all record reviews published in Datacide3, 1997
Again we assemble a large number of reviews, mentions and opinions of records mainly released in the last four months or so since the last issue of datacide appeared, with some thrown in that are a bit older that somehow escaped our attention when they came out. While we try to be as up to date as possible, it’s more important to us to talk about the releases that matter on a broader scale and be reasonably complete in the coverage of the noises that interest us here. Sometimes there is a lot to say sometimes not much. One listener/writer may be inspired by something that leaves others cold.
While datacide is mostly perceived as a hardcore magazine, this and all previous issues show that our scope – or our definition of hardcore – is wider. All in all we’re more interested in the tracks that sit uncomfortably between established genres, that go a step further. That are experimental in the true sense of the word (not in the sense of another genre).
There is the question who benefits in practical terms from a review section such as this, when it seems to appeal to trainspotters and DJ’s and not be of much use to readers more interested in the content of the features and articles, as has been suggested.
Some people have criticised different things (‘inside’ terminology, too descriptive, not descriptive enough). It’s not possible to make it right for every one, but I do hope and believe that points of entry are offered to everybody who wants to get into this music while being relevant to those already specialised. And yes, sometimes reviews are just vehicles to make points about more general issues, or to go off on a tangent.
The review section is a more microscopic view of how the concepts and ideas materialise that we may talk about in different articles, and provide different points of views than an interview, some information about the atoms of a culture that is in constant flux. While we’re interested in the bigger picture, we also want the opportunity for everyone to make up their minds by providing detailed information without sacrificing criticism and subjectivity.
A completely different problem encountered is to find a sensible arrangement to the reviews. At the end of the day we’re most interested in music that transcends the boundaries of genres so it’s out of the question to file the reviews in sections titled ‘hardstep’, ‘speedcore’ etc. as the main organising principle. At the same time it should enable you to find similar sounds or find out about different releases of a particular label etc. which makes it impossible to use such an artificial principle as alphabetic order. What we have so far opted for is a kind of journey going through the different styles with all their grey scales and overlaps, grouping certain releases together as well as possible. A hypertext set up is unfortunately not possible on paper where artists, labels and other data could be cross-referenced much better. We hope it makes sense to you, and suggestions are always welcome.
On a different note we should ask what symptoms the present reviews are in the larger picture. In brief here a few suggestions/ideas:
Developments at the moment seem to go in very small steps, the quality of records is high, but there are few groundbreaking tracks. I suspect that maybe only with hindsight we’ll be able to see where the next great change is happening. The area where I see this happening is where different styles cross-fertilise each other, particularly where techstep, noise and hardcore meet offering the most exciting new ways to reconfigure rhythms and sounds and their relationship to the mind of the listener and the body of the dancer, and in general the areas where the restrictions of genres are ignored.
1to3 for Hiroshima 7”
O.K. So I’ve had a go at the Jap Gabba scene in the past but this is more like it! A thoroughly angry (dare I say political) post-nuclear anti-American… “You Motherfuckers” – Gabba trash 7” that I got through the post. I mean, how can I not review a gabba record that brings up not only the death march of Bataan (!!!) but Hiroshima & Nagasaki as well !?!! Harder & noisier than most of the Japanese stuff I’ve heard to date, I’d describe it as a cleaner more ‘digital’ Bloody Fist sound: pounding kicks sliced to ribbons by a samurai sword aesthetic and littered with endless angry vocal samples. Side A features the original Calling Enola Gay track (as featured on the highly enjoyable Last of the Mohicans Jap Gabba CD compilation) while side B gives us the ‘Jump a Little Higher’ remix by MIKE COLDRAVE. Hardcore Osaka just got a bit harder!
(Bloody Fist 12)
6-tracker that maybe is a little too predictable in its use of rap samples, gabber and (old British) ‘ardcore elements, positioning itself on the other end of the Bloody Fist spectrum than the more fukt (and brilliant) Memetic release reviewed in the last issue, working more with straight structures than with distortion.
Not as Good as 100% No Soul Guaranteed E.P.
(Industrial Strength 44)
Cleverly elevating itself to classic status playing with the predictable reaction of their fans to this second album on I.S., Nasenbluten present 17 tracks in “ glorious 8-bit mono” with both the best and worst of what you might expect from them. Of course sometimes the worst is the best. To me the first record of the double pack is preferable (i.e. less ‘gabba’ & more noise & breaks), and while anger and sarcasm may not be the ultimate in cultural criticism (but certainly always preferable to complacency) this is still funnier and sharper than most current Amiga-core.
[Digital Hut 5]
Twisted distortion at any speed, elements of breakcore fused with white noise. It is only when played at very high volume that full pleasure can be obtained from the 4 tracks involved due to a slightly murky pressing (or maybe a dodgy stylus). Definitely wotrth getting if you are into claustrophobic dark stuff.
Don’t want to lose
Distorted jutting hardcore with relentless kick drums leaving small pause for thought , from the man’s Amiga straight into your head. At it’s best in its most broken points.
After the embarrassing Napalm 9 these 6 tracks on yellow vinyl couldn’t possibly be anything else but steps back in the right direction. While it’s not as exciting as some of the early releases, you’ll find some fierce [‘industrial’ as opposed to ‘gabber’] speedcore tracks useful if you play at 250+.
On lovely orange vinyl this 12” contains an advert for anyone wishing to book the Speedfreak for a 97 tour, so someone somewhere really should.The record iself is a vast improvement on the dodgy no.9.Abrasive minimal speedcore with clear production across 6 trax.Gone are the crap guitars,replaced with twisting frequencies and feedback manipulation.Well worth getting.
Agent Orange 7
Latest orange vinyl 7” from the “Son of Napalm” is produced by Lasse Steen who’s responsible for a myriad of acidcore releases (but in the true sense of the word) as Choose, Senical, P.Server, and recently on his new labels Fraud and Killing Rate. Comparable to the latest Killing Rate this is fine hardcore with a good intensity and fierceness, successfully continueing the Agent Orange campaign and at the same time one of Lasse’s cool releases.
