thing that makes you go hmmm. It is a nice 14 minute piece of wall noise, though. It keeps quite consistent until the end, when the bass takes its leave and a white noiseish fuzz closes the book.

The next track is called “MS-III”, and  since it is the last track any hope that the whole point of the naming exercise was to reach the number 13 can now be safely abandoned. It begins with a quasi melodic series of layers and noises, some even displaying rhythmic tendencies. These layers build upon each other with ever greater urgency, slowly going from almost calm to something more intense. The basic wall fuzz rises throughout the full 12 minute play time of the track, from bassy rumblings to ever higher pitches. There is no release of aggression or chaos, though, and the track remains somewhat meditative throughout.

As a final note it should be said that the digital download version of this material (available here) is clearly inferior to the tape version upon which this review is based. Whether that is because of mastering, superior tape quality or something else is not clear, but in this case it is strongly recommended that you shell out the cash for the physical product. It’s not about fetishism this time, it’s just that you will get a far better piece of noise. Unfortunately, the cassette seems to be sold out from the label, but the Discogs noise/industrial scalpers do not seem to have understood what a nugget they’ve got here. Because of this, there are (at the time of writing) a few copies left for a decent price.

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