The Empty Brain

by Marhaug and Meek (NOR/NZ)

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about

Recorded at The Best Studio in Olso, Norway, May 2016.

Edited by Noel Meek

Mixed and Mastered by Lasse Marhaug.

Sixnoises: "Of Meek’s three releases, it was his collaboration with Norwegian noise maestro Lasse Marhaug on The Empty Brain that I was looking forward to hearing the most. Marhaug’s vast and respected catalogue is replete with glorious free-noise hurricanes and improvised, ear-destroying freak-outs, and he’s well-versed in sculpting slower and more sombre soundscapes too.
Marhaug mixed and mastered The Empty Brain after Meek heavily edited the noise they crafted together in Oslo, in May 2016. And I was excited to sit down with The Empty Brain, because you never know what a Marhaug collaboration is going to produce. It could be a serious brain-boiling wall of noise. Or it might be a more playful collection of unhinged electronics. In this case, The Empty Brain is a bit of both.
Meek and Marhaug mix vibrant and even giddy electronics with glimpses of scorched-earth sonics and off-kilter transitions on the album. Dynamic tracks “Moth 5” and “Tripple Mammal” gurgle and hiss with tripped-out electronics, while harsher stabs of noise are threaded in throughout. Minimalist/formless rhythms on “Noble Eightfold Path” oscillate with unease. And the glitching and twitching electronics on “The Best Buddha Quotes” defy sedate meditative musings.
Creeping sci-fi thrills return on “Warm Blooded Creatures”; the track’s skittering and pulsating waves of noise working their way under the skin in an alien fashion. The Empty Brain finishes with its 12-minute title track, where Meek and Marhaug turn squawking and squealing electronics inside out, incrementally adding layers of stranger sounds and steadily applying more and more pressure until the track’s mind-melting zenith.
It’s not often you’ll find an artist or label releasing a trio of fascinating releases at the exact same time. Although, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Meek and his friends have produced such diverse and engrossing music, given End of the Alphabet’s reputation for delivering just that, time and again.
Meek’s collaborations with Campbell, Youngs, and Marhaug all highlight different spheres of experimental music. But, more importantly, those collaborations showcase just how creatively successful a meeting of adventurous musical minds can be. No question, it’s great to see Meek collaborating with such respected figureheads of experimental music. But it’s also pretty clear that he’s well on his way to joining that club too."

credits

released April 28, 2017

Lasse Marhaug - electronics
Noel Meek - tapes and electronics

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End of the Alphabet Records Wellington, New Zealand

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