This EP-length tape is the debut from the Finnish one-man unit Unclean that is all about filth, sleaze, degradation and perversion. It was released by Filth & Violence (the perfect label for this kind of expression) as a pro-tape in a polybox with crude pornographic xerox-artwork. The next Unclean-tape should be published in the coming months by Untergeschoss.
When an artist describes his music as "rotten post-mortem electronics" it's quite easy to guess what it will sound like, and the covers, track titles and pretty much every single detail surrounding this release make it even more obvious. The songs were recorded live straight to tape, too, which gives them a nicely filthy, raw and messy sound that suits Unclean's concept perfectly. The untitled opener is a rather minimalistic tune with layers of screeching noise and buzzing drone with occasional tidal waves of reverberating harsh metal noises. These flooding noise-bursts soon take over the song, until "Deviants" comes along with distorted metal chains and a loud sample of a vintage orchestra and male moral preaching. The preaching melts together to throbbing analogue noise and hollowly howling drone that occasionally has an interestingly watery sound, which pleases my ears greatly. The song is a long one, and overall less about severe impact than of long-lasting introvert hostility and disturbing atmosphere.
The shorter song "Penetration" continues in the same spheres as its predecessor, but without any samples. The song flows onwards with crude electronic pulsation, harsh background hiss and some scrap metal noises that blend into the current. A couple of breaks are employed to disrupt the steady flow, which (along with other factors) shows that the artist seems to put a lot of care into perfecting his works. The fourth and last tune opens with a painfully high-pitched signal that soon makes way for harsh analogue noise that switches spastically. Some sharper frequencies push through the harsh rumble which occasionally drops to reveal the thinner veil of hissing sonics behind it, and at times the song tones down its fast changes to show that the crude wall of sound is strong without any twists, too. The song is one of the strongest and most varying on the EP, making it a great closer for "Obsceneties."
If you're into dirty oldschool power electronics, there isn't really a reason to skip buying this tape. I was originally a bit baffled by the lack of vocals, but later found that now there's nothing bringing an unneeded human touch to the pulsating filth, and it allows the songs to progress more freely. The tape is steadily good and very promising, but based on the artist's overall amount of effort and the last track's variation (and me seeing a live clip where vocals were included), I'd say we should be expecting even greater results from Unclean in the future. There would be room for additional dynamics, detail and and plain force, but on the other hand I wouldn't mind if the artist took the filth-ridden oldschool-approach even further to create a more unpleasing listening experience. "Obsceneties" would be a good starting point for both directions and is certainly a valid debut of steady quality, but in the end sounds like an prelude for much greater things to come. I was thinking about giving the EP a hint lower grade, but the overall sound, concept and approach to the themes shows such intent and maturity (which you shouldn't assume means anything high-brow) that I was plain unable to do so.
The tape is certainly a good one, but lacks the final punch that would've made me fully convinced of its supremacy. I'm waiting for either more filth and sleaze or more overwhelming force from Unclean's future. With the artist's amount of focused effort, I'm certainly fine either way. Until then, get this tape for a quality dose of oldschool power electronics that's not dead nor alive, but in a post-resurrection state of decaying undeath. An acquired taste.