M.B. (Maurizio Bianchi) – Symphony for a Genocide (EEs’T Records, August 2015)

Maurizio Bianchi self-reissues 10 of his 1980s works on CD (again), which you can buy either singularly or as a Mectpyo (read Mestruo) ‘Box’. Not knowing where to start, I’ve chosen the cream: Symphony for a Genocide is a monument, and if you haven’t gone to pray – or cry – at that altar then maybe now is the time. Bianchi’s famed LP initially put out by Nocturnal Emissions’s Sterile Records in 1981 is a brutal, desolate, awful meander through tracks named after Nazi extermination camps. Plunging the listener in an excruciating sadness, Bianchi masterfully joins the dots between the organic and the synthesised without having to demonstrate anything other than what he can honestly bring as an artist – and in retrospect, he brought a lot.

The record moves between rough, buzzing lo-fi textures and steely electronic coughs, with a slowness, a sternness, which is horrifying and extremely moving – moments of white fuzz alternate with moments of excruciating industrial bleeps twisted, deformed and deforming. Sometimes, through the valleys of pulsating noise something like a melody emerges, always in the form of a downwards whimper. Other times, the metallic swarm is interrupted by rattling power electronics, which seem to unravel, like some sort of breaking machine coming apart behind the trembling drones. Voices are muffled, mnemonic disembodied voices through the iron-hard hiss. It’s distressing and powerful, but it’s also a few other things: Symphony for a Genocide is a record without cruelty, carried only a disarming and desolate pain. You could even call it a ‘quiet’ noise record: it gathers its harshness not through violence but through a frozen sadness, and its effect is that of an anaesthetic.