The artwork for each disc clearly shows what I assume to be the score for each piece: "play as hard and fast as possible for an hour," which is exactly what the artists do. On the Nose Core disc, Mattin's guitar and Andersson's bass melt into an amorphous surge of overdrive and fuzz. Bryngelsson's rapid fire drumming is intense to put it lightly, with only a few brief pauses that result in even more dissonant, less structured moments.
At times Mattin takes the lead with some intentionally overt guitar noodling before falling back into the murk from which it came. The pace is relentless, and is at times exhausting to listen to. The second half of the piece sees Bryngelsson shifting his playing to focus on some heavy cymbal use to result in a harsher, more metallic and sharp sound before the performance abruptly ends in silence.
Free Jazz, on the other hand, starts out faster and looser than the other disc, almost thrash metal like at first before the sax cuts through. The sound is reminiscent of John Zorn's work as Pain Killer or Naked City in its most brutal forms. Comparably, this disc is more varied and intense than its Noise Core counterpart, with a throbbing heaviness that makes it stay fresher throughout its hour length.
Even though there is conventional instrumentation being used here, Regel #3 has far more in common with a harsh noise record than any of the genres referenced in the pieces. Moments of Noise Core, when the guitar and bass are at their most dissonant and the rapid fire drumming is pummeling away, reminded me of some of the best live Hijokaidan recordings. Just like that legendary band, however, the music here is definitely challenging to listen to. While those who like their music ugly and dissonant will likely dig this set as much as I do, anyone else should at least be able to appreciate the endurance and intensity of the players and performance that were involved in recording this material.
Happy New Year and all that shit. It’s been pretty hectic at DBS as I’ve moved into Daddy Daycare mode for the summer holidays. My chances to listen to music have been somewhat compromised as a result hence the lack of posts. So to kick off the New Year I wanted to bring to your attention this epic two disc release from Regler.”Who are Regler?” I hear you ask. Well many of you may be aware of Mattin, the Basque experimental musician who warranted a significant story in The Wire a few years back. I’ve written about him when I covered a record by Billy Bao (you can find it by using the search thing on the site – too lazy to link).
Regler is a duo he performs in with Anders Bryngelsson from the epic Brainbombs. Henrik Andersson also joins the duo on bass and on the Free Jazz disc Yoann Durant provides sax. Essentially this release is too hour long tracks of uncompromising, play as hard as they possible can, noise. Many listeners might find listening to this a test of endurance, but my experience with it has been one which is oddly hypnotic. I preferred the Free Jazz disc only because there is a little bit more variation. For the part the sax of Durant seems to be subsumed by the unrelenting forces of the bass and guitar attack but there are textures scattered throughout the din that deserve the listener’s attention. In fact the longer the tracks go the more interesting they become and I think much of that has to do with the fact that Bryngelsson gets a bit tired and either has a break completely from drumming or simply slows it down a bit (listen to Noise Core 21 minutes in to hear what I mean). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it is folly to judge the tracks by the first ten minutes of each. There is texture, movement and progression here. Listeners who stick with it will be pleasantly surprised.
If your interested in getting a copy head over to. It’s one of the few places you can find it.
Anders Bryngelsson: drums; Mattin: guitar; Henrik Andersson: bass; Yoann Durant: sax
A simple instruction – play as hard and fast as possible for an hour – and voila, 120 minutes of utter havoc are served by Regler. In a way, the effort smells of superhuman; either by a virtuoso or a total slouch, sustaining all that time of fury is something that requires a proper physical preparation. In that sense, the trio (with the addition of Durant’s reeds in “Free Jazz”) does not disappoint, kicking, screaming and spitting ferocity throughout. But if we had to literally describe this stuff, the closest comparison we could find is with a minimalist (and punker) version of Faust, perhaps with the members strapped to a set of electric chairs but with an arm left free to do damage.
