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Old Bombs / Wolf Eyes - s/t
CD-R (Miami, NYC / Ann Arbor, MI)



Old Bombs:
-old bombs 3
Wolf Eyes:
-wcbn 2/8/2001




Old Bombs: Dino, Vanessa, Carlos
Wolf Eyes: Aaron Dilloway, Nathan Young, John Olson

Reviews:
(Vital Weekly no. 338) Originally released by Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers and now re-issued on Public Eyeshore. These bands feature members of Fukktron and Monotract and use a weird blend of lo-fi analogue and digital sounds, to create weird sound collages. Old Bombs are a trio, who seem to be using manipulated audio cassettes and old analogue synths, which rumble some where in the low end part of this release. The music is a sort of noise ambient, with many layers of sound that go on and on, but has a trange captivating mood. Wolf Eyes, who have a couple of other records out already, played live for a US station about a year ago, and after a noisy collage intro, they turn towards using vocals, saxophones, feedback and percussion. In a way the vocals remind me of old Whitehouse or Ramleh, but the rest of the music is a bit unlike those bands. It's noisy in a lo-fi kind of way, and not noisy in a really painful way. Two fine band breaking the boudaries of noise, free improv and electronics. - Frans de Waard

(Ampersand Etcetera 2002_17) The split disk, number 56, combines two unusual lo-fi acts. Old Bombs present 'Old bombs 3', a 15 minute piece which combines a shifting layer of analog noises with a sub-text of sound manipulations. The upper level crackles and hisses, electro-scratches, percussive dits, whistles, cable buzzes and humms in an unstructured but intriguing way. Underneath there is hidden music, street samples, messed loops, strings, snatches of music, percusses. The layers are almost independent but play against each other beguilingly, so that where each alone may be ignorable, together they become stronger. 'WCBN 2/8/2001' is 26 live minutes of Wolf Eyes – and a strange murky beast it is. There is a number of separate songs – probably 3 – that merge into each other. Rumbling percussive noise, thuds, distant voices, squeals and pops in the first part extend into a thud-climax after which a more consistent rhythm and obvious vocal with lyrics (though indistinct). A pause and then a slow beat with guitar and synth highlights added, building to full on siren-synth, the vocal and soft squelchy squiggles. I am somehow reminded of The Fall, though I never saw them, but there is something of them here. An almost-flute and we drop back to a tone and drums. Rebuilding takes place, drones, squiggles, voice, pulsing squealy feedback before another vocal, with some nice synths that fades into a final segment which has drums, keyboards and an echoed vocal line which is closest to a song, and a fine place to close. - Jeremy Keens

(All Music Guide) This is a split CD release of two sound terrorist crews, although they attack using different weapons. First up is the trio Old Bombs delivering 15 minutes of electronic improv. Raw but very playful, they go through the tricks of the trade: glitch patterns here, random noise there. But they also add an analog touch through tape manipulation. It feels strange to hear Dino Felipe, maker of quirky instrumental electro-pop (see his Xanaconversex EP), loosing up and getting his hands dirty. Of Old Bombs¹ arsenal, the Ann Arbor, Michigan trio Wolf Eyes keeps only a cheap synthesizer and analog tape manipulation. Aaron Dilloway, Nathan Young, and John Olson are aiming at something much more visceral. Their freeform punk and anarchic noise takes the form of a vocals/guitar/percussion trio and often turns out ritualistic. The 25-minute track comes from a performance at WCBN. The station¹s VU meters must have been hitting the red a lot, because the recording is thoroughly oversaturated. Vocals are murky and the electric guitar feedback devastating. Both tracks have that DIY quality of underground live performances: urgent yet clumsy. - François Couture

