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Aaron Dilloway - Chain Shot

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Artist: Aaron Dilloway

Album: Chain Shot

Label: Hanson

Review date: Jun. 9, 2009

Wolf Eyes collaborator and well-known noise perpetrator Aaron Dilloway here reissues his 2007 LP (originally on Throne Heap) on CD, adding a third track to the two side-long pieces from the LP. Going for a textural approach rather than an in-your-face noise assault, he’s created a rather listenable set of noise that offers more than just background sound.

Dilloway’s no-fi creakiness is more investigatory than confrontational, more Crawl Unit style than Hijokaidan, more akin to early 80s Merzbow than later wall-of-noise style. The two 15-minute tracks from the LP mine two different types of sounds for their sources, while the third track nearly lacks sources altogether.

Both "Chain Shot" and "Execution Dock" layer loops to create a collage-type atmosphere, the former working with factory-floor type sounds, the latter with horns. In both cases, murkiness is the operative adjective, as the sounds are funneled through distortion and hum with an accent on the low-mid frequencies. "Chain Shot" is the more rewarding, with low-end scraping and high-end muttering like machines doing their own thing late at night when nobody’s around. The initial horn blast in "Execution Dock" signals a different source, but the wavering loop it decays into suffers the same harrowing distortion and mistreatment. The dirty, organic taste of these pieces is key to their interest, as it keeps things unsteady and hence unpredictable. They have a hand-made feel, and their ramshackle construction provides points on which to focus, making their steady progress evident.

The same unfortunately can’t be said for "Medusa,” the 28-minute ‘bonus’ track added to the original two from the LP. It starts extremely quietly, like the hum of a distant vacuum cleaner. It then takes over 10 minutes for anything much to happen, and even then it’s just different humming and some dripping water. This was clearly added because someone thought 30 minutes wasn’t long enough for a CD.

But when it comes down to it, those first 30 minutes are the only parts you’ll really care about anyway. Thankfully, they’re good enough to make it all worthwhile.

By Mason Jones

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