Although Many Blessings, the noise project of Ethan Lee McCarthy from Primitive Man, may have been around for the last half-decade, its first full-length, «Ripe Earth», was only released last February. A year and a half, as well as many live appearances, came and went until a new track from the project saw the light of day. It happened this last July in the form of «Harm Signal», ten minutes of noise in which the harshest aspects of «Ripe Earth» gave way to the more subdued yet unsettling elements that had already crept in parts of that record. The track, which you can play below, was part of the «Riffs for Reproductive Justice» compilation released by Black Flags Over Brooklyn on July 2 and whose proceeds are donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds and the Yellowhammer Fund. The compilation, which also features the likes of Emma Ruth Rundle, Jucifer, and Thou, can be found at this location.
A month later, Many Blessings joined forces with Pulsatile Tinnitus, the ambient noise project of Kayla Phillips from Bleed The Bigs, for a release which is neither a full-blown collaboration nor a split, but somewhere in between. As with Many Blessings, it was in 2015 that the first Pulsatile Tinnitus material was made publicly available by way of «Dour». Two years later, two collaborations with Meka were released. «Groans From a Dying Planet» was recorded live in July during the Nameless Fest III in Nashvile, whilst «Quake» was released the following month as part of the «In The Eyes of Violence Iris Lies in Silks» compilation, a “survey of the current Nashville underground electronic scene and our regional friends” which can be found here. In the same year, two live events were further captured, becoming «The Secret of the Red Orchid» and «Stomping On Flowers EP». Getting to 2018, February sees the project perform at the International Noise Conference in Miami. The result is «Sitting With a Pit In My Heart, Waiting For It To Fill», which is the first recording which can both be heard in its bare ambient version, and with improvised harsh electronics and vocals, the latter of which can be seen below.
The remainder of 2018 saw the project release two additional pieces by way of «2:45am (and repeat)» and «Approaching Chalk Outlines». This brings us back to the Black Flags Over Brooklyn connection between Many Blessings and Pulsatile Tinnitus. The former, as we wrote above, contributed to the recent compilation, whilst Kayla Philips’ project played the festival’s first edition in January 2019. The performance, which can be found here, consisted of three as of yet unreleased tracks collectively known as «STASIS» and of «Approaching Chalk Outlines. This was also the second instance of the ambient and live versions of the tracks being made available together.
Then came August 3 and the release of the part collaboration part split which motivated this piece in the first place and which you can play below. It consists of one collaborative track, «Many Tinnitus», the opener, which begins by emphasising the ambient drone nature of both projects but slowly drags the listener to the door of some harsher sounds only to end and leave the four subsequent tracks to do that job in peace. Things do get harsher in the sequence that follows (PT, MB, PT, MB), particularly in the second Pulsatile Tinnitus song, «Bloodworm», after which «Everything Against You» merely is the perfect balm, in that it is both soothing but still not pleasant in any normal sense of the word.
You can follow Pulsatile Tinnitus on Bandcamp.
«Dour», self-released on January 6, 2015.
«Groans From a Dying Planet» live collaboration with Meka, self-released on July 8, 2017 (also available here).
«Stomping On Flowers EP», self-released on December 11, 2017 (also available here).
«Approaching Chalk Outlines», self-released on June 3, 2018.