Techno tempos but hewn with an industrial hammer and chisel with no thought for fussy detail or finesse. “Wild and harsh like the White Mountains of Crete” they say. Yep, sometimes that’s just what you need – the no pretence of a course grappa, something monolithic and stripped down; brutish repetition and rhythmic noise basslines.
Dense, murked out slices of almost old schoolish ’94 hardnoize 4/4; tidal waves of rumbling noise and booming impact but with a kind of suppressed headroom/digital grot? (as opposed to any gleeful up front, run-it-red mixing desk overdrive of analogue years gone by). Check the 2 minute breakdown and hissing-foam-on-the-rocks swell build in ’Science Gardens’ at around 4:00 mark.
Almost movie soundtrack clean and borderline pretentiously sweeping. Middle eastern voices take you out to the desert – it’s a night time ops thing and there’s a bit of cold industrial gnarl alright but it’s deeply bedded in, somewhere out of reach. ‘Telane’ gears up promisingly to a moody, heads down, off kilter, post-industrial, robotic 129bpm funk but those fuckin’ Vangelis sweeping cinema pads kick in again and put the dampers on it just as it’s starting to crank.
There always seems to be more bass coming outta Bristol. Can’t fault these for the slamage damage and precision separation of the frequencies; it’s OCD, Groundhog Day, caustic loop hell all the way (triggering possible flashbacks to the mid-90s analogue hardnoize days?)
Which is the fly in the ointment really, with all this contemporary industrial techno innit (and my pet topic to moan about) – it’s SO fuckin’ clinical and pernickety it almost feels sinister, like a spotless plastic surgery clinic, the producers now all well trained technicians, nipping and tucking your MDMA rush with the (albeit very) skillful tricks of their trade, but with a kind of detached boredom? “Scalpel….suction….swab….forceps.”
On his own User Experience label he ran a remix competition (Britain’s Got Talent?) for his track ‘Don’t Be Afraid’… there were 146 submissions! (and only 4 made the record). That’s A LOT of man hours for a fairly slim to none return no!?! Make of that what you will, but it says quite a lot about the times we live in. Zero Hours contract techno anyone?
Choicest cut off the EP. Ultra deep, seismic judder kicks with an undulating hymnal dirge that tightropes the line between irritating (and a bit obvious) and faintly haunting. It’s the little harmonising snippets of choralesque refrain that keep it interesting (and quite catchy too).
Relative newcomers to the fray this lot, but then there’re always fresh lambs to the techno slaughter eh? It’s like Verdun – it just pitilessly consumes untold souls in the fire.
Draugr gives it a frantic, panic room, mech loop stomp pushing past the 140bpm mark. Makes me feel a bit queasy to be honest – I think it’s fair to call this “drug noise” heh.
Makornik’s LP is a more thumpy, scuzzy, broken affair with dirty, free party vibes. Almost like everything is coated in viscous, sooty engine grease instead of being honed and polished. It blunts the edges and makes the whole nowhere near as angry as the titles want you to believe.
There’s a slightly seedy, pornographic, beaded cock ring and butt plug, masochistic vein to his penchant for toying with the tension and release – the juddering start/stop boom beats, that hold back and never give (on ‘Dervisis’) and the slowed down, teasing pump of the deconstructed, joyless Amen on ‘Kounoupi’. There’s certainly minute crafting in the slithering and fizzing detail beneath, but you won’t find any real climaxes here, let alone pleasure, just an obsessive compulsion with stasis and pervy, lubed-up technique.