Rusty Knife Remixes
Vicious Cycle II
Most tunes made by Sagae are top-notch industrial techno like his 2013 digital only ‘Sleep Deprivation’ two tracker, and the digital only ‘Rusty Knife’ two tracker is no exception. Gritty, clanging, pounding relentlessness sums up the hard hitting tracks ‘Danger Signal’ and the more broken up ‘Rusty Knife’. Absolutely killer! The remix album was released in 2015, and it is a bit of a let down, as the remixes simply don’t stand up to the original tracks. The most interesting one is Makaton’s ‘Rusty Knife Shiv Mix’. The newest release ‘Vicious Cycle II’ on Rodz-Konez keeps going from where ‘Rusty Knife’ left off, and all these are highly recommended.
[Not on Label, D’Arcangelo Self-Released]
There’s sure one way to get people excited, and that is for D’Arcangelo to release on his bandcamp page 4 old demo tracks that were never released by Centuria from 1997. (If you check his soundcloud, a bunch of old single tracks have also been made available.) Download immediately, because it starts with the hard-hitting, distorted ‘Mob Rules’ that certainly engaged with other sound of Rome producers like ADC. ‘Daghen’ and ‘Hudy’ are fast paced splintered idm tracks, and the short track ‘Interferenz’ is abrasive in its simplicity.
Whirling Hall of Knives
[Fort Evil Fruit FEF40]
Released as a cassette and also digitally, here are 8 tracks of super brutal beat oriented noise. The title track sets the tone with broken up beats gnarled by noise and distortion. Tracks like ‘AV flux’ demonstrate a nice diversity of noise composition, and ‘Endless Bucolica’ has a very unsettling sci-fi quality. ‘Faulterkammer’ hits on rhythmic noise elements, and ‘Permafroste’ closes out the release with cold, subdued meanderings. Their ‘Comminute EP’ on Earwiggle from 2014 is a highly recommended 12”, and I’m looking forward to their ‘Arc Molt’ EP on Candela Rising 006.
joeFarr & Martyn Hare
[Leyla Records LEYLA002]
Both artists have been putting out some great releases individually, and here they team up for a great collaboration. ‘The Inside’ is quite the party track with skittish snares and pounding techno beats accentuated by a great synth line that comes in about halfway through. This side is cut at 45rpm, and sounds great. The B-side cut at 33rpm starts with ‘Go Fourth’, a well programed dancefloor track. ‘Safe Mode’ is just that, a stripped down grooving number, but at least for me stays too close to techno conventions making it slightly less interesting than the other tracks.
[The Death of Rave RAVE013]
Publicized as a ‘William Gibson inspired’ collaborative project by Logos, Mumdance, and Shapednoise, this really brings together some great artists. Experimental noise brutality, stripped down, with breaks and unusual development. This is an evocative listening experience, which must be massive on a soundsystem – they played out the project first at CMT15 in Berlin. All the tracks are excellent and challenging. Get it!
[aufnahme + wiedergabe IV a+wIV]
aufnahme + wiedergabe has been pumping out a bunch of excellent releases at a frenetic pace. Codex Empire is another moniker for Mark Rumbae, who some will also know as part of the industrial project Konstruktivists, amongst other projects and artist names. This is the first 12” release of Codex Empire, and he melds heavy industrial techno beats with rhythmic noise and ebm sensibilities. The opening track is a somber, dark techno number with a nice melodic synth line, with that idea developing further in the title track. ‘Kingsevil’ is the faster track clocking in at 139 bmp (compared to 130-131) and hits the right oppressive, dystopian feel. On the flip side, B1 ‘Savage dispensary’ is the most complex track; a solid dancefloor killer with its turgid underbelly and broken up beats. The last track opens with an evocative shrill that runs throughout which accentuates the deep techno beats. All the tracks are potentially great for the dancefloor, and like a number of other releases push forward genre bending attitudes.