Skullblower-Tiny Vicious Elements
(Special Forces 002)
Shades of P.C.P. on this 4 tracker.Solidly produced and pressed dark hardcore.Repetitive keyboard lines cut across distorted synth driven bass kicks, sounding both heavy and clear,a disorientating experience.All trax have a horror film like atmosphere to them,though not some tacky B movie soundtrack ,something really nasty…
DJ Pure vs. GTI on one-sided vinyl with all the gangstar ingredients: fast breakcore, rap, metallic sounds and an occasional 4/4 kick add up to a punishing soundclash. Can be found on white as well as black vinyl.
Ah Ah Ah
The Original Joke
(KSI Hard Records 02)
Departure from the style of the first release to plunge head on into much more gabba-oriented territory. 3 tracks written by Etno and A.C. + one by A.C. behind which one has to suspect Atomic Compressor of GTI fame. Party tunes with metal influence and a good pounding sound for a Amiga 500 production.
Psychiatrik is a French sound system of the early days that always played a straight type of gabba, a love for the 909 bass drum in its various grades of distortion that gets reflected in this first record on their own label. Well crafted gabba slammers by DJ Tieum.
Second collaboration of Tieum and Go!Go! after the R.A.T.001 reviewed and similar in tone so the previous review could also apply. Way too cheesy for me really apart from Tribesman by Tieum that convinces with a properly hard bass drum in 4/4 and little else.
After 003 and 666 the third and fourth release in the Slaves of Devil our Master series from the Dead End boys continue much in the same way of the earlier as well as the recent DE releases of fairly minimal and totally 4/4 bassdrum oriented stuff. Basically more records for those who can’t get enough. One side of 002 produced by Speed Yq’s and the other by Maxitrait which is a bit noisier and therefore preferable, while Armaguet Nad and Angel Flo are sharing 999 (where the labels are on the wrong side), but the best stuff from that camp is currently to be found on the Sans Pitie label.
New from the prolific Armaguet Nad and Angel Flo comes SODOM 999, the forth in the series. Previous releases have never really hit the spot, but 999 contains some excellent moments which come closer to the desired satanic style. Less murky than before, tempo changes and broken beat sections collide with distortion loops and echoing lost voices. Music for dusty basements and dank cellars.
N. K. J. E .
(Sans Pitie 02)
Another serving of relentless distortion/speedcore given the fuzz box treatment with added feedback and white noise – just right for listening to/playing out through dodgy sound systems. Where a lot of other Speedcore records fear to tread (or simply don’t have the imagination to) SP don’t shy away from descending into full-on twisted noise and this is what gives them the edge – the frequencies are nicely seperated; there’s an attention to the detail of the timbre…shrill & piercing at the top and big, bad sub-bass business at the bottom to really shake those bass bins, and with track titles like Krautzfeld-Jackob is Dead, Vache Enragee & Abbatoir you can’t really go wrong!
Another new label to emerge from the scene around Explore Toi and somewhat similar in sound and principle of construction. 4 tracks + a comic strip.
The Undertakers: Rest In Peace [ZK B (+-) 00]
B.W.K.: Bio-War [ZK B(-) 01]
B.W.K. + Thyristor: Noyzkorh E.P. [ZK B(-)02
The first 3 releases on a new contender to the throne of the hardest/fastest in France. Brutal industrial speedcore Amiga productions on Czech vinyl with a definite post-gabber feel from Limoges, as a lot of productions/pressings of the kind slightly lacking definition, but nevertheless very enjoyable in its distorted assault on the senses. The questionable use of the brand name of the gas the nazis used in their mass killings in the gas chambers first rose some questions about the political standing of the label that however insists that what they want to achieve is directed at unmasking totalitarian and inhuman tendencies. This is reminiscent of the standpoint of certain groups in Industrial music of the eighties like say Genocide Organ, a strategy that therefore seems a bit dated. Titles like Frekency [sic] Massacre, Psyko Torture, Korrosive Attack, Natural Killer (=Bio War) say it all. Not necessaryly party music, but collectable extremecore, all limited to 500.
More stomping Hardcore DJ tools to mess around on the decks with. Give it some dry-ice, strobes and whey-hey!…Let’s ‘ave-it! B1Something Artcorp is the most interesting and progressive: nicely chopped up broken/break/core with a dark synth riff (which could have been lifted straight from Sonic Subjunkies while I’m being a real trainspotter!) but again its the more fucked-up intro and breakdowns that I find more satisfying – not the straight banging that does eventually kick in.
No Tek 03
Quality 3 track EP from Paris based No-Tek. Side a is taken up by an extended speedcore track which comes complete with distorted kicks and dirty frequency changes at savagely high velocities (when played at 33 it becomes strangely PCP-like). Side B has two tracks the first of which adds an authentic feel to its broken beats with big synth breakdowns. The final track starts as a straightforward hard tekno track and reveals hidden levels of darkness as it progresses. Wicked label, cool record.
No Tek 04
The latest No Tek release establishes the label as one of the best in France at the moment, if the previous ones didn’t do that already. Opening with a cool instrumental hip hop style number and a vary-speed bass drum track, to be followed by 2 hardcore tracks combining 4/4 kicks with breaks and more broken up sections, noise and samples. Very cool!
Where the previous two Anticore releases pushed speedcore to its limits with super-high speed tracks the qualitiy of pressings somewhat spoiled the potential. Thankfully this seems to have been remedied on number 3. This is totally essential purchase. All four tracks are classic darkness from a slowed down breakled anthem to the hammering final track. Production is solid throughout. with absolutely no weakness apparent. There is not much else to say than apart from get it now and play everywhere to conteract the forces of Go(o)d.
Rolling kick drums and breakbeatesque percusion with memorable synth lines to form tunes that distinguish themselves fom the monotony of hardcore by breaking it up in a way that kicks. Epic.
The first Virus release not only stood in the shadow of the releases by the Michelson sisters, also it was virtually inaudible, so bad was the pressing. This is thankfully different here, and the result is energetic & intense fast hardcore in the best French tradition. From Toulouse it bears witness that the scene there is gaining strength on 4 tracks, the use of screams being reminiscent of the first Sans Pitié – ruff!
Vierge / Shaolin
7” from Toulouse with a clear tough 4/4 approach that gets interrupted enough and with good arrangements, all in all very reminiscent of Ingler in its use of different elements.
