Boomkat Product Review:
Aye this one's a goodun. Japanese grindcore icon Eri Fuzz-Kristiansen, aka Viviankrist, keeps the curveballs coming on Diagonal with her bloodied mastication of charred noise and rhythmic electronics, following up the label’s acclaimed recent sides by Sote and Not Waving/Jim O’Rourke. It's an intense howl of a record that comes highly recommended if yr into anything from Alberich/Prurient to Aphex Twin’s Ventolin, Pan Sonic to Kali Malone.
‘Cross-Modulation’ is a brutal testament to the acridly personalised sound that Viviankrist has explored solo since 1995 in Tokyo, when she performed vocals, sax and SP-202 sampler in her first industrial/noise unit. 23 years later her music is still sorely raw, yet riddled with a new found poignance and atmospheric unease that places her music sometimes as close to Kali Malone’s see-sawing dissonance as the power electronics of Pan Sonic or the possessed pulses of Conrad Schnitzler and Merzbow.
Since the demise of Eri’s main project Gallhammer at the start of this decade, when she moved from Tokyo to Oslo (home of her husband and bandmate in Sehnsucht, Maniac - also former vocalist for BM legends Mayhem), she returned to her early Viviankrist alias from 2017 as a place to express her primitivist-futurist urges, resulting a trio of CDs including the vicious solo strike of ‘Morgenrøde’ for Cold Spring. Now on ‘Cross-Modulation’ she intuitively tempers that album’s phosphorous burn with a deadly, incisive application of what Black Metal/Techno pioneer Black Mecha terms “mentation electronics.”
Alloying avant-metal with rhythmic noise, ambient techno and mind-bending drone to a metallurgic tang, ‘Cross-Modulation’ serves a dense flux of energies in seven parts, piercing a path thru maelstrom electronics in ‘Eleventh’ to churn up grizzled Vainio-esque rhythms in ‘Blue Iron’, while the tenderly bruised ambience of ‘Midnight Sun’ provides a bittersweet palette cleanser for the tart technoid prang of ‘Insects’, a bout of slow gripping psychedelia in ‘Out of Body’, and the rugged North European pastoralism of ‘Behind Mirror.’