x.a.o.s. - Algea
x.a.o.s. is one of the most impressive acts in the death industrial/experimental field. Effortlessly combining rhythmic noise, dance music, and every other kind of music into his own slaughterhouse almost sounds as if it would sound absolutely terrible. Perhaps to the normal ear that would be true, but to myself and other weird people who enjoy weird music, this is the kind of nihilistic music we want to hear on a dancefloor at a club. I first discovered x.a.o.s. back in May of 2013 when I picked up Psychomachy to review out of the blue; I saw it in our promopool and thought, "Well, at the very least, this will be interesting." After a flash of powerful noise, wickedly spun lyrics through distorted growls and much more, I was absolutely infatuated with x.a.o.s.' sound. I even went so far as to hunt down a copy of Psychomachy on discogs. That being said, I have been waiting for a new x.a.o.s. album for quite a bit, and that waiting has finally paid off.
x.a.o.s.'s latest album Algea has finally hit the shelves just this past April. Eight tracks of nonconstructive dance songs that play against modern stereotypes and tropes. 'Dysphoria' kicks off the album with a very lovely message that reads, "I don't want to die but I don't want to live like this." At first, the chanting and reversed music sounds almost ritualistic, but x.a.o.s.'s cut and paste branded music stems into self-annihilation and sudden growls as well as twanging dark club music. The music is bipolar and I love it.
'Heads' has a beeping line as if it's someone's heart monitor, only this is one fucked up heart monitor. The vocals presented sounds as if someone is being drowned underwater yet can still talk. The harder, crunchier music present in this track brings me back to the x.a.o.s. I'm more accustomed to; this music will fuck your ears up and you will love every minute that they bleed.
'Big Daddy' brings in a mesh of distorted piano music, synths, and layers of instruments stacked upon one another that bring forth this beautiful wall of noise. Mastermind of the project, Baph Tripp, has also explored his own vocal identity on this album to a new degree. His aggressive yet usually clearly spoken chords excellently fits the psychotic music.
What might be a shock to anyone who's listened to x.a.o.s. in the past is the next track 'My Girl'. It's a slow, ambient piece with an 80s horror appeal - which then turns the otherwise peaceful music into a bit of a creepy tune. It's a very simple tune that slowly rotates into a minimal electronic song.
'Hymn Null v1.25' is another example of x.a.o.s.' uncoordinated beauty. Slowly brought in by static noise, we land into an acapella of Baph Tripp humming and chanting ritualistically, "Zazas, zazas, Nasatanata Zazas," alongside deep breaths. After saying, "Just want to feel alive," the song moves into heavy drums and synths and gutteral chants. An ear shattering (and not the good kind) blast of static noise takes over the song for a good half a minute and then we're brought into a new, calmer realm. Tribal drums, synths, and more of Baph Tripp's breathing and humming accompany us until the end of the track. Talk about a fucking roller coaster.
With each beat sounding like a gunshot, 'IMF' was a winner from the start. Add in gruesome metal influences, anti-political and justice lyrics revolving around the power of money, and you'll have a pretty good fucking idea as to what this song is all about.
'Epicedium' brings along more tribal drumming along with random clashes of electronic noise, and a violin sounding background noise. If there is one thing that I will always say about x.a.o.s. it's that the man knows how to make noise beautiful, energetic, and constantly moving.
The most dismal sounding song on the album comes at the end with church bells and a very creepy atmosphere backing it all, 'The End' had a fucking terrific two minute build up. A delightfully spine tingling exposition juxtaposing the happiness of children and their ignorance of what is to come is told in spoken word format. When Baph Tripp announces what is coming, he blurts out in a horrifying and unexpected shout with organ sounds and slamming noise following for the next two minutes. Pausing again and going back to the same bell/atmospheric for another half minute, the song is blasted back into the heavier section. The last couple of minutes of the song is followed by the nightly sounds of a urban environment complete with bugs, static noise, and an off put screech.
When acts like x.a.o.s. exist and yet people are constantly turning out online, "There's nothing new in the scene to listen to," it makes me get a little sad but mostly annoyed. Projects such as this are menacing, gravitating, and madly genius. When creating music, it's as if x.a.o.s. puts himself in his own world and stays there for every single moment he creates this music. It's brutal, fun, psychotic, and sounds as if it took three different people to make. Baph Tripp is simply a mastermind when it comes to making this kind of music; genre defining it as death industrial or anything else is even hard to do when it doesn't even fit that genre. He makes his own music for his own self, and there isn't a damned thing anyone can do to stop him except appreciate it or move the fuck on with their life.
May 12 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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