Datacide 14 Record Reviews by Nemeton
Ontal: Combat Engineering (Overdraw 01)
The newest release from the Serbian duo of Boris Noiz and Darko Dekode is completely storming and definitely matches our hopes since following Ontal’s music and mixes with great interest for some time. It is great to hear this on vinyl. A1 Combat Engineering is a searing, ruthless, grinding track with hard-hitting beats and industrial noise; A2 is a remix by Tomohiko Sagae, whose mixes are superb. B1 Lithosphere is a gritty, pounding abstract tune, and B2 ends it hard with Taphonomy. Definitely recommended!
Eschaton: (Token 38)
This is the first release that brings together Ancient Methods and Orphx. The tracks have been kicking around online in mixes and such for quite some time, so it was great to see the vinyl release finally come out in January 2014. Eschaton played live for the first time at Berghain in mid September 2014. We are huge fans of Ancient Method’s grinding, industrial techno, and we were greatly impacted by Orphx’s early releases on Hands like Vita Mediativa and Fragmentation on Malignant, but are less interested by Orphx’s more straight style of techno production of the last years. A1 Age of Iron is a solid techno track with a nice groove and full-blown bass; A2 Degenerate is a more subdued sound, with a slower and slightly off kilter tempo. B2 Seven Signs is the most abstract with expansive reverb, interesting clips, clinks, and other metallic sounds, which lead up to the dance oriented crescendo. This release has a lot of interesting sounds and an unusual take on the more experimental side of industrial techno. Yet it is also a slightly cleaner, less jagged sound than one might expect with this collaboration, but still absolutely necessary for any record collection.
(Headless Horseman 05)
Released in June 2014, this is the next in a series of stamped white labels from the (supposedly) mysterious/unnamed Headless Horseman (we know his true identity…). It’s been interesting to see how the artist’s facelessness (covered by a costume) and anonymity hasn’t stopped, but in fact seems to have increased his renown and fame in the techno scene. Just look at his performance at the Berlin Atonal festival in late August 2014. We at datacide watch this situation with some interest. The 12” fits nicely into the techno milieu, with the last track Solitary being the most interesting with abstract noises and slow movement giving it a soundscape feeling. The A-side has two quite decent tracks sticking solidly within the techno genre, and just slightly on the harder edge.
Wirewound: Wire Surge
(Dark Industry DI.XII)
New digital release out in July 2014 from Wirewound with 3 original tracks and three remixes. The producer from Romania releases under various names including Datacrashrobot, Randomform, Sorin Paun, amongst others. A great album of experimental IDM with glitchy, noisy elements. Swarm Intelligence creates a hard hitting, down-tempo remix of Redox Reaction, which greatly reconstructs the original. Jadotstad reinterprets Displacement Connector in more extreme ways in an excellent remix. Bombardier’s remix of Surge is a hallucinogenic, clawing, brutal landscape. Top notch!
Origin and Destination (Candela Rising 04)
Half of the Dublin based group, Lakker, Eomac (Ian McDonnell) returns for another solo release that slightly precedes the 2×12” on Killekill. A1 Chob launches immediately into a 145 bpm techno stormer that is great for super late night warehouse dancing. B1 The Cure is a meditative, abstract tune with a pleasing, circular groove accentuated by expertly placed rhythmic horn samples. B2 Tribs experiments with abstract drums, punctuating beats, evocative melodies and rising dark undertones rounding out this release that pushes through the genre confines of techno to create a great, experimental alternative. Recommended!
(Bed of Nails 04)
Released on the LA label Bed of Nails run by Vatican Shadow/Prurient, Violet Poison creates an evocative, experimental listening experience. This 12” is a doomy, brooding contribution that hangs on the edges of the techno genre. The A-side untitled tracks go in a similar direction building upon each other for an all-encompassing sound. B1 Osiris Antichrist is a stuttering, sub-bass out of body experience that keeps the tension going between abstraction and dance floor possibilities. B2 Vira Serpens Secrets is a weird, occult venture with clanging metallic rhythms and glitchy beats of increased tempo.
Sulla Giostra Nell’Ombra (Violet Poison 05)
Released on Violet Poison’s label of the same name, this extremely excellent transparent 12” starts off hitting it hard with O/H’s rhythmic noise track Delirium Tremens. Very much in the vein of old Hands Productions releases, which makes sense since O/H is half of Orphx (Rich Oddie). A2 Ground Skull Dust by Sunil Sharpe will get the dance floor moving with the hard beat programing and weird noises interwoven within. The flip side opens with Function by Ontal that initially shreds your ears to pieces with industrial noise mayhem and moves through pounding techno soundscapes. CSA (Ascion) contributes a mind-warping ambient noise track. Highly recommended.