White on Graytr
[Emetic DNA EMETICDNA002]
Another killer 12” by Martyn Hare! The title track starts with some hard hitting industrial beats and twisting acid line raising the pressure to the breakdown halfway through and then keeps going with the floor stomping beats. The B-side ‘Centrifuge’ kicks right away with broken beat programming with a particular metallic tinge and acid lines for another massive party track. Also check out Martyn Hare’s ‘Enter with force/ Grimstone’ (Emeticdna003), and especially joeFarr’s remix ‘Forever empty’ on the ‘Swollen sounds remixes’ (Emeticlp01r). Top!
A truly gripping 12” release not sounding like anything else thereby breaking genre conventions with a hammer, Blood Music (Simon Pomery) really delivers on his second EP on Diagonal. It is highly recommended to see Blood Music live (like at this year’s Diagonal showcase at Atonal in Berlin). Blood Music plays live drumming, along with a noise box, synth, and a drum machine, as well as added noises with contact mics. The no compromise attitude hits hard right away with A1 ‘Chicks’. Abstract beats, distortion, and a frenetic noise rhythm underlay are compounded half way through by abrasive noise guitar riffs and odd vocalizations creating a hypnotic and claustrophobic sound. ‘Drum Voice’ is a short minute drone workup. The flip side opens with ‘Badgering’, a beat oriented blistering foray punctuated by bursts of noise, distorted toms, and a stuttering synth line. Sure to get the dancefloor to freak out. Helm remixes ‘Chicks’ on B2, creating a ritualistic techno oriented track full of piercing metallic effects, but remains subdued, experimental, and constrained. Highly recommended!
This release has gotten a lot of high praised reviews in the music industry press, which is kind of interesting since it is very experimental and offers challenging listening, but on the other hand isn’t that surprising since Pan as a label hits all the ‘right’ marketing strategies. The price point for this 12” LP can easily exceed an astonishing $25 / 21 euros, which is par for the course with Pan record releases in general. The label does put out some excellent releases like by Rashad Becker (Pan 34). M.E.S.H. is living in Berlin, and part of the Janus Collective, which does some parties and puts out releases. The first track is dark, opening with morphing bass and eerie sci-fi effects. The release proceeds from there mixing elements of idm, experimental music and noise into a unique, all-encompassing listen. Detailed sound construction and minute editing bring the release as a whole close to other idm artists. Tracks like ‘Epithet’, with its hard hitting beats, contrast and counteract to the classical music string instrumentation inspired ‘Jester’s Visage’ and ‘The black pill’, the skittering beats of ‘Methy imbiß’, and the idm soundscapes of ‘Thorium’ and ‘Azov Seepage’.
This CD release (or digital download) from the Ukrainian label Kvitnu, operating in Vienna, is a 10 track long foray into an inspiring industrial, experimental, noise, ambient experience. The project is now helmed by Gianclaudio H. Moniri, but started in Rome in 2008 as a duo. Plaster has a more techno oriented 12” on Stroboscopic Artefacts. All the tracks are great opening with the surprisingly beat oriented ‘Unicore (part 1-2)’. The vocal elements on tracks 1, 4 and 6 by Valerie Svizzeri are ethereal and well mixed. ‘Blade’ takes a more bassy, leftfield meandering approach; ‘Lucubra’ and ‘Cluster System’ veer closest to the dancefloor; and ‘Coiled Heart’ ends the release with some self-described heart pounding beats, static, and glitches.
Abelcain & Alexandra von Bolz’n
Heart Blood Steel
[Not on Label, Abelcain self-release]
This 14 track digital release is many, many years in the making, and it was extremely worth the wait. It is amazing to revel in a new release by Abelcain in collaboration with Alexandra von Bolz’n – more than 35 minutes of eternal damnation. Longtime fans, and new converts, of Abelcain will surely freak out over the hyper-edited, tight programing that characterize all the tracks, from dancefloor killers like the constrained ‘Stunden’, to the more violently hard hitting ‘Stone geyzir’, the barking vocals of Bolz’n on ‘Body essence Split’, and sci-fi craziness of ‘Burst open’. The harpsichord comes back in the short ‘Aretstikapha’ and the evocative opening number ‘Bleeding you’. Get this release immediately from Abelcain’s bandcamp!
