October 19th, 2016
Keith Robinson Desert Storm 06/08/68-18/09/16
Tragically on the 18th of September 2016, one of the godfathers of the UK and European free party scene, Keith Robinson, progenitor of Desert Storm Sound System and illegal rave stalwart ended his life in the river Thames in circumstances as yet unclear.
Keith was always a massively influential character on the movement both in terms of application (his military precision when it came to organising illicit fiestas was legendary) and ideology. He and Desert Storm introduced a socially conscious element to a scene that could, on occasion, veer towards the nihilistic, hedonistic and escapist. Keith wanted to improve the existing world as opposed to creating an alternate society inhabited by a select few.
In 1995 he and the D Storm posse took their rig, aid and perhaps more importantly their music and vibrancy to Sarajevo towards the end of the Bosnian conflict (check Storming Sarajevo on youtube for more on this). Later on Keith went to Afghanistan to fight with the TA, whilst many of his good friends were bemused by his decision no one doubted that his motives were genuinely altruistic.
Many of us noted a marked change in Keith’s outlook following his experiences in Afghanistan, maybe he’d lost a touch of that incredibly positive outlook he had displayed in his earlier adventures. Nevertheless, Keith, from his kamikaze like support of the ‘Reclaim the Streets’ and anti CJB events through to his mission to Bosnia and innumerable free parties and teknivals in Europe had an immeasurable impact on the rave scene, not just in terms of music and showmanship but as an inspiration, personally, to all that worked hard and played hard by his side.
Your drive and passion will not be forgotten, rest in peace big man.
“We don’t think that music is a luxury. We think it is an essential, yet it’s always one of the first casualties of war.”
by Marc Hekate from forthcoming Datacide Sixteen
October 15th, 2016
Rusty Knife Remixes
Vicious Cycle II
Most tunes made by Sagae are top-notch industrial techno like his 2013 digital only ‘Sleep Deprivation’ two tracker, and the digital only ‘Rusty Knife’ two tracker is no exception. Gritty, clanging, pounding relentlessness sums up the hard hitting tracks ‘Danger Signal’ and the more broken up ‘Rusty Knife’. Absolutely killer! The remix album was released in 2015, and it is a bit of a let down, as the remixes simply don’t stand up to the original tracks. The most interesting one is Makaton’s ‘Rusty Knife Shiv Mix’. The newest release ‘Vicious Cycle II’ on Rodz-Konez keeps going from where ‘Rusty Knife’ left off, and all these are highly recommended.
[Not on Label, D’Arcangelo Self-Released]
There’s sure one way to get people excited, and that is for D’Arcangelo to release on his bandcamp page 4 old demo tracks that were never released by Centuria from 1997. (If you check his soundcloud, a bunch of old single tracks have also been made available.) Download immediately, because it starts with the hard-hitting, distorted ‘Mob Rules’ that certainly engaged with other sound of Rome producers like ADC. ‘Daghen’ and ‘Hudy’ are fast paced splintered idm tracks, and the short track ‘Interferenz’ is abrasive in its simplicity.
Whirling Hall of Knives
[Fort Evil Fruit FEF40]
Released as a cassette and also digitally, here are 8 tracks of super brutal beat oriented noise. The title track sets the tone with broken up beats gnarled by noise and distortion. [Read more →]
October 4th, 2016
toysfornoise / Coexsystems
Insecticide / Acid Wastelands
[Audio Riots 03]
Release number three on the Audio Riots label, a transparent blue 7” , limited to 202 copies, with tracks by Netherlands’ toysfornoise on side A, dystopian metallic background noises, acid modulations and a bassdrum that reminds me of some tekno. The other side by the label boss Coexsystems, with a harder bass drum than on side A, and a more noticeable acid line, straight forward and punchy, classic acid hardcore with a modern face.
Pour The Poison Out And Let Them Play Until The End
[Unmapped North 03]
Freshly released on 2×10” comes this nice, 100 copies limited, package of 8 tracks from Thac0 and Unmapped North head 8Cylinder. The sleeve design is hand silkscreened and suits the other releases on the label, a very nice overall look as usual from this pittsburgh label. The first plate has six tracks with slow broken beats, very genre free, unpredictable modular-like sounds with a doomy atmosphere, deranged beat constructs which are maybe not easy to get into on the first listen, but that is definitly something good in this case. The second plate goes in the same direction, just that it contains two long single take recordings, which are a little wilder and faster, with bit crushed synths and a straighter beat that reminds of older 8Cylinder tracks or Theeq. More of that, please.
[Bruits De Fond 23]
This release was planned to come out on Reverse Records, but due to the tragic death of label owner and mastering engineer Yann Dub, those tracks remained unreleased till now. Bruits De Fond took over to make them available as a digital release. Six tracks from 2002-09, of which 4 are collaborations with A034, Hecate, Skatolo and Creminel. Excellent, dark, industrial broken beats. [Read more →]
September 19th, 2016
Things That Were
[Vinyl on Demand, VOD117]
The first self-titled Lustmord LP appeared originally on Nocturnal Emissions’ Sterile Records in 1981. It is one of the classic releases of a particular phase in British industrial music whose sound is defined by outfits such as S.P.K., Nocturnal Emissions, Bourbonese Qualk and others. It could be said that these and other bands/projects represented a “second wave” after the trailblazers of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, continuing a grim sound, reflective of the hostile environment of Britain in the late 70s and early 80s.