In fact, both tracks are so cluttered with distorted disarray and unremitting speed metal-like pulses that, after a while, the mind doesn’t really care about “understanding” what’s going on. You’re nearly physically forced to give ground to the sonic mass; accepting that is a most intelligent compromise. Maybe there’s a chance of a bit of headbanging fun, if one’s in the mood of getting some self-scrambling of the skull’s content. The musicians seem intent in a thorough riddance of whatever intellectual property the act of playing might contain, which in the end results in a sort of purification for them and the audience.
The energetic coalition worked fine, in these last few days, for this writer’s need of keeping the rest of the world out of his headphones. It’s great when you see certain persons’ mouths moving inside their idiotic, or at the very least nervously impaired countenance while listening to these guys cranking it up with gusto. A masterpiece it ain’t, not at all. But it’s still a loud, chaotic and ultimately amusing double CD lacking the presumption typical of ensembles that sound like shit as they’re convinced of rewriting the Bible of noisy improvisation.
We’ve had the double disc by Regler in the bags since November 2014, but it’s recently surfaced due to various physical office moves and related events. Regler may be based in Stockholm (this record was recorded there) and seem more of an idea than a band – at any rate the core membership seems to be drummer Anders Bryngelsson and the Basque mischief-maker, Mattin, playing his guitar. The record Regel#3: Free Jazz/Noise Core (TURGID ANIMAL RECORDS) is an attempt by the band to demonstrate they can follow a scripted rule, which is not unlike the way that some conceptual or Fluxus-inspired composers of the later 20th century used to work. In this case, the rule is “play as hard and fast as possible for an hour”; on the first disc, the results are in a style they call “free jazz”, and on the second disc they call it “noise core”.
For the free jazz event, they’re joined by Henrik Andersson (who has previously made art records for Firework Edition, and is a member of 8kHz Mono, an experimental synth band published by Progress Productions) playing the bass, and Yoann Durant (from Suel and ONCEIM) on his saxophone. I found it remorseless and off-putting, which is probably the point, but for all the wrong reasons; the noise they make here isn’t especially unpleasant, but the performance is empty and mechanical, and it doesn’t take long to realise we’re hearing people simply banging their heads against the bars of a cage. No development, no interaction, no ideas, and above all no freedom; just ruthless obedience in pursuit of the rule, or “regel”. It has nothing whatever to do with Free Jazz, and you’ve only to compare it with recordings by Cecil Taylor, Alan Silva, or a record like John Coltrane’s Ascension, to perceive the musical shortcomings of Regler. But I expect they all know that; given Mattin’s general enmity to what he regards as the music establishment (and its audience), it’s likely this is an assault on good taste, a sarcastic riposte to free music and free improvisation in all its forms. If I am right, then I would claim it’s rather degrading to insist that the listener must sit through one hour of insincere nonsense that makes such a simplistic and narrow point, hammering it home relentlessly.
For the Noise Core disc, once again Henrik Andersson joins the players with his bass; we’re now dealing with a more conventional “rock” group, once again playing as hard and fast as possible for an hour. I wonder if it’s legitimate to ask questions about the rule itself? “Hard and fast” is a phrase that is certainly open to interpretation, yet I don’t sense that the musicians here are making much of that opportunity to ask questions. Based on the available evidence, “hard and fast” appears to mean the equivalent of pushing the acceleration pedal to the floor, while driving a truckload of concrete through the streets. But even a speeding truck arrives somewhere eventually. Regler just grind their gears in neutral for a very long time. Likewise, why “one hour”? What’s special about that duration? At any rate, I liked this one slightly better than the “free jazz” record, but it still feels ersatz, with nothing like the depth and oomph that we’d get from even a fourth-rate Doom or Stoner band. It might be the “conceptual art” context that puts me off, with the Anti-Copyright slogans pasted on the cover, giving the impression of an art prank by intellectuals talking to themselves, instead of trying to engage with an audience in some way. Even the cover art is a lazy parody, showing what Regler think the average Black Metal logo looks like. Not enough sincerity here, an over-thought anti-art statement using music in a shallow fashion. Boo.