Top 5 Noise/Dark Ambient Albums w/ Nick of Dumbsaint


This week on the Friday Guest List we’re going on an aural odyssey into the dark world of noise. From minimal to dense, mellow to harsh, this list has it all!

G’day Nick! Dumbsaint recently returned from a European tour, we heard the crowd response was awesome, did you manage to enjoy yourself? I’d imagine it would be a stressful first journey coming all the way from Australia as a band not signed to a major label.

I did enjoy myself. It was nice to have 6-9 months of planning beforehand for everyone to troubleshoot gear, the material and overall travel logistics, so that when we landed, 90% of our days were planned almost to the hour. There weren’t too many hiccups along the way, so we were able to take in a little more than most, especially considering we were in a new country almost every day.

If you’re stressed, then you haven’t planned enough. Of course things will go wrong when you least expect, but if you haven’t got a plan B for everything that makes the band run day to day while on the road and on the stage, it’s hard to truly give in to the experience.

Even though it was an independent tour, all the bands operated as respectfully as possible; as much as any larger scale tour I’ve been privy too. With probably close to 30 years combined live experience between the acts, everyone was open to sharing as much wisdom as possible.

What’s next for the band now you’re back at home?

We’ve been writing on and off for over a year. We want to put something out before the end of 2017, but getting everyone into the room is tough. We want to approach a new album too, but to start from 0 all over again gets harder the longer you do this, especially if you’re committed to going a completely place different way each time.

Are you involved in any other projects you’d like us to know about or does Dumbsaint’s sonic diversity allow you to explore most of your creative ambitions? 

I dabble in soundscape composition, but mainly for use in my solo film work. I’ve recently committed to more freelance collaboration with anyone who needs film clip or video work done, but with a high attention to detail and originality. Much like music, film aesthetic is leaning a certain way now, with technology getting in the way of storytelling. Style over substance, essentially, and highly disposable. My intentions are to continue doing what I’m doing, while reinforcing classic elements of the form to hopefully make memorable content. You can see what I’m up to here.

Awesome! I loved how the cinematic aspect tied in with Panorama, in ten pieces. Looking forward to seeing some more. Now, let’s get into today’s topic, I’ll hand over to now so you can take us through your Top 5 Noise/Ambient Albums.

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Black Earth

The album that began my descent into drone and ambient music. Despite being a jazz trio/quartet, this is one of the heaviest releases I own. The space, notes and note placement are so deliberate that it’s impossible to not feel the weight of every accent. Anyone who listens to this band immediately finds something to latch onto. It’s slow and meditative, but filled with such dread that it’s impossible to not feel like you’re caught in the middle of a noir thriller. We often play this on the PA before we play live. A hard act to follow.

David Lynch & Marek Zebrowski – Polish Night Music

Lynch steps out from Badalamenti’s shadow and delivers a powerful and contemplative release. Synthesizer and piano play off each other in sparse, but directional compositions, each with their own mood and destination. It sounds exactly like what you’d expect from each artist, and that’s exactly what you want. A foreboding listen that would be perfect for midnight car rides.

Ambarchi, O’Malley, Dunn – Shade Themes From Kairos

This one really went under the radar, especially considering the calibre of O’Malley and his collaborators. Drone, ambience and psychedelic jazz melt into each other, becoming something seldom heard on their solo or extra-curricular efforts. An astonishingly realised ‘band’ effort that begs they work together in this formation more often. Highly recommended as the introductory first step for someone getting into this genre, and the bottomless pit of these musician’s respective discographies.

Sunn O))) – GrimmRobes Live 101008

Pure amp brutality. The loudest Sunn O))) has ever sounded on record. This is also the loudest record I own as well. It perfectly articulates the experience of seeing them live, and documents their beginnings before they started incorporating greater dynamics and instruments into their set, including Attila. It best emphasises the trance-like nature of what they do and is surprisingly therapeutic. Time and space truly disappear if you give yourself to it.

Deathpile – GR

The definitive ‘noise’ record and full stop to the genre, in my opinion. Listen at your own risk. Harsh, unrelenting and sonically violent. Canady assumes the perspective of real life serial killer, Gary Ridgway, recounting his thought process during a period where he murdered dozens of women. Low on rotation, but heavy on impact. This is noise done creatively and effectively, where the concept is perfectly married with the execution, right down to the artwork. The track “Known Victims” became the inspiration for two short films I recently wrote and directed (linked below).

Film trailers:

If you missed our review of Dumbsaint’s highly-recommended dynamic instrumental album Panorama, in ten pieces. (and its accompanying cinematic element) you can check that out here, check out the band’s website, and keep up to date with news on their Facebook page.

Previously On The Friday Guest List

G.M of Barshasketh took us through 5 U.K Bands To Keep Your Eye On

Brendan of Convulsing talked 5 Otherworldly Albums & Lone Wolves.


Tanner of Madrost fried our brains with his Top 5 Sci-Fi Albums.

K.T of Phylactery banged out his Top 5 Neck-Snapping Tracks.

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!