Datacide 7 – record reviews

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more record reviews from the millenium…

Panacea
Beware The Future
Position Chrome 41
Panacea now seems to operate as if drum and bass never existed as a renegade genre, dispensing with the rule based syntax of two-step and instead suggesting it as a point on the intensification vector out of punk, through gabba, towards the agressive breakbeat styles enacted by the likes of Ambush and Praxis. This double pack is split between the two personalities: one vinyl dominated by the massively produced breakdowns with studio techniques pushed to the limit – tracks beginning with a lengthy ensemble of chaos, flying beats and highly animated torture scenes. When a discernible track kicks in it is often chopped beyond recognition – a hyperactive James Brown on ‘Machine Master II’, an alien bass on ‘Robo-Turbo’. The second vinyl belies the first – with Panacea reapplying to join the scientific two-step technocracy. ‘Recreate Creation’ sees him – again- sounding scarily like full-on Killing Joke, while ‘Future Beware’ is a straight two-step run out with acid line and little else. Suggested as a taster for the new album, we are still left without any clues to his precise domain of application, though – contrary to some reports – its worth keeping a close eye on his
activities.

Panacea
Phoenix Metabolism
Position chrome 45
Panacea’s third album for PC arrived on the same day that the story broke regarding fears about Ebola entering the Deutsche homeland, a fevered documentary cameraman lying in deep isolation being treated (to no avail) by specialists in airtight suits. A suitable tension and chaos-on-the-brink that ties in with Phoenix Metabolism perhaps, with the eerie coincidence being Mootz’s menacing bad looks staring blankly from the CD cover – blotched out between chocolate brown rashes and photoshop-boosted skintones and blue irises. Did I detect a feint odour escaping its confinement as I sliced through the shrinkwrapping? Such a tactic and mode of delivery befits Mootz more than the ultra-postured leftism espoused by Force Inc’s previous extremist incumbent, the icon of anti-respectability Mr Empire, leaving you with little to grumble about on the tired rock revolutionaries front. Panacea oozes a nasty dystopian slime that underpins his evacuation from the huge techstep sound, looking for new ground as the drum and bass scene becomes more clinical in an under-the-skin Cronenberg style. ‘Phoenix Metabolism’ is a full on push to new ground, ramming every space (for better or worse) with snippets and telephone interuptions, and (more often than not) reaching for that same level of obvious predictability that wouldn’t let you imagine ‘gabba’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ in two separate thoughts. The intensity of what’s on offer suggests that Mootz rekindles the studio technique of Jim Thirwell when be embarked on the first Foetus projects – locked in with the poison of your choice, piling everything into the mix and spending huge sessions to program it into some order (a sampled sample from Terre Thaemlitz shunted together with South Park dialogue and Star Trek bleeps on the title track). Drafting in Ambush’s Scud and MC Rant makes the collaborative tracks close to albums like ‘Deaf’ or ‘Ache’ or even the sprawling chaos of The Birthday Party’s ‘Dead Joe’. Of course Scud brings his modern skills of shotblasting dancehall swing, whilst Rant takes an even bigger role with his schizophrenic Wordsound style raps (shrinkrapping?) which – if we wish to be democratic – makes Phoenix Metabolism a (good) hip-hop album. Whether Mootz is orchestrating this blitzkreig rap style, or just dropping in the odd industrial strength break(age) is impossible to gauge, but these tracks stand head and shoulders above the Mootz’s attempts at drum and bass (especially when Mootz tries to run hip-hop samples into techstep such as on ‘Sunburst’). The other questionable point is the ‘Datastorm’ track where Mootz goes it alone in the studio, making something less like ‘Brained by Falling Masonry’ and more like Bomb The Bass with a PG sticker. These grumbles aside, it appears that Panacea has made the death metal meets Public Enemy album that he always threatened us with. Whilst he is up to the task, and enlists the perfect company in Scud and Rant, you can’t help thinking this is one strictly for ‘the kids’. Good for him.

Eraser / Overdrive
Position Chrome 42
Structured discipline imprinted on PC via London’s hub of inch perfect producers. ‘Overdrive’ runs a monotone break through a buzz of distant machinery whilst ‘Overdose’ plays with a cut-up break before dropping a steroid pumped bassline that almost mutates from its techstep function. The obsessively clean production standards from the UK scene are lost somewhere en route to Frankfurt, replaced by the dirty timbres and static spite that carress most PC releases.

Frank Bretschneider
Rand
Mille Plateaux 70
The approaching millennium reverberates strongly through techno, contouring the fin de siecle ‘off the rails’ behaviour, the transitory nature of ‘artistic and moralistic values’, from 100 years ago. New genres are invented and named with an alarming regularity (and stupidity), whilst the systematic ‘command functions’ used in genres such as acid techno or 2-step are re-animated in numerous pre-techno ‘retro’ genres – such as electro, 80’s electronic pop, DAF style body beat – making strange, cold records that fail to rekindle the hybrid of mystique, excitement and embarassment of the original tracks. A brief examination of the wider picture shows a somewhat ironic
concern for the millennium bug, nurtured in a highly technological spectacularised society where in-built obsolesence and the constant motivation for aesthetic or (pseudo)functional renewal has been the standard bearer for the production/consumption/mesmerisation axis. The Y2K problem is just the harvesting of all this capitalist hard work. Certain operatives seem to be mocking the emphasis placed on the millennium – with artists such as Mike Ink steadfastly releasing 1-
a-week anonymous 7″ singles and labels such as Rastermusic capturing a 20 to 2000 countdown of tapering electronic dissidence. Bretschneider produces in this vein, using his Produkt guise to semantically cement his intentions. His first work for MP allows us to understand better some of the label’s recent output in terms of this millennium (bug) inspired dysfunctional minimalism. In these collections the wrong things appear to be looped (cf Curd duca) or the loops seem to stagger and stutter without rhyme or reason (cf the excellent ‘Formed Verse’ by Neina) – as if the machines themselves have mutated to some post 01/01/2000 conditions whereby the internal clocks are constantly (re)referenced but the results are gloriously skewed. Fellow MP artists snd half suggest that their music is kind of club music, existing between “the cloakroom and entering the club” such that listening provokes “moaning after about three minutes”. Again, a reference to a displaced or frayed sense of time – not so much a post-club music (as ambient was hyped up to be), more of a glimpsed parallel club music – tantalising but distorted, dragged through an incomplete (too complex?) porthole such that it gets resequenced and reprioritised. If ‘makesndcassette’ fed through to a parallel bass heavy Chain Reaction vibe then ‘Rand’ pitches in with high frequency isolations – toying with bleep riffs (Unique 3) that are bereft of all dance directed stuctures, and plunging into barely functioning clicks, whirs and tonal run-outs. Bretschneider hints at the possibility of “new and experimental pop music”, dovetailing theoretically with Ink’s aforementioned project… reminders of the scattered pop punk of Scritti Politti, ‘Songs to Remember’ if only for a week at a time.

