January 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa / Anla Courtis – Golden Circle Afternoon

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BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa / Anla Courtis
Golden Circle Afternoon
Editions Mego
Street: 10.13.14
BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa / Anla Courtis = The Wanda Group + Skullflower + Rashad Becker

Written and recorded on a trip through Europe, this grouping of jarring noise/drone artists BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa and Buenos Aires–based guitarist Anla Courtis is some type of miasmic hell-ride into the Europe depicted in all those Hostel movies. I am saying that because my wife lumps this into all the “haunted house” music that I listen to. Golden Circle Afternoon is full of the type of squealing, squelching, contact-mic stabs of noise she is referring to. But listening beyond/past/through that offers some moments of pure brilliance on an otherwise straightforward noise record. The trio hits moments that rival Oneohtrix Point Never’s deconstructed synth styling during “Fish Is God” that is then blasted apart with some power-electronics blasts of noise. Courtis’ brain-melting guitar work is nearly undetectable, but his explorations into dynamic sonic landscapes have their mitts all over this record. –Ryan Hall

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