Wizard Colors – 0 1N20 BURN1N6 S9ACE 0 (Slow Start Records, 2020)

The Nevada-based outfit Wizard Colors lets loose with an extended track full of noise, chaos, and surprising warmth.

The official purpose of “0 1N20 BURN1N6 S9ACE 0,” the recently released track from noise duo Wizard Colors, is actually delivered in the form of a question: “How many hours of guitar droning and synth swelling does it take to conjure a chaos demon?” While they may not actually answer that question in the song’s eleven-and-a-half minutes, the band sure has a lot of fun trying.

Wizard Colors is actually a side project of Jen Scaffidi and Carson Cessna, who also make up two-thirds of the shoegaze outfit Blunderbusst (and whose 2019 EP Monarch of the Mountain sounds like the best parts of ‘90s college radio, repurposed for the 21st century). Wizard Colors gives the two musicians an opportunity to step away from their more conventional song structures and really let their freak flag fly. Previously released tracks, “City Life” and “Hazards in the Strait of Messina” (both from 2016 and released on Slow Start Records), saw the duo approaching ambient noise with a slightly lighter touch. With “0 1N20 BURN1N6 S9ACE 0,” things are darker, noisier, and occasionally more chaotic. The track was recorded in the Winter of 2016 with the assistance of Wil Hendricks, and the extra firepower is probably responsible for the more dense, layered sound. The track was left alone for some time before Hendricks edited it this past summer for a fall release. Low-end droning, relentless feedback, riffs drenched in distortion, all assault the listener in waves. Spacey, ethereal guitar meshes with plenty of futuristic synth bleeps.

No matter how much evil conjuring they’re attempting out there in Nevada, Scaffidi, Cessna and Hendricks manage to inject plenty of moments of contemplation into the noise as well, making the track less of an impulsive assault and more of a multilayered, brilliantly constructed soundscape. With this track and previous works providing a multifaceted approach to the noise genre, here’s hoping Wizard Colors crank out a full-length release in the future.

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