[Northern Electronics NE20]
This 10” (and digital download) is a 4 tracker of rhythmic noise intensity by Abdulla Rashim, who lives in Stockholm, on his own label featuring many northern European produ-cers. The opening ‘Trading in souls’ is a contemplative, looping track with whispering vocals/samples fading lightly in and out. ‘Peeled-off faces’ kicks in with a techno sensibility and slithering, pulsing noise, but doesn’t really develop anywhere different in its repetition. The B-side opens with ‘They need tragedy’, machinic glitches and beats holding the same pattern throughout increasing the hypnotic quality. The final track ‘White success’ features pulsing noise and melodic sounds rounding out the release nicely. The artist under his own name has released recently the digital album ‘A Shell of Speed’ also on Northern Electronics.
[Osiris Music OSMUK042EP]
Grinding, weird, and hitting hard right away, Killawatt messes with preconceptions of what is dance music with the abstract, noise dominated, bass heavy dancefloor killer ‘Contort’ on the A-side. The B-side opens with ‘Flustercuck’, stepping beats, scratching snares and high-hats again totally delivers. ‘Gutter’ takes things in a slightly different direction – an electro oriented dancefloor pleaser still enveloped in noisey crackle. Recommended!
The industrial duo of Kas Visions and Fernando O. Paino from Madrid released their first 7” on the well known Galakthorrö label, and I was immediately irritated to read that the record is dedicated to ‘Martin Heidegger’. There is no explanation for this, and I can’t tell if the artists are serious in their adulation, which seems likely given their band name, or are being facetious, and googling didn’t lead to much besides on the label’s website where they claim, “The name ‘Da-Sein’ refers back to Martin Heideggers’ ‘Sein und Zeit’, and is a distillate for an attitude reflected in the music. Far away from the theoretical starting point of the artists, the music in practice sounds as if it has been pre-destined take a place in the Galakthorrö Cosmos.” Referencing a famous book of philosophy is one thing, but commemoration of the man and no dissociation from Heidegger’s fascism and anti-Semitism is problematic. The first volume of English translation of Heidegger’s infamous ‘Schwarze Hefte’ will appear on Indiana University Press in April 2016 under the title ‘Ponderings II-VI. Black Notebooks 1931-1938’. So I’m personally unsure of Da-Sein’s intentions, and am waiting for some clarification. Very much in the vein of November Növelet, the 4 tracks are all quite excellent and catchy infused with pathos, kicking beats, crunching noise, and analogue moodiness.
Pink Abduction Ray
[Darkmatter Soundsystem DMDIGI005]
Los Angeles fellow traveler Pink Abduction Ray is back again with another free digital download release on the bandcamp pages of darkmatter, Praxis, and the artist. Freaky, hyper-edited, with stomping beats and a certain manic sensibility, this will get everyone dancing and communing. PAR is off wandering in Mexico, so check out him with the SPAZ and Oklajara collectives and their comrades from Guadalajara throwing down some parties on the beaches and in the city during winter/spring 2015/16.
Kamikaze Space Programme
Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s books, this 12” opens with ‘High Rise’, a pretty dope track with shuddering bass lines, sci-fi sounds, and twitchy tempo layered together for a contained yet resonant pushing mentality. A2 ‘Low Flying Aircraft’ is a bit on an anxiety producer, with the various off kilter beats hitting close together in extended repetition and building on each other as more percussive elements are added in. The B-side starts with ‘Concrete Island’, the crisp staccato beats accentuated by churning distortion and buzzing alarms makes this a dancey number. ‘Day of Creation’ pushes the wobbling bass immediately with mechanic, slow beats, but I’m not keen at all on the floating synth lines, although the bell tones do add a nice clicking element.