Pita ‘Get Out’ Mego 29
After contributing various tracks to hardline ‘no commercial bullshit’ labels like Staalplaat, Pita delivers a short masterpiece on his own Vienna label. ‘Get Out’ was compiled between various transnational poles and suggests more about transitory natures than particular over-reaching city-scenes of electronica. Indeed, the slowly but surely murmoured discontent at the malaise in electronica is dashed by Pita in little over 30 minutes – not that he wants himself or Mego to be the saviour in such a scene – far from it. This is more akin to ‘2nd Annual Report’ delivering the death rites to punk rock… especially considering the aesthetic hardening and commercial adaptation of ‘glitch breaks’ with the spread of Funkstorung mixes and the sighting of an Autechre break in the chart-topping ‘Genie in a Bottle’ track. Get Out indeed. Without rasping out a manifesto of pure noise and intolerance Pita has shown his nomadic, outsider status in electronica – not so much a come and get me call just a report back from a distressed state of mind. ‘Get Out’ hinges around the phenomenal third track which takes a heavily pixellated melody and loops it alongside various distortion and random-direction procedures. A bold take on subtlety that works well, the track having the power to divest reality of its uniformity – cracks in behaviour and mundanity are revealed like electronica’s terminal beach – awe and celebration are revealed.
The CD is worth it for this track alone.

Cativo –
Variation / Trip –
Position Chrome 43
Variation treads a straight path through a midnight underground as fear sounds compete between your heartbeat and the darkness of the outside, while Trip is a neurotic two-stepper that mocks ‘Death Disco’ with a killer disenchanted vocal hook.

The Redeemer –
Direct Impact / Mindcontrol
Position Chrome 44
Panacea retains his bonding with Scud for a further 12. Both tracks show a flare up between Ambush style accelerated trash synapses and vocal samples fed through a corporate shredder, although Mindcontrol leans more towards Panacea’s increasingly jaded take on two-step – ie big, heavy and fucked up.

Perpects –
Desire and Efficiency –
Ersatz 10
Ersatz take on dry and automated electro porn – scratching at the repressed and expressed desires of modern living – investment banking, machine fetish, shoes, electronica. Hey, I should pass this on to Howard, but we all know that the wise old sage suggests electro is a dead genre. This ep makes it hard to disagree – iconography from ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ with a bit of hard-tech to liven it up. Perhaps the plan is to keep us in suspended animation.

Cube and Sphere –
Ganz Neu – Separator 4
DJ Sil – ? – ego vaccuum 3
Potuznik’s electronic downtime presented as-it-is while he rests from his ridiculous number of projects and aliases (concept albums on Cheap, New Order cloning on both Breakin and IDT), teaming up with DiskoB regular Platzgummer. 4 tracks that open with a smart clash of fizzling drones and lazy repetetive break-stubs, followed by a gamelan commentary of another clash between a reverb unit and a dysfunctional drum machine. The flip shows a predeliction towards pre-punk (anti?) prog-
rock overloading the chaos in stark contrast to glitch perfectionists like Pole, Funkstorung, et al.
Sil is also known as Susanne Brokesch who produced one of DiskoB’s finest moments, however ego vaccuum is part of Sabotage Communications fashion division, whereby soundtracks are invited to showcase their notorious clothing launches (in a freezer depot, a sewage system, etc). This single track lopes between digital v. classical cut and paste and long Brinkmann styled mono-grooves offset with lonely piano scapes, clutching at an overall uniformity that paces itself like a long
distance runner way out in front of the poly-rhythmic no-hopers.

Cativo
Unreal
Position Chrome 40
Cavernous sounds intro move towards typical weird Cativo sounds and breaks: the associated elements of drum and bass (ie darkside static, electronic overload, suspiria percussion) without the standardised drum and bass programming that forces the direction in the current scene. Strangely enough the a-side works at 33 as a weird Techno Animal style dub track, and 45 (the correct speed) where it reveals its Italian roots with fast and broken beats in the terror tactic mode of labels like Praxis and Ambush. The flip is more of a funky stepper party tune, again
steering clear of the 2step cyborg metronome, but utilising huge gothic breakdown and fat bass.

Louie Austen
ConseQuences
Cheap CD6
The most bizarre and uncoincidentally excellent Cheap release for a good few years, this CD pits together the semi-transparent figures of down-at-heel crooner Louie Austen with electronic producer Mario Neugebauer. The full-on Bukowski overtones are rammed home by the fact that these two diehard drifters renewed acquaintances and forces to produce this work at a local Vienna boxing club – and the whole sound, feel, production and conjured imagery comes straight from one of Bukowski’s street level novels. The innermost feelings of trash who don’t warrant a second glance from well-functioned passer-by, the blur of gambling, scrounging, scoring, coffee, booze and crashing out. Existentialism without the arty or intellectual trappings. Neugebauer’s studio techniques render an almost randomised drift through dark trip-hop beats, emotional flickers, cut-ups and collages of degraded big-band orchestrations, symphonic equivalents of tortured bowel movements, and (of course) Austen’s own voice. Consequently the lyrics take on a new value, removed from a simple, bland, entertainment motive, they narrate a dark trawl through the gutters of a city at the interstice of night and morning – where success is to live to survive another night. Austen appears to have so many stories to tell but seems neither inclined nor capable of conjuring up the full force of poetics to describe past scenes of the hectic (low)life, instead letting the meaningless drift lyrics of tracks like ‘Hear My song’ hint at their own stories through their semi-comatose delivery and sharp studio deconstruction. Fans of the super-smooth trip-hop and living room ‘darkness’ of Nightmares on Wax and Portishead should check this out – you’ll shit in your pants.