More from Toulouse. This time on 7” from DJ Rom. Working in perhaps less experimental territory than other sounds emanating from the region. The 2 tracks on offer still kick. Shaolin is a 4/4 led energy blast with an infectious vocal sample heard on many a rig this summer. Vierge on the flipside uses breakbeat elements in its construction but still remains linear as the kick drums bang through.
O.N.U. Records 01
Yet another good release from Toulouse’s rapidly multiplying network of labels. Produced by DJ Spek, O.N.U. 1 has 3 playable tracks in a breakbeat / techno fusion style. Using all kinds of sample loops and noise bites to punctuate the breaks and kicks, Spek dispenses with conventional structures and creates a chaotic barrage of constantly twisting beats. Sounding totally fresh in approach O.N.U.1 heralds the evolution of another powerful force in French Hardcore.
O.N.U. Records 02
The second release on Original Network Underground from the ,manic mind of Dr P.Max. Four tracks of fucked up breakage and hardcore sampler abuse. Excellent fun to mix because the cut and paste sequencing involving dozens of component parts. The levels of energy here are phenomenal, both physical and psychic, when locked in. Get two copies for much fun.
Laurent Hô vs. Randy
France vs. Italy
[Zero Music Hard]
A special kind of soundclash on this excellent 2-tracker from Switzerland. One side is a powerful hardcore track @ 178. Minimal breaks and pounding bassdrums battle it out starting and stopping but always driving forwards, while the other side is much more distorted and disjointed @ 210 w/ concrete block percussions, and both are winners. Recommended!
Finally released this is a 6-tracker by Laurent Hô of straight hardcore tracks that sound strangely two-dimensional if you compare them to the Ingler release on Epiteth (Iops Blocks, pth 009, reviewed in datacide two). The reason for this is that the tracks are much older and fell victim to the hiatus Drop Bass Network (of which SixSixtySix is a sublabel) took last year. The sound is drier and more basic, but still there is a force in the geometrical and cheese-less arrangements.
Base Force One
Praxis bring in the new style with an inventive ep of hardcore/hardstep/noise fusion, makes sense to me and sounds massive on a system too, punishing beats, tuff breaks and warped bass in fresh arrangements causing damage, watch out!
Nomex & Scud:
Ambush meets Adverse to proliferate and diversify into Maschinenbau. On Eurostar the concrete sound source of a high speed train is cut up to provide bass sears, rumbles of re-harnessed energy and grainy Doppler-effects. These dense timbres are set into further movement by tinny breakcore rhythms and quicksand sucks to create a vertigo of sound quality and a collage of propulsions. If this ¡track blows out ‘the battle of the bass sound’ at the same time that it is distantly ironic then Piling Machine does the same for the hardcore 4/4 kick by making a construction site mobile and ever relocatable. Waves of noise, a kitsch refrain and a voice sample move in and out of the ever more insistent pacing, waging guerilla struggle in defiance of the irrevocable tyranny of the 4/4. Rhythms make light oral-tonnage.
Christoph de Babalon:
(Digital Hardcore Recordings)
Recorded between 1993 and 1996, this is another example of dodgy release politics and delays at DHR. Intent on breaking the teeny-bob market with Atari Teenage Riot, where a semblance of seriousness meets the politics of gesture, it seems that these tracks, which give-off a more emotionally experimental quality and insinuate an intent mood, have been shunted to the back of the release-queue. Seven Up seems to have waited patiently for the temper tantrums to have fiÎnished before being available for others to hear and this has maybe detracted from its appropriate impact. If A1’s burrowing is maybe too long, even though it’s ratio-descent really gets in there, then B2 is a piece of 3 minute understatement that the “drum and bass” fraternities have never even imagined. This track gives us the full-funk treatment and then witholds it, offering instead the anticipation of an expected kick, cymbol g-force, and a hovering classical music sample. There’s more…somewhere, says E.Miller, there’s “a kind of dense melodics veering away, repeatedly hanging at the theshold of noise”.
Shizuo vs Shizor
High on Emotion was a record of two halves: one dire, the other, with DJ Scud, randomly intricate then this double pack is where these two sides meet, level out and form an indistinguishable blob! It all leads back to Sweat really, which gets another re-run on this release: a very fine, transversal, butchering of trip-hop that, amongst these tracks, sounds like the one that was the latest to be recorded. But it is Sweat, Tisan and Horny that set the expectations which are let down by the majority of tracks on this double pack. Where previously the sardonic, aggressive humour that Shizuo employs comes through in the fucked up merging of break, tripped-out and ragga beats to a maniacal, schizoid fragmentation of sound here, when the same techniques are applied to a predominant 4/4 pacing the joke wears thin to only give-off the odd moments of enjoyable pastiche: New Kick, Sexual High and Blondo. Still, it would be unfair not to mention that Shinzuo’s admirable and merciless pummeling of equipment into a distorted jaggedness is very much on offer here but, sadly, there are only a minority of moments that unexpectedly move the body. Shizuo has shown a prolific willingness but it’s hardly his fault that it appears as if DHR should have released this record much, much sooner.
Shizuo vs. Shizor
I absolve you from all your sins in the name of Shizuo!
The Shizu-man has descended from his temple again to bless us with his unique extreme production, complex breaks and stress beats – and to save DHR from its hyped commercial U.S.-college radio sell-out! 16 tracks in all (with a host of guest collaboration from the likes of myself, Carl Crack and various young female Berlin vocalists) ranging from the perverted house tracks of Sexual High & Blondo to his mosh-pit anthems Sweat & Punks. Heck! We even get a dirty squat-party Gabba track here suitably entitled Emptiness ! My guess is that yes, this record will sell in quantities but no thanks to the machinations of the DHR hype machine; it’ll be because the Shizu-man has stayed true to his vision… cut the bullshit… honed his tracks down to “just the right amount of aural excitement”, as the sleeve notes cheekily inform us. The tracks are never too long – never boring, always edgily unpredictable – always ignoring conventional arrangements, never standing still and yet somehow following a twisted logic that always defies analysis, shimmering on the borders of perception like Krishna consciousness. Genius or LSD 25? Or maybe both? You’re never quite sure. All together now: Ohhhmmmmm!
