BOOKING OFFER: CUT HANDS

Dear all,

I’m booking some dates for CUT HANDS.
Please get back to me and tell me if you’re interested in having CUT HANDS
in your venue or club.

Here’s a review of CUT HANDS’ latest album « Afro Noise, vol.1 ».

Also please click on this link:

http://www.myspace.com/cuthands

William Bennett. For a certain noise fan, that’s a name that will always
elicit a certain frisson. Pioneers of the Power Electronics sub-genre in
the early 1980s, Bennett’s Whitehouse took the provocative stance of early
Throbbing Gristle and elevated it to terrifying heights, with unsettling
musings on rape, murder, misogyny and torture set to strident, aggressive
strains of tuneless synth madness.

If I’m honest, most of the crass posturing of the Power Electronics scene
seems old hat and silly these days (despite a certain revival with
Ramleh’s awesome Valediction and The North Sea’s Bloodlines); but as the
decades advanced, it became clear that Whitehouse, again like Throbbing
Gristle, had more going on than the chasing pack, with 2003’s Bird Seed
demonstrating an interest in African polyrhythms and a more textured,
nuanced approach than on ‘80s outings like Erector and Dedicated to Peter
Kurten, Mass Slayer.

It appears that this long journey has now come to fruition on Bennett’s
solo debut album as Cut Hands. As its title suggests, Afro Noise takes up
the challenge Bennett set for himself with Whitehouse and fuses the
abrasive textures of that band with a greater exploration of the timbres
and rhythms of traditional African music.

The percussion is what hits you first. On the second track, “Stabbers
Conspiracy,” harsh metallic patterns tumble out of the speakers like a
collapsing pile of ballbearings, undercut by more discrete djembes and
doundouns. It’s a tasty welding of the icy post-industrial clang of Power
Electronics, and something that feels earthier, even warmer. Later tracks,
such as “Rain Washes Over Chaff” or “Munkisi Munkondi” (already a
stand-out feature of Bird Seed) feel almost rock-ish with their motorik
grooves and swathes of echoing synth lines. Indeed, you almost feel a
connection between Afro Noise and the polyrhythmic, afro-tinted industrial
songs of early 23 Skidoo, Test Dept. and Einsturzende Neubauten. But,
typically, Bennett’s exploration of the influence and role of Africa in
modern music is darker, more ambiguous, a world away from « world » music.

And for all that, there is nothing retro or old hat about the music of Cut
Hands. In fact, this may be the most radical step in the evolution of
modern noise since the Harsh Noise Walls micro-genre first gained
international recognition through the works of Werewolf Jerusalem and The
Rita a few years ago. “Nzambi la Lufua” is one of the most strident,
atonal noise pieces I’ve heard this year, with Bennett drowning the
backing textures in a single tone so high-pitched it could probably make
your ears bleed. “Shut Up and Bleed” echoes in its title the ambivalent
misogyny of old-school Power Electronics, and also seethes and rages with
the raw power and menace of tracks like “Ripper Territory” and “Wriggle
Like a Fucking Eel”.

But a cursory perusal of the “Recommended Books List” on the Susan Lawly
website quickly puts paid to any suggestions that Bennett is simply a
vulgar provocateur – the works therein include emotionally charged
denunciations of Africa’s post-colonial traumas (We Wish To Inform You
That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families) and Jayne Ann Krentz’s
compilation of feminist romance essays Dangerous Men and Adventurous
Women. There are books on eating disorders, 9/11 and religion, and, along
with the sensitive use of African instruments and the album’s hauntingly
primitive, yet elusive, artwork, this book list highlights the veiled
thoughtfulness and intellectual profundity that lies behind Bennett’s
seething bile. They elevate his work, especially Afro Noise Vol.,1 high
above the wannabe sadists.

Afro Noise is an at-times troubling foray into the dark heart of
post-colonial African history as seen through European eyes: its violence,
political turmoil, uneasy gender roles and strains of racial conflict.
It’s also a refreshing and abstract reflection on modern noise and its
on-going evolution as a genre by one of its longest-serving and most
controversial figures. Bennett, as before, even if we didn’t know it, is
showing the way.

I would like to hear from you soon.

Regards.

Alain

Some Noise asbl
C/O Alain Bolle
PO BOX 43
1050 Brussels 5
https://debloque.wordpress.com
info@somenoise.be

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