It’s strange to think about how increasingly frequently we hear about incredible amounts of potential rising from the ashes of those whom came before us — after all, all things have a beginning and all things have an end — the endless ouroboros of our existence in all aspects. In that regard, it’s easy to see that, with Heathen Harvest, we met a necessary end in 2010 when an array of problems finally culminated into our journey as a journalistic entity shutting down and our ghost as an archive coming to form. We began anew only a short year later with a new helm, and for all that can be said about it, the strong development of writing quality certainly stands out. 2010 was an awful year for post-industrial music, not only in terms of losing publications like ourselves and Judas Kiss Magazine, but also through the loss of labels, most notably of which, in this case, was Quebec’s .Angle.Rec. whom sadly called it a day after seven years of representing some of the best names in post-industrial culture including Visions, Aidan Baker, Skinwell, and of course, Hyena Hive. Enter Noir Sur Noir, founded a year later in 2011 — rising from the ashes of .Angle.Rec in terms of geography (hailing from Quebec) and the quality artists they are releasing. This said, it should be noted that they are not affiliated with .Angle.Rec/Martin Dumais and operate under the tape format.
Hyena Hive is a duo of relatively anonymous industrial / power electronics artists in M. Reinhardt and B. Julian, both of which seem to be as involved with film as they are in their abrasive style of aural artistic expression. They have collaborated with experimental film pioneer Karl Lemieux and are currently part of the collective “Cinema Abattoir”. In regards to their output on a strictly aural-basis, they have spent their entire career up to this point on .Angle.Rec., first releasing their debut CD-R EP “Serengeti Serendipity” in 2006 and then the “See Saw Sav Ann Ah!” 7″ in 2009, the latter of which was mastered by fellow Quebecian John N. Sellekaers, whom is famous for his work with the more rhythmic labels in Ant-zen, Hymen, Crunch Pod (R.I.P.), Sub Rosa, and even the occasional Metropolis and Hive Records (R.I.P.) release. There was of course a solo seven-inch under Nos Royaumes that predated Hyena Hive entitled “l’Antichambre”, but I’m unsure of which artist from the duo took part.
To go along with their anonymous nature, there is an above-average amount of cryptic imagery to accompany this release. As with all Noir sur Noir releases, the artwork consists of a dark gray on black (“black on black”) which makes reading difficult to begin with, but there is only a minimal amount of text. The tracks don’t have titles, but are rather represented through three symbols. A half-circle, a circle, and then a circle with a diagonal slash through it. Two larger images include the latter of the three symbols and the simple text “WE WILL MEET AGAIN”. It seems to imply the process of birth, life, and death — coming into being, completing the circle, and eventually crossing over. The simplistic way of representing this process through symbology would otherwise hint at the atheistic notion that “This is it, this is all we are”, but “WE WILL MEET AGAIN” adds a different level of understanding to it. Hence an interesting level of universal communication was adapted with this release with the need for few words — a style of language fitting for the type of music/non-music that Hyena Hive represent.
On “Ø”, the sound inevitably begins as a crushing industrial noise effort with power electronics influences as witnessed through distorted and disgruntled mid-level commanding vocals. Side A will vary greatly in sound, from the opening abrasiveness to what will eventually evolve from a certain level of dark ambiance / industrial to a more mild form of power electronics / noise. This mild noise continues into the B-side with a noticeable amount of feedback in the background. The sound builds, fades out, and re-emerges as something more “hive-like” before being accompanied by more vocals — this time with a bit more emotion though, as is classic to the power electronics style, highly inaudible. It doesn’t seem that there is much harshness to be found on this release — in fact it is quite the opposite, shying away from straight-up noise in most areas in favor of minimalist, low-end industrial tension. Violent and somehow still cerebral at the same time. “Ø” isn’t an overtly original release, but it certainly manages in terms of atmosphere and serves as a great example of the strong Quebec underground.
It’s good to see that Hyena Hive were able to most on to another local label. That said, we miss you, Angle.Rec., and we’re happy that Noir Sur Noir is quickly picking up with quality releases where you left off.
A1) Sign 1
A2) Sign 2
B1) Sign 3