1/ Beyond the Pale (Hawkins) 10.16
2/ Shore (Hawkins) 12.33
3/ Headwaters (Hawkins) 11.25
4/ Raze (Hawkins) 11.50
Recorded and mixed at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
Engineering: Oz Fritz
Assistant: Layng Martine
Produced, designed and arranged by Bill Laswell and Andy Hawkins
Andy Hawkins: guitars; Gabe Katz: additional bottom drones.
1994 - Strata (USA), 0002-2 (CD)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.
Azonic's Halo came out on Strata, Laswell's ambient gtr. specialty label, in
1994 [sub-label of now defunct Subharmonic - SW]. The band consists of Andy
Hawkins and Gabe Katz, both of dub-metal terrorists Blind Idiot God (3 albums
out on SST, Enemy and Avant between '87 and '92). Azonic's sound is composed
entirely of processed guitar and bass drones in an ambient metal mode -
utilizing extreme distortion and portentious mountains of gothic sound. It
could easily be compared to the first two Earth releases on Sub-Pop, "Extra
Capuslar Extraction" and "Earth 2," and even uses some of the same forlorn -
sounding wolf noises and gamelan-esqe gong drones that appear on "Earth 2."
In the case of Azonic, however, I suspect that the sounds are created mostly
by guitars rather than tape loops. The sound is loud, rich and full, focused
mainly on the textures generated by distortion and the interplay of slowly
oscillating harmonic frequencies. It is "trance" music in the truest sense of
the word, opening huge vistas in the listener's head with the application of
only the most minimal of sonic effects. With "Earth 2," this is one of the
best ambient metal releases ever. Azonic and Justin Broadrick of Godflesh/
Head of David/etc. released the equally essential "Skinner's Black
Laboratories" on Subsonic/Sub rosa in '95. Laswell contributes only production
to the Azonic records.
This CD was produced by/overseen by Bill Laswell, but consists of Andy Hawkins and
Gabe Katz, both of dub-metal terrorists Blind Idiot God. All instrumental, this unit
structure mostly deconstructs processed guitar distortions and harmonics in a goth-like
atmosphere. Ok, not intentionally "goth" per se, but the results are full of mystery
and tension that Goth fans will dig the heroics. The sonics here will open the big
steel doors blocking access to the breadth of the universe in just one listen, provided
the listener applies said sonics at an appropriate volume. If uncertain, just keep
turning it up louder until the liberty bell in your head rings "truth, Dude!".
Make no mistake, Bill Laswell's excursions into sonic realms unexplored are of legend,
and were produced with the utmost respect and admiration of THEE POSSIBILITY. Your
exploration of these discoveries will attend genius.
3 out of 5 stars
freereign (courtesy of the Amazon.com website)