KK Null – Star Breaker
Veteran noise/rock artist KK Null returns to a Belgian label (after last year’s excellent Pulsar X cd on Cyber City) for another outing that seems to further his crossover into more rhythmic territory. It’s great to hear shades of speedcore and broken beats appearing in his recent material. Elements of his sound have come together to form what sound like ultra fast beats underpinning the usual abrasive frequency bashing. The rhythmic elements drift in and out of the mix in a way that makes the sound evolve through different (brutal) forms and it makes for a much more cohesive and natural sound than almost any of the more straightforward hardcore/speedcore you will hear today. The beginning of side B is a definite high point for me. Sheets of metallic noise slowly give way to an utterly pummelling broken beat that had me doing the rewind. Highly recommended listening if you like it harsh.
[Division 13, D13.016]
A new limited 2 x 12” release from Bombardier featuring the best of his tracks from the last few years. Jason Snell has always had a very distinctive, hardware based sound in whatever context he decides to operate in and has carried this over into his recent more techno/electro based material. There is a mixture of 4/4 and more broken tracks here but all of it is an absolute gift for any dj looking for heavy, dark beats of a kind that are extremely hard to find these days. I have no idea how many have been pressed but they seem to be released in batches from the Bombardier bandcamp page where the artist has only been charging for the postage. Don’t miss.
Nothing is Free
Justin Broadrick returns to Downwards (after his Final 12” last year) for the latest release as JK Flesh. The title track is a heavy stepper with tree trunk snapping snares, driving bass and dark synths coming together to create quite an epic sound. Surgeon’s remix on the flip is probably more likely to appeal to DJs as it is easier to mix and has a more flowing, techno sound while still retaining the moody atmosphere of the original. The final track ‘Kontorted’ is a bass and beats work out which is effective enough if a bit unremarkable. Both the original tracks can be found among many others on the “nothing is free” digital release on avalanche recordings.
[Tri Angle, TRIANGLE33]
After two full length solo albums on the Subtext label, Roly Porter takes position on the much talked about Tri Angle label for album number three and what a stunning piece of work it is. Massive but meticulously crafted walls of sound that make full use of the frequency range and never fall into the trap of predictability. It’s great to hear a nice balance between sometimes harsh sound design and the more subdued melodic elements that create a very balanced and immersive sound. Stand out track for me is “departure stage” which starts with what sounds like a crushingly heavy beat at about 9 bpm and gradually opens out into more melodic elements as the track progresses.
[Combat Recordings, COMBAT037]
London’s Combat Recordings have been dishing out high quality bass inspired beats for over a decade now and this is their most recent V/A release to appear on bandcamp. Artists include Milanese, FZV, Somatic Responses, Cedric Von Flugel, Monster X, Fausten v Dekode and label boss Stormfield. The main attraction here for me is the Boris Noiz (now more commonly known in Ontal or as Boris Brenecki) remix of Scorn’s “Gravel Bed”. I’ve been waiting years for this to come out and here it is. An awesome mixture of beautifully edited breakbeats layered over the typically massive Scorn bass. Elsewhere Cursor Miner continues his tradition of only releasing great tunes for Combat. “Null hypothesis” is a breakbeat monster with a sombre tone that would sound awesome on a fat rig. His other track “The Undecidable” is a half stepper that just keeps giving. To sum up, this is a diverse mixture of acidic, experimental, sometimes dark electronica and is a nice diversion from all the techno that seems to dominate these days.