Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Prole Sector

Various: Osiris Music 50 [Osiris Music UK]
Simon Shreeve (one half of Kryptic Minds) has been in the bass music game since the early ‘00s and stacked up and impressive, heads-down, grafting, back catalogue to boot, turning out drum and bass, dubstep and lately, finding his true voice over the last few years, in more crossover techno excursions under his Monic guise on labels like Tresor and his own Osiris Music UK.

There are definitely some parallels to be made with Pinch and his Tectonic/Cold imprints in their shift towards merging dubstep with techno and deep house into new broken forms and in building solid stables of rotating, like-minded artists. The labels rarely disappoint in scope, vision or production values; they’re always highly crafted, tech, never overtly “experimental” but always pushing the envelope with a moody restraint. Sometimes this tendency can end up sounding a bit muted, a bit formalist for sure, but then there’s a sense of an embedded long game involved, not for radical short, sharp, shock treatments. It’s horses for courses innit.

This compilation marking the fiftieth release is a well-picked sampler of the last few years’ output, with plenty to pique an interest in further exploration of the back catalogue for the uninitiated. Definite highlights are the two Monic tracks, and Killawatt’s cyclical, gritty, bass wobbler “Pressgang” from 2015, still sounding out there as a front runner (although nothing’s yet to surpass the belting, syncopated broken beat Monic version of Manni Dee’s “Sister Nobody” from 2014 in my opinion).

Ian Martin: Sleepwalker [Panzerkreuz]
Viewlexx continue their run of low-key re-presses/re-releases, this one originally from 2013. Never heard of him before? But I’m impressed enough to go digging after this. Quite an achievement; to make a record that seems to synthesise an entire hallucinogenic trip, or the soundtrack to some unfinished, budget-pulled Italian zombie flick. The tone stays within an eery, almost John Carpenteresque, lo-fi Bladerunner Vangelis vibe throughout. Simple, direct, lush, detuned – you’re transported to bleached out, dystopian film rush clips off the cutting room floor; empty suburban shopping malls, streets before dawn, radioactive sunsets, and lonely drug abuse. [Read more →]

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

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
[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]
[

Techno: Psycho-Social Tumult

nobody knows where you’re at…

We could begin anywhere. A history of techno would be too obvious and would imply that the creative phase was over. Any attempts at a genealogy, a hierarchical archeology, or a precise pinpointing of musicians prohibit an understanding of the simultaneity of multiple codes, the overlappings between styles and forms. Techno cannot be alloted a place as either pop or an avant-garde music – on the whole it doesn’t take refuge in art and slips awa from categorisation as the net of naming is unfurled. It avoids the discipline of nostalgia which keeps people in the thrall of the past, unable to even think of the future but always referring back. Nostalgia is a language of lack, a language that fills people with longings for a past that never happened, a present that never comes, for the gift that never arrives.


it is difficult for words to say that which is their purpose to deny…

Who knows what happens when we hear the sounds? Thoughts can race without being apprehended as thoughts and it is an indication of the tyranny of words that experience must pass through language to make it ‘real’. As we listen in the network of composition there is a challenge to invent new vocabularies to communicate what it is that occurs, to express explorations and to rewrite the multiple personalities of the music. As a challenge to language that is imbued with hierarchisations, techno conducts the fleeting awareness that, just as what is possible is limited by pre-conceptions, listening demands more ignorance than knowledge. For then we are mobile… stammer bass kick unfurling in blue analogue… tabula rasa.

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Sähkö Recordings Interview (1994)

Interview with Tommi Grönlund from Sähkö Recordings published in Alien Underground 0.0 in 1994.

In the short time of their existence Sähkö Recordings from Helsinki have made their name in the international underground, and are standing for a sound of electronic minimalism and purity, proving once more that some of the most interesting techno comes from places that are far removed from the hype and scenes of the various ‘techno capitals’.
Also this year they are running a project called Ambient City on local radio featuring material from all over the world, about half being exclusively recorded, the other half being DJ mixes of ‘ambient music’ in the broadest sense of the word, supported by a local radio station and the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art. Walkmen locked to the frequency are available!
We spoke to Tommi, who runs the label, works as an architect and also designs the wonderfully minimalistic covers for the records, when he visited London for a few days recently. After going through the London record shops for those hard to find tunes and after some food at Wong Key we wanted to find out about the artistic background and intentions of Sähkö…

Sähkö: There are 3 guys involved with these records, most important Mika Vainio, he has made numbers 1 and 2, and also the CD, number 6, and he also played the other half of number 3, quite a different record. Then there’s Sami Salo who made number 4.
Mika Vainio is a bit older than I, he’s been into industrial, noisy stuff since the beginning of the eighties. The other guys are much younger, they’ve got a totally different background. Mika is the most important for the label however, his music and philosophy has very much affected myself. [Read more →]

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