Neina / Formed Verse / Mille Plateaux 72
Another Mille Plateaux release full of digitised microsuggestions and tonal residue, sequencing itself between the single cell sound manipulations of the Ritornell releases and the ultra-focussed genre destabilisations of Heckmann and .SND. In common with this material there is an examination of the productive technique and musical structure itself, rather than an exploration of (or creation of) specific contexts. Neina is a collective for Hosomi Sakana, an experienced keyboardist, programmer and producer – who, we are told, has etched himself into over 200 records and collaborated with over 100 artists, working with noise, ambient, drum and bass, and techno. It is important to appreciate that ‘Formed Verse’ reflects the almost psychological effects of the firsthand experience of the massification of such a body of past work, rather than reflecting a manipulation or explosion of the isolated genres and dynamics of the components – Hosomi hints at the fascination of the complexities and chaos of modern equipment, techniques and (enforced) tastes. A language begins to emerge; clicks, pulses and huge groans – a syntax and semantics moving away from binary logic and suggesting variable readings from a high temperature vector – convection / conduction / radiation in equal measures, digital glitches as match-head flares, drones as collective heat, internal meltdown and arrayed heatwarp-values of different materials buckling one at a time. Mille Plateaux has been a conduit for such projects; pressing the building blocks by Oval and Microstoria, but also acknowledging that such works of technique introspection require certain nurturing and releasing conditions, equally aware that commercial structures will take on board and accelerate the output of those willing to offer themselves up with a ‘trick in trade’ (Pole and Funkstorung being cases in point). Hosomi seems more than capable of taking the language further – utilising an ordering in the 12 tracks that begins by showcasing his syntactical units and then builds towards stylistic excursions : prodding reminders of the obvious candidates (Chain Reaction, mechanically cycled samples, panning voices and non-musical snatches). Development in this field is sporadic and occurs through singularities; there is no left to right, centre to periphery, or here to there. Suprise is the element, or – as the Hafler Trio once said – “Wash your brains – Think again”.

evol / Pincipio / Mego18 3″ CD
Nachtstrom / 17 Songs After Midnight / Mego28
‘Principio’ sees Mego re-establish itself as the label for field recordings taken from locations deep inside the digital framework. There are degrees of commercial structuring – with artists like Pansonic attempting an entertainment gloss-over, artists like Hecker (another Mego artist) playing back sounds from the most interesting (read busiest or most varying) sectors, and then items like this which present the hardcore nuts and bolts of data (day) life. Trainspotting a branchline on a Sunday afternoon, birdwatching from an improvised shelter within Spaghetti Junction… only the ocassional sighting to log. 18 tracks at 18 minutes, some of which clock in at around 10 seconds and register little more than a slice of the silent passing of pockets and cells of binary information, or the tumble of dislodged wax as you push the earpieces in that little bit tighter. Two or three tracks bear witness to ocassional commotional gridlock – but to highlight these as moments of worthiness is missing the point entirely.
The Nachtstrom album samples the soundtracks of the bedrooms of the past – peering in on heavy metal, punk, hip-hop and pop sessions as a diversion to obtaining more dubious pleasures – and deconstructs them together in the bedroom of the future. Downloaded and ramraided software, consoles and keyboards, immorality switched from pornographic excursions to machinic obsessions. Think V/Vm with a mild fever of drum and bass, Squarepusher living next door but neither party having any time to talk to the other… There’s always work to be done. Less influence of the buzz and hum of the grandiosely titled ‘third Vienna school’, more nods towards the queer synchrocity of the urgency and laconicism of anti-labels like Diskono… showcasing the proud disposability of the new breed.

Terre Thaemlitz / Replicas Rubato / Mille Plateaux CD 71
This being the second piano rendition by Thaemlitz, following on from his Kraftwerk re-interpretations, there is the option to simply describe the sounds on offer – unsteady A.I. replicas mapping their half-existence through a series of clever-clumsy notes. The usual foray into the heavy reference material with this release reveals more – not so much an explanation of method, technique, or whatever directly influences the sounds, but more about a process of (whisper it) therapy made public through the arrival and structure of the sounds. Combine this with the heady level of 80’s nostalgia doing the cultural-commercial rounds at the moment and you have a potentially explosive formula.
Thaemlitz touches upon the influence of electronic music on the young mindset, and all the sentimental thrills of following (anti)fashions and worshipping (secret)idols. And with Numan he has the most difficult subject: an artist who generates and manipulates so much mystique and baggage that – as Thaemlitz acknowledges – only lies at worst and ambiguous half-truths at best can ever emerge. From Thaemlitz’s introduction to Numan, the scene is set for all futures – a shimmering exposure of ‘Cars’ flooding onto the ecstatic ears a young boy at the roller disco.
As with many numanoids of the early days, Thaemlitz was drawn in by both the lyrics and their delivery, suggesting of the latter that “Numan’s voice and words exceeded the coolness of his mechanics” giving the tracks their “distinctive emotional detachment”. Thaemlitz hints that such a role model was the key to his own disinterest in authenticity and authorship – keeping a close check on Numan’s obsessive mode of reinventing himself and Numan’s own pool of encouragement in Philip K Dick.
Thaemlitz then plays Numan at his own game, revisiting the Numan enigma through dialogue with the man and his lyrics. He suggests Numan sequentially slotted into a post-glam dynamic – where the emphasis lay on “blurring the sexuality and gender snares” – and that his songs suggest personal recollections of sexually deviant experiences. But the key to it all is Numan’s suggested fixation with his own personal disturbances and psychological shortcomings, and the subsequent media fixation with Numan’s context of production, the intense speculation, fed back into this fixation, taunting and feeding its power centre. To Thaemlitz’s excitement, this gives rise to an obsession with lying that spans from 1978 (My Shadow in Vain) to 1997 (The Alien Cure). Numan’s interplay with (his own?) sexuality are obvious concerns to Thaemlitz, and their is an unstated parallel to Thaemlitz’s own autonomous route to becoming an awkward, detatched and highly theoretical label runner and electronic musician. ‘Replicas Rubato’ has the bizarre quality of being both inside and outside of Thaemlitz’s stylistic musical lineage, but is a key document in better understanding the enigmas of both Thaemlitz and Numan.

Craft 41-43-44
‘Action extended’ singles out the Alex is my Bro track from Electro Juice 2 – the least electro track! Very funky breaks similar to Assasins With Soul but too close to big beat. The remixes skirt around Vienna – Demon Flowers (Uptight) with a sleazy downbeat mix and Men At Arms (Sabotage) with a Sopranos style hip-hop cut. Texta’s ‘Vis-a-Vis’ exists in one of the vast unexplored chasms of hip-hop, entry denied by over-zealous practitioners of the strictly permissible. 9 hanging grooves pulling through dub, orchestral, lounge, film-scores.
Alois Huber’s ‘Weekender’ plots three demented “cod house” grooves mixed with random electronic elements against three dubbed out low end excursions. The latter edges out the former – futuristic sentiment in equal proportions.

