I've always been a bit ambivalent towards power electronics if truth be told. Whitehouse certainly made some violent and challenging music but calling albums "Buchenwald" and venerating serial killers were the actions of a numpty, not the 'art terrorist provocateur' or whatever ridiculous string of words that mean "tit" head honcho William Bennett styled himself as and personally, I'd have kicked his scrawny arse all the way from London to the real Buchenwald and locked him in a vermin infested disused gas oven for 2 days for his cellularly-challenged brain to consider the unimaginable horrors the Nazis subjected their victims to there. The sound of children being tortured to death rather than Steve Wright in the afternoon a confrontational technique to challenge the musical norm? A brainless tosspot's fuckup more like and you're fed up of explaining your modus operandi to a misunderstanding public? Ah diddums - I'm sure there's a book entitled "How Not To Be A Fuckwit you could buy to soften the blow. After a hiatus, the Steve Albini produced Whitehouse albums of the 1990s were a completely different kettle of blood and, in places, genuinely disturbing musically but when certain Japanese producers such as Merzbow, Masonna and the fabulously named Gerogerigegege decided to try their hand at a spot of noise terrorism, they generated (I hate to think what crazed assaults their synths and the studios that housed them had visited on them) a sound so indescribably vicious and anti-musical, it rendered everything that had preceded it irrelevant (get hold of a copy of the long-deleted Susan Lawly released compilation "Extreme Music From Japan" if you think I'm overstating its overwhelming savagery). What followed was a retreat into the murky (and often crashingly dull) world of so-called 'dark ambient', one of the various predictably silly and/or boring bits of fallout from the inevitable implosion of second wave Norwegian black metal when the crew of neo-Nazi pillocks who made up its 'inner circle' either committed suicide or were imprisoned for murder or arson (both in the case of the odious Varg Vikernes, late of Mayhem now the sole member of Burzum who has been reduced to recording the low register whining noise of the vacuum cleaner of the prison in which he now resides which he then plays down the payphone to crackpots prepared to release them as albums. People buy them too apparently. If you know one such, move house immediately. Apologies for the lengthy digression but I was compelled to investigate a split mini-album of original style power electronics by two bands who go by the names of Bastard Noise and Sickness simply because I wanted to see if they could live up to their monikers and weren't cut from the same cloth as crustgrind progenitors Extreme Noise Terror who are neither extreme nor terrifying and only noisy if you turned the volume on your stereo up to maximum. Bastard Noise are actually fantastic, their 16 minute track "Death's Door" an undulating scree of aural unpleasantness that has obviously been assembled with all the care and attention to attrition required to make an utterly repugnant racket you actually want to revisit. Sickness are pretty damn good too so it could be that Prurient and Pharmakon aren't the only listenably horrific kids on the block. Try it. I think you'll like it.
Favorite track: Death's Door.