Upland - Obliterated ©2004 Jester Records
1. 00.00.00
2. The Last Sahini
3. Heatrate
4. Stutter + hold
5. Fly vs. Spider
6. Field Interference
7. Noend
8. Chi

It's no secret that Norway has long been associated with bands that either emulate Darkthrone or Turbonegro (of course, this is just a vast generalization and one that you should take with a grain of salt). However, within all that black'n'roll mayhem exists an electronic scene as well. Upland, who happens to be on Ulver's Jester Records label, is a good example of Computer Programmers Gone Mental, as Obliterated aptly demonstrates.

Upland offers up a somewhat violent form of breakcore, perhaps in the deserted alleyway where Venetian Snares and Autechre fistfight. The album is built mostly around chopped up, heavily mutated beats with abstract atmospherics dwelling in the background. While Upland never quite gets to that point where the intensity of the percussion causes your eyes to cross and small lesions to appear in your brain, it is plenty mindbending. Upland has a very good sense of dynamics. Obliterated, minus percussion, would be a nearly serene ambient record. But then again, as Robert Rich demonstrated, ambient music is best left to sleeping, so it's a good thing Upland provides the necessary noise.

This sort of breakcore can often tire out a listener with the nonstop barrage of drum sounds. Upland is wise in its use of atmosphere as well as keeping the album to a shorter running length. "Heatrate" is a prime example of a well structured song and should you find yourself interested in this particular side avenue of electronic music, Obliterated is a good find.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2010

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