Review from Sonic Seducer Magazine
It is already 10 years that the Lebanese musician Osman Arabi is building obscure (dark) cathedrals from industrial noise, under the alias 20.SV (one of his numerous projects). The Great Sonic Wave introduces a substantial difference, next to // on the side of electronically transformed metal percussion // 20.SV usual sound wall, appears a human voice, the one of Alan Dubin, ,….. clearly processed and filtered, nearly unrecognizable. The meeting of the industrial pulsations constructed by Arabi and the heart-rending screams of the American friend creates a shocking short circuit.Note: Original text in Italian, rough translation by Mr. Gert-Jan Prins.
Review of The Great Sonic Wave from Blow Up Magazine (Issue 188 – January 2014). Text written in Italian and kindly translated by Gert-Jan Prins.
It’s very interesting reading the term Digital Metal, at last!
DIGITAL METALThe scene of Lebanese experimental artists is getting more and more relevant in the international panorama, thanks to an group of active group improvising/electronic musicians. It is exactly in this field where ” The Great Sonic Wave ” from project 20.SV by Osman Arabi is situated.
It’s a complex texture obtained by—- metallic objects / resonances —–of each kind, that is gradually transformed in a vivid and pulsing mass to which at some point the visceral screaming from Alan Dubin is superimposed.
Published at Cavity by sound artist GJ Prins , mastered by James Plotkin, the album places itself exactly between these two extremes : On one hand the conceptual research of digital materials, and on the other hand the brutal physical power of (like) the sound of Scorn, which brings the album up to most obscure pages of contemporary abstract metal.
A review from Chain D.L.K warning you about what to expect from The Great Sonic Wave.
Can you imagine the possible noises which could rise from mauled innards of a braggart former fakir after he ingested hundreds a heap of rusty nails and a couple of ales? Can you envisage the speech and the shouts of a tormented Gollum who got crucified after he innocently pissed on Harry Potter’s spell books? If you can, it could be a good starting point in order to render what you’re going to listen over this 30-minutes lasting visionary and menacingly sinister suite by Lebanese guitarist and sound sculptor Osman “20.SV” Arabi, whose disquieting ambience got remarkably enhanced by talented American singer Alan Dubin, whose distinctive vocals, which sound like recorded while being on pain of death, became quite famous while he used to bring his voice to former doom metal band Khanate. Arabi’s drilling electronic and metallic noises got mirrored by fitting Dubin’s devastated and somehow haunting vocal dramatization, which after so much overflowing evoked atrocity cannot but murmur a word in conclusion: revenge…
Reviews of The Great Sonic Wave have started popping up… And I already miss the dedication of the underground fanzine and webzine diehards and how much time and energy they put into the listening and writing process. To me reviews were never about praise. I always prefer a first class bashing review over dozens of shallow praising ones. The good thing about getting reviews is actually getting them, which is better than not getting any at all. Yet, reading them is some sort of a self-loathing ritual.
The review from Monsieur Delire (He expects to be taken seriously with such a name) is simply pointless. Written by someone who thinks he’s way too knowledgeable , when obviously he knows shit.. actually the entire “review” can be compressed to one short sentence: “I liked the sounds and disliked the vocals”… and he considers this to be a review. Keep it up!
20.SV is a sound art project by Osman Arabi. And The Great Sonic Wave is a single 28-minute piece made of microsamples of metal objects, plus a track of vocals by Alan Dubin (of Khanate and Gnaw). A failed experiment in my book: I like the electroacoustic assembly work, but Dubin’s screams (and unimaginative effects) completely turn me off.
Third review from Bad Alchemy Magazin (In German – English translation was kindly done by Mr. Richard Eigner) is obviously way better than the two above. If more of research was conducted, the writer could have many questions answered and could have understood the album way better instead of trying to figure it out.. At the end of the text he says that Alan is screaming “Repent”.. but why would he? It’s “revenge” and not “repent”, Mr.!
This music, packed in a cover with subtle relief-print, was made by Osman Arabi, a lebanese native, who could be heard as Seeker, Yardas and also 20.SV on the finnish cassette label Cthulhic Dawn Productions, or as Shamanic Death Trance on Disease Foundry Recordings. With these records one could label him likely as Dark or Ritual Ambient, as one – albeit exotic – obscure Drone-guy.
Not that the 28 minutes we have here offer something fundamentally different. However with vocal details and above all the screams of Alain Dubin, the gore voice of OLD and since years the hellish tongue of Khanate, the whole is imparted with the flair of something, one reluctantly is suspended with being alone and in the dark.
One is seduced to label this Death Ambient, if the name wasn’t already taken. On the other hand the horror is what makes this especially appealing; the thrill by means of impressions of diabolic, pain, despair and anger until the final burst.
Where could one find more pain and agony than in the area, that Arabi, instead of calling it home, would rather erase with an atom bomb? If the music is twitching and Dubin is screaming himself to rage, a Black Metal fever is taking over oneself, that is hard to resist. The blackness of the music becomes a fathomless mirror, that one – being an infernal narciss – is almost unable to detach oneself of. “REPENT”, Dubin is howling. But despair and enragement are beyound good and bad. After all, what use does remorse have, ass-deep in FIRE?
20.SV was brought to light in the year 2000 by guitarist/sound sculpturer OSMAN ARABI as an ongoing sound project with no restrictions.
In 20.SV’s new sonic work, hundreds of micro-samples of iron and steel objects were recorded, processed, cut, split and edited in multiple ways to form The Great Sonic Wave.
Now the most obvious change is the inclusion of vocalist ALAN DUBIN (Gnaw, Khanate, Old) on this recording, which marks the first integration of a human sound on a 20.SV album. Dubin’s harrowing, bilious and inhumane throat assault turns The Great Sonic Wave into a devouring audio virus.
Vocals/Voice FX recorded in The Haven Vault, Hoboken, NJ USA (2012 – 2013) by Alan Dubin. Sounds sculpted and recorded in Tripoli – El Mina, Lebanon (2008 – 2012) by Osman Arabi. Mastered by James Plotkin. Design by Remco van Bladel.
Note: The sample below is a combination of excerpts and does not represent the full experience as it’s a one track album.
After 5 years of sound sculpting, frequency manipulation, noise deconstruction, micro editing, shootings, explosions, car bomb experiences, insomnia, paranoia, altered mind states and all that is essential to the world of 20.SV, the new album “The Great Sonic Wave” is finally to be unleashed upon the world!
A work that I take great pride in and feel greatly honored to have one of my all time favorite vocalists, Alan Dubin, ripping his throat over its frequencies sending shivers down your spine!!
Mastering was greatly handled by another all time favorite musician of mine, Mr. James Plotkin.
The album will be out out next week through Cavity, the label of sound artist Gert-Jan Prins whom I was fortunate enough to meet and hear at the Irtijal festival earlier this year.
For the time being, here is the first public announcement…
More updates on the new 20.SV album.
Audio work is finalized. Vocal assault by Alan Dubin is complete. Mastering by James Plotkin is done.
The label hunt nightmare has begun.