Pitchfork's latest installment of their Tinnitus Music Series brought some of the most extreme noise makers (Prurient, Andy Stott, Sannhet) to Brooklyn's The Wick for the ultimate in intense, loud, genre-bending music.
Hometown headbangers Sannhet kicked off the late show with a pummeling set featuring towering guitar melodies, thundering bass lines, and furious drum fills. Their epic instrumental style will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, but it's unlikely that you'll see these guys soundtracking any television shows in the future. Fans of Deafheaven and the most recent Alcest record will likely love the post-rock and shoegaze qualities of this trio and still, their metal tendencies remain punishing. On stage, the drummer is front and center and their triumphant approach is accompanied by an arena-ready light show and their primal energy is nothing to be taken lightly. Grainy film footage and stark accent lights only added to their exceptional presence and heavy hitting songs. There may be a lot of metalheads that aren't quite interested with infusing these new traits with a classic sound, but Sannhet are a serious force to be reckoned with and can truly hold their own on stage.
After mingling with Björk in the crowd, Andy Stott took to the stage and unleashed a dense, harsh set of vigorous and powerful electronics. Throbbing bass shook the building and heavily distorted vocal samples were layered over an ear splitting sonic palette. Potent textures swallowed the room and slowly, his set transformed into deep grooves of minimal dub-techno that added a new style and ambiance to the night. It wasn't as melodic as his most recent full-lengths rather more aggressive and agitated, but his dedication and heavily processed sounds were presented in a stunning display as beats were manipulated and morphed into frantic yet bold structures.
To cap off the show, Dominick Fernow took to the stage under his Prurient moniker and absolutely obliterated the room. Illuminated mostly by the glow of his equipment and some blinding strobe light, Fernow delivered an astounding set of industrial noise and power electronics. It was a terrifying sight as he screamed and howled with pure madness and stormed across the stage in fits of rage. Walls of white noise and intense feedback decimated the crowd and the sheer volume was off the charts. The abrasive nature of his songs can be discerning enough on record, but watching the mania unfold live is an entirely different experience. Through the Window gave the impression that Prurient was perhaps moving in a more accessible direction, but he is without a noise artist through and through. His hostile, sinister approach to dance and nightmarish sonic landscapes resulted in a physical endurance test and some sensory overload moments that challenged the audience in all the right ways. A resounding finish to a brutal yet perfectly curated showcase.