Sergey Pakhomov – Plastic Session

Sergey Pakhomov is the man behind Shishanote, Reason Art Records and numerous other noise related projects. Much like Ivan Sandakov, he is surprisingly devoted to harsh noise wall. To certain Russians, HNW and even digital online released HNW is not some temporary fun thing you do for a couple of releases before moving on. Rather it is an obsession, and something to be explored for countless hours on release upon release.

HNW usually has some kind of theme, with fetishism or nihilism being the absolutely most common ones. There has been the odd attempt to fill it with other types of content – Left or Right politics, for instance (usually with a “far” prefix). Considering that HNW is simultaneously extremely egalitarian (cheap releases, simple means of production, radically modern product) and extremely esoteric and elitist (cliques of artists and fans who listen to and defend something completely inaccessible to 99,9% of humanity), it has always had a hard time convincing as any sort of vehicle for either progressivism or neofascism. In principle, individual psychological or spiritual ideas existing apart from or parallel to politics could mesh well with a sort of “music” that works on the mind, but in general such things have also been far from the HNW movement.

With Plastic Session Pakhamov takes another route entirely when it comes to the theme: there is no nihilism, fetishism, or any other non-noise theme to be found. Here, the means of noise making are moved to the forefront. Using only an old vinyl player with textured plastic attached to the turntable (hence the Plastic Session), and a 5-band equalizer, he has created 6 long (10-20 minutes) tracks of raw, pedal free harsh noise wall. Each track is clearly distinct from the other, as the vinyl needle digs into different parts of the surface, and the EQ shapes the sonic picture. Track 1 and 2 (all are untitled) are very traditional HNW songs, with a surprisingly wet and powerful sound. The first track is a bit more bass focused, while the second brings up the treble and mid range a bit.

“Untitled 3” deconstructs everything to the point of absurdity, with only dry, glitchy clicks going on for 15 minutes. It is perhaps more interesting as a study of what can be done with the equipment than really enjoyable. The following “Untitled 4” brings back the traditional hnw, though with a few more crackling snaps and pops, as does the penultimate “Untitled 5”. The concluding 20 minute track is the most powerful one, at first bringing Sleep Column and other such projects to mind, but utilizing stereo in a way very uncommon to the genre, and offering a massive surprise by introducing some rather drastic (and really good) shifts in the wall as it progresses.

This is yet another great release by Pakhomov. Sometimes, you get the feeling many of these sounds could have been used in something else entirely – a cleverly constructed harsh noise album or something – but even in this refined, boldly stated and pure form, it is thoroughly enjoyable. And, yes, if you choose the cheap-ass interpretation of “name your price”, it is also free.

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