SSHE RETINA STIMULANTS: GNOSTICK ± AKTIONABLE
CDR: Diophantine Discs n=1 [2006]
Ltd x 100


High-Octane Gnostic-Praxic Disturbances
When They Awaken the Consummate Prescience
Through the Variation of the Lecherous Combustion
Aggravated Gift of Alertness

One of the great noise exponents, over ten years and counting, returns with another release…and I’ve given up trying to figure how many to date he’s put out…and a first for the Diophantine Discs record label. The second Diophantine Discs release Kirchenkampf - Transmissions can be found elsewhere [read review here]. Must stop doing this. Getting way ahead of myself. Again. A quick recap for anyone who needs it. Paolo Bandera records as Sshe Retina Stimulants. He’s Italian by the way. Not that that matters obviously but it is kind of nice to know. He also recorded with legendary…and it was…act Sigillum S and Helix and…this takes some beating…as part of Iugula-Thor. The man's CV encapsulates one impressive body of work. Never one to stand stil "Gnostick & Aktionable" is a slight departure from his normal uncompromising…some might suggest aurally damaging past…and into the more ear friendly territory of experimental noise / drone / ambience.

Featuring just under 40 minutes of music spread over four tracks with titles ‘High-octane gnostic-praxic disturbance’, ‘When they awaken the consummate prescience’, ‘Through the variation of the lecherous combustion’ and ‘Aggravated gift of alertness’…giving Captain Beef heart a run for his money in the wacky title stakes. When you read the inside cover that the music is ‘debating gluey themes and accusations against knowledge in the pursuit of destroying one’s impotence’ you can’t help but smile. He’s a humour filled cad is our Paolo. Although the mighty beast of noise that typified Sshe Retina Stimulants has been tamed it hasn’t been neutered and is still a dangerous animal to be respected and approached cautiously. These electrifying sound sculptures / experimental electronic pieces / sonic adventures of inescapable beauty still pack a hidden punch when least expected. By stripping away the veneer of excessive complexity Paolo goes for a simplified though no less caustic approach where the music becomes both a torment and a pacifying relief. The electronic whirls and shrills may be tempered but the overall effects are still the same. Sometimes hauntingly hypnotic. Other times hard to accept and understand. He throws the music out in such seemingly random stylised patterns that even the tough love parts become bearable over time. Therein is the crux. You have to give this music time. Time to absorb the sonics and to reflect on all the little subtleties that are forever occurring. We are after all talking about Paolo Bandera. Not the easiest of musicians to get into but a mans whose esteemed work is to be admired…and rightly so.

This limited edition, 100 copies, comes in a slim-line cd case with colour cover which isn’t great shakes sorry to say. I think Diophantine Discs should do a re-think presentation wise for future releases. Just my opinion of course. Other than that as first releases on a new label go they’ve picked an edifying blinder to get themselves started.

ANM


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