GNOD (R&D) - R&D Vol. 3 - - Soundblab

GNOD (R&D) - R&D Vol. 3

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2019-02-22
GNOD (R&D) - R&D Vol. 3
GNOD (R&D) - R&D Vol. 3

GNOD (R&D), as their name suggests, are a Gnod side project. On this album, GNOD (R&D) are Paddy Shine and Chris Haslam. Their collaborators here are Bruno OvO (percussion), Stefania OvO (vocals), Seba (drums) and Mattia (sound). Vol. 3 is the follow up to two cassette-only releases on Gnod’s Tesla Tapes label, and is available on vinyl and download through Sound of Cobra Records.

Vol. 3 starts with RA - ambient noises, disembodied voices, and glitchy noises set a subterranean, ritualistic scene that sounds somewhere between Aumgn by Can and something from the 80s linked to Throbbing Gristle (Coil, Nurse With Wound, etc.). Halfway through its 18 minutes the voices and banging stop and are replaced by pulsating space noise, which I find more enjoyable. The track is built up again using a rhythmic noise fragment to quicken the pace. The voices and banging return again, along with harsher noises, and I am reminded a bit more of Faust this time (it might be the drill) as it builds to an abrasive ending. RB also starts quietly, this time with what sounds like chains. Our old chum the drill is back, along with more ambient and subterranean sounds. After four minutes a rhythm is introduced and the track takes focus. Something approaching a proper vocal appears. These little glimpses of framework and normality engage us after the free introduction and the track builds nicely and feels like a Pagan ritual that is happening just out of sight.

The second record begins with DA. Again, GNOD (R&D) and their chums take their time to mark out the territory. Whispers and electronic croaks increase in urgency until, surprisingly, a violin appears. It weaves between a folk tune and something more avant-garde whilst some restrained craziness is building in the background. As with RB, these little signposts help us to find our way into the track, through the layers of buzz, clatter, and hum. The second half of the piece feels more like The Klangers, or something from Dr.Who by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Which, of course, is high praise indeed. Vol. 3 finishes with DO and the team get going a bit quicker here with the space noises continuing along with some random banging of the pots and pans. The droning and bubbling increases until a solemn voice joins in, intoning some manner of mantra. The voice is answered with shards of Industrial noise. I like this track a lot, there is a good balance between drone and explosive noise, between repetition and chaos. It ebbs and flows and ends over 19 minutes later having turned itself into an intense fog of drones and voices. Lovely stuff.

Vol. 3 is not necessarily something for the more recent fan of Gnod. There is some common ground but GNOD (R&D) are a weirder, more improvised, beast. But, for those that have an ear for the darker corners of Kosmische Music or 70s/80s ritualistic Industrial music, there is much to enjoy here.

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