Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Christoph Fringeli

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HFK
[Rouge de Colere 11]

The Toolbox sublabel reserved for the fast and hard sounds is back with one of its best releases yet. The four-tracker starts with some mental hypnotic hardcore which would also fit in a more out-there tek set, then starts evolving into more speedcore inspired experiments. It’s not that extreme and comes of as quite rounded, but evolves with multiple listens to a great addition to the catalogue.

Molecule SCAM vs. HFK
[AcidNight 20]

The first side credited to Molecule SCAM is an epic digital acid excursion with nice progressions, but definitely nothing outside of the genre. This is what happens on the flipside where HFK is giving the old Jones & Stephenson track The First Rebirth (released in 1993 on Bonzai) a manic flashcore workover. Of course it’s tongue in cheek, but since I have no nostalgic feelings towards early 90s hard trance I find it hard to get into, although I can imagine there to be the right moment at a party for mixing in and out of this track. Pretty good is the final track where hardcore, speedcore and broken elements in the beat structure are combined with nervous bleeping loops and descending hisses. Overall a welcome addition to the Acid Night catalogue, especially with its genre-bending tendencies.

Cyclic Backwash
[Neurotrope NRT039]

Very prolific in the last couple of years, Cyclic Backwash appears on Neurotrope with a varied 3-tracker. Most interesting is the a-side with its combination of acid lines, resonating stabs and psychedelic progression with a slightly broken beat.

The B-side starts with a more hardcore oriented burst and finishes with a more conventional acid track.

Mono-Amine
[Neurotrope NRT035]

As usual an untitled 12” on Neurotrope – the third one Mono-Amine has done for the label. Again a varied affair, with a noisy beatless start, two techno tracks and one – B1 – broken beat track that can be used both in harder 4-4 sets as well as mixed with breakcore. Definitely the stand out here.

V/A: Art Brut Cafe [Fistula, FTL01]
Minus Polaris
Sukhoi Nos Ep
[Fistula, FTL02]

Minus Polaris is another pseudonym of Cyclic Backwash for the more hard edged genre-crossing stuff. Four tracks of non-standard hardcore on Rude Repeen’s label who’s based in Samara, Russia, but the pressing was done in France and distributed from there. The first release, titled Art Brut Cafe was super-limited to 100 copies and collected more straight-forward speedcore with a track each by HFK, Lawrencium, BWK, and Rude Repeen.


‘Skin Craft’ –
RIND & NOL
Works by Alex Buess & Daniel Buess
[Praxis 55]

RIND is a work using three large self-built cow skin frame drums, 1 horse skin container drum, metal plates and electronics composed and played live at Gare du Nord, Basel on 4-3-2010 by Daniel Buess, Daniel Stalder, Peter Conradin Zumthor, and later rearranged by Cortex (Alex and Daniel Buess) in the studio. The piece has an incredible depth, with an impressive low frequency spectrum, some at first sparse, later more intense, almost tribal drumming and searing mid range frequencies. At 12 minutes it’s a heavy and rewarding trip.
NOL is a composition by Alex Buess for percussion trio from 1995 played by Daniel Buess, Daniel Stalder, Matthias Würsch live in May 2003. This is again a longer piece clocking in at more than 16 minutes that alternates between more rapid and more calm phases. Pauses for thinking between rattling and scraping intensities.
In my opinion two amazing musical works which are completed by clear production and cut, and wonderful cover illustration by Darkam and the layout of the visual side by Lynx.
Alex Buess has been a key figure in the devolopment of the Vision label, the direct precursor to Praxis, situated in Basel and run by myself from 1986-1992. Collaborations after this were more rare, but never ceased. Alex still mastered the first Praxis record by Scaremonger, and his band 16-17 – who had already released on Vision – contributed the 12” Mechanophobia (Praxis 31) to the label catalogue. This was also the moment Daniel Buess appeared in the Praxis universe. Together they produced the Cortex 12” Vacuum Theory (Praxis 48) in 2011.
Daniel was an exceptional drummer, a master of intensification, and he employed his skills both in the context of ‘serious’ music as well as underground noise, from the Ensemble Phoenix, to Buggatronic, Mir, 16-17, Cortex, and collaborations with musicians such as Kasper T. Toeplitz, Zbigniew Karkowski and many others.
Sadly Daniel Buess died around the time of the mastering of the ‘Skin Craft’ record, but the record will remain as a powerful legacy.

Sprawl
[Trost, TR070]

Sprawl was a project featuring Alex Buess, Michael Wertmüller, Peter Brötzmann, Stephan Wittwer and William Parker, of which a 6-track CD was released on Trost Records from Vienna in 1996. Trost has now decided to rerelease it on vinyl with four of the six tracks and in a different order than on the original. Based on live recordings from Thun in 1996 there is some serious reeds action between Buess and Brötzmann, and the whole record is strongly recommended for those into 16-17 and other Buess related bursts of noise.

Death & Leisure roundup
Death & Leisure appeared last year with a 7” by Broken English club, one of the many pseudonyms of Oliver Ho, who also runs the label and who, coming from a techno background, seems to have moved into more experimental/industrial territory in recent years. Subsequently the label released two mini-LPs, one by Zov Zov (also Ho), titled The Sacred Pornography of God and one by Years of Denial, titled Blood Debts, recorded and produced by Jerome Tcherneyan. All three releases have a foot each in the future and the past: the past being early electronic industrial music, and perhaps the odd veiled reference to synth pop of the period; and the future insofar as a move away from techno is definitely a necessity, if techno should remain a sound of the future. If this means that some techno producers embrace experimental beat structures and and noise, that is to be welcomed. On the other hand if the journey is going back to electronic body music, other forms of retro electronica or silly goth music, then a good chance will have been wasted.

[These reviews were actually written for Datacide 16, but didn’t fit in for space restraints – so they were included in issue 17]

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