Saturday, 27 June 2009


Title: DNA
Format: Officially, this was a tape-only release jointly issued through the Skullfucking Distro (Canada) and the Smell The Stench label (Australia) in 2007. However, there does exist a bootleg version of the album on CDr released by Kenji Siratori through HyperModern Records (Japan), catalogue reference HM#139. Both variants shown above.
Edition: Tape pressing unknown. The CDr is believed to be only 100 copies

Track Listing:

Genetic Code A
01. Anti Vital 9.24
02. Orbit 3.52
03. Corpse City II 3.30

Genetic Code B
04. Corpse City I 22.21
05. Transfiguration 20.12
06. Dark Side 16.04

It's a beautifully warm summer day outside, but Nazgul is manfully grappling with this B-Machina release for the edification of the legions of HonourAndDarkness readers out there. And grappling is probably the right word if I'm honest, as I've never quite 'got' this particular release and as a result it's always something of a strained relationship when I pop it on the death-deck.

You see, this is another collaboration between Kenji Siratori (the avant-garde Japanese writer) and B-Machina. You may recall I covered the "Acidhumanix" release in an earlier post. Once again, you have the combination of pretty discordant industrial noise interspersed with Kenji's rather monotonal, softly spoken word passages (in Japanese, of course).

It doesn't quite hit the buttons for me - it may be because the music is so stridently unmelodic and random for the most-part it's rather difficult to grab onto anything aurally as the tape is playing. It may be because Kenji's 'gabba' lyrics are totally impenetrable and, well, rather boringly delivered in truth. It may be that old Nazgul has his ears stuffed with cotton and wouldn't recognise genius if it bit him on the backside. Who can tell? At the end of the day, though, there's some pretty lengthy tracks to wade through on this release - and goodness knows, the effort put in to make it and release it does show - but it's just not my cup of tea. Well, it would be an odd man who liked everything after all.

Which isn't to say that there hasn't been some positive words written about this release. One entry from the Smell The Stench blog pages (or should they be bog pages? I digress...) opines the following, although of course it may not be entirely unrelated to the fact that they were the label in part behind this product:

"The image DNA places in my mind’s eye is of warped transmissions from a dying planet. Indiscernible voices apathetically preach of the end of times as the world around them slowly fails and fades into another chapter of infinite history. The first track, Anti Vital, while in the same theme as the rest of the album, stands very much alone. It’s theme is very militant and oppressive, but is comprised of off-kilter rhythmic samples. This track is a strange offset to the rest of this release, but is very likable and I will return to it often.

As a whole, this release rides the line between a passive sense of loss and hopelessness, a collection of uncaring eulogies for the dead and dying. Every track is filled with ongoing drones and voice samples. I am somewhat familiar with the works of both B-Machina and Kenji Siratori. I could not honestly say I can tell which artist performed which role on this release. This is a very strong example of the abilities of each artist, and speaks well for the collaborative effort between the artists and labels."

Fine words indeed.

As an intriguing aside, and something of a current issue in fact, the details under the 'Format' section allude to the fact that the HyperModern CDr release is an unofficial bootleg. Indeed, having picked up my copy online in 2008 I was unaware of that fact until in correspondence with Alex one evening, who happened to mention that he'd never come across a copy himself. In the past 6 months or so a vertiable slew of bootleg CDs - all paper bound with Kenji's lyrics, in limited editions of 30 - have been coming onto the market, using the Bonemachine and B-Machina names as collaborative partners.

Nazgul has picked up these as he's come across them, even though it's highly probable that musically they may have little to do with Alex's project (and thus are freeloading on the back of the recognition the project has) and most certain that Alex is not benefiting in any financial or other way from the releases.

I see a diatribe against HyperModern coming up as a future subject, dear readers.....

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