Album Review

Ophibre – St. Asphalt (Patron Saint Of Army Ants) (Kendra Steiner Editions, 2010)


OphibreSt. Asphalt (Patron Saint Of Army Ants) (excerpt)

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Ophibre is never one to fuck around. He means business, always taking his drone to the next level. Never content to sit in one place for too long, he spits out records like St. Asphalt here, a brutal assault rife with hidden bliss, right alongside minimal space hiss & bubbles like on his last full length, Phase Plane Cake Decorator. This little limited Kendra Steiner Edition 3″ CD-R is a stout 19 minutes of everything I love about this guy.

The whole thing is an impenetrable wall of harsh grit. It goes from start to finish without so much as an “Oh you can chill out for a sec while you catch you breath (pussy).” Everything is swirling in an infinitely layered dense cluster, static brushing up against sharp electronic shards, underworld grumbling & thunderous howling, wind whipping through black holes, glacial stars throbbing and threatening to implode, twisters of sand & glass tearing through your ear canals.

It’s an insane amount of sounds. Each one on their own would be totally unbearable but throw them in an Ophibre blender and you end up with an unbelievably beautiful dronescape. But it’s not like there are beautiful melodies or soothing synths melting underneath. I have no idea how he did it. Either he just made a ridiculously fucking accessible noise record or I’m becoming immune to & dulled by constant noise.

St. Asphalt is endlessly listenable, noise for the noise haters, bliss for the bliss lovers. The most pleasing & enjoyable stream of coarse chaos I’ve heard in a long while. Wholly worthwhile for pretty much everyone.