Hypnoz - A Score for Iron Blues

"A Score for Iron Blues"

CD-R (ltd. 150)

1. The Island (Intro) [mp3]
2. Believe
3. Night on Earth
4. Good Angels
5. Ut-Rest Ravens
6. Stone Ring [mp3]
7. Charms Water
8. Boat in a Fog
9. To the Aid [mp3]
10. The Black Windmill (Outro)

total length: 43:55
release date: April 26, 2011
price: €7

* bandcamp.com

"A Score for Iron Blues" is already the eighth full-length album of the project Hypnoz - a brainchild of Dmitry Zuboff (Zuboff Sex Shop, Circle Of Iron Tape, BRZB) coming from Moscow region. This music will primarily appeal to the fans of old school industrial - the raw and moderately rough sound of the album is based on the use of overdriven and otherwise processed bass guitar and voice samples. With the help of these simple means comrade Zuboff manages to create quite varied compositions which seemingly don't contain anything innovative but at the same time sound just the right way: through the album harsh dirty sludge joins rugged hypnotic loops and even mild melodic tunes creating a melancholic mood. One of the tracks features the specially recorded voice of Jim Thirlwell (Foetus).


Moscow area-based Hypnoz is know for its impressive quality, regardless of the genre and style chosen for each album. So, too, in this case. This time, the chosen main tools are bass guitar and vocals, both quite processed. While the work moves more in the territory of old school industrial than that of ambient, the material is easily recognized as the work of Dmitri Zuboff. Melody structures similar to his other works are frequent enough. At its weakest the record is on its opening and closing tracks, on which to a soundscape have been added sone dissonant vinyl noise by Mark Lougheed. Night on Earth, boosted with spoken vocals by Jim Thirlwell (Foetus), in turn, works really well, as does Believe, which due to its church chorals brings Noises of Russia strong to mind. Most of the music on the album is like swirling loops, completed by added speeches, bits of melody and short waves of sound. As noted by also the record label’s promo description, everything on this album is somewhat heard-before, yet it nevertheless seems like a new, innovative creation. In that, to me, is the genius of Hypnoz: Its music is familiar, trustworthy stuff, yet in some inexplicable sense different from others. If I really need to go into flaws, it’s that Breath of Earth (2008) was still a far superior work by the same artist.

Good, reliable old school-style post-industrial. Able to easily support many, many listens to, staying interesting, spin after each spin.

I can’t say I have heard even a quarter of the albums that the label Zhelezobeton has to offer, but I think I Have heard enough to understand that each release from this label is probably going to be an interesting one. This album by Hypnoz, a moniker for Dimitry M.Zubov- who is responsible for various other projects, including seven other Hypnoz albums, is certainly a good example for the fine arsenal of Zhelezobeton.

Adorned Gustave Dore’s art on its cover, “A Score for Iron Blues” holds ten tracks of lamenting industrial dirges. Through the heavily distorted industrial grinding, church bells and obscure voices can be heard, like in the wonderful track “Believe”, and create a welcomed contrast between the elements of the music of this album. True, it has been done a million times before, but Zubov can take comfort in the fact that not only that these combinations are done really well on “A Score for Iron Blues”, but through them, great emotional peaks are achieved on many parts of this album. The specific mood of this album is evident and persuasive from the first second to the last.

Two guests can be found in this album. Mark Lougheed is responsible for noise vinyls on the first and last track, and Jim Thirlwell, well known as Foetus, offers his voice for the track “Night on Earth”, which is another great moment on the professionally printed CDr. Printed in an edition of 150 copies, “A Score for Iron Blues” is a highly recommended album to look for, as Zubov is not likely to disappoint any fan of industrial to post industrial music.

I am convinced, without any concern, that every music style, nevermind if it is industrial or metal is a mirror of the specific geographical area's occasions and historical perspectives. That’s why I always try to keep an eye on the projects which take their roots in cold and distant lands of mother Russia . Due to the country’s history , many of them have an unique and independent sound. One of the flagships of Russian industrial scene is a label under the name Zhelezobeton, which presents us the latest CD from Hypnoz.

