Review: Gate to Gate “I Turn Black Keys” CD

This insanely long five-track CD sees Greh (Hive Mind) joining forces with Mike Connelly (Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Gods of Tundra) for way over an hour's worth of what's been tagged "blackened noise". First up is the title track, which is the only new song herein, and it clocks in at fuckin' 38 minutes! Now, I'm not really sure what "blackened noise" is supposed to insinuate, but the first several minutes of this track are nothing but muddy distortion with an efficiently raw edge to it, which is really nothing new. Is it thick and oppressive? Of course. Is it somewhat sinister? Sure, I guess so. But let's face the facts: It's pretty standard harsh noise, there's nothing about it that's gonna make you do a double take, you know? In fact, aside from a few shifts in overall density that at times let a little more midrange detail seep to the surface, the bulk of the entire track is the same thing: Churning, sludgy low-end distortion with chaotic fits of movement trying to fight their way forth, while a few curious moments of atmospheric twists are created along the way. That's about it, really. The next four tracks are remastered side A/side B shots of two limited edition cassettes called "Bane" and "House With the Clock in its Walls", which run right around 20 minutes each. "Bane" opens with a stranger and more creative stance that uses percussive textures and eerie feedback that gradually swells to the surface and starts to take control while some weird vocal textures creep in underneath. The remainder of the piece tends to follow this same path while vibrating low-end and caustic waves of distortion kind of gradually come and go, to the point where the transitions are quite subtle. Nothing blows me away, but this selection is admittedly more diverse and original sounding than the title track. "House With the Clock in its Walls" then closes things out, again taking more of a varied road as thin wisps of electronic noise hover over sparse percussive resonations that quickly disappear - leaving just the reverberating electronics and some subtle humming currents that kind of come and go. This is a much more subdued piece overall, at least in terms of overall density, though some of the weird distorted effects on side B do seem to thicken up nicely. And I will say that the remastering seems to have worked well on the two cassette releases, as they honestly sound brighter and more vibrant than the new track does. As with most PACrec releases, the disc is housed in a matte black and white sleeve with lots of crooked handwriting and some abstract artwork on the cover, so it does have kind of a different look to it (aside from being sort of Wolf Eyes-ish). In the end this isn't really something that I could ever listen to again in one sitting, as it's simply far too long for what it has to offer, and its chosen direction simply isn't something that interests me anyway. I will, however, state that I find it interesting that all three of these pieces sound different from one another, and I prefer the more creative stances exemplified by the cassettes over the new track. I could see this collaborative project yielding results that I would further enjoy at some point (I quite like the latter half of "House With the Clock in its Walls"), but this particular outing doesn't really do so much for me as a whole, sorry!

Running time - 79:18, Tracks: 4
[Notable tracks: House With the Clock in its Walls]
PACrec -