Bannlust ‘Auxilled’ Craft 45
Bannlust’s trick to follow D’arcangelo in synthesizing long drawn out melodies, slowed down breaks and infatuating their tracks with shuffling loops of disciplined static and gristle is played out and ditched on their first track. Ditto Marco Fischer’s electro-Krok guise – played out on track 6 in a singular moment. So this is new ground – or more interestingly old ground desecrated. 4/4 and drill and bass swapped about with added rave basslines (last heard from the confines of a nicked car) and the helium vocals exchanged for broken robotics. Titles depict an üapproximate english, a final appendage of the electronic toolbox master as they contemplate the infinite, every composition a mirror of its previous angled such to extend well beyond his point of vision. This review is neither positive nor negative – purely observational.

Syncretic 001
New label from Rome – urgent and authorative. Artists reveal names like archaic programming languages (Sqrt, Cogor, Ion, Amptek) but the song remains the same. Double speed breaks with half speed backgrounds, hyper punctuated breaks sliced
thrice and laid on top of each other. Cogor contribute the best track with minimal breaks and white noise.

Eclectic 003
Vinyl remix of Imaginary Solutions CD calling on D’Arcangelo (slow and structured hip hop breaks), Passarani (machine driven hip-hop with approximation) and ADC (automated cast-offs threaded together). A production line in a disused factory brought back to life through an unscheduled power surge.
Machines grind on – product piles up.

Enduro 001
New Vienna label that has subsequently released a couple of uninspiring over-compressed trip-hop CDs. This 12 cuts the crap with a heavy duty break and presampled vocal loop using drops akin to the excellent Sluta Leta. Promising.

Phoenecia ‘Odd Job’
Most commercial and strangely the best of the West Coast new school (the glitch breaks have even been used on a chart record recently – a dire swingbeat number that had a bassline straight out of one of the many Funkstorung styled grooves) ‘OddJob’ owes as much to Autechre as it does to Mel and Kim. Bass
shatters glass, glass shards slice up vocals, simple as that.

Beta Bodega – 2K
Heavily hyped 5 tracker signalling the US tactical response to drill and bass – sadly now so oversubscribed that little sense can be made. There’s an Aphex fixation for sweet melodies shot through with heavily programmed and clipped beats, however 2K moves closer to a 4/4 tempo rather than a break. How much money have you got? – there’s loads of this shit coming over. Expect a Wire article any minute now.

Piiri – Jarru ep
Ilpo from Panasonic flushes out his disciplined digital minimalism – making a sub-zero emotionless version of new school minimalist labels like Theorem and Max/Ernst. A drawn out drone and a clipped snare underpin the trackwork and the whole package has the feel of a barely acknowledged algebra conference paper.

Sandbenders – Sisters ep
Defect records are part of a wider small label scene around the Frankfurt area – encompassing Hal9000, Super8, Neon, Sport – and focussing on electro tracks that cement the genre as a highly clinical domain. Sisters takes a dry, shuffling break in and out of a massive string sound folding in bass and synths. Raw, funky and laidback electro – better than the Haag sound through its reluctance to attention – from and for the practitioners.

Mause and Stolle – ep 3
Bergheim 34
Klang keep the faith with 2 killer releases. M&S lay out an ocean of dub electronics that fill a room quicker than the spread of idle chatter at an ‘electronic event’ whilst Bergheim 34 destroys genre pinning with 6 tracks of vapid activity reminding me of Cabaret Voltaire’s 2×45.

Ersatz Audio 8
‘A History Of Tommorow’ is crowned by Kit Buillders with a chilling synth break that stomps on you with 80’s shoes for forgetting it in the first place, add a couple of careering vocal dissections and you have a heavy duty track. The other 3 tracks are unable to pull away from the retro-futurist tag – Gerhard
DeLuxxe continues his New Order tribute, Perpects complete a B-Movie b-side whilst Adult sound like they got lost somewhere inside Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre when Classix Nouveau did their famous NME photo shoot there. The building still
remains, but it seems the memories are being forced back upon us.

Ersatz Audio 9
This time its Adult who try to sustain interest in revived 80’s electronics. Well, maybe not. These tracks nudge closer to Tresor with only a tokenistic whiff of twee-ness and Human League chords. Different, but equally abhorrant as the worst of the current bland electro expressions.

Tidal Wave 7″ – Subetage
Split 7 firmly rooted in the Some Bizarre pop balladeering, making the joins from the past to the future so smooth that they become their own object of fascination. Tom Flair’s ‘Splendid’
runs close to the euro new wave of Gina X whilst Brian White’s ‘Angela 2100’ has an almost gothic feel with marching drum
boxes, an embarassed bass loop that could well be from a March Violets track, and distant vocals.

Electro Juice Volume 2
Sabotage smelt their back catalogue into an asphalt dancefloor and launch the Subetage imprint with a post populist electro compilation. Electro Juice 2 contains some of the better producers on the scene – technical boundary pushers who steal from the past to forge a grid of alternative futures. However, laid end-to-end like this it also indicates some of the bankruptcy in the scene. Highlights include the taut electronics of Sandbenders and Bannlust, the septic techno of DJ Glow, Vic20’s Basildon version of Assault on Precinct 13, adult’s searing critique? celebration? of aesthetic sterility. Lesser lights include the big beat numbers, the automated whimsy of Perspects, Ferenc and co. going through the motions with a discohumanleague cut. The best is saved till the last – ‘The Glide’ uses Right Said Fred(reich) vocals and euro pop pulp to haunt Midge Ure for turning Vienna into a laughing stock in the first place.
all reviews above by Dorothy Matrix

Cavage 03
Starting off with a wonderful Somatic Responses track, nicely programmed broken beats and a beautiful synth-line – at last some happy music that I like (what do you say about that John & Paul ?). Next UHT is remixing Limbonic Arts, to be followed by an outro to side a from Disco Mugwump, betraying an obsession with William S. Burroughs, also by using the incredible “Towers Open Fire” spoken word bit. I don’t think this is sacrilegeous, but you simply can’t make a track good noise-stabs of “Hippy:Sucker” on side b, the other tracks show there can still be some life in hardcore techno (a genre tainted with mediocrity especially in France). Recommended.

