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.
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.
A lot of late night online dérives and digital crate digging seem to lead me back into the shadows of the Greek industrial/techno scene’s impressive doric columns these days. Can’t quite put my finger on why it tickles the taste buds so at the moment? but I think it’s the fuzz of the low end; the direct lines; the right amount of noise without over-egging the pudding. Big, weighty, heavy things with oracles living inside.
So we got ANFS and his label Modal Analysis, Vofa (Sawf & ANFS), the Kafta and Vanila labels (see previous posts), then I discovered Pi Electronics, Phormix Records and now OSM Tapes.
The debut tape/digital release by NO/ON is choice; a little bit lo-fi, nice fat distortion, hiss, sheets of noise, (reminded me a bit of the late 90s Amputate tunes or Dan Hekate’s mucky broken beat excursions?) but the tape medium really seems to suit the sound here. (Manni Dee dropped a couple of the tunes in one of his recent Rinse mixes).
Forget the plate smashing, the latest 14 track Phormix compilation ‘Consistency In Paranoia’ throws just about bloody everything against the wall in a total mezze of synth noise weirdness – and a lot of it sticks. Ouzos all round. Stand out for me is Core Belief’s bass strobing, drone screamer, which I could really do with a whole 4 track EP of similair blueprints of!
Also liked the previous ‘Light of Consciousness’ compilation, which wasn’t so off the wall.
And finally, Mumdance kept playing this tune last year all over his Rinse B2B sets and I got slightly obsessed with it for some reason (and had to use Shazam to ID it in the end heh). Something about that plaintive two note metallic wail drifting in the distance over the infectious beat hammer. Kind of a stand out example of what I hold up as the ‘Greek’ aesthetic; Simple and direct, but dirty and driving.
AKA Sawf & ANFS, showing strong industrial literacy on the relatively new Athens imprint Kafta.
Two big tunes for me here: ‘Lisiaxte’ hammers out a leviathan beat of panning 120bpm fuzz, convulsing in a filthy radioactive swamp of bass murk – stifling in weight and reduced parameter. While ‘Ami’ belches out dismal, fog-horn pulses of polluted bass into a necrotic landscape. No compositional peacocking here, just brute repetition and creeping electronic drone that almost feels ritualistic and existential by the end.
Another fine drop from Athens’s ANFS. ‘Skafto’ slowly ramps it up, with unswerving pressure build; it teases and teases and never really drops. ‘Olatatzi’ is almost like an industrial John Carpenter thing. Small hours urban paranoia, with a phat fuzzed out, druggy, strobe vibe.