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?
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.
47017 – Overlook and Positive Centre debut their collaborative project, Carrier.
Masterful production on these impressively crunchy, jagged, industrial broken beats with a BIG rolling juggernaut of a low end. There’s an infectious, driving, piston funk woven into these tracks as they build and reach cruise speed, surely the result of Overlook’s D&B background and sensibility (over on UVB-76 Music etc). Sound system bangers. As is young Scaly’s ‘Ghroar’ tune below.
47018 – Serbia’s Scalameriya. Normally all I can say about his schtick is Meh! with a shrug; his competent but uninspired, perfectly adequate but textbooky, almost B-list, broken beat thumping and bashing. Still, essays handed in, no matter how badly written, can usually get you at least a C. So finished beats perfect, as they say. All that aside, he seems to ratchet it up a gear and break out for one stormer of a track ‘Ghroar’ injecting the template with rippling sheets of blurting, buzzsaw filth to make it monolithic, quite ritualistic and very nasty. Could’ve/should’ve gone even further though.
Must say, I didn’t think too much of this when it came out in March. I’d been playing catch up and listening to a tonne of the Grey Area et al. stuff over the last months so maybe I’d just ODed on the Horo sound? It sounded too muddy and murky with all its (mercifully) low in the mix corrosive EDM vocals and farty bass. I bought it though, like the nerd I am, and persevered with it in the pick-up with the sub woofer cranked on my night drives home. And suddenly I got right into it. It seemed to get better on repeat listens (something that’s not always or often the case). The extended 10 minute ‘Skewer’ was the one that did it for me and pulled me in: the cavernous Doom claps that whip up the vibe at the beginning….but then I wish they hadn’t been dropped out of the mix altogether….something could have really been done with those?
Some choice cuts off this latest compilation; Unhuman, Mondkopf, but Manni Dee’s contribution is particularly relentless; full on hiss, grit and broken beat bounce that unleashes an infectious, industrialised, Rotterdam Termination Source-esque ‘Poing’ with lashings of dub chamber white out.