In 1983 the Sounds-journalist Dave Henderson compiled a nice overview of this scene in the form of The Elephant Table Album, creating a snapshot of that scene as it was already drifting in different directions, be it more dance-oriented strategies or a more dark, ambient noise vein.
Things That Were, released in 2013 by Vinyl on Demand as triple LP box set, collects Lustmord’s material from before that date. The first of the three LPs is a remastered version of the aforementioned first LP, the other two records collect bits from various compilations (including the Elephant Table) as well as several live- or studio-versions and unreleased tracks. This is long before he became well known for his soundtrack-like dark ambient style, with the one exception of the last track of the third record, which anticipates his departure from the rawer and harsher sound of the early years.
The Burial/Jah Jah Dub
A two-tracker on a stamped white label 10” shows FFF with Champa B in a more quiet, reggae-influenced mode somewhere between Jungle and early Drum’n’Bass. On both sides the beat remains rather steady and there are no surprises or ravetastic elements as you might expect, but it’s not too cheesy either.
Stage Invader/Tek Hater
Deathchant reaches number 75 with the man Hellfish battling it out on two 45rpm tracks in his familiar style combining some breaks, start-and-stop techniques and EQ-tweaking with the trademark fierce 4 to the floor pounding. Since number 70 all Deathchant releases have been by Hellfish. Perhaps he figured he might as well just put out his own tunes if he can churn them out at this speed to keep the pressing plants busy (and still find time to make releases for PRSPCT). Now none of them provide new revelations, but I don’t think that’s what they’re made for, they seem to be happy to be just solid kicking Deathchant releases.
Liza N’Eliaz/Laurent Hô
S.O.D.O.M. stands for Slaves Of Devil Our Master and was a label run by Armaguet Nad in the late 90s. It never completely stopped, and after some long gaps there were two releases again in recent years, most recently – January 2016 – the number 001. [Read more →]
September 7th, 2016
[Tri Angle 32]
Lackluster, infuriating? Or just disposable and instantly dismissible? Is this the contemporary conundrum? Caught between the ADD and mindless craving for “more” of the social media generation/addicts and the online “like” hype and bluster of the progenitors themselves. Why even bother to release albums anymore? I’m genuinely lost for words with this particular one even after multiple listens. I wanted to like it. I follow and, more importantly, support his output by purchasing the material. I like what I perceive he is sonically stretching for. I’ve listened to this stone cold sober; after a few beers; blind drunk, but it irritates and annoys me in all states.
The simple fact of the matter is there are no bones or balls to any of it. It feels obtuse and willfully obscure. What he may think is discipline and tech skill can just as easily be dismissed as pretension, even arrogance. “Snow Leopard” my arse! (I’ve tracked one in the Karakoram my friend and only ever saw its footprints, much less imagined a shitty racket like this as a soundtrack to their elusive beauty). Any of these tracks would bring a dance floor to a rapid standstill and see punters heading to the bar or for a smoke. Nothing wrong with that. So then as a listening album where’s the focus? It stutters and farts and crashes and jackhammers away, coated with the usual soft synth pads, washes and cod sci-fi FX/design, disappointingly veering into the weakest and most tired of breakcore undynamics. Only by the end of the 7th track “Pandemic” do we get any sense of slamming groove or focus evolving. And “Burnerz” finally gets into gear (for all of 3 mins or so) in a kind of vintage Italian Broken Beat stylee (think SNS, Anibaldi, ADC and their ilk). But by then so what? There’s a limit to the interest one can hold to repetitive “deconstruction”.
This should by rights be the last statement Rabit makes in this area, but after his even more useless and wretchedly awful 12” with Dedekind Cut on Ninja Tune I fear the man really has disappeared up his own proverbial.
I had a History teacher at school who used to score through whole paragraphs of our teenage scribblings with a red pen and capital letter “WAFFLE!”. Funny I should think of this and in my cantankerous middle age fully appreciate this now, but there we have it. Waffle indeed.
In contrast to Rabit’s fart-in-the-wind of an album this just seems to get better on repeat listening and feels like a well researched, deeply knowledgeable journey through past and current genres.
I have to call him out though. His biggest, most shameful faux-pas is kicking off the whole thing with an utterly by-the-book old-school breakbeat ragga re-fit(shit). Absolute derivative nonsense. By this stage I think we all have to agree there’s nothing more to say or update on the matter. My advice: avoid, delete or fast forward. It’s a better listen without.
Skirting the edges of Deep House, Techno, and Bass, the rest of the material proves a masterfully tech exploration of route finding. There’s no pointless probing or faffing around on the arrangements. They choose their line and go for it, taking in their influences without fuss and with almost casual confidence.
“Gravity” is long slow builder; a subby, banger that kills it on the breakdown with a re-polished, wobbly, reese and vintage doomcore claps. [Read more →]