Datacide readers don’t need an introduction to the producers behind the Bolder moniker, but here goes anyway. Bolder is Martin Maischein (Heinrich at Hart – Position Chrome; Goner) and Peter Votava (Pure; half of Ilsa Gold), and we can hardly imagine a better collaborative project to emerge out of the dark recesses of Berlin. Produced with the usual high quality vinyl and sleeve packaging eMego is known for, this LP is an impeccable, thought provoking spatial and auditory experience. The 12” starts with the aptly titled Sinking Cities setting the foreboding, pensive tone. All the tracks are really excellent, with other standouts including Extraterrestrial Deactivity combining evocative noise soundscapes, slow grooves and sci-fi sounds; the bass filled sonic meanderings of Residuality that as it progresses takes on a harder edge; and the expert construction of Passive Aggressive. Get it now!
(In Paradisum 013)
You get a sense what is in store in this LP from the bright red, ominous cover depicting a strange, intricately stratified rock formation, and an abstract drawing on the back. Mondkopf, Paul Régimbeau, hails from Paris, and offers the listener an intensely textured auditory experience in 10 tracks. This comes out on his own label co-run with Guillaume Heuguet. Veering through experimental/ noise/idm/techno and everything doom oriented in between. Hadés I and Eternal Dust start the release off with experimental soundscapes, and Cause & Cure vault the listener into a hard techno number that wavers between the dance floor and other wanderings. Here come the whispers is a slowly developing abstract noise track, while Hadés II combines soundscapes with orchestral elements reminiscent of Italian horror movie soundtracks. There are many tracks to get lost in…
Shapednoise: Russian Torrent Version
Another Berlin based producer, who we’d like to see play out more since I can imagine a live set being intensely extreme! He runs Repitch recordings and co-runs the Violet Poison label. The previous release on Opal Tapes is excellent, and here Shapednoise starts out tough with a dense noise assault on The Existence of Vital Reality. The combination of the first noise track followed by a not-totally-standard techno track is at once jarring, amusing (since in comparison, A2 just goes in one direction with some hard techno beats), and interesting (genre mixing/cross-contamination). B1 Illumination is a beat oriented, scrapping noise track, and B2 Distorted Vision takes that idea further with abstract techno beats and dense waves of experimental noise that will get the dance floor slowly moving.
Ugandan Methods and Prurient: Dial B for Beauty (Downwards)
A multi-artist collaboration put out on Regis’ label with Ancient Methods + Regis = Ugandan Methods and Prurient, who runs Hospital Productions now based in LA. The previous UM releases are excellent, so this new 12” is highly anticipated. A1 Call 1 is a dancey, broken beat track with panning oscillation that is overlaid by Prurient’s industrial/goth style vocals in the forefront. A2 Call 2 is another dope track with the unique Ugandan Methods sound. B1 Call 3 features rhythmic, looping techno beats of hypnotic effect, and I personally experience the vocal samples to be much more evocative here as they fade in and around other elements. B2 is quite a surprise and leaves the listener wanting more. Get it!
(Power Vacuum 08)
Berlin based producer and DJ, Objekt, starts off this various 12” with the banging and quite infectious track Balloons. Objekt’s third release on his own label Objekt is also defintely worth checking. A2 Convo by An-i exudes techno weirdness. B1 by JoeFarr and J. Tijn is more standard acid techno tune. B2 by Positive Merge contributes a pondering techno track making the A-side the one to listen to.
Practically Educated (Darkfloor 4)
The Scottish duo of Ingen and Savier deliver a satisfying and massive debut 12”. A1 Practical Education is muddy, distorted and eminently danceable. A2 Rt2 with its weird creaking and twitching noises creates a bizarre atmosphere; B1 Indoor Puncture starts off with repetitive, crunchy synth lines and booming techno beats that soon go off kilter; B2’s pummeling beats hit you on the head and go in only one direction; B3 features a crazy, multi-layered noise collage of extreme voices and samples enacting a mind-warp. Some of the harder sounds that have come out in the last months, so this is definitely worth picking up immediately.
Tools for Tomorrow EP (DMDIGI004)
This is the second digital release to come out in 2014 on darkmatter soundsystem (which you can download from our bandcamp page). Pink Abduction Ray’s mutant rave tracks on Rougelike (dmdigi003) and Fiend’s noisey hardcore stormers demonstrate some of the diversity of sounds and genre-contamination that make up darkmatter. Fiend’s first digital album for darkmatter was built and realised in a spare bedroom converted into a small studio on a shit PC with renoise, tracktor, and some vst plugins. The album contains 6 industrial hardcore tunes with a mixture of hard breaks, noises and atmospheres, and bpms ranging from 175 up to 220.
