Noise and experimental music aren't exactly known for being palatable. For some reason, artists looking to push sound to new territory tend to intentionally create art that is unsettling or uninviting. This doesn't need to be the case. On Biotische Verwitterung, German experimentalist Baldruin finds the moments of beauty and pulls the addictive hook out of elements that would be otherwise jarring. It doesn't translate into an outright pop formula, but those willing to dig a bit deeper will be rewarded by the fusion of sounds presented here.
What Baldruin does is fuse the collage work of classic industrial acts like Nurse With Wound with the cosmic synthesizer sounds of everything from modern dungeon synth to early kraut experimental artists, making for something that stands outside of time and location. I've heard a lot of things that use similar elements, but this is distinctly its own beast. This is neither overtly friendly nor pointlessly cryptic. Instead, it feels like the aftermath of a sonic collision. Jagged bits of percussion are strewn beneath children's music-making toys and distant sirens with bizarre synthesizer lines that hold the whole damn thing together in a patchwork fashion. It's anything but linear, yet it's wholly cohesive.
The only real criticism I can raise is that many of Baldruin's best ideas are simply presented in a brief format. Oftentimes something overwhelming or sudden is thrown at the listener in a fully realized form and removed just as quickly. In a way, it's the charm. These are bite-sized portions of experimental chaos. Still, there's part of me as a listener that would love to see this take the form of a few long-form pieces, allowing these fifteen tracks to be pared down to five or six. Nothing is "fat" to be cut here, rather I feel that this could be just as potent as multiple full-length releases with serious development on some of these themes. As is, this is some of the most gripping experimental music I've heard this year and perhaps the editing and focus is exactly why it works so well. Have a listen and judge for yourself.