The man behind this project is Dmitriy Zubov, the well-known resident from Moscow suburbs. During his long music career he cross-referenced with lots of local scene comrades like Staruha Mha for example, but Hypnoz stays in his own expressions of the surrounding world for many years.

What can be heard on his last album 'A Score for Iron Blues' is an example of what is called “homemade” industrial and that throws me back 20-25 years in time. The main instrument, that Dmitriy uses in order to kick my brain, is a bass-guitar, which sound is distorted in different ways and principles, put into something that can be described as some kind of melodies. But what is good on Nadja’s CDs here stays wet and uncompleted. The feeling is that the drones, tortured out from the guitar, are not connected to the general ambiance and just fight with it to control the space.

With the track “Believe” I tried it 3 times in a row to find something that touched my soul, but now I ask myself why I raped my ears for so long! The same is with the track “Night on Earth” where I was totally bored by the story that was accompanied by dark ambient melodies . Why do this world need it at all? In posed-out severity I see only the lack of creativity. Even though I understood the chants in Russian on “Good Angels”, the purpose of it is still covered in shadows for me.

As minutes of time wasting passing by, I begin to digest that if the guitar doesn’t try to rule the overall process and stays behind the curtain of the message, like on “Boat in a Fog”, the music becomes more or less listenable. But this brilliant idea strikes me too late and after 44 minutes of phlegmatic strings jerking the only emotion that was left is called “eternal boredom”.

Hypnoz is Dmitry Zuboff. This artist is hailing from Moscow and is a rather active industrial musician. He’s involved in several projects while “A Score For Iron Blues” is the eighth full length under the Hypnoz moniker. The work is mainly experimental sounding while based upon elements of dark-ambient and experimental music. Hypnoz sounds like a look back to the glorious 80s decade of industrial and experimental music. I guess we there have to find the explanation to the featured recorded voice of Jim Thirlwell (Foetus). Hypnoz pushes the experiment to the use of guitar recovered with noises. It sounds quite interesting although it doesn’t really bring anything new.

One thing is for sure, industrial music lives in Moscow and it’s a pretty fascinating experience to discover the genre from another perspective.

[...] Hypnoz is the project of Moscow suburbanite Dmitriy Zubov, and this is my first experience with it. Upon the initial listening to 'A Score for Iron Blues,' I was not left with an overwhelming positive reaction. Hypnoz uses a lot of distorted and feedback guitar as a main component to its compositions, and this just struck me as mediocre noise for the most part. I didn't find the playing all that inventive. Yeah, there are other elements ' ghostly voices on 'Believe'; drones and a protracted, distant sampled monologue on 'Good Angels'; liquidy lapping-water on 'Ut-Rest Ravens'; echoed looping and guitar-string scraping on 'Stone Ring'; and more echo looping with scratchy static sounds on 'The Black Windmill (Outro)' but the main component, the distorto-guitar improv just didn't do it for me.

Rather than concentrate on what I didn't like though, I'll speak to what I did like- 'Night On Earth' with it's modern beat poetry set over a subtle gloomy, creepy background ambience. (The best track on the album.) The recitation was provided by Jim 'Foetus' Thirwell, another reason the track was so good. 'Charms Water,' using a tremolo guitar and guitar drone (with other effects) and an electronically manipulated female vocal sample. 'Boat In A Fog,' a track that has this looped rhythm made from a note with echo tapped on a guitar string and some droning, and also 'To The Aid,' a track that comes the closest to anything conventional, with a repeated chordal guitar arpeggio progression and some droning noise.

Overall, what I liked was not enough to offset what I didn't much care for. However, if you're beatless industrial noise guitar, you'll probably end up liking the things I didn't, and visa versa. Maybe if Dmitriy decides to explore other terrain for his next Hypnoz release I'd be interested, but with only one excellent track on an album, I'll pass for now.

Steve Mecca, Chain D.L.K.

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