Optimum 004
I was happy to hear this record, as I thought the first Optimum release was quite promising while – with the exception of one notable track – was still in the mould of french hard tek, a path they seemed to follow, and by number 3 interesting ideas seemed exhausted. With this record a whole new approach is taken. Each side hosts one long track that consists in two parts more or less surprisingly glued together. This works reasonably well on the a-side (“Tout Est Normal” written by Fabrice P. & Olivier M.) where despite the sparse instrumentation a certain tension is maintained, growing from a stark (but not harsh enough) broken beat beginning, via a sliding 2/4 section to distorted bass drums interrupting this uneasy peace, hinting momentarily at the option of a speed-out, only to return to a bleepy medley with reluctant percussion. “Jenvoipalbou” on the b-side (written by Fabrice P. and Fred S.) is less successful attempting a similar procedure, here a more ‘funky’ break starts it off, to be replaced by an awkward broken beat, drawing attention to its unfunkiness instead of celebrating it. Lacking density/intensity/harshness on that account, but hopefully another turn towards more interesting breaks and beats in the french scene.

Kaen-Bin
Suburban Trash 5
After an excellent first 2 releases, and not uninteresting but less strong numbers 3 and 4, suburban trash is back in force with this 4 tracker on Noize Creator’s label for fucked-up breaks and experimental beats. The spotlight’s on different aspects here: Slamming beats as well as strange stepping experiments, retro-basslines as well as playful elements, an eclectizism that rearranges different elements of futuristic dance music and comes up with its own anti-dote to electronica boredom, even though enzym does repeat some of the pitfalls of this genre on its mellow aphex-y contribution. Best are the tracks by noize creator himself and the cryptic trash-step of x-core.
This is the vinyl version of the Kaen-Bin CD.

Human Error Vol 2
7 track comp originating somewhere in Dresden I think, bringing forth a mixture of fierce broken beat tracks and industrial noise and loops. Perpetrators well known to datacide readers would be Noize Creator and Jean Bach, but l o.d., Bios, Anemone Tube, Neurologic Therapy Centre and Deep also feature. No techno, no breaks, just noise, either raw rhythmic – in a severely broken way, or (in the four latter cases) beatless noise-scapes; this being a welcome development, even though sometimes there is a certain lack of depth when the broken beat tracks consist of hardly anything but a distorted beat, and the noise/ambient tracks don’t truly go further than some 80’s industrial explorations. Nevertheless, particularly since it feeds into a completely different scene, it will hopefully help to engender a more adventurous approach to rhythm and noise; we want more.

*** Core EP 1
Phantomnoise 001
First release on new label by Alex Dee (Widerstand 7) presents a fine selection of hardnoize breaks and trackerterror from Leipzig. Alex Dee’s tracks here are more in a breakcore mould with charming old-school hardcore flavours, he features on two of the five cuts, one co-written by Skelton 93 who proves to be a snare-sniper on his own “Against Senseless Names Pt. 2”, and providing some shrill noises with depth on “Something Special Pt.1” co-written with Worlds Ab-Art. The only tracker-in-the-kitchen piece is a bit too geometrical to deserve its title “French Kiss”, but the e.p. all in all is a great debut.

Onukore 001
The whole purpose of this record is to be fast.Just when you thought that this overspeed jackhammer approach had died out in favour of more subtle flavours, here we go again, ridiculously fast bassdrums ram their 4/4 down your throat, with most of the other sounds running at half or quarter speed to keep up. Absolutely no melodics, build-ups, or generally little use of arrangements, which is fair enough if your point can be made without these ingredients, the main problem however being the fact that Cyberminds or XKV8 did this years ago, and that speedcore has been taken further by No Name, La Peste and NDE already.
It has its moments and if you need it, then 300 copies have been pressed for you.

KS 333.2
Surprisingly industrial second release on KS 333 is a comp with Speed Yq’s, Joshua, Bad Taz and A.F.X. Dub, all luminaries of Contrarotative, plus a guest visit from La Peste. 7 tracks that are better the more noise oriented they are. Nevertheless there are 2 hardcore tunes and a couple of sketchy bits that leave the record a bit incoherent, interestingly leaving the noise tracks of Bad Taz, Speed Yq’s and especially La Peste the best bits.

Fast Forward
Short EPK 01
Start of a 7” sub-series of the french hardcore label Epileptik, known for banging rave-oriented stuff by Radium, DKP, Sammy, Sarin Assault and the like. One track each side on 45 brings a good sound quality, and a few surprises especially in the form of ragga-samples. While the first side otherwise trusts in the power of the 4/4 bass drum, the second one starts interestingly fucked up, only to fall back onto that old french tool in its second half. I guess people into Deathchant etc. will love this musically, but the titles “Sexless” and “Big Dick Man” and the graphics of a woman’s face with a oversized cock in her mouth suggest that someone’s struggling with a problem here.

Producer vs. Hellfish
Psychic Genocide PKG 06
Producer and Hellfish sharing a release with one track each. Producer presents “Violent Works of Art” in a well-crafted french-compatible banging way, but not really saying anything new, the vomiting at the end a replay of Terror Trax ? The flip goes a similar way, with some sci-fi trash vocoder elements, blending in fine with releases on their own Deathchant imprint as well as Micropoint, Dead End, Epileptik and Tieum’s output.

Hellfish
Turntable Savage/Head Grit
Deathchant 24
The a-side with the title track is well-crafted hip hop-gabber that I don’t feel that enthused by with it’s “Pump Up the Volume” samples etc. But the b-side is much further reaching, with powerful editing and discontinuities, an epic speed-rave track that keeps starting and stopping without letting go of the energy: basically kicks ass.

Black Blood
Frontline of Sound 01
A new label from Dresden coming out with an interesting release that reminds us how much ‘hardcore’ has changed in the last few years. Remember PCP? This is where they could have gone, instead of doom rave central. Or in fact this is what this is – only denser, badder and darker – because instead of stripping down it has an edge of early Zekt about it, nice intensity, fat, good production.

Explore Toi 28, 29, 30
A trilogy of white labels, comprising what seems to be a live set. There are no distinct tracks, the flow / banging being interrupted by the end of the six sides of the record, which stands in as organising principle. I would have prefered to hear this at 4am at a party at a deafening volume, on vinyl it seems to be taken out of context… I sat through all three records listening to one side after the other, but I’m still waiting for density and intensification.

Explore Toi 34
This time with Yann Dub, this is a departure to something much more interesting, a kind of minimal techno with haunting voice fragments; strangely this somewhat reminds me of early Zhark stuff, and that’s a recommendation.

Mouse
Reverse 6
It has been a fairly long wait for a new release by one of the Michelson sisters. Poka seems to have retired altogether, Stella is back with a 3-tracker, almost 2 years since the universally hailed Karnage record. Not sure if I can muster as much enthusiasm as in the past, but all the ingredients are there: ultrahard bass drums hammering, voices screaming in unearthly pain and terror, shrill brainslicing sirens, the BPMs still skyrocketing. The question is whether speedcore like this is still at the forefront of developments with certain tendencies in the last years leading more towards broken rhythms and depth, while here a lack of bass is again in evidence, with the whole bass range resulting solely from the reverbed bass drums. As far as speedcore goes however you’d be hard pressed to find something more intense, and if you haven’t experienced her music before, more terrifying.

