Review by Hal Harmon
Another week and another new zine finds its way to my mailbox. In my last review, for Raw Analog, I professed my deep affection for music photo zines. This week that love affair is reaffirmed by another photo zine to satisfy my sweet tooth. Low Level Input by Shea Hardacre presents 20 pages of black & white photography from shows around Chicago. Unsurprisingly, the zine is published by No Coast No Hope, one of the premiere labels documenting harsh noise and scum electronics in and around the Midwest. NCNH started out as a tape label, releasing Hardacre’s own power electronics project Clotting, but has increasingly gotten more into zine publication. On display in Low Level Input are some of the heavy-hitters of the genre, including: Richard Ramirez, Gnawed, The Rita, Developer, Deterge, Plague Mother and many other sonic filth peddlers.
The publisher notes the minimal effort put toward design and composition, but I think it is a fine effort all around. Many of the photos lack staging or are cloaked in shadows, but I never felt that it detracted from the energy of the performers or the copious amounts of gear porn on display. Adding to the lo-fi flavor is the fact that the photography was all taken using a disposable camera. The final page has each artist listed in order of appearance. Copies are still available along with other artistic endeavors from Hardacre at No Coast No Hope.