Experimental Excursion August 2020: ELKA BONG, Niku Daruma, And More

By Michael Mambrino for Boston Compass Blog

August 31, 2020

Experimental Excursion 2: Electric Boogaloo begins with some static bangers this month, August approaches an end and we will be going over some of the most standout releases from the last 30 days.

1. Nicola - ELKA BONG

I always love when there’s a story or inspiration behind projects like these (beyond sonic exploration of course) and this one provides. Nicola Griffith was an award-winning english author behind books like Hild, Ammonite and more. ELKA BONG (Walter Wright and Al Margolis) look behind her success as a writer and take a more introspective look at her life dynamics as a person. Sounds on this record performs her life as a queer, abstract thinker, not complying with the complicit and creating community outside of community, making it perfect for a spot on this list.

2. Ice Cold Heart - Nico Tracy

Opening up this tape is like the last present on your birthday as a kid, it’s exciting and captivating and it will last you a long time. Released on Black Ring Rituals Records just one day short of August it led me into the new month with a bang. Every sensory part of your body is stimulated with this album. The audio is digging into your skin begging to go deeper and before you know it you’re transformed into a new person, wondering if you were just hallucinating everything before. This project is definitely some of the most brutal material I’ve listened to so far this year and it will likely stay that way at least for the summer.

3. Marital / Vows - Niku Daruma

Hailing from Pittsburgh is a collection of live performances of the trio (10/19-2/20) released on VHS. I always love me some performance art with my noise and this is no exception. I don’t own the VHS since it sold out but basing my knowledge off their YouTube footage they’re captivating to watch and hear.The up and coming trio focuses a lot on gore in a more intimate fashion, hell their name comes from a Japanese snuff film known as one of the most disgusting films to be produced. So on that note don’t watch either project with other people around. While this can be a major turnoff for some I find their execution of this very artful and cathartic. So watch or don’t watch at your own discretion.



Industrial Noise out of New York will almost never let you down especially on this collection of uncut gems by STCLVR. Many may recognize the name due to their rhythmic setup when performing live or their historic legacy in New York being involved with the scene for about 8 years now. STCLVR’s unique take on Industrial never ceases to amaze me especially on the uncut version of coward, it’s like you’re stuck in a time warp not knowing how long or short it has been when listening to this track. The first time I listened to this I zoned out for almost 20 minutes after it ended and that almost never happens with me nowadays. It was like I played it two more times in my head and I didn’t even notice. I recommend listening to this with good headphones in the woods somewhere, will not disappoint you.

5. It’s About To Get A Lot Worse - Dysphoria

Textural noise cake is the best way I can describe this, cutting into this tape you’ll find layers upon layers of harsh wonder. As time progresses it seems like you’ve been listening for either way longer or shorter than you have and as you watch the tape and speakers crumble you’re oddly content with the mischief presented. Transforming your senses this album hits hard in an maximal attempt to provide a catharsis for both the performer and the listener.

Now that’s it for this month and in the words of Crank Sturgeon:

Happy Noise!


Michael can be found on Instagram @people3theawakening.