Photographer:Grimm, courtesy of Drunk Rockers (www.drunkrockers.com)
Billed as “The Noise Invasion from New York,” the band lineup for Club Harakiri’s inaugural night was nothing less than pummeling. Things started off mellow enough with Totakeke, a side project of Synth-Etik’s Frank Mokros; while Totakeke’s material is certainly more mellow and ambient than Mokros’s other work, there was still enough of a beat behind all the atmospherics to get the early arrivals out on the dance floor. There was a decent-sized crowd in the club’s industrial room by the time Aural Blasphemy’s Joe Abrescia took the stage, and his blend of dance floor beats, crunchy blasts of noise, and dark soundscapes had the audience moving, but nothing prepared anyone for the earsplitting onslaught of Synth-Etik. To see it without sound, it might’ve been another Totakeke performance – just Mokros behind his gear – but it was one of the most punishing rhythmic noise performances I’ve ever had the privilege of assaulted by, with blasts of devastating feedback interrupting manic drum loops and screeching analog effects. For someone who looked pretty laid back onstage with his baggy shorts, sneakers, and backwards baseball cap, Mokros’s musical expressions were unbelievably hostile. Headliner Terrorfakt was great as always; one of LA’s favorites, this time project mastermind DJ Hellraver was joined onstage by Karloz M. of Manufactura, Shane Talada of STG, and on drum pads Databomb’s Dre Robinson. Although there were a few sound problems during the early part of the set, it wasn’t enough to dissuade the crowd from forming a mosh pit during such Terrofakt favorites as “Arsenal.” An auspicious start for Club Harakiri, this was a great opportunity to see some quality big-name noise acts in an intimate venue.