‘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.