"IN THE SHADOWS", LP REVIEWS:

BOOMKAT (UK)

 

Bloodied ghetto noise provocations from Robert Joseph Antonio Francisco, aka M Ax Noi Mach, for the brilliant White Denim label - home to releases from Tin Man and Aufgehoben. His debut LP 'In The Shadows' is like some feral, alley-raised hybrid of Prurient-strength noise, ballistic Bomb20-style Hiphop beats and poetic moments redolent of Cold Cave/Max G Morton, alternating between blistering noise and impenetrable, blank-eyed industrial insouciance. In case you're still under any illusions, this album ain't nice, but it's brutally arresting stuff, an uncompromising expression of street-level rage articulated with raw and concise emotions. On the likes of the kerb-kicking 'Creeper', anti-establishment anthem 'Devil City' and 'Suicide Is In The Air' he cuts loose with abrasive, pounding, and politicised power, all very masculine and all very bloody hard. The thing is, he's actually scarier when he's quiet, as with the sharply contrasting, sleazy intimacy of 'Fetiço' where his vocals distinctly remind of Wes Eisold (maybe it's a Philly thing?) or the minimalist, Chris & Cosey-esque menace of 'Hollowed Eyes', requiring only a blunted drum machine, bedsit bathroom vox and tape distortion to keep us captivated. Don't miss. 

 

ORMOLYCKA

 

This is THE BEST long playing record of 2010. Having been lucky enough to see M ax Noi Mach perform these tracks all over the place over the course of the past year(s) or so I can very safely say that this record is the PERFECT encapsulation of R. Francisco's music, prose and aesthetic universe. Dark beats. Dark words. Dark shit man. If I were to give an adequate review as to how this record plays from start to finish I would simply say "fully realized". I have been paying close attention to all of M Ax Noi Mach's output via both his poetry and his recordings that show up dropped off by a creepy thug in a shiny Flyer's jacket on my doorstep here and there from time to time. All of Rob's work hints gloriously at what this LP fully realizes from its filthy pushing opening beat. SO GOOD.

In trying to do it justice I would have to say that this is the soundtrack to the fight that your dick dad made you get into when you were young. This long player is the imagined vision of what should have popped into your head the first time you got punched in the face and punched back. You have outdid yourself mang. 

 

PROMO from MIDHEAVEN, etc.

 

M AX NOI MACH is Philadelphia-based artist, poet and musician ROB FRANCISCO. As M Ax Noi Mach, Francisco channels his most personal experiences, desires and paranoia into a foreboding world of night, chasing the listener into a maze of back alleys and city tunnels. Harsh club beats mingle with power-electronic squall, convulsing like a Baltimore club deep within the seventh ring of Hell. Combined with Francisco's menacing vocals, it's a singular statement within the world of noise. Through these nine tracks, we are reminded of artists as varied as Intrinsic Action, Atari Teenage Riot, DJ Assault, Mammal, German Shepherds, Schleimer K, Brainbombs, and Macronympha, but M Ax Noi Mach is its own beast entirely. 

 

BLOGSTITUDE

 

At the time of his interview in the most recent issue of Blastitude, Robert Francisco had yet to release any full-length vinyl as M Ax Noi Mach, but now that time has come and it fulfills all the promise shown on the 7-inches and the tapes like Chaser. Not only did quality-driven fellow Philadelphian label White Denim step up and pay big bucks for mastering in order to successfully groove the thick frequencies, but Francisco did his part and showed up with his best series of tunes to date. His music continues to never settle into any one obvious subgenre... power electronics would seem to the closest genre description, although his vocals seem rooted in 90s hardcore/grindcore more so than 70s/80s industrial... harsh noise doesn't fully work either, because what might start or otherwise sound like a harsh noise track is frequently pushed, via driving dance beats and that mastering job, into a radio-ready club dance feel (just listen to the way the opening track "Creeper" hits). And the real club hit on this album should be "Devil City"... I really want White Denim to bankroll an early 90s style hip-hop video in which Francisco lip-syncs out on the streets dressed in winter wear. They'll have to cut a censored radio version due to the gigantic hook based around the phrase "buncha fucking animals," but it'll be worth it. Side one closer "Fetico" is a weird quieter 'talking' track that nicely demonstrates that crucial trait of all music, the ability to change it up a little. (Some call it dynamics.) Side two is also very heavy and it has another (welcome) version of "Creeper" called "Creeper Sits." All in all, a perfect and readily available introduction to what this guy does.  

