Pessimist: Austerity EP (Osiris Music)

God this is about as grey and depressing as electronic music can get. The continuum of dour people out there with bleak tastes (myself included at times) shuffles on. Which is same as it ever was I suppose. It has the hopeless trudge of a prison exercise yard (and funnily enough Van Gogh’s painting immediately came to mind. Don’t ask me why? I’m a visual person with a ‘Fine Arts’ background ahem ahem, so I can’t help myself…nevertheless, the visual analogy seems perfect).

prison-courtyard

Round and round they go, heads down, lost in reverie, cut off from the real world.

Fair play though, the JK Flesh remix tries for a break out and nearly makes it over the wall too, managing to lash out with a vintage Reese before he’s dragged back to solitary.

Advertisements

Vulkanski: Science Gardens (Bite)

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.

Oake: 47019 (47)

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.

JoeFarr: Death Becomes Us (S.L.A.M) + Don’t Be Afraid The Remixes (UX)

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?

Von Grall: Three Waves (Horo)

Grallish

I dunno about the waves reference in the title? To me it’s an immersive drift down a long dark river – ‘Aguirre’/‘Heart of Darkness’ etc. each track perhaps portraying a distinct vista or section of the same journey?

Fuzzy, incessant, polyrhythmic beacons pulse in the gloom and murk. There’s the sense of an unknown beyond… and a feverish, indifferent blankness (as opposed to any menace or peril) to the somber walls of impenetrable chattering Amazonian canopy he builds. ’Suffrage Campaigners’ is (possibly?) the heaviest, maze-like cut here on what for me is his best and most complex release yet.

Wrongnotes, Paris

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.