Shizuo vs. Shizor
‘…and the young dancing set digs his sound the most’ yeah fuck Alec and his bogus MTV’isms, the real star of David Hammer Recordings has to be the truculent Shizuo. The master of the teen dance steps again, with a collision collection of bombastic ‘breaktime’ fussion fuckers to shock-out the playground. The kids stare in awe at the SM torture porno mag that came free with thier weekly colour glossy Japanese pop mag… ‘Subversion’ is written on the blackboard and medical camp 9 is the subject of todays country dancing lesson… Classic pop meets a 2 day come down as the sleep-over party goes wrong… bubble gum and acid drops are mixed up in the lucky dip… household highs and homework copying… besides the previous hits (sweat etc) we have a truly locked-in reworking of the Cramps ‘New Kinda Kick’ – had me surfing the lounge…The awesome ‘Blow Job’ had me cutting it in on everything…Braindead-the social comment theme for (y)our dead culture…clearly the guest vocalists seem to be abused by the spirit of Shizor – the genuine distress of the females, the playdo machoisms of Carl Crack, but its the soulfull vocals of Scud that will surely cause a quiver to gymslips the world over – a strange possesion…Fun is on the agenda and yes it hurts but thats the way you like it isnt it. Shizuo wants to give out free milk at breaktime so truants beware. A must for all Tammagochi terrorists.
Heinrich At Hart: Vocal
Panacea again. Superb intro. Slashing, aggressive tech-step. Muffled and dirty as it battles against sardonic, straining melody. Leaves break. Exploding snare cuts. Dark, needle hopping Mover chords. Descent. Break again. Picks up a new furore against vertical synth sweeps. Hi-hat cutters meld into Aphex-style scythes. Ringing bells somewhere in background. Pushed tech-step techniques disintegrate track into some hybridised neo-electro. Analogue twists somewhere in background. Fucking frantic mess. Cut. Strains of opening refrain. Replay intro break. Hard but calmer. Prolong snare rolls to repeat like a stuck needle. Hover. Mix up of tech-step and neo-electro slashes. Sardonic melody screws the whole lot up again. Not played the B-side.
(Mail Order Tape)
Record scratching and overload noise with a fucked up anti-groove.’Give me a gun and ill blow them all away”… misanthropic relevence…sonic…this is the sort of low-fi shit we need, its the content that excells here, attitude + busted crash structure. Very similar to the original On-Off (France). Forget the multitude of uninspiring (….) retard tracks currently available on a shit label that shouldnt exist and get one of these tapes for thier rocket is one of the fastest…
White Breaks Volume 6
Latest installment from the PCP breakbeat label largely remains in the vein of breakbeat with rave sounds that sometimes I’m not sure if it’s cool or embarrassing. The most useful track here is the fairly dry I’m Back to Break, the rest is more than a nostalgic nod towards early rave breakbeats.
The Prototype Years
Probably the best compilation for some while with a formidible array of tracks that are two hard steps ahead of the rest.`Locust` by Ed Rush and Fierce is particularly outstanding and is currently causing major panic on the dancefloor. If you are sill standing afterwards, Dillinja, Boymerang and Grooverider will finish you off with some of the most epic tracks around. You can hear how the music is being pushed into an unclassifiable compression of any number of different influences and yet still sound more direct and original than before. This is what you will be listening to next year.
New label here christened by Decoder in usual fine style with empty graveyard breaks and hollow clanks decorating the Tension side while Fuse is a more technically itchy groove that ticks along ably abetted by Decoder’s trademark heavy flat acid acid basslines. Decoder is fast building up an impressive repetoire of distinctive tracks on a few labels right now and they are all worth watching, this one being one of the sharpest so far.
Call and Response/Computer State
Once again , another hard breaks merchant turning up on a major label.mmmm bet the company president really loves this record. ‘Call and Response’ is a great slab of organised chaos with all the usual Source Direct elements-tumbling breaks that start almost accidentally’ stabbing synth sounds coming when it seems they shouldn’t’ making the whole thing daunting to mix but masterful when it does. ‘Computer State’ is a much more pedantic affair which sounds appropriately cynical all around.
Monstrous bass again from Decoder, the ‘Fog’ track being particularly uncompromising. Sounds like a battlefield underwater on a microdot and what more could you want of an evening? The flipside is a funkier affair with a wavering bassline which parades like a tart all over some nifty drum programming . Sure to be a favourite with all the pirates…big shout going out to ….
Renegade Hardware 08
Double ep here, featuring Kane, Paradox, Genotype and Future Forces, all of the bad boys. Kane kicks off with ‘System’ which continues the labels sound- straight hard breaks, dark twisted basslines and snappy high hats. Future Forces , who have produced some of the best material on this label contribute a track which although not their best is still capable of moving bodies. The Paradox track seems a bit out of date but the situation is rescued by ‘Toxic’ by Genotype which is metallic, distorted , relentless and fucking hard.
Shimon + Andy C
More distorted bass and no complaints from here either. ‘Mutation’ is the more gut wrenching offering here but I prefer the flip side which sounds a bit deeper and more fluid. Good tight sounds which are more contrived and less brutal than a lot of whats around but all the better if your sound system and mixing is brutal.
No Mistake/Unlock the Secrets
Excellent follow up to the previous release. ‘No Mistakes’ features a hard kick drum break with acidified bass worked into the groove and finished with a creepy high pitched synth pattern which occasionally bleeds into UR style drones. Aggressive drum and bass which sits just as comfortably with straight 4/4 drum patterns as well as with other more similar styles.’Unlock the Secrets’ continues in a similar vein and works much like ‘Still’ by Boymerang.
Hard Beats Inc 001
‘Classical II’ is one of the darkest tracks around right now and it’s orchestral sounding bass towers over the proceedings. The voal sample evokes a black mass in a cathedral kinda groove and hectic breaks swarm over stronger breaks already rolling down leaving room for an organ sound that floats around the rafters.’Granite’ provides more confident hard programming but the track is spoilt by a dreary vocal based sample which is more at home in a headache advert. Anyway ‘Classical’ is awesome and find your copy before Belial buys them all.
