Nigel Ayers’ most accessible emission? The glut of his ‘band’s prolific history has generally been a full-scale assault upon the senses, via either dingy slabs of noise or near-pretty industrial musique concrete. Stoneface operates on many levels, a set of gruelling, scraping, yet strangely attractive organic sounds that reveal numerously coloured layers with successive listens. Recorded in 1988, these nineteen sonic morsels play with near-baroque tendencies, devolved factory rhythms, spiritual solemnity and lucid minimalism, sometimes gripping, sometimes forgettable, but never uninvolving. And, as has been the case with the recent wealth of Emissions releases, it’s best to observe Stoneface’s sacred experiments in one complete sitting, where Ayers can effectively work his art on you with your complete, undivided and willing immersion.
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