Actively recording since 1999, Egan Budd’s Xiphoid Dementia has become known in the underground and in numerous live situations for creating meticulously crafted yet hard to define, post industrial soundscapes, navigating between textured ambience, scourging noise, junk metal, field recordings, and surreal atmospheres, sometimes all in one track. Still, there’s a hyper-focus here that ties it altogether, and makes for something that is dynamic, unpredictable, and clearly ambitious. For those that question if there’s originality left in industrial music, Xiphoid Dementia answers with a resounding yes, though not so much in the sounds themselves, but rather how they are layered and placed.
The first track, Abortion Rites, manages to capture the essence of Xiphoid right off the bat; starting calm enough with a singular drone and a rising apocalyptic choir, only to be eventually engulfed in a firestorm of brain rattling noise and straining machine vibrations, before shifting gears into sprawling cosmic drones, deep bass drops, and processed vocal squall. Subsequent tracks follow a similar path, constantly moving from the cerebral to the physical, adding structural elements, then obliterating it in a mass of debris, mechanized whir, and sharp edged clutter. Of the four tracks here, the last track is perhaps the most focused, and certainly the bleakest; a 13 + minute excursion into a dystopian society full of utterly hopeless and dark, resonating atmospherics, and ending in a cyclonic blur of destructive noise and blackened filth. It’s perfectly executed and a suitable ending to what equates to an intensely visceral and creative listen. Hard to find comparisons here, but those that appreciate the dynamics of Navicon Torture Technologies, Prurient, and Propergol will certainly find something to like. In 6 panel digipak.