Incursion Review: Hz

Released in 1999, Hz documents a series of live performances which took place in October 1997. The always adventurous and engaging Dan Burke, aka Illusion of Safety, here teams up with Thomas Dimuzio, an electronic sound artist probably best known for his releases on RRRecords (Sonicism) and Odd Size Records (Louden). Both artists have reputations for creating dark, nightmarish post-industrial sound environments, and this is exactly the sort of thing we're given here in ample doses. One hour's worth of some of the most dark and disturbing sounds to issue forth from my hi-fi in recent months, Burke and Dimuzio have assembled a collection of imposing sound environments. Burke performs on electric guitar, processors, tape, radio and objects, while Dimuzio handles sampler, processors, loops and feedback. These free-flowing pieces range in sound from low-end rumbles and deep industrial noises (the loud hum of large machines) to walls of feedback and noise loops. Brief glimpses of hard industrial beats flash before your ears on two short occasions, but are soon quashed by the enveloping drones of noise. Once you reach track 10, with its imposing and unrelenting wall of dense static, you can pretty much say there's no turning back.

The disc ends abruptly and in mid-stream; you're left hanging over the edge of a vast precipice, abandoned to the once-familiar silence of your home you thought you knew so well. The truth is, you found something incomprehensibly comforting in these sounds, this noise, this audible darkness. It occupies the space and fills your lungs, so in such a short time you grew accustomed to this nightmare, probably just in time for Burke and Dimuzio to sever the umbilical cord so suddenly, leaving you helpless and in silence. —Richard di Santo