Yann Dub
Reverse 3
Half tempo abstract breaks, then the obligatory 4-4-speedbassdrum, pleasantly differing from most examples in this field by being relatively thin or soft. What is still disturbing me though is that there is again no bass on this record. Why? Everything is treble and mid, so a whole dimension to the music is missing, an also physical dimension that may explain that the bass drum terror is so overdone on some records – to compensate? Despite this lack (and this is by no means the only record – strangely most seem to be from france – that suffers from this), there are some developments on this release that are very promising, and confirm my theory that the advent of hard disk recording is finally changing and expanding the scope of hardcore.

L’Art et la Guerre
Premier Sous-Sol
A split EP coming from the Cyborg 2nd Generation shop in Rennes, Britanny. The contrasts could hardly be greater: One side by Chandora is very quiet ambient chill-out, while the flip by Rotator is a frenetic breakcore massacre utilising metal elements and a certain disregard for clean production. Half-way through it’s interrupted by a couple of minutes of silence. Art and war, curious to see what’s next.

Somatic Responses
Dark LSD e.p.
Shadowcast, Cast-1
First release on new US label presents the Somatics with glimpses from different periods. In fact half of this EP was previously (about 4 years ago) circulating as a white label from Scotland, for some reason this was never released, and so 2 of the 4 tracks make up the first side of this 12”. They are classic Somatics material in their 4-4 hardcore phase, before they bought “that synth”. They aged well too, still banging.
The other side shows the brothers in a more contemporary light, especially the last track “The Storm” is a little masterpiece here.

Somatic Responses
/Bio Mechanism Div.
Ultra Annoying Rec. Vol.02
Nice 3 tracker, one side with a laid back cinematic piece that sits challengingly between electro and industrial, the other side begins a bit harder and ends on a more mellow tip. Quite pleasant, the Somatics in a more contemplative mood, than say on their recent Deadly Systems release.

Worlds Ab-Art
Phantomgeräusche EP – 99
Silent Revolution 3
The third release (after Eiterherd and Plan) on the 300 limited coloured vinyl 7” series of Widerstand’s sub-label. It’s Alex Dee this time coming up with some classy classical industrial pieces. Echoed sounds that could be originating from an old bassmachine (even -guitar), drone terror noise avalanche, and a more introverted closing number of distorted melodies.

Dragongaz 01
New label from France with one side a kind of mutant 2step. Only a question of time before that genre would produce its mutant hardcore brother!? Well, it’s not that hardcore, but well produced funki shit that will go down well if you spin at your little brother’s party and still play a decent tune. The second side is more techstep compatible and definitely a DJ-friendly, floorfilling allround winner on 10”.

Mange De La Bass 03
Yet another sign that things for breaks in France are looking up. A side of pretty happening stepping breakcore, with basslines and party groove, plus a curious filler consisting of a series of breakbeats tied together. The flip side is a longer track starting as if evolving into another breakbeat stormer, but this time getting hijacked by an angry distorted bass drum, closing the bridge between breaks and hard broken beats.
A good release that is however lacking in special/stranger/challenging noises.

Potere Occulto
Praxis 25
The history of this record has reached a point when I can’t even remember which year it was made. But then the place was more important than the time: a remote mansion in Wales in the autumn. It’s wet and green-grey and a welcome time away from London for me. The tracks produced by the Healy bros. and CF are a certain departure point, delve into deconstructed beats and away from the mid-nineties hardcore formula. Breaks, melodies, synths, noises are used, well on the way to the now-present, not sounding out of place, rather matured, in ‘99 when finally released. Of course a reason for the delay is the ambitious ackaging, two 10” records, one black, one white in a cover depicting the Sphinx with George Bush’s face, Giulio Andreotti and the Queen Mother meeting for an unholy session in the Masonic temple. The world hangs upside down on the ceiling, three ranters or diggers smoking around the table, a Prussian soldier from the 18th C, donning hammer and sickle. The echoes of dissociative testing practices…
The frictions of secret histories… A screen shot before the moment of truth.

Pure
King Kong Pt.2/Katharsis
Praxis 26
King Kong Pt.2 is actually the second half of the complete track of over 15 minutes, a technical impossiblity to commit to one side of a record at a decent volume; and surely the volume coming out of these grooves deserves to be called terrifying. A special kind of machinic storm mutating the out of control analogues and drum machine into the kind of monster that i would like to hear at big raves.
Fat chance for the moment, but we’ll see.
Katharsis is a kind of Jackhammer 2000 double speed track of utter relentlessness that fiercely and positively complements the other side.

Antistatik ASK 03
Downtempo is the word here, but still anchored in the French hardcore tradition (=occasional outbreak of double speed bass drum). Driving, rough & ready breakcore terror on the opening track, mild steppers and fierce groovers go hand in hand, a hard hitting and positively surprising release.

ONU 4
Continues in the vein of its precursors in combining tuned-up breaks with 4/4 hardcore bass drums. Of course there was a time in Dutch gabber that employed a similar recipe, but this is distinctly different, positively more chaotic, lost it and of a much more anarchic energy, it’s all a little drunk and shaky and we prefer it like that. Here the breaks are not as ill-fitting as they occasionally were on some of the earlier releases which makes this record a more solid affair.

Index 01
Excellent dragging, abstract, but still funky mid-tempo broken beat in the finest Italian school produced by East of France based producer-DJ Joker, following up his previous releases on Uncivilised World and SixShooter. Carefully produced – with a certain element of Electro lingering on, but far from revivalism – these five tracks, plus 3 short ‘moments’ are definitely worth tracking down. Recommended.

SPH 02
Tuned down voices growling, drones, then a breakbeat leading deeper into this most cryptic exercise of the new French break sound. Almost ritualistic, but at the same time very much a dancefloor track in my book is the flip side. Discover!

Tryps Coniks 001
Hypnoise 1-2000
Coming from Toulouse these two first releases are linked to the long standing fanzine 45+8, the Tryps Coniks 12” features an A-side of hip gop grooves, complemented by two hardcore/speedore tracks on the flip. The feel is not entirely unlike a Deathchant record.
The double 12” compilation deceptively – a somewhat commercial move – starts from firmly ‘hard tek’ waters to embark on an increasingly speedcore oriented journey over a total of 9 tracks by Angstrom, Enthrall and others, mostly solid hardcore.

