Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Nemeton

Christoph de Babalon: Grim Zenith EP [VIS005]
We haven’t had an EP vinyl from CDB in many years, really since the excellent ‘A World of My Own’ 12” on Restroom Records. The wait is paid off with this evocative release limited to 300 copies. A1 ‘Could We Be?’ submerges us in eerie atmospheres and drum n’ bass assault; A2 ‘Pure Dirge’ is a thoughtful, beautiful track with melodies flirting with break beats and clanging bells. The B-side opens with drudging bass and kicking beat construction which is an abstract dance floor hit in my mind. B2 ‘Luxury of Sadness’ with its screeching string arrangements and abstract beat patterns reach a frenetic rhythm of pure mastery. De Babalon also just released digitally ‘The Haunting Past of Christoph de Babalon Vol. III’, which should be immediately downloaded! Both the digital and the vinyl are highly recommended!

Stave: Black Hills [Standards & Practices 2]
The new American label Standards & Practices run by Karl Meier, Ken Meier, and Jon Krohn (Stave) based in Chicago has started out strong. The first release by Talker (Krohn and Karl Meier) is dark and foreboding industrial techno. The second release ‘Black Hills’ by Stave shares a lot of commonalities with the sound of Headless Horseman. The second track is especially kicking with the irregular drum patterns, blistering noise, and dark atmospherics. A3 ‘Inhuman’ is dark and sinister, and B3 is a slow moving experimental track with searing guitar noise.

Schwefelgelb: Den Umgekehrten Atem [Fleisch 05]
For those into the new wave of EBM/synth pop/techno sounds, Schwefelgelb probably does it the best with their dance floor pounding tracks. All the tracks are really catchy, demonstrating complexity and offering something new, while still taking on some of the old tropes. B1 “Das Ärmellose Hemd” is pretty gritty. Recommended, especially if you’re into the vocals.

V/A: [Rave or Die 08]
This 2×10” on grey marble vinyl is a top release from Umwelt’s sub-label, appropriately named Rave or Die for those extremely dedicated to music. [Read more →]

Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Controlled Weirdness

Murray CY
Conformist
[L.I.E.S.]

Dirty techno how it should be. Slow and shuddering with constantly mutating grooves that sound like they’re emanating from the sewer. This is one of the roughest recent L.I.E.S. releases and comes to the Brooklyn label from Glasgow native Murray. These are the type of tunes I’d love to hear in the main room at Berghain, waves of throb enveloping a cavernous warehouse.

Shark Story of the Century
Various
[Contort Yourself]

Contort Yourself is a record label from Glasgow run by Murray CY that releases a soothing mixture of original 80’s Industrial/EBM with brand new raw and dirty techno. This 5 tracker of various artists mixes nice clanging beats from Enrique and techno thud from Beau Wanzer and Prostitutes. Killer cut on this EP for me though is the Broken English Club remix of a 1988 tune from Spanish industrial outfit Esplendor Geométrico. The original is included and is great, tribal raw drums with screams and chants that still sounds fresh. Broken English adds the bass and morphs it into a stripped back pulsing throb with whispered vocals adding to the menace. Perfect for 3am. The past meets the future, possibly?

Jorge Velez
Baby Whale – Coral Cassette Extended Edit
[Berceuse Heroique]
[Read more →]

Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Low Entropy

14anger & Dep Affect
Evasive Crapspeak EP
[Badmouth003]

14anger is Clément Perez, who is far from being an unknown man of the french hard electronic scene, known for his contributions to the now defunct magazine Signal Zero for example.
This is less about his Hardcore roots, but violent Hard Techno. He teams up with Travis Evans aka Dep Affect for this release.
The first track, Evasive Crapspeak, definitely digs up some french memories, think of some of the works by Laurent Hô or Manu Le Malin for example.
Followed by a remix by Dep Affect, which puts his own spin to this tune, a bit of extra aggression.
Prayers To Broken Stones is less frontal, but more hypnotic instead. The EP ends on Jericho, my favorite pick of this release, an all-out assault on the nerves via bassdrums and noize.

Umwelt
Days Of Dissent
[BOIDAE 001]

Umwelt is a project that was started in the 90s already, but as far as i know it was not until recent years he really appeared from ‘under the surface’.
My sources also tell me most of his tracks are one-shot affairs, arranged and recorded life during sessions of sonic experientation (could this be true?).
At first glimpse an electro affair, what sticks out for my is the very dark atmosphere, many times riddled with future themed samples, and especially a very strong melody work of compositions that is often – to me – lacking even with most of his peers.
Although he probably comes from a way different background, there are similiarities to the works of Somatic Responses or Fischkopf (Lasse Steen) for me to be found here.
My personal favorite picks on this album include Company Of Lies, a truly distorted, menacing beat+synth workout and the title track Days Of Dissent itself, a kind of a dystopic beatboy breakdown vision.
With tracks like World Shatters, a 4/4 workout, he shows he can step out of his producer ‘comfort zone’ too.
Generally, if you like dark soundscapes, or well-produced and above all smart electronics, this might be worth a listen.

Vinzenz Raindeer
Warteschleifmaschine
[Self-Released]
[Read more →]