Roel Meelkop is a dutch experimental artist who has been releasing music since the 1980s. As part of THU20, he started self-releasing cassettes, and since the 1990s he has released dozens of vinyl, CD and MP3 releases on labels including Korm Plastics, Staalplaat, Line, Audiobot, as well as many others. "Real Mass" is a 3" CDR limited to 100 copies, on Hong Kong based label Lona Records.
The disc consists of one 19 minute piece, which is "dedicated to the darker sides of life (for once)." The piece begins with a heavily reverbed sample of what sounds like either some sort of tribal chant, or a child shrieking. This loops for a minute and is surrounded with some distorted, cut-up sounds that instantly remind me of old Nurse With Wound or Coil. After some rattling. glitchy sounds, a brief period of silence follows, after which some ghostly manipulated emerge, fluttering between the speakers. A low bass drone takes over, which is followed by more hiss and crackle and manipulated voices. The piece continues going through cycles like this, until a frenzied glitch-noise part in the middle sounds absolutely terrifying if you're not prepared for it. Not a whole lot happens after this; a drone rises to more static and manipulated radio-crackle voices, and more sine waves flutter and crackle.
If you're not listening to this on headphones, not much seems to happen for most of the piece, except for the noisy parts. Pay the proper amount of attention, however, and some interesting ideas emerge. Proceed with caution... 6/10 -- Paul Simpson (29 April, 2008)