Venetian Snares
Greg Hates Car Culture
(History of the Future 003)
From Winnipeg, Canada, Venetian Snares is probably the brightest new flame on the ‘breakcore’ scene, and this is a good introduction featuring 7 tracks, as well as good prelude to the soon to be released e.p. on Zhark. Discipline and chaos collide in extravagant patterns. Damn, he even sampled Divine declaring “Kill everyone now!” from Pink Flamingos (I’m too slow). While his more recent tracks (see Zhark) seem to be entirely break-based, some of these here feature a 4-4 kick, but always well integrated, always worthwhile. Watch out!

La Peste
(Hangars Liquides 013)
After the quite excellent HL005 label owner La Peste is back with a 2 track ep that is more hypnotic and trippy in that each side hosts an extended track. On the a side amorphous speedcore leads us closer to dawn at a teknival, the beats occasionally freaking out, a monotonous synth turning round and round in your head.

Umkra
Gaasperlas 14H / Foire Aux Gliers
Myzé 002
Part of the trend to use more breaks and stepping elements in France is also Umkra and his Myzé label, this release however is caught in the idea of live-mixdowns and never develops tension and is far removed from the calculated constructivis of british techstep. Half of the ingredients of “drum” & “bass” are there with notably the bass lacking, something that was noted and termed technostep in the last datacide (Cycloscotch 3 review). The stepping beat and breaks and some noises are thrown together here and jammed at maximum length and minimum effect.

Homicide 002
Second release on this grim french hardcore label has a track from P.Max of ONU in his strange amalgam of hardcore and tinny breaks – there are better examples on the actual ONU releases though. Next is a broken shout piece from Nurgles ll Trolls, both tracks giving a shattered impression. To set the record straight the b-side by T.H.C. is hammering speedcore with the bassdrum going brrrr in various ways. This is impressive and last is a cool noise-outro that finishes off the record.

Garten der Verschlungenen Pfade
Jahr 01
A compilation CD commemorating the first year of the ‘neuen berliner initiative’ series of events, featuring Sudden Infant, Miwon, DasSynthetische Mischgewebe, Column One, Nomex (from his drill-turntable phase), Tea? Mr. X, Traveler, Marc Wannabe, Luxury Discrete Surroundings II, Multipara, Sniper, and the organisers under the moniker Kein Babel.
All resonate aspects of minimal electric and electronic noise, and sometimes sparse rhythms, sometimes coherent, sometimes destroyed. Our favorite is Multipara’s ‘Leerjahre sind keine Herrenjahre’, an ethnic morse-code speedcore extravagance that should be released on vinyl. Also other tracks are worth discovering.

Dombi Funky Crew
UHT / Saoulaterre vs. Yugo Boss
This is the psycho phunk explosion from the year 2000 wild style re-generators with a West Coast flavor, like Dr.Dre on mushrooms. Four tracks with the second ones on each side reaching new levels of funk-deconstruction, owing more to the Groupe Recherches Musicales than Afrika Bambaata.

Istari Lasterfahrer
Sozialistischer Plattenbau Single 001
Taking the favorite parts of their favorite records and creating their own pop music with an old skool jungle flavour. Mega-collectable with picture sleeve and on red vinyl, and limited to 100 numbered copies.

yppasswdd daemons
traceroute_to_207.46.131.13
Sozialistischer Plattenbau Single 002
Again ultra-limited on the Hamburg based label, and this time conceptually following the Dogma 00 doctrine, reproduced and discussed in an accompanying booklet (or on http://zap.to/dogma), and coming across more on a retro-machine based low-fi tip, utilising an SE30 on vocals, a casio vl-tone, polysix, farfisa and mfb-512 and recording strictly in 8bit/22kHz.

Istari Lasterfahrer
Diktat der Maschine
Sozialistischer Plattenbau Single 3
6-tracker on 7” again, but this time in a 200 press-run! “Dance to the dictate of the Machine” proclaims the booklet of graphics that comes with it. Cool breaks and electro elements interfacing with nature of machines, with the elekrobrain, with the colour grey, continuing the theme of bits talking and atoms protesting. Worth tracking down!

Welcome Monster Lover!
Mutants & Heureux EP
Muhtan
Starting with a with a kind of pounding techno track, that might secure this otherwise more adventurous records’ entry into the French hard-tek market, the second track steps up the energy-levels, but it’s not until the second side, with ‘Demoni’ when things get really interesting mutating and happy with it’s combination of speedcore and melodic monsters of Roman origin. The final track ‘c.h.u.d.’ is the high point when the style goes truly wild with accordeons, voices and rolling beats. Good production by UHT/Saoulaterre again.

reviews abbove by C

Pierre Schaeffer
L’Oeuvre Musicale
(INA/GRM cd)
A timely opportunity to discover the power of the untimely in music, this anthology of the works of Pierre Schaeffer, one of the ‘originators’ of the tape-based musique concrete, is a time-travel trip worth taking. Bringing together his early ‘noise studies’ of 1948 with his much vaunted Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul collaboration with Pierre Henry and extending to a rare and surprising experiment with ‘electronic’ sound that is Le Triedre Fertile, this collection of CD’s is not only an object lesson in arranging ‘found-sounds’ into flexi-forms without falling backupon too obvious rhythms or monochrome drones, it is a chance to see whether the institutionalised myth of the Groupe Recherche Musicales lives up to its almost legendary status. Some will be disappointed with the studies if too much interest has been invested in the seductive power that current digital accuracy and deaf-presentism overwhelms us with, but what can come across if such aural conditioning is jettisoned, is a melding of the usual and recognisable with its transformation into the uncanny, the eerie and ironic. More often than not Schaeffer chose to use a deliberately limited range of sounds (train, orchestra, pots and pans) in order to explore them to the maximal point then techn ologically available to him, but also in readiness for a uncluttered arrangement that brings the techniques of cinematic editing into a musical domain. We hear speed-ups and slow-downs of tape manipulation, the density of moody layerings, but there are also irreverent, punky, outbursts of a jump-cutting bricolage, a battery of sounds that are used as a means of applying rhythmic bursts and mood change phases. In an uncanny way Schaeffer’s compositions, criticised for a rigidity that comes from using the reproductive, repetitive technology of tape, can intermittently come across like a free-jazz improvisation, an avant-garde orchestra and a post-techne click’n’cuts web cast. Above all, and almost defying the ‘alienated’ control of its medium, the tracks collected here are a process-based fondling into the dark; a rythm of the fragment and of its whole
Flint Michigan

