Heal The Split

Jerusalem’s Wackelkontakt deliver an accomplished and bold debut, finds Cal Cashin

The human condition is to turn away and run for cover in the face of tumult and terror; but that is where Wackelkontakt come alive. The Jerusalem trio are one hell of a prospect, and spend the duration of their debut LP writhing in their own self-made darkness. Barrages of deafening noise, industrial hip-hop, and contorted R&B all clash throughout Heal The Split; a particularly volatile solution, the band are set to combust at a second’s notice.

Frontwoman Tomer Damsky is the enigmatic voice of the record. Her frenetic delivery leads the group on their frenzied journey into mutant pastures. On opener ‘Papamummy’, the silence is broken by her terse whispers. Damsky’s whispers spiral dizzyingly quickly into rap venom, which in turn wakes the Wackelkontakt noise juggernaut, glitching beats in tow. As a unit, Wackelkontakt are industrially malignant, the trio frequently combine dense, heavy beats with uncompromising bilges of noise.

Damsky’s skills as a vocalist aren’t limited to heinous rap atop scorched hellscapes (although that is her modus operandi). On ‘Zkhut Kium’, the album’s R&B standout, the prolonged autotuned cries are genuinely melodic, moving and hopeful. Still, though, the group offset the melodious ponder with harsh flashes of noise. Wackelkontakt’s raindrops of anti-matter always find a leak.

‘Heal the Split Lip Overnight’ and ‘Pad Thai’ sees this juggernaut at its most unflinching, visceral and thunderous; the raindrops of anti-matter become a cyclone. Sheets of noise on the free form ‘Pad Thai’ are pummeling, a shakedown to the core a la Pharmakon, Wackelkontakt threaten constantly to wreak the body horror grotesquerie of the album artwork unto the listener.

The record is an accomplished and bold debut from a group at the forefront of Jerusalem’s defiant art scene. The main takeaway might be the devastating noise that runs throughout, but this record is lively and memorable for its dynamism and reluctance to stick to one genre or sound. On Heal the Split, Wackelkontakt are staring, screaming and spitting into the void, but forever will the void be too afraid to spit back.

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