Following on from their 2016 Moving Furniture release, Atsusaku, Broken Landscapes is a new collaboration between Gareth Davis (Oiseaux Tempete, Scanner, Elliott Sharp, Machinefabriek) and Merzbow, Japanese noise mastermind Masami Akita.
The theme of mechanical compression explored in the first album is taken further this time, being looked at in the context of the fears of mechanisation in the environment. A torrent of noise reimagines the North Sea wind farms, the industrialisation in Southern California and the fight for the survival of animals in their overrun habitats. Through three tracks, the sounds of these spaces are crushed and distorted, the sense of air being saturated by the shifting low-end drones and hum of machines, howling reeds and dense white noise pushing away the breathing space.
The acoustic sound almost suffocated beneath the dense mechanical sweep of furiously abusive digital cross-fire and unrelenting production line intensity. Hints of recognition as a voice from the environment shines through before moving abruptly back into the mechanical barrage of looping textures. Broken Landscapes is built on impenetrably thick walls of manipulated field recordings while the bass clarinet saturates the midrange, the massive swirling mesh of analogue and digital material painting pictures of the magnified terrain that surrounds us.