Arne Nordheim:
Electric
(Rune Grammofon cd)
The electronic archive is a doorway into the past imperfect and we find with this CD of late 60s electronic compositions the strong presencce of another historical footnote coming to demand his remote and inconceivable chapter. Nordheim, a Scandinavian composer, travels to Poland to use the technology of a radio station and returns with reels and reels of deft spaciousness. On both Solitaire and Pace the human voice is used a source that is transformed into a glistening spectra; a crackle of burning bells and low guttural drones. It is Baudelaire. It is Declaration of Human Rights. It is allomorphic music. On Warszawa the radio-station sound archives are pillaged and the nominated sounds of Warsaw during a particularly frosty winter are re-assembled into a wordless diary where the plaint tones of a child singing a folk song come slowly through to make you weak with the myth of innocence. Such use of ‘found sound’ and ‘electronically manipulated sound’ makes the then decade old polemic debates between the proponents of ‘one or the other’ puffle into insignificance and using this undiscriminating technique he perhaps has the final word on ‘Expo-tracks’ with his magnificent series of loops that is Polypoly. This sound-installation designed for the Scandinavian Pavillion of the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka consists of a multitude of sounds coming into different rhythmic contact with each other and was designed to play on in its manifold combinations for 102 years. The 20 minute segment presented here has fragments of sound (each lasting a short but varying time) that make us both listen out for their return and yet be satisfied with the laminal surprises that replace them. A representational flux.
Flint Michigan

Walter Marchetti:
Nei mari dei sud. Musica in secca
(Alga marghen cd)
What would ordinarily sound like a piano being drowned and made into an electronic instrument by imperceptibly subtle distortion and bass-end prolongation is also, if you research a listen, a process-based piece of anti-music that so hates the classical conon of the composer, the performer and the reverent audience that it makes for a kind of concept music that exists somewhere between Marchetti’s enigmatic intent and the listener’s shared discontent. What has occured to this piece previously is as important as how it now sounds. Beginning with the generation of a computer-score played by Juan Hidalgo and its theatrical presentation as a lone piano on a stage backed by blue tissue paper, the deliberately limited notes of the piano are picked up from speakers at the rear of their initial audience, put to one side for a few years, and then fed through the studio process to now sound as if they have a slowly accruing force. Our awe at whether the notes woll come together into the sustained tune that it is always hinted at provides a tension with the overall soothing effect of the piece and, remaining unresolved over 60 minutes, leaves us feeling tricked but disturbed by why we should thus feel tricked. It is this involuntary aura of the track, the laxity of purpose, that, when taken together with the willed historic layers of production and presentation, makes Nei mari del sud take on the provocative feel of a non-event, a segment of usefully wasted time that is so enthrallingly inscrutable that it makes the listener party to the question Marchetti seems to be asking: what is it that we expect from music? Aural hallucination? Resolution? Relaxation? Pleasure? Understanding? The space for this question to take place is actively fostered by Marchetti who seems, perhaps magician-like, to be distancing himself from any creative input into the piece whilst actively surrounding it with layers of enigma: in the back sleeve photo Marchetti sits unconcernedly on a bar stoollike and old time hood who’s just planted a musicological bomb; the CD insert folds out into an elaborately plotted map of what looks like an African coastline; the essay-booklet baffles and provokes us with a resume of Marchetti’s anti-aesthetic strategies. It is this application of discontented intent to all the aspects that surround the music of Nei mari del sud that make this CD a continuation of those fluxus musical activities (Wolf Vostell, Ben Patterson etc.) that similarly took their propulsion from John Cage. The activation of a pre-compositional level, the computer-driven notes, the studio manipulation all conspire to give the effect of a meticulous involuntariness that whilst using and commenting upon the unapplied consumption of music that prevails in the concert hall and club, leaves ample room in the gaps between its notes to transcend the spiritual with an offer of a destruction ascending from the cellars of the anti-art institution.
Flint Michigan

Atom X Vs Argonic ~
Audio Illusion 14
This record sees a return for AIR to its earlier style – inventive acidic beats with an upbeat edge. Both sides emanate a live-feeling mix, which works well for this level of techno/ electro. The beats drop in and out unexpectedly with offbeat timing, which adds to the general sync’d/ unsync’d sound. It is also nice to hear well-placed extended breakdowns, which make the record feel like more of a piece. The deep, acidic melodies complete the beats, and give this record top priority. Overall – a covert record in a modern style that will hold its edge for quite a while.
Redmax

Mike Dred & Peter Green ~
Virtual Farmer (Rephlex)
Experimental FX core in the same vein as the later Machine Code releases. These two are obviously having much fun mutilating their noises. High point > panning Asian-sounding female vocals over the top of fully cut up beats. Low (er) point > Steven Spielberg style clarinet overlays by Pete’s mum- sorry Mrs. Green, but fair play to you anyway. This record is perfect for confusing the dancefloor by making them think they are all pixilated sheep.
Redmax

Fix ~
Fix 02
“ Two thousand Zero Zero party “, announced Subhead (you can run, but you can’t hide) on the eve of the next millennium from a secret location, via the medium of a plucky cyborg. This release improves on Fix 01, diverging on more of a breakbeat tip. Subhead’s approach reminds me of the distinctive vibe of early electronics, when simplicity was the key, and although these beats are up-front they still retain an addictive electronic straightforwardness, enhanced by the use of rough analogue synthlines.
Redmax

Throw 1003 ~
The Mad Circus EP
Side A – an addictive, laid-back house track about making sandwiches on the dancefloor. Now I assume we’re not talking peanut butter and fish paste.
Side B – apparently unable to reincarnate Jim Morrison for a remake of Light My Fire, Run/Stop/Restore have settled for Steven Hawking and his Casio – oof!
Redmax

Looking at this issue’s review section it’s notable that only about half of the usual reviewers have submitted contributions, for quite different reasons. Kovert had all his records stolen on New Years Eve. Delinquent’s reviews, written on paper were trashed before being typed up, Eun, The Reverend and Tunk Systems/Mechos ignored the deadline. This has caused a bit of a void in the areas of hard-tek, and most importantly UK drum’n’bass. We’ll try and catch up on this next issue. More importantly the issue covers the fields of more experimental hardcore and breaks more than any other paper, even if it wasn’t possible to be entirely comprehensive due to the time elapsed since the publication of the last issue – we’ll do our best to review a whole number of important releases for the next issue that should have been in this one, along with the ones appearing in summer and autumn 2000.

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