(Komakino 11/10/2002) Old Bombs and Wolf Eyes are two experimental-beings and electronic de- builters, splitting this cd released by Public Eyesore (2002). As regards Old Bombs, we're in territories well known by glitches compositors, Oval and Ikeda in particular. Old boms 3 is a long track that lets you image how your hi-fi would play if it was totally mad: vinils running in a wrong speed, skipping cds, a radio with a broken antenna, wondering what of its 26 frequencies tuning on, and only choosing the oddest ones. Some recalls à la Marclay, more nevrotic. Wolf Eyes are some other real out of heads, -like the former, they play a unique long track, Wcnb. This is noise at its wildest form, generate by electric guitar, buzzes and sounds of various nature, not well identified, furious electronics. Ranging between a false electro-music, war drums, industrial distress of Throbbing Gristle, in their more evilish nature, Wolf Eyes are the speaking voice of alienation. Maybe early rancid things of Spk are closed to what You find on this cd. For brutal-sounds fanatics only. - Vono

(Aural Innovations no. 23) Originally released on a label called Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers (I'm not sure when), this split release between Old Bombs and Wolf Eyes has been reissued by Public Eyesore as a split CDR. Old Bombs travel down the abstract noise collage road. But while harsh walls of noise are very much a part of what they do, it's only one of several elements that Old Bombs utilize in sculpting their work. A variety of noise patterns are combined with more tonal electronics... sort of like a UFO hovering over a 20 car pile up. There's even some actual melody worked in as well as some less then harsh atmospherics. But overall it's a 15 roller coaster ride that is at various times quirky, zany and intense. It's a wild ride indeed, but Old Bombs seem to communicate a sense of avant carnival in the engine room styled fun. Wolf Eyes' contribution is similar, but has more of an experimental spacey noise rock ‘n roll freakout style and also has hints of free-jazz. Hell, there's even a sense of rhythm at times that may not get your toes tapping or your head banging but you may feel inclined to jump to your feet and scream or maybe punch someone. The first vocals I hear sound like rapping that makes it seem like a dense industrial hip-hop jam. But it soon transitions to angry ranting vocals against a maddened electronic space dance. There's really quite a lot happening across this 27 minute piece. It's called WCBN 2/8/2001 so I gather it was recorded live on the radio and I can just see the folks at the station squirming. Both Old Bombs and Wolf Eyes contributions are difficult, but it's interesting stuff if you're willing to put on the headphones and give it a close listen. - Jerry Kranitz

(Dead Angel no. 58) Enigmatic fragments of recycling sound adrift in a telegraphic sea of noise... that's what comes to mind when Old Bombs (Dino, Vanessa, and Carlos, whoever they might be) work their noisy mojo on "Old Bombs 3," the first of two long cuts on this disc. Using a variety of efx devices, radio (or scanner), and what sounds like a lot of damaged keyboards (among other things), they create thick drifts of noise that come and go as people pound on things, set off strange loops of sound, fiddle with pedals to change the sound texture, and so on. There are distinct movements, where they'll fixate on the permutations of a given collection of sounds before moving on, and the entire piece flows easily without interruption. Smooth, like carefully chosen spices for the king's meal. The second track, by Wolf Eyes (Aaron Dilloway, Nathan Young, and John Olsen), is helpfully entitled "WCBN 2/8/2001" and is obviously a live recording at the radio station. Their masterplan follows the one laid down by Old Bombs, but their noises are darker, louder, denser. They also get a bit of the tribal drum thing going at times, which adds to the sinister otherworldliness. The natives in the jungle grow restless! Another fine collection of devolved sounds and cryptic strategems from your pals at Public Eyesore. It'll go down best with white wine and cheese. - RKF