[Zhark Recordings ZHARK0026]
A strong addition to the Zhark roster, Casual Violence’s A-side ‘And know me’ is a lengthy brooding track, starting off with overwhelming bass and slow hitting beats punctuated by siren calls. As it progresses, hypnotic vocal sample and transitioning beats increase the darkness over the journey. The overall feeling is very much in line with Headless Horseman. The B-Side ‘Anabiosis’ feels claustrophobic with heart thumbing beats, low bass, groaning atmospherics, evocative sounds, and clinking metallics all interplaying with each other for another 9+ minute foray into the depths. Check out Casual Violence’s truly excellent, hard hitting record ‘Expression Unrelated’ on Plector from 2014.
[Hot Releases HOT41]
NYC based Primitive Languages label co-founder Miguel Alvariõ makes a rugged rhythmic noise 12” (and digital download). ‘Pallet Cleanse’ does just that in little over a minute with crunching, grinding distortion for the dancefloor. A2 ‘???’ is a more restrained, beat oriented track. The A-side ends with ‘Cess’, which pummels any party with screeching noise and distortion and hard hitting beats (and is very close to some old Hands or yb-70 releases). The B-Side opens with ‘Genelaquer’, a huffing, sputtering, shrill noise number grounded by a repetitive slow techno beat. ‘Gummed’, like the other tracks, have a lot in common with Minion or Resurrector (with some added distortion), so go out and get this no compromise noise, broken beat record.
Obsolescence & Monality
[Chondritic Sound CH-035]
The LA label Chrondritic Sound releases Oil Thief’s debut as a double cassette and later a CD. My interest is in the tracks that break apart genre conventions of industrial with an interesting mix of power electronics, experimental, techno, and noise, so for me personally track 1 ‘the beginning’ doesn’t do much, but others who like industrial vocals and gituar riffs more will disagree. Things get more interesting with harsh noise counteracted by moody melodies in track 2; the more dancey and contemplative ‘Downer’; noise distortion confronted by quiet soundscapes morphing and industrial clangs in ‘Wading’; the more dance oriented 4/4 techno tracks of ‘dirt & humbug’ and ‘homesickness’; the industrial drudgery of ‘death sieve’; the noise soundscapes of ‘Holding pattern’, which is one of the better tracks. In the end, quite a diverse release and a successful pursuit of experimentation.
Critical Path Method
Ontal continues to put out a bunch of releases, including the recent 12” ‘Pieta’ on Noiztank, the CD ‘Entropia’ on Ad Noiseam, and 3 split 12”s on Shadow Story. The title track A1 opens with some excellent, crunchy, churning noise distortion that’s immediately identifiable as Ontal with the 4/4 beat kicking a minute in, and progressing as an excellent dancefloor track. A2 has ‘Critical Path Method’ remixed by Minimum Syndicate, adds a slightly cleaner tone, with some excellent effects that build the vitality for another storming track. The B-Side opens with a different, lighter sound for Ontal in ‘Reverting’, which keeps the groove going. ‘Digital Circuit’ ends the 12” in a brutal fashion with hammering beats and screeching effects that really do remind you, as another reviewer said, of hard drives shuffling. Get it!
SØS Gunver Ryberg
This is an excellent, hard hitting first solo release by SØS Gunver Ryberg on Contort. The A-side opens with the 9 minute ‘Skolezit’ that moves from ambient soundscapes to foreboding, repetitive beats to techno industrial rhythms. A2 ‘Pantodont (Touching Thulitheripus Svalbardii)’ features broken, splintered beats cascading over the droning synth line. The B-side kicks up the pressure with the flashcore freak out ‘1170 Siva (Bare Bones)’. This journey is interpreted again in ‘1170 Siva’ playfully mingling the pounding drum pattern with infrequent bursts of noise soothed over by evocative synth lines. Also check out the Contort 005 release ‘Stainless’ by WSR. Both are highly recommended!