Elements of noise
Smokers Inc 12005
This label has produced some really cool tracks so far, especially from the B Jam Collective and this one is no exception. ‘Torch’ is an epic hard step trip that winds down half way through and then retuns harder than before. The reverse is similar but more jerked around with lots of background noises and effects producing a laden atmosphere. There are many good tracks around right now that suffer a little from being too formulaic but these tracks break the mould in that they take the track through many stages and directions, adding more narrative to the mix and increasing the shelf life of the record.
Ed Rush and Dom go deeper, staying dark and keeping the sound large, with these two cuts of cold d+b. Subtler than most of the recent no u turn records, but no less powerful relying on low sub and filtered drums to roll it out.
Computer Rock/fluid dynamics
Strong introspective passages here from Juice recordings, this time from Embee, a Splas regular.This release is tailored to the Juice repetoire as it is much darker, almost reverent with ‘Computer Rock’ being the stronger of the two.A descending despairing bassline is supported by strong drum patterns and worrying sound effects and the whole effect is very serious, making their tracks tower alongside the best of whats around.
Initially, this Metalheads release sounds like a chilled Mr Rush making a more sanitised and accessible version of what he does brilliantly on No U Turn. However, closer inspection reveals a track called ‘The Raven’ on the b side which is a masterpiece. A ghostly piano hangs in the air above a crisp break with the usual Rush dialogue coming in from the edges. The bassline is an enveloping velvety hum which soaks the entire track like a luxurious shroud. On a large system, the effect is breath taking. Bigger and darker basically.
Metalheads 30 sees Grooverider serving up another version of the track that appears on the Prototype album. This one is a bit of a classic with long atmospherics and crystal clear effects and a breakdown in the middle which gives way to a massive bassline that you have been hearing for years but never so well.A track from yesterday that sounds like tomorrow. The AA side is less instantly appealing but it has a tight hard step drum sunk into a funk bass groove that will burn for some time.
Makai vs Warfare
Red weed Remixes
The Warfare mix is supplied by Panacea at the Chrome Studios so off course its as hard as nails and sounds like a shipyard in a hurry.The drums are hard and abrasive and are driven along at a merciless pace. Bass distortions ala Renegade Hardware are squeezed outro other mix and the high hat pattern is a strictly techno affair which makes it sound faster than it actually is. Makai’s mix on the reverse is less dynamic and the breaks sound older but its no picnic either
Future Forces Inc.
Renegade Hardware 007
‘Imprint’ is a classic Renegade Hardware track which almost veers into serious techno territory. The break is composed of the strongest kick drum complimented by some very well placed hats and claps. Needless to say that the bass is distorted just so.’Constant’ is equally as direct but not quite so gnarled. An essential record.
No U Turn’s sub label is still leading the way for those whose like their breakbeat action coming straight from the centre of a major civil disturbance. This one moans, wails and screams its way through a murky metropolis and sounds like its actually happening quite far away though over the course of the track it catches up with you. Two versions on offer here;the noisy one or the really noisy one so you cant lose. Deal with this track if you think you’re a real bad ass motherfucker. Other wise fuck off to the hills.
Militant Minds – Ultraworld / Thought Provoking
Terminal Outkasts – Playing / Warzone
Ultraworld by Militant Minds has a zooming attack-bass a bit like Intensity on Renegade Hardware. The whole atmosphere is uneasy. Thought Provoking is eery and laid back, there is even a distant piano in the breakdown (as if it was played in a flat at the other end of a big apartment block). When the breaks come back in they are accompanied by a metallic scraping sound. The breaks flange in and out at the end.
Terminal Outcasts are creating a wasteland with their music. In War Zone you can hear the noise of the war zone. This is joined by tense strings and a single hi hat. The effect is completed with a squelching bass, acid-stabs and a fat distorted kick-break. Playin opens with radio-voices and a metallic break, there is a slow live bass which gives this tune a smokers feel. Frontline records: edgy drum & bass.
Cold Steel Pressure / Noir
Cold Steel Pressure opens with lush strings which are almost too much with the light bongo break, but a ‘cold steel pressure’ vocal puts an end to all that. This is one hard tune. Noir goes for the scary horror-film vibe. The breaks are fierce, the bass is dark, in fact it’s excellent. Three different breaks are used and it ends leaving tension in the air.
Dimensions / Stuck in my Mind (rmx)
This is their third single on Splash. It’s a tune that builds up a hypnotic rhythm with layered drums which go off at the deep end and then seem to wake up in a strange new world. The bass drives it on creating a serious hot bed of rhythm. The remix of Stuck in My Mind on the b-side is relentless: an acid steppers’ delight.
Skipps / Amazing Bass
Both sides are tight hardsteppin business. The bass on each needs to be played loud, it is an analogue, on-going bass. On Skipps there is a crashing amen towards the end which keeps this tune in your face.
Amzing Bass is something for anyone who thinks bass is a feeling: it bubbles out of your speakers.
Ten tunes on this triple LP from Ray Keiths ‘experimental’ label. He referred to this album as ‘low key’, but what exactly he meant by this with half of the tunes being downright hard and angry, I don’t know (with titles like Heavy Metal and Woodsnake). There is a low key side to things with The Prelude by Nookie, the very laid back Rare Groove Ray Keith and others like Lazy Summer Nights. There is a good variety of quality music here.
Probably Laura Grabb’s ruffest release since her debut on Industrial Strength a few years back. Not as machinic, this retains the amorphous qualities that her other recent releases [like the one on Audio Illusion, reviewed in the last issue of datacide) had, but added is a fair measure of shriller sounds on top like surges of a strange and dirty electricity. Four tracks of sonic abuse that will work well mixed in with both more bass drum based material as well as more broken up or breakbeat stuff, the latter being the more interesting outlook, but certainly usable for both camps.
(Drop Bass Network DBN 52)
Irritatingly shite pressing, but good tracks providing further analogue growls and drones with tight drums as usual from her, starting to sound less challenging than other material around, but still keeping an edge.
