Alocasia Garden – Colony (Crow Versus Crow)


Colony’, the latest noise album from the prolific sound and visual artist Alocasia Garden (aka Reece Thomas Green), for the Crow Versus Crow label, opens with ‘First Light’, a rumbling chipped glass-rimmed drone-throb like a slowly breathing stone chest, an expanding and contracting complaining assemblage, something rigid paradoxically flexing. ‘Consumed by Struggle’ is less orderly, banging and clanging in some dankly resonant place; a blasted drum solo, but with some beats triggering exploding barrels, steam blasts and steel chair scrapes across concrete. ‘Allegory of Vanity’ is a claustrophobically dense and randomly violent piece of stifled clatter, sounding like contact mics dragged over the sea floor with an occasional roar like a trapdoor opening to reveal some savage toothed throat eruption. The album is often horribly cloying, like wearing a thick rubber balaclava several sizes too small with your head in a vibrating bucket full of shouting hammers. A particularly fierce example is the title track with its screaming glass-in-your ears noise gales – around halfway a low hummed dread-filled refrain enters that offers some respite and some form in the chaos, softening the hurricane of knives the track had been previously.


‘Colony’ is a surrealist assemblage; the tape cover an excellent evocation of the sounds within; impossible flowers blooming among relentlessly harsh ground; incongruity as an artistic strategy. I picture the artist trying to grow limes out of bricks, courgettes from a shower head, or revealing unfurled paper-clips within the folds of a cabbage. A planting of wobbly austere structures in an uncertain shifting noisescape of frictional concussions. The tape plays out on a looping refrain of bleak beauty, glowing synth hum limping over the sound-horizon.

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