Freqax & Ogonek:
(Future Sickness 020)
New hard drum n’ bass 12” collaboration between Ogonek and Freqax, who hasn’t released much, mostly digital tracks, but is a producer we keep track of. Fucked Up and OMG are good for the dance floor mixing dnb programing with hardcore toughness.
Deficit of Wonder
Another Berlin based artist who is pushing the limits of techno to its most extreme borders, this is a doom filled 12”. A1 Operation Neptune gets the anxiety effect going with repetitive beat and perverse, ever descending atmospheres; A2 Surrender to the Void is a more subtle soundscape with deep bass and slow industrial beats later giving rise to subtle tempo change to induce some body movement. B1 Paint it Black is a rough number starting out with hard hitting beats and crunchy effects with noise becoming ever more powerful; B2 is a reprise, transforming the previous track into an intense, scraping noise collage. Top!
Cooh: Propast ep
Just another hard drum n’ bass record that leaves much to be desired. A1 Duuure VIP is a rework of the original with some hip hop inspired interludes. The most interesting track is A2 Propast with the usual fast paced, stepping programing we like from Cooh (but suffers from the usual uninteresting lengthy intro and mid point breakdown). B1 is another collab track that doesn’t need to be commented on; B2 Sunshine Units is quite danceable with stammering beats and rave/sci-fi effects that give it a real kick.
Prole Sector N1
The mysterious Prole Sector N1 (who we all know, but will remain unnamed) have finally made their debut 12” on praxis, and another 12” will be released soon with an additional four tracks. There is high production quality with this collector’s release limited to 300: nice sleeve, red vinyl, poster, flyer, and download code. When Prole Sector N1 performed their first (and only) live set at our datacide fundraiser in January 2010 in -20C, it was very interesting to see the response to the music by the rapt audience and those who subsequently saw the live video footage of the whole set online. The tracks made shockwaves in the scene with opinions tracking the spectrum of extreme enthusiasm to what might be described as confusion because the sound wasn’t what people expected from the producers. That is part of the statement here – to radically upend ideas and continue different lines of musical experimentation on the label. 2010 and 2014 aren’t 1997 in terms of what’s going on in music, and there are different sounds and ideas to engage and fuck with. In the last 4 years, interest was kept alive by trainspotters with the tracks featured in various mixes by Diskore and on Praxis 20, as well as being played out many times in Europe and the US by the praxis DJ squad. The producers have made a big impact once again with this heavy 12”, and the tracks range in bpm from 138-142 making this a slower, illbient/dubstep/downtempo/industrial genre bender. Prole Sector N1 opens with the track Flatline, which never fails to get the dance floor going. A2 is a new track written the last year or so, and is a brutal, bass heavy stormer that will test any soundsystem’s capacity. B1 The Purger is also newly produced with twisted industrial sounds and dub effects, which some might describe as the most ‘dubstep’ tune on the 12”; B2 Masked Up opens with some truly ominous synth lines and a stuttering groove to rile up a demonstration or the dance floor with equal force. Not to be missed, get it now!
C. Mantle: Femto Tudomány (AcreD016)
This is one intense digital release of 6 tracks of abstract/idm/experimental mayhem. C. Mantle co-runs the Acre Recordings label in Edinburgh, and has put out a bunch of digital releases in a variety of styles, as well as the recent 12”. All the tracks are top notch, and definitely for listeners who like extreme edited, cut-up idm. The most dance floor tracks are Névtelen, the dark Urán 235, and the tumbling bass, circular synth line and rolling tweaks that give A bálna Szájában a feeling of being at the center of a vortex. Download off the label’s website.
- Alert Mindscan [Oblivion Fringe] In space no one can hear you scream. These are maybe not prime time dance floor tracks, but both are expertly crafted and pristinely cold, languid, metronomic, deep-space probes that strap you in and take you far into the void. The engines cut out and you…
- Honey Disco 1-4 Honey Disco is a label from Canada that releases single-sided, clear 7” vinyls with beewax on the flipside and honey smell included.The first two releases by Hristo and Koosh contain some cool funkedelic disco-dub. Number three By Eddie C was my favorite so far, with a dubby…
- Istari Lasterfahrer Walls Cave In On You (Sozialistischer Plattenbau) A very interesting 12 inch we have here. From acid electro breaks over more abstract modular synth experiments to noisy dub and dubcore you get a good insight into the diverse works of Istari Lasterfahrer. The B3 track Pourquoi Moi is…