The soundtrack for Crash that never was!!! A much cleaner more restrained Somatics release on DSL’s label, and sounding all the better for it in my opinion. To make any Mover comparisons would be facile and let’s face it; clean, dark, eery electronics should be allowed to exist without this legacy always clouding them. Sickwave seems to stand out here for me bringing us excellent panel-beaten metallic industrial/electro breaks that almost hint at (fuck)step desires half way through when the big bad bass kicks in – crucial dance-floor mayhem guaranteed as we get dark and dangerous. Oh! Gosh Man! Side B settles for a moreconstant generic Somatics 4/4/ approach – still killers nevertheless, and submerges into a dark piercing orchestrated Italian/Sci-Fi vein for the final motorway car-wreck Passage. Expect maximum Teknival play-out this summer!
The Contact EP
(Uncivilized World 03)
(Typically) excellent 3rd ADC release of immaculately crafted pounding broken beats. Crashing industrial snares and snappy percussive hits and drills swirl between the distorted bass kicks and build complex, stuttering, intricate rhythm patterns in true Italian style. Something bound to get any self-respecting hard party jumping….and shame on any sucker DJ who plays these on 45!!!
Uncivilised World 1-3
First three releases on uncivilised world the more experimental outlet for Epiteth records. The first record is Laurent Hô as Ho.Exe showing his more experimental side giving us one mid paced heavy stomper, a couple of tunnel trips and one more broken upnumber. With the second release by Electroplasma we get one menacing atmosphere, one very playable pounding screeching cut and two more forgettable tracks. The third record and pick of the bunch sees the infamous ADC back in action stepping up the pressure, layering impossible rhythms up and moving forwards from their last two releases, with an excellent array of broken up Rome beats and even some Amiga powered jungle. Best new label this year.
(Uncivilized World 02)
Another recent release that dares to be a little different and spares us the full-on 4/4 monotony – on three of the tracks anyway. Side A opens with a distant, narcotic, dirty, throbbing sub-bass drone track with subdued metallic sighing: no beat at all. It just could have done with that locked groove or gone on even longer. I can’t help thinking of FAUST’s band motto: “If it’s boring after 20 minutes; try it after 40!!” The second track again is a weird looped affair with a more minimal Techno feel and beat and an even lower sub-bass that saves the day. Side B serves up the banging hardcore number (presumably the track that’s meant to sell the record to ‘les fortes-tetes’ punters)
(Uncivilized World 02)
Eclectric release from Laurent Ho’s new sub-label sees stirrings from the Brittany coast. The opener here is dark and hardÉ splinter techno with carefully used sonic-jet sounds followed up by a very unexpected groove-inducing track that, in its own way, manages to summon up a kind of ‘Energy Flash’ feel. The flipside sees muffled lapses, dirty sounds and distortion treatments working to undermine responses with the last track managing to successfully pull-off the use of a twisted Morrocan pipe sound. An EP marked by an unusual use of samples and an exciting range.
Find of the month for me, this one – as recommended by one of the Liberaˇtor’s (!)
I’d say its kind of a cross between Sweat & Ambush stuff; slow (unless you want to play them on 45) shrill, crunching, half-time trip/chip/hip-hop distortion breaks with live desk feedback dropping in and out of the gaps and kicking up one hell of a noise – I guess the result of some live-jam fucking about? (It has that improvised live-take feel). Arrival of Suppression instantly reminds me of Sweat (it even has the same long rolls) in speed and feel but overall its more trebley and crystalline. There’s a rather long dodgy reversed spoken word number on side B which I have to admit I skip every time but the other 4 tracks can’t be recommended enough for their sheer roughed-up funky noise qualities.
Hard, dark and pounding acid similar to his other releases by Lasse Steen on one of his own Labels. As opposed to Killing Rate (which is for harder, not-so-acid material), Fraud is for the type of stuff Choose is most well known for: dark pounding bass drums, overdriven distorted hi hats and non-303 acid.
Dark Domestic Temper
Dark and dirty seem to be appropriate words to describe this 6 tracker. Apparently there are only 500 around so search hard and be rewarded with certainly the most twisted music to come from Denmark for a while. Tracks vary from hard noise overlayered with sinister melodic riffs to extended rumbling soundtracks for as yet unmade horror films.
Rumble Tum Jum 02
RTJ 02 by John Templeman, Paul Smailes and DJ Tripspin, continues where RTJ 01 left off, More Gabber beats, squaling machines and wiggly acid. Nothing new but 3 trax of pretty solid hardcore acid for mixing.
(Audio Illusion 10)
To some this might sound like an old detroit record left out in the sun, but that would be a harsh reflection on what is certainely a very noisey set of tracks.
A welcome relief to clean 4/4 techno but warps most encouragingly in the dirty electro track; that makes this record defiantly worth not buying that experimental noise artist for your front room.
Urban Disturbance 001
This white label of faceless techno bollocks from the A.I.R. camp came out just as the last issue of Datacide went to press, so it’s been around for quite some time. A big hit at the Teknivals this summer it combines heavy punchy bass drums off beat rhythmics, eerie loops and robotic funkiness. Astructural and broken, but still energetic and dancer-friendly. (UD 002 is out now or in the very near future).
Sombre synth-techno from the Technocrats, French sound system. After a long buld up intro the tune breaks into a clean spiralling melody over a relentless housey, mid-paced kik. Overlayed with subtle background noises (like trains in the distance etc. Eerie and spaced out.
The flip side is less impressive with one pretty awful Mills-esque effort and a better tune with with minimal drums cleverly programmed.
The Mental Hangover L.P.
The fifth release from Marseilles based label B.E.A.S.T. Is a 7 trak mini LP by 4 artists: dudOLIVE, Greg, Kartafuck and Freak. First up is 5 trax by Kartafuck and either dudOLIVE or Greg.
These trax could be described as hardedged techno or techno tinged Hardcore + are comprised of vicious hi-hats, rounded basslines and short, attacking rapid-fire mechanics. Slow enough to be played with techno and fast enough to be played with Hardcore. Keeps you on your toes with housey breakdowns and tempo changes. There is an element of cheeky humour which is reminiscent of early Napalm.
On a much more experimental tip are Freak’s 2 pieces “Lesbian Romp” & “Satan Spawn”, excursions into warped sounds, strange voices and splatterings of speedcore phasing in and out.
