EP Review: Knifedoutofexistence – Fragility

Knifedoutofexistence is a harsh noise experimental electronic project based in the South of England. I’m not new to Knifedoutofexistence (aka Dean Lloyd Robinson) as I reviewed his last LP Cracks Below The Surface for Joyzine here.

April sees Knifedoutofexistence release ‘Fragility’ through label Outsider Art. This comes in both regular cassette edition and a strictly limited edition of ten which will come with a hand collaged cassette case and mini-zine of lyrics and art. The release was also marked by a live stream of a set of new material on Twitch.

So what of the release? The five track EP opens with ‘Work In Progress’ which starts with some beautiful field recordings of bird song and other ambient noises. There is an ominous distant rumble that threatens this peacefulness, yet it doesn’t come to fruition. Instead, the track morphs into some atmospheric field noise and gentle distant spoken word that is quite beautiful actually. Even meditative!

‘Better To Be Broken Than To Be Hardened’ is a louder affair and introduces noisy elements to the composition. However, as the track progresses, it again morphs into a tender piece with an ethereal quality that is driven by gentle electronica and tender chords. The track ends with the sound of water and/or breaking waves. This melds into ‘Water Drains Between Stones’ which is noisy and layered with distortion. Behind the wall of noise one can just make out heavy driving riffing that is powering this surprisingly tuneful harsh noise dirge.

‘Joy Rendered Bittersweet’ is 0.57 of harsh noise which acts as an interlude into the beautiful ‘Roots Torn And Exposed’. This final track is layered with harsh noise and distortion, yet if you dig deep and let it flow over you; it again has a vulnerable and warm charm to it that sets it aside from some other harsh noise artists. Just beautiful.

Knifedoutofexistence straddles the fine line between noise for noise sake, noise as art, noise as songs, and noise as meditation. He has the brilliant ability to make harsh noise both accessible, listenable, and something that is actually pleasant to listen to.

Now, I’m not entirely sure the same can be said for his live shows (look out for his output on Twitch and Youtube) as what I have seen, it is absolutely brutal. And I guess this is what I love about Knifedoutofexistence. There are layers to this artist and you never quite know what you are going to get.

Bloody good stuff.

Review by Ioan Humphreys

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