Published Jan 24, 2014With the recent re-boot of his Shock Records label, which included a much-needed reissue of his and Matthew Bower's seminal noise group Skullflower's earliest releases (the essential KINO I-IV set), British musician and writer Stefan Jaworzyn has been pretty active for someone who has essentially remained off the grid for seventeen years. While scanning his personal recording archive for material for the Skullflower reissues, Jaworzyn — who was also a member of the notorious power electronics outfit Whitehouse — discovered this batch of 'tunes' he concocted in 1982 with a synthesizer and drum machine.
These seven tracks find the artist in full-on assault mode: the immense walls of LFO-augmented synthesizer tone basically trample the completely unnecessary robotic drum machine rhythms. Unfortunately, the absence of Skullflower members Bower, Gary Mundy and Stuart Dennison is felt immediately, chiefly due to the spartan nature of the instrumentation. As bombastic as these synth salvos are, the void that Jaworzyn is attempting to fill with sound is just so vast that the effort ultimately comes up short. Listening to Drained of Connotation is akin to digesting an unfinished manuscript, full of promising ideas that are just shy of being ripened. (Blackest Ever Black)