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Adel Souto

156: TAKING A LOOK AT A MOMENT LOST

(CHONDRITIC SOUND CASSETTE EP; 2013)

156-TALAAML

So… ya say that you were the only guy on your block (in your town?… in your state?) that bought Lou Reed’s METAL MACHINE MUSIC and actually played it more than once and – above all else – understood it? Okay, tough guy, have I got a release for you – the latest in minimalist metal from Adel Souto, a self-described “writer, musician and troublemaker,” whose musical nom de plume is 156. TAKING A LOOK AT A MOMENT LOST has a pots and pans, anvils and chains, everything-in kind of sound, very percussive in the best possible all-metallic way. This is the heaviest metal I’ve heard since “Weapon Training,” the opening track on Throbbing Gristle’s THEE PSYCHICK SACRIFICE in 1982!

156 mastermind Adel Souto (uncredited photo)
156 mastermind Adel Souto (uncredited photo)

Souto’s web-site (www.adelsouto.com) calls his 156 alter ego an “industrial junkyard outfit.” Okay… works for me. Whatever you wanna call it, TAKING A LOOK… is totally abrasive and gratingly beautiful. “Fading Images” starts things off with tinkling chimes, reverberated and phased into a ringing background drone, with a creep-inducing disembodied chant that may keep you up way past your bedtime. On “And the Crowd Calls For His Head,” the drone takes on the wail of a ship’s call horn, while the percussive impetus seems to be coming from finger cymbals and the hinges of large metal doors. “Expand and Contract” takes the previous track and ratchets the noise up to 11 before morphing into “Leaving Without Dinner,” a more sedate track, with chimes, gongs, cymbals and what appears to be rattling bones. For only the second time, the sound barrier is broken on “Blasting Away,” with what sounds like a kettle drum or large trash barrel crashing through the less-than-two-minute piece. “Compression” could be the same instrument but, as the name implies, run through a (possibly analog) sound compressor. The dynamics of the track lay within the silences. The final tracks work as sort of triptych of loud/soft/softer blasts of droning background noises and clangorous percussion. “The Midnight Hour (May Day)” sounds like metal-on-metal, run through that compressor with echo effects seemingly melting the “beats” together in a hypnotic dissonance. “About To Kowtow” is quieter and sounds very much like an anvil, a dishwasher and a metal sander vying for attention under an incessant headache-inducing whistle. “The Midnight Hour (All Souls Day)” is, perhaps, the quietest track here, starting with the sounds of what could be religious censers being lit by matches before erupting into a dive-bombing white noise cacophony of cicadas.

So, if you’ve got the guts for this kind of music (or if you’re an adventurous soul), you’d better get your order in fast… TAKING A LOOK AT A MOMENT LOST is released in a limited edition of 100 here: store.chondriticsound.com. Don’t dawdle!