Better Than Nothing
A record that can only be played on 45. Tightly produced wicked, fast beats with three of the four tracks on it broken up with pukka samples. Between each of the two tracks on either side it features sampled voices and the catchy introduction to the ‘Muppet Show’ in French. This record definitely makes you feel good and has a distinctive Facom live set sound to it. A quality record with not one tune on it that should not be experienced.
(Sounds Never Seen 13)
I often hope that deep inside the analouge filters that make up the 303 lies an explosive device that on reaching the new year will detitnate sending trance boy limbs splattering wildly against bedroom walls.
I hope Lory D’s survives this elimination of mentally monotone jingle boys for what he creates here is an acid techno that is not conventional in either sense. With twisted ever contorting melodies driving drum patterns that are both interesting yet instantly danceable. Not as large as the last few but subtly blended to fuck with your head.
Finally number 13 surfaces on (for me) the definitive Italian label; Sounds Never Seen. Comprising of two tracks in a similar vein, huge twisted synth lines and shifting breaks. Friski moves the familiar S.N.S. vibe up a gear, not as panoramic in outlook as previous releases but still in a league of its own when it comes to quality and depth of production.
A 6-tracker from Rome split into 2 sides of differing styles, the tracks simply titled break 1, 2, 3 and techno 1, 2, 3. Predictably the break side is much more interesting, while the techno side is not offering many new insights at all. On the break side we find very Roman constructions of broken beats overlayered with acidlines, clearly influenced by Lory D. Worth getting for ‘broken beat’ DJ’s who will find at least 2 tracks to spin.
Ousted by a section of the so called underground for being to up his own arse. Speedy J definetly pops his head out if only for one side of this three-sider.
Pounding broken kicks and distressed machines melt in the best of these three while the other two tracks are a competent 4/4 track that definetly kicks but only encourage the desire to play the more distorted one. The 3 rd track is not worth wasting
Three tracks here and a pointless engraving over two slices of vinyl. What we get first is a remix of Patterns from the recent album which has both excellent and absolutely dire moments with the worst kinds of orb strings getting involved, however it is just about playable
The Horrible plans of Flex Busterman
Broken beats and computer game melodies collide in a fashion that definetly exudes eletrik funk. And if at times you feel as if you are trapped in an 8 bit lifestyle, then playing Flex Busterman might well allow you to reach the second level.
The long awaited second Jega EP arrives to simultaneously appease and dash our expectations. When it’s good it’s very good and though it’s never bad there are two tracks here that are a little too much in the thrall of the Aphex Twin. THough Jega is not alone in falling back on this terrain there aren’t as many that could burst out and lay-down a track like Stainless Steel Drum. This track, as well as Star and Card hore are all variegated and just as they summons up many genres at once: electro, hip-hop, early hardcore, The Mover, drum and bass, breakcore, these tracks aren’t over-reliant on any one genre. What’s also pleasing about these three tracks is the way that rhythm changes occur without being overly noticeable and in contrast, the way that there are sudden changes of direction that create re-orientating switchbacks. Sui Generis.
Various: From Beyond Vol. 1 [Interdimensional Transmissions 4]
Not so much a review, this, but an aural-narco tip-off. A four track EP with four lock grooves that marks the first in a series that intends to “push funk into the future”. Judging by the roster of producers this series includes it could well be that each volume will be themed. This volume is definitely on an electro tip. First up is a track from Le Car: a minimal and fragilely melodious track that slowly careens its rythmicly body twitching course. Detroit is also represented by The Godfather whose track makes reference to the ‘bass party’ continuation of Detroit’s electro underground. Here breath summons up the body movement of a paced physical exertion as a spindley bass-tune twists through intent beat frameworks. N-Ziq weighs in with an interesting flanged back beat that’s layed over by contemplative chords. I-F confuses the whole thing with a smoothly dysfunctional re-rendering of tuneful 80s synth-pop. This Space Invaders track twists Visage and Soft Cell into something more serious than pastiche and more ‘of the now’ than nostalgia: a drug selling ice-cream van, a compuslive piece of kitsch, a B-Movie?
Subtitled ‘space’, this electro tinged four tracker, including backward beats and a lock groove, has passed-by unacknowledged. Though unobtrusive on a first listen, repeated hearings bring all manner of subtleties forward for the listener to inhabit. Space is the crux issue here and Ectomorph offers up aural black holes for us to fall into that are never overladen with sonic debris but resound and echo with a weird kind of precise depth. No Clu/atter. The S/M imagery of the label – a spiked mediaeval ball and chain against a thigh – doesn’t flirt with a violence it can’t handle but works to insinuate into the tracks a sinister quality, a kind of deliberate overemphasis of controlled aggression. Track structure as rules. Snares as whiplash. Shifting refrain as endomorphin response.
Very strong Bunker release from Dr Rhythm that will appeal to those into RA-X and Electronome. Up beat electro funk with a variety of noises, machine-sources, backdrops and switchbacks; all put together with a sharp, lo-fi approach that seems to be the surefire way to avoid the pomposity and pseudo-seriousness of the large studio. The ten tracks of screwed melody, carefree distortion and twisting composition come thick and fast and never hold to levels and plateaus of ‘middle’. That said the noises and the overloading don’t sear through to the point that the underpinning back-beat becomes inconsequential and lost. Dr Rhythm holds course in an intriguing balance of control and loss, filth and lucidity. On the wracks. Flint Michigan
Alienated Madman EP
First release on Rude 66’s own label sees him continue in the vein of intricate, personalised acid established by his Bunker releases. If the A.T. track is a let down, being D-Jax- straight, then it functions on this EP to show, by contrast, that Rude 66’s strength lies in what he calls deranging his tracks. Alienated Madman carries various insistent bleeps as a bedrock whilst others threaten to overload the track with reverb; echoing to take it in a different direction. The 4/4 acid stomp of Collision Course is offset by muffled taped voices and builds towards its being taken apart by unaccustomed grinding sounds and analogue rattles before these help the 4/4 become an electro beat. It is these touches and irreverances that A.T. lacks. Elsewhere there is the beatless atmospheres of 3.2.0 with its taped motif: It is only necessary to get rid of industrialised society
The Grey Area of Cunker
Nimoy. Duracell. Imp Electronics. Salo Mentale could well be another Unit Moebius incarnation or cellular break-away. The A side contains classic Moebius techniques of pulsing, rounded bass kicks and shifting mixing desk alterations of sound. As low-key as looking at the grain on a crowded wooden dance floor. The flip side is more purposefully prominent. On The Widow puttering bass notes dropping in depth and steady drum programming hold together tangential
slashes of rhythmn. A complexified body rush works its social magic. On Arviz the EP takes an industrial turning: a muffled bass kick is surrounded by a gradually building medley of clicks, drips and electric shards until the kick turns into an increasingly frantic hum/pulse. Dangerous.
