The validity of the bandcamp noise scene has come under much debate in recent years, particularly the harsh noise wall scene. While HNW in the 90s and 00s still had some textures and variation to some degree (mostly due to it being 100% acoustic), the introduction of DAW noise had led to many creative endeavors, and some well…. not so much ones. DAW noise of one loop played for 60 minutes at a time has started to dominate many circles, and although I can appreciate the concept to some degree, even I have to admit it’s gotten me jaded from the scene a bit.
Often I’ll just listen to the first like 5-10 minutes of one of those albums and then just rate it on rym because honestly listening to the entire thing won’t change my rating. It’s the same sound the entire time, there’s really no need to intensely analyze it. To a degree, bandcamp noise has become largely disposable, both in how much is made, how little effort is taken to make it, and how much of it sounds similar to each other. Frankly, I’m actually somewhat ok with that. With a genre like noise, it’s more important that people are making what they want than strictly trying to make an amazing record. Noise is fucking noise, there is no real objective kinds of analysis, and quality to me is secondary to pure expression. For my mind, noise is Expressionism fully realized.
That said… after you hear dozens of these types of albums, it does wear you thin a bit for something along the lines of Macronympha, or maybe Hanatarash. The same kind of nonsense auditory shitposting but with some you know…. variation.
One of the best things that Rododendron does it essentially fix the format that plagues the drone HNW genre. His albums are fucking short. Each of his 3 releases are one, 20:19 second track, and in my mind that is the perfect format for this music and frankly everyone else needs to adopt this. No more 6 60:00 tracks of one loop each please, even as that is a cool and edgy statement in theory. Other Nature Noise Wall artists do this as well, although frankly I won’t feel satisfied until it’s near all of them.
The very physical plant theme is also very apparent in the textures, sitting in-between a noisy, industrial soundscape and clicky, unnatural static. A mixture of robot and lifeless, yet very alive all the same, perfect for plant life. This is in short, a very solid album with a very solid concept executed about as well as you expect.
There is something to say about the fact that the most memorable aspect of this album is it’s format, as generally one could label this album as “disposable” and not be totally wrong. But most music is disposable, and noise isn’t immune to that, even live noise. If you’re going to listen to a bandcamp album one time and forget about it, especially one that was maybe in probably 20 minutes, you can’t go wrong with Alsine, which contains all the ridiculous aspects of Drone HNW, while fixing other annoying aspects that would drive people away and continue the be annoying elitist assholes to anyone who is ok with someone not buying 500 dollars of equipment and renting a warehouse to put an album on bandcamp.
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