(Indieville 11/17/2002) Originally released on the Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers label, this split-CDR is a fascinating sample of experimental audio at its finest. A collaboration between electronic outfits Old Bombs and Wolf Eyes, how can this possibly be anything less than great? Old Bombs starts the set off with the fifteen-minute "Old Bombs 3," which is kind of like If, Bwana's work - it has elements of noise in it, yet is much more ambient and calm. What sticks out is the sheer variety of sounds within - it's a very dense audio collage with lots to engage your interest in. Dark, bassy undertones are present through much of the piece, and they offer well-received depth and mood to the track. It is a very enjoyable, thought-provoking piece and its atmosphere works well in the dark. Wolf Eyes' piece, meanwhile, is much more dark - it's also much longer, reaching 26 minutes. Although it is a live radio performance from 2001, it still seems carefully thought-out and structured (although the definition of structure is certainly a debatable one.) Wolf Eyes also incorporates a rhythmical beat into their piece, with vocals and a bunch of aggressive noiseyness that, while powerful, never seems harsh or violent. It is a nice juxtaposition with Old Bombs' piece, which is much more restrained. Altogether, this is a very enjoyable experimental release that joins the work of two of the most talented outfits on the scene. Those of the right musical persuasion will doubtlessly find lots to enjoy here. - Matt Shimmer

(I am Cancer 9/1/02) "old bombs" - three main noise pioneers spend 15 minutes with you! now allow them to barrage you with an array of gadjets that conjure sounds of mech birds, television static, and fragmentations of dust. its the way water is left in your glass after the ice melts. its the way your somebody. "wolf eyes" - three more main pioneers dose you with dark product manipulation, tape crud, sodered horn srkonk, and the inevedible death of the delay pedal. its the way your face gets smashed with a fist. its diet pills thrown like hand grenades. its your brain eating itself. - Chris Fischer

(Blastitude no. 14) In the last two years Wolf Eyes has released 'high profile' albums Dread, Slicer, and now Dead Hills. Got all those, and during the same time have seen them live at least 5 times. I try to hear it, but none of those albums sound like they do live. Live their entire project seems to be, simply, to THRASH, their signature song being a holy terror wall-of-noise version of "Half Animal, Half Insane" from Dread known as the "2% intro, 98% thrash" version of the song. While Olson pumps his fist, often literally rocking from "the floor up to the ceiling," Dilloway does the hairwhip, and Young does the serious pain-crouch. It's like they've completely lost control of their gear and sound and Nate is screaming and that's when they know it's really good. The albums achieve a colder texture; just as harsh, but much more sparse and spaced-out. It's not thrash, more of a buffalo stance. Ah, but not this release, which features a 25-minute live jam at a radio station that contains a 98% thrash version version of "Half Animal, Half Insane," catching them in the middle of a their 2001 national tour on which they were playing this cyclone every night, freaking the OOPS! crowd, besides the valiant few thrashing up front, into a sort of silence. Last show I saw, just last month, opening for Black Dice, was more in the "Dead Hills 2"/"Rotten Tropics" vein, which is still loud as fuck but more of a stone groove than a stone thrash. As for Old Bombs, I just reviewed them before this. They're still good. They're actually always good. Neither "hit" nor "miss" enters into it. I only took a couple notes while listening to their half of this release. All that survives is this: "like when some scary soft noise loop starts to sound like a voice saying 'Ride the trelly/Ride the trelly/Ride the trelly' over and over again." - Matt Silcock

(Neozine) Two bands, 1 song each. The first is 16 mins. And the second is about 27 mins. This is noisy noise noise noise! Old Bomb do great stuff with an achingly full bodied multi-track sound encompassing harsh rumbling, beaconing beeps, the crackles of AM imperfection and rushes of cascading air. Dialing, noodling, destroying, and making contact with other dimensions seems to be the concept here. Sometimes it reaches to you from outer space, and sometimes its just childish ham radio twittering mixed with keyboard 1-fingering. Interesting, but not imperative. Wolf Eyes create new levels of rhythm with noise and distortion while harnessing the squeals, sirens, and twittering of the astral plane through tweeking microphones and enraging amps. Sounds like there is some guitar scrap age, and some undertone of vocal warped ness. This goes on for a long time in an experimentation both in unconventional usage of musical instruments, and also with the listener’s patience. There is a lot of diversity and manipulation with both projects, and if you’ve never heard what I described, then they are fine representatives of their art form. - C.H.C.

