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James Plotkin & Paal Nilssen-Love: Death Rattle

img  Tobias Fischer

Some may know James Plotkin primarily as a mastering engineer with a preference for experimental, free and occasionally harsh sounds. Still, his past in Khanate was by no means his only contribution on the other side of the mixing board. In fact, as Death Rattle proves, it's time to re-consider your perspective on his work. 

Following in the footsteps of 2012's formidable, drone-oriented Terminal Velocity with Jon Mueller, Death Rattle adds a new collaboration to Plotkin's discography. Joining forces with incredible drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, the duo engage in a ferocious strings-against-drumhead-battle, recklessly cleansing your ears of whatever harmonious sonorities may still have been stuck inside them. With the sole exception of the slightly more subdued title track, every second of this release is filled to the brim with energy. In fact, it would hardly constitute an exaggeration to define this blend of raw, acidic guitar sounds performed with kamikaze-like brutality and Nilssen-Love's frenzied percussion work as a physical, pandirectional assault on the listener.

Clearly, a bit of courage is required here. But it pays off doubly. It's a performance of undiluted directness, conducted entirely without safety nets - music doesn't get more free than this.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: James Plotkin
Homepage: Paal Nilssen-Love
Homepage: Rune Grammofon