[Halcyon Veil 003]
Anthoney J. Hart Imaginary Forces delivers an impressive, noisy leftfield release for Halycon Veil. The title track A1 sets the tone with moving static noise overlaid on a trepidatious pattern of beats. A2 ‘Chat ‘Bout?’ is an excellent, experimental dance floor tune with its off-kilter beats flirting with click, cuts and high pitched noises. A3 ‘High Rise’ is reminiscent of the multitude of noises, crunches and abstract beats you hear turning the radio dial. The flip side opens with ‘Make Ends Meet’ which blends a grime sensibility of stuttering, punctuated beats. B2 ‘Make Ends Meet (London Something Version’ reinterprets with a footwork version: sped up stuttering beats oscillating with a ragga vocal sample, sharp snares, and other noises creating a tight, pressure filled atmosphere. The Boomkat review is right when it says this release comes ‘highly recommended to those of you into Pan Sonic, DJ Rashad and DJ Scud…’ Top!
[Breakin Records 010]
A highly satisfying surprise release from the ever prolific DMX Krew. This is by far my favorite 12” from Edward Upton in 2015 with a current take on what is reminiscent of the ‘90s sound of Rome producers. The opening title track hits the perfect mood with emotive, floating synth lines and crunchy beats punctuated by laser like bursts. A2 ‘Experiment 5’ is truly excellent with the boomy effects interplaying with broken beat patterns that will definitely get the dance floor moving. A3 ‘Quantum Computer’ is a more leftfield, spacey number with its modular sounding beats and full, soothing melodies. ‘Division by Zero’ propels the B-side forward with more hard hitting beats creating a great hardcore rave feel. B2 ‘Rubout’ can’t help but channel Aphex Twin and PSS2099, and B3 ‘Bad Vibes’ is a kicking break-beat tune. Get it!
When Future and Past Collapse
[New Flesh 16]
Umwelt released in 2014 a bunch of tunes including the excellent ‘Cultures of Resistance’ EP on Shipwrec, and in 2015 he put out 5 releases including splits with Minimum Syndicate and Drvg Cvltre on his sublabel Rave or Die. 2016 looks equally busy with two releases announced and surely more in the pipeline. Also check out the plethora of podcasts and mixes you can find on Umwelt’s soundcloud page, which are all great. ‘When Future and Past Collapse’ is a killer dance floor EP blending electro and techno sensibilities to a boiling point. All the tracks are great: A1 ‘Conquest of Darkness’, A2 ‘The Bleeding of Machines’ and B3 ‘Cult of Suffering’ particularly stand out, and B2 ‘Anubis Gates’ offers an impressionist, moody downtempo interlude. The release is limited to 100 copies of green transparent marbled vinyl, and 200 copies of the black vinyl repress, so don’t miss out!
Zosima / OAKE
Zosima put out two excellent solo releases on Noiztank: ‘Tears of Black Powder EP’ in 2014 and ‘A Lady from Siberia EP’ in 2015. Oake’s last vinyl release was the impressive 2×12” on Downwards titled ‘Auferstehung’ in 2014. The A-side of ‘Metamorphosis’ features the original tracks of Zosima, and the B-side features OAKE remixing two of the tracks. A1 ‘Embryo’ submerges the listen into an uncertain terrain of abstraction, slow pounding beats and collages of scrapping noises and industrial feelings. A2 ‘Larvae’ moves expertly between several ideas and ambiances not to be confined by any particular genre. This is a great trudging track for the experimental dancefloor. A3 ‘Pupae’ kicks up the pressure with more rhythmic industrial formations, dancey melodies and enveloping noise. B1 ‘Embryo (OAKE Excludere Remix) and B2 ‘Pupae (OAKE Maturitas Remix)’ are each over 7 minutes taking the listen on dark, transformative journeys to the unknown with B2 featuring lush, ghostlike vocals weaving in and out of the beat oriented soundscapes.