Knives/Osmiroid – Stars, Dots, and the “New” Junk


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

On this split tape, we find the venerable Osmiroid sharing space with a band I’ve not heard before called Knives. Knives have two tracks on side one which bear the names ‘Days of Ancients’ and ‘Ancients of Days’, yes there is symmetry here alright. The symmetrical perfection of kidney shots and construction sites; permit me to clarify. What this entity manage to do is give one the sensation of being doubled up in sheer agony as wave after wave of punishing, pounding sound punches your sides and head in an unremitting assault on sanity. The construction site connection is that for some reason they remind me of when I used to go on job sites working for my father which would from time to time involve either cutting through or hanging pieces of drywall.

There is a muscular clarity to that kind of work, a sense of power and incredible serenity with regard to your surroundings. Nothing is finished, the ceiling grid is still hanging above in all it’s glory completely naked. The web of steel and wires winds slowly about you and as the day burns down, a person might have pause to admire the logistical complexity involved in their undertaking. Knives, whoever they happen to be, operate in a similar fashion: these two pieces are lumbering, violent displays of artistry that at times show what they could be when completed and at the same time display their inner workings without any compunction for modesty whatsoever. Unlike construction, however, what they (or he, or she, or it) have done does not operate under the premise of work in progress.

These monsters have been given life and then sent on their way, I’m almost tempted to call them the music someone like Beowulf would have had goading him on to rip Grendel’s arm off. Very intense, very aggressive… quite hostile.

It is the other side of this tape that I’m most impressed by. Osmiroid fill up the entire second side with just one, long, vindictive slab of sound called ‘Stars, Dots and the “New” Junk”. A nod to their label, yes but also a nightmarish plunge into the briny void which they call home; a collection of wraiths who appear here and there throughout to taunt and tantalize a person’s ears. The sound you’d imagine to hear in the howling heart of a thunderstorm way way up in the clouds. It is also a mind-rending voyage to the core of the mind, layer after layer of rational thought is peeled back like an onion skin and we arrive at our destination dazed but determined to map everything out.

What the impetus behind this one is happens to be a mystery shrouded inside the enigma which Osmiroid have now been gleefully operating from within for a few years now. There has been a marked change of style for this track, the dissonance and white noise squalls appear to be gaining greater prominence. I’d hardly say this is coincidental as one of their number operate under the moniker of a menacing commodore (Lionel would be aghast) who takes great pleasure in using silence and extremely low level frequencies for his works. But make no mistake, when this one goes into the deck it’s a decision you have made to ride out that gale regardless of where you wind up being tossed. The more one attempts to resist and gain some kind of footing, the further out you’re going to become.

Like a web which contains insects writhing in desperation, tearing themselves apart trying to escape so this composition will pull your thoughts ever deeper into its embrace, bon apetit.

Knives/Osmiroid – Stars, Dots, and the “New” Junk
Stars, Dots, and the “New” Junk, Starsdots007
MC/Digital 2013


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