Nicole 12 – Substitute

substituteNicole 12 is another project from the prolific Mikko Aspa, probably best known by another of his aliases, Grunt. Before I get too involved in the review, let me first reiterate the blurb from the Freak Animal website : Nicole 12 offers perverse power electronics for the fanatic audience. Sensitive persons must beware of explicit content!!

Yes, this is a dark release, the subject matter may cause offence and should be approached with caution. You have been warned. Dealing with the subjects of child abuse, paedophilia and parental dominance, Substitute delivers ten slabs of dark, disturbing Power Electronics.

The opening track, Substitute, leads us gently by the hand for a little over a minute, a vocal sample from a prostitute explaining how one of her clients paid for her to dress and and act as a pre-pubescent child. Backed with an almost cheery little melody, its almost out of place here. The subtle drone of electronic torture in the background hinting at the true nature of this particular beast.

We are then abandoned at the feet of track two, Holiday. An almost hypnotic electronic pulse drives us forward, a thin line of electronic scribble plays with the higher frequencies and a breathy, almost whispered vocal asks ‘What is your first recollection of your father? Is it the summer you went to first family holiday?’. The pace and tempo stay the same throughout, very little sonic movement leaves us hanging on to the vocals, a powerful and disturbing look at abusive parents and their corruption of the innocents.

Track three, Over The Edge starts with a detective, relating the story of the discovery of a murder victim , this leads us to the parent, describing her disbelief at the news of her childs death. The melancholic air is then torn apart by a wall of anger, a growling bass overlaid with a tortured electronic scream which mutes and distorts the looped vocals beneath.

Slut training continues the thread of abuse, hushed vocals with an overlay of rising and falling frequencies, a throb of distorted bass and a feeling of unease as we become aware of just what it is exactly that we are being told.

Skipping a track or two, we arrive at Ballerina. This for me is the stand out track on this release. It makes me feel incredibly uneasy to say this, but it is a beautiful piece of work. A lilting piano loop underpins the whole track, subtle atmospherics appearing from time to time to add a touch of menace. But its Mikkos vocals that give the track its drive. Anger, with an edge of conviction, this guy obviously cares for his music, believes in what he is doing. This is the least electronic and noisy of all track on offer here, but is by far the most powerful, disturbingly so. I feel almost dirty after listening to Ballerina, why? Because I love it despite its disturbing subject matter, because part of me feels ashamed to have partaken of something so sordid? I don’t know, its probably a personal thing, suffice to say, if music can cause these conflicting feelings in someone it is doing its job.

The following track, Always Wanted, wakes us back up, accelerating an decelerating machine howling creating an unsettling backdrop for more distorted vocals, a feeling of unease, threatening to deliver, yet holding back as the top end works itself into a fury.

Finally we end with New Generation, almost 13 minutes of tortured bass and heavily textured mid range frequencies. The sounds of angry machinery sweeping back and forth before settling to a dull throb and gurgling high frequency clicks which draw our attention to the vocal samples, and eventually fading to an almost serene melody.

Overview: Bleak, disturbing and unsettling. A solid release. Although Noise fans may be disappointed as it is in many places a sparse sounding affair, fans of the Power Electronics genre should try to locate a copy of this.

Review stolen from here.

01 – Substitute
02 – Holiday
03 – Over the Edge
04 – Slut Training
05 – Mental Dominance
06 – Damaged Girl
07 – Piggytails
08 – Ballerina
09 – Always Wanted
10 – New Generation

Substitute
PW: heavyelectronics.wordpress.com

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~ by heavyelectronics on April 12, 2009.

One Response to “Nicole 12 – Substitute”

  1. HARSH as hell but this is some pretty amazing stuff; Thanks!

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