A nice change from the usual purely electronic nature of most modern noise projects, this self-titled CD from French duo Melmac is rooted as much in rock as it is in industrial or techno, with guitars doing most of the sonic heavy lifting. A number of these untitled tracks even display conventional melody. The second offering, for example, is deceptively pretty at first, starting off with gentle acoustic strums and the almost imperceptible percussive sound of palm lightly slapping strings. Gradually, though, effects are turned on, knobs are twisted, and what began as a light folk instrumental turns into an eerie moan of echoes and wails. The third track is similarly unassuming at first, with a muted hypnotic bass pulse eventually joined by two guitars playing in minor key, but again there's a crescendo of feedback that trails off into sustained organ notes. Track five is classic space rock ambience punctuated by chopped up bits of conversation in French, while number six is a nervewracking experiment in timing, with tranquil chimes unpredictably interrupted by squalls of distortion. Ending things is an extended drone piece; starting off with an simple machine rhythm decorated by strains of organ and plucked guitar strings, it then builds into a series of slowly sustaining tones that clocks in at over half an hour. This is noisy and experimental without, at least for the most part, moving into grating industrial territory, and Melmac's use of harmonic effects and recognizable guitar notes should endear them to psychedelic pop and Krautrock fans as well as the hardcore experimental crowd.
Visit Melmac's website at www.melmaccenter.com.
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