 

STILL SINGLE

 

Simple, acid-etched machine beats and mixer treatments from one Rob Francisco, of Philadelphia, and quite possibly the finest release on White Denim to date. As M Ax Noi Mach, he pushes the rhythms into feedback-inducing headspace, generating tones of power and forceful contact and vocal anger from an overdriven source into an array of effects and loops, somewhere around the vicinity of Mammal, Dread-era Wolf Eyes, Deviation Social and what you might expect to hear during rush hour at the kind of dimly-lit venue where patrons are suspended from the ceiling of their own volition; it's sex club industrial noise that works great on the dance floor, particularly in its more beat driven moments like "Creeper" and "Creeper Sits." The second side of this thing comes together in a way that's quite magical, getting noisier and bleaker as it goes on to tell stories of voyeurism and reports of suicide. The heat and clarity of the mastering, done at Dubplates & Mastering, separates this product from less clearly-defined works, pushing the limit on whatever stereo it comes out of. Whatever world Francisco occupies, you might be better off as a visitor, but with In the Shadows, he professes himself to be one of the most dangerous people on his block, which I'm not going to challenge. This ripped up the floor at the goth night I DJed over the weekend, and I plan to use it again.
(Doug Mosurock)

 

VICE (France)

 

Mais comme la vie ne se limite pas à des cabrioles énamourées sur une plage du Pacifique, il est tout avisé de se prendre dans la foulée une bonne intraveineuse de négativité : M AX NOI MACH a sorti l'album le plus vil et pervers de ce début d'année, et on l'en remercie avec des lames de rasoir dans la bouche. C'est un genre de power electronics qui dérouille réalisé à partir d'une boîte à rythmes industrielle, de synthés brevetés minimal wave et d'une profusion d'infamie verbale : Whitehouse, Suicide et TG (enfin, ce qu'il en reste) peuvent lui serrer la pince. Si un jour, vous avez envie de tirer tous azimuts dans un gros tas de merde nommé humanité, n'écoutez pas ce truc.

Conversationally tranlated by Christelle Gualdi:
"ok they say...
life is not about getting laid on pacific beaches
so it's advised to shoot yourself a good dose of negativity
and you released the most evil and perverted album at the beginning of this year
they thank you for that with razor blades in the mouth
power electronics kicking ass made with industrial drum machines, minimal synths, and full of infamous language
your buddies are whitehouse, suicide and TG
if once you plan to shoot bullets in that pile of shit called humanity
don't listen to that thing"

 

AQUARIUS RECORDS

 

We had never heard of the oddly monikered M Ax Noi Mach, aka Philly noisemaker Rob Francisco, but it was brought to our attention that if we were digging Finnish power electronic hypnodirge weirdos Will Over Matter, we really oughta check out this guy, and holy cow, while it's definitely not the same thing, it definitely pushes a lot of the same buttons, total lo-fi beat heavy post industrial noiserock club music for sure, the sort of shit noiseheads would be blasting if they had any sort of booming system. Just check out opener "Creeper", with its brittle crunked out beats, super distorted tweeter punishing clipped hiss, the howled feral vox, a total gristly groove that kills. Think Will Over Matter collaborating with Wolf Eyes on some sort of alternative universe club banger, and you wouldn't even be close. The second track sounds like some sort of cold wave DHR mash up, stuttering trashcan beats, the warbly bass groove, peppered with a killer skipping skittering high end break that DESTROYS.
There's definitely some serious Throbbing Gristle worship going on, but via Philly club music, and there's some glitchy post Whitehouse chaotic crunch, like "Devil City" which definitely sounds a lot like Will Over Matter, a thick grinding murk pulsing away, and peppered with caustic blasts of white noise drenched feedback/vocal freakouts, a thick ugly groover that would be a guaranteed dancefloor clearer. Then there are tracks like "Fetico", which finds much of the high end peeled back, the skree blunted, the rhythms muted and murky, multiple vocals laid atop one another, whispers, spoken, slooooowed doooooown gurgle, a dizzying tangle over that loping stuttersludge loop, the follow up, "Hallowed Eyes" is equally stripped down, a fuzzy pulsating low end throbs beneath some clipped house-y skitter, about as groovy and anything on the record gets, the melodic element supplied by what sounds like amp buzz, and a switch being flipped on and off again, it's like some sort of Dead C electro, which is fine by us, we could listen to shit like this endlessly, and at 6 minutes it ends WAY too soon.
The rest of the record cranks it back up again, a barrage of lo-fi DHR pound, gouts of growled angry bellowed vox, sheets of Metal Machine Music chopped and screwed into hiccuping expanses of grind and gristle, clouds of angry crunch and dense swirling hiss wrapped around robotic drum pound and muddy mechanical grooves, everything filthy and crusty and blown the fuck out, a glorious chunk of rhythmic electronic punishment that we can't seem to stop listening to.