Bell – Secrets from a Distant Star

Indian label Cyclopean Eye has spent a couple of years publishing bizarre and/or brutal music primarily from Asia. Working with bands such as Japanese cyber grinders Reek of the Unzen Gas Fumes and Indo-Russian noise black metal act Jyotisavedanga, they’ve already put out a quite large number of releases. Bell is the latest Cyclopean offering, but this time the band hails from the Western end of the world – America. The style is something that must be described as “accessible power electronics”.

Bell’s brand of noisy, heavy, bass oriented semi-musical electronics draws on Deutsch-PE like Operation Cleansweep and Genocide Organ as far as the music goes. Thick bass lines, moaning synthesizers, sparse distorted vocals and ruptured melodic segments. Some tracks, like “The Bell (To Full Rotation)” and “Law of the Cosmic Hammer” are rather noisy and brutal bits, while tunes like “Time Has Spoken Since Creation” go more for the suggestive, heavy and ominous. It’s seldom quite music, but also seldom pure noise. Most tracks have some degree of a kind of deconstructed dark ambient vibe going on, which is probably why this is quite easy to take in despite the heaviness, the distortion and the noise.

The theme is unusual for a power electronics act, but effective nonetheless. Rather than exploring controversial political or racial themes, or going through the usual sexual deviation motions, Bell has opted for Cosmic Horror style Sci-Fi. With titles evoking images of movies like *Invation of the Animal People* (1959) and the work of Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as the more realistic monstrosity of unlimited black space, Bell has found a nice conceptual niche. There is no cheese factor here; the music aptly expresses a wide variety of mostly dark emotions before things that may but should not dwell in the depths of the far reaches of material space – or perhaps at the centre of the Earth!

Secrets from a Distant Star is a great piece of extreme, inspiring and partly grotesque power electronics/ambient. It is available on tape for 12 Euro (including registered global shipping), but will also be made available on CD and vinyl in a comparatively short period of time. Contact Cyclopean Eye Productions to order, and/or keep yourself posted by having a look at the label’s Facebook page. And there will be a webpage at some point as well!

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