Exposé Online banner

Nooumena — Controlled Freaks
(L'étourner (no cat #), 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-12-29

Controlled Freaks Cover art

There is nothing conventional about this second release by French four-piece Nooumena; throughout, it breaks all the barriers and really follows few guideposts of any previously mapped musical genres. One might call it “avant-garde art damage” — it’s even too bizarre to call R.I.O. but that might be the nearest point of reference. Blasts of unconventional sounds and barely controlled chaos over a sinister heavy rock beat occasionally host passages for twisted vocals (in both French and English, with lyrics in the booklet, though it doesn’t matter, as they are often heavily effected and difficult to even understand). The band makes a lot of noise for just four guys. Drummer Pierre Blin doubles on synths and is the band’s recording engineer, while guitarist Thibault Geay penned the lyrics and also sings them (and he’s also responsible for the fantastic artwork on the cover and throughout the booklet. Maxime Métais plays guitar and doubles on sax, and bassist Simon Toralba rounds out the bottom end. This is hard and edgy, full of intense blasts of blistering guitar noise, weird electronic sounds flank all kinds of sampled voices, sirens, and other mysterious clang. A violinist guests on the opening track as well. There are seven tracks listed, though unless one listens close and keeps an eye on the counter, the transitions might easily be missed. As soon as one moment is in the past the next comes down like a hammer or an explosion of shrapnel. Track 5, “Concealed,” is especially powerful and interesting, the interchange between heavy guitar chords and powerful drums and bass that starts about one minute into the track, giving way to dual lead guitars and a general Crimsoid chaotic din for the remainder to its five-minute conclusion might be the album’s high point. But there’s a lot like that to explore, and this clearly seems like the kind of album that will still be revealing its secrets on the hundredth listen. Not for the faint of heart, these are challenging sounds for intrepid explorers.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Nooumena

More info
http://etourneur.bandcamp.com/album/controlled-freaks

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sándor Szabó / Kevin Kastning - Parabola – Like the previous Szabó/Kastning duets, Parabola consists of improvisations utilizing different kinds of acoustic guitar other than the standard variety – 6- and 12- string baritones and...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues