I Listened To ‘Tangled Mass’, The Latest Theremin-Based Album of Be The Hammer

If you didn’t know how your nightmares sound yet, you’ll begin to shape an idea of it after you listen Tangled Mass, the latest noise album of Belgium-based musical project Be The Hammer (members: Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock  – theremin, voice and Raoul Puke – loops, programming, sound mangling).

I drived my cat nuts by listening to it on my speakers, so if you have a pair of headphones you’d better plug it in right now, for your pet’s sake.

As the group describe their EP, Tangled Mass is a collection of six cinematic drone/ambient noise tracks created using a Big Briar theremin, “looped and processed through a variety of pedals and plug-ins, then heavily edited and layered into a computer”. The album has been recorded by Required Rate of Return Records (RRR), a new independent DIY record label founded this year by Sébastien Bach, French noise artist.

One of the album’s main purposes is, of course, to tangle your thoughts in such manner that you get high without any psychedelics. But, then again, this is the point of any noise track. The real big deal about the album, apart from the interesting, brain-slicing resulted sounds and atmosphere, is the connection between the tracks and their titles.

If you take for example Shapeshifter and try to create a scenario in your head based on the name, you’d most probably have a lucid dream where an unknown shapeshifting creature follows you through the abandoned building of an industrial post-apocalyptic city. Not running, not hunting you; just following you constantly, letting you know you won’t escape no matter what you do. This lyrics sample from Beast proves my point:


The fact the each track seems to take like forever doesn’t help you feel any better either. The anxiety increases with every sound, along with your heart rate and your darkest fears. If you somehow resist listening to the whole thing to its near-ending, you’ll be finding yourself staring paranoidly at a blank wall, biting your nails and trying not to get your pants dirty.

If the whole idea of the album is to give you nightmares, then it does the trick.

I wouldn’t recommend to listen it in the morning; not only you’d be fucking up your whole day, but mostly because the night time would enhance the nightmare effects, and let’s be real: this why you’d be listening to such thing!

Find Be The Hammer on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Facebook. Listen and purchase Tangled Mass here.

P.S. My cat still hates me!

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Romanian self-taught writer, based in Cyprus, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. Writing for almost a decade, he is agnostic, supports a censorship-free society and reads way less than he wants.

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