(Eld Rich Palmer no. 12) A re-release (originally on UK’s Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers) of a split of two acts representing the facet of American scene that’s less known in Europe. Old Bombs is a project of the guys of Fukktron and Monotract presenting a 17-minute block of sonic scraps and dribs and drabs, obscure to an average music consumer. The method is borrowed from the peak of the home-taping era – a collage alternating with squeaky lo-fi series of prepared and manipulated. Retro noise, if occasionally revisited, may still sound really intriguing. A jungle of microsounds triggers the unceasing fluctuation of amorphous magma which, not uneasy to listen to, entices you to follow closely the trajectories of noisy meteors speeding by in great numbers. Good… Wolf Eyes are the people also responsible for Hanson Records. In their 27-minute set, based on the performance from 2001, the band shows the fascinations with the distant era of industrial uproar too. Unlike Old Bombs, however, they seem to prefer the strong expression of inward tensions over the meanderings of the sound preparing process. Wolf Eyes are shamanic and trancey, reminding of Suicide, XX Committee or SPK. In the moments of repose they indulge in dissonant whirls. The sound, as it becomes the old school, is far from the sterile feel. And that's good too... - Krzysztof Sadza

(Chain D.L.K. 3/22/2003) A reprint of the split cd released by Bentley Welcomes Careful Drivers, in the classic minimal packaging of Public Eyesore releases. Old Bombs is Dino Felipe (Fukktron, Hair and Nails and solo releases on Schematic), Vanessa Paes (Fukktron) and Carlos Giffoni (Monotract, with a few releases on PE including a recent LP). Their track, "Old Bombs 3" (circa 15'), is a messy mix of loops, distorted frequencies and all-out dada noise. A kind of experimental industrial closer to, let's say, Nurse With Wound collage extravaganza than to harsh noise brutalities. Which seem to be the deal with Wolf Eyes, who are probably a better known name now that they're on Troubleman. Their 26' live tour de force (WCBN 2/8/2001) starts with a menacing storm of feedbacks and heavy factory-like noises to evolve (or collapse) into a sort of anti-rock beast with "standard" instruments (I think sax, guitars and percussions) and a voice, all raped beyond recognition. Must have been one hell of a performance. Take a lot of Throbbing Gristle, some Whitehouse, SPK, and Sonic Youth ("Confusion is Sex"-era) as possible paragons. Nihilistic, dark, primitive and out of control like the best vintage industrial from the '80's. - Eugenio Maggi

(Splendid Ezine 2/14/2003) If you fear noisy, experimental music in the vein of Merzbow and Pita (or the rest of the Mego label for that matter), read no further. Go back to the warm, fuzzy world that spawned and protects you from these monsters. However, those who can actually discern between colors of distortion and take great joy in hearing juxtaposed blasts of noise that take off into a spectrum of musical styles should listen up. Both of the bands on this sampler employ a variety of electronic wizardry, turntables and effects in an improvised setting. However, unlike some of their contemporaries, whose work often resembles only white noise, there are an exceptional number of textures and layers. "Old Bombs 3" (featuring members of Fukktron and Monotract) exhibits traits found in turntable experimentalists Christian Marclay and DJ Olive, as well as the glitchy sounds evident on any number of Mille Plateaux releases. The drones and scratches take their own sweet-ass time to modulate and evolve, and it's the journey, not the climax, that Old Bombs wants you to experience. Wolf Eyes' "WCBN 2/8/2001" is a bit more dynamic, often using silence and a single elements such as a synthetic bass drum to hold the work together. However, at other times it's a war-torn barrage of prophetic distorted vocals. It's difficult to glean anything from this genre unless you allow yourself a proper amount of time for it to sink in. Fortunately for you, track one lasts a little under sixteen minutes and the second piece clocks in at around 27. It's only then that you'll notice the craft behind the soundscapes -- how the overall form makes sense, the complexity of rhythms and the skill involved in pulling this off live. Lie back, clear your mind and submit for fifteen minutes; your ideas about music will never be the same again. - Dave Madden


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