GNOD x BNSU, “Stubnitz”

Easily one of the most insane cassette tapes to grace this blighted year, this collaboration from Manchester’s psychedelic rock-demons GNOD and Berlin-based freaks BNSU is a punk-noise-industrial nightmare that refuses to make sense and leaves the listener gasping for air.

First, by way of background, I didn’t find the Berlin-based label Brain Pussyfication by looking for them. Rather, they found me, in a marijuana-filled haze while my bandmates and I surfed the internet, looking for something noisy to fill the silence in my Berkeley, California bachelor pad. Scrolling their Bandcamp page in a late-night search we heard grindcore, we heard feedback, and we heard gurgling sound-vomit. Years or months later – who can really tell these days – I saw the name of the unparalleled jam-rock gods GNOD, whose Godflesh-tinged industrial sound had always undermined the upbeat catchy headbangers of frequent collaborators like New York’s White Hills.

So a completely unhinged noise tape both makes more sense for GNOD and bears the most skullcrushing noise-fruit from the tree of sonic destruction. Screams and gurgles will please fans of noisecore, while repetitive drum machines will please fans of Ministry, but overall you won’t be pleased much at all.

So, like most music that masochists like myself seek out, it’s not so much music to be enjoyed as it is simply endured. Drum machines pile on top of “real” drums much like guitars pile on top of synthesizers and guttural curses, like punk rock piling on top of industrial piled on top of power electronics. This is easily one of the most violent, disturbing, unstable sides of a cassette you’ll ever endure. It’s not clear when the mayhem ends and when it begins—I’ve already flipped the tape several times, and I don’t know which side is currently brutalizing me. All I know is that life goes on, bloody and bombastic, without a moment’s rest.