Given 5 out of 10 by one of DJs musical taste-prefects and insulted to boot, Unit Moebius can be thankful that this can only act as a commendation to those who don’t like their sounds diluted and hook-ridden. This is a very strong compilation of tight beats and subliminal detail. Exquisite production makes for a clarity that pronounces rough edges and adds emphasis to their obsessional sound-crafting. Work is steady and intent, its electrics seem to grow organicallyin the imperceptible zones of listening. A silver knife striking a wall of glass. A miniscus-like groove tension.
Dark Side of the Sword
From Italy, this E.P. highlights the sonic links between Rome and Den Haag. Four tracks on the cutting edge of reduced speed electro experimentalism. Passerani 2099 leads with a focused electro track using hard beats and pulsing basslines which has a definite dark energy. Den Haag’s i-F follow with a typically dark analogue trip. Rome based Sprawl and Mat 101 complete the EP with a cool electro track and a slow experimental dirge respectively. To quote the packaging “The electronix revolution has begun, this is the warning!!” Den Haag and Rome, a phuture alliance.
Cold Fusion EP
(Leaf] & Blown [Leaf/Lo)
A surprising release from the oftentimes genteel and Wire-loved Leaf records. An 8-track EP that includes Harmonic where Barry White style strings are thinned-out, sugared and ripped into by bass hums and distorting breaks. Separate noises seem to mess into one another. Even better is Bleeder: Hip-hop pacing totally fucked over by grit and hiss and live mix-down extraneous sounds. Whilst the LP, Blown, is more laid back and perhaps misses tracks of a similar intensity, except maybe Laptop Swine, it sets a gooÅd case for Twisted Science’s position to be (dis)located on the cusp of various genres. Nowhere specific but lost in the excitement of possibility. Lots of post- techno (!) exploratory fusions that don’t sit still and foist 30 minutes of the same sounds and structures on their listeners. Flint Michigan
The Stomach of the sky
(Staalplaat STCD 115)
Sound work based on wire devices, found objects and field recordings assembled, collected and recorded at locations in North America, Switzerland and Italy A testament to thier industrious endevours, precision and research. The long (.ian.)-note is tampered…resonates and responds to the adheared atmospheric pressure…subtle shifts in perception…a still wind blows…fragments…nanocryptisism…thermals…reading the sands of an ERG…reductionism…Leatherfaces’ coral gatehinge weeps into nothing…
May numbakual reach to the stomach of the sky. The earth is the stomach of the sky.
Slow, very slow, and, at times, minimally dark and stealthily unobstrusive. Trip-Hop can when it tries something different, dazzle us with microscopic beat changes that make the shoulders twitch. A snare crops up where it shouldn’t, a kick kicks twice either side of where it should kick, a soundtrack sample turns over and over. In all that space you can hear the attack and the accent change. Check Corridors of Power and Subliminal Access. Downward beats.
Various: Spunk Jazz
Compilation of tracks focussing on break-beat experiments drawn from labels like Spymania and Bovinyl. A mixture of paces, some Squarepusher rather than breakcore fast, but, even so, many of these tracks haven’t got much new to say in terms of the use and placing of their melodious and voice-tape aspects. The tracks from Animals on Wheels are worth checking though like some of the other tracks they have that ‘fringe of the industry’ feel: clever, technical drum programming but… More kind of direct and evocative is the track from Coventry-’s Hoarse Operator that maybe illustrates that being away from London and not conforming to what’s expected can give tracks a darker and more idiosyncratic edge. The Vert track with its fucked-up 70’s jazz-fusion feel seems also to be aiming in a poignant direction.
Electric Ladyland IV
If the previous Electric Ladyland compilations were attractive because their being off-kilter andmeant that the tracks always called you back, then listening to Vol IV is like listening to the finished article. It’s not as resonantly confusing as the earlier volumes and as such it doesn’t as readily take the listener by surprise. This is perhaps because the fissure that these compilations helped to open up in the ‘techno scene’ has now become a much wider crack. However, that IV has a more readily negotiable and co-ordinated feel should not detract from what is after all a solid compilation. Panacea is well represented with a couple of more lo-fi tech-step cuts but the more perverse track from him (as Bad Street Boy) is a pumped and bass driven P-phunk outing. If Alec Empire lays down more of his invigorating lambastics then DJ Spooky’s two offerings are more unexpected. The first sees a slow break mutate into effervescent break-core and back again amidst a plucky bass riff and psychadalic swirl noise. At the other end of the spectrum (and maybe there’s no in-between on IV) is the trip-hop side featuring Andre Gurov Unit and Spectre: beats break down into a sharpened laziness, the focal points becoming the incidentals.
Its a welcome change to find a record like this that doesn’t slip into the easy 4/4 conclusions of so many European speedcore releases and instead concentrates on a more subtle introspective aggression. We all know the syndrome I guess – the needle goes down on the record….cool sounds build….you’re just getting interested….Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom – Lost it! The track in many ways is finished before its even started. Not however in this case. 6 fine tracks of moody Terminator-ambientcore and slow clanking industrial broken beats and rhythms; indeed one might even say a fine compliment to the Somatics Passages EP. A favourite one for the small hours.
Widerstand depart from their previous excellent speedcore releases, diving deeper and providing the bleakest listening experience for a while – a true funeral march soundtrack as the slowest breaks break over controlled noise and disturbing electronics. Pitched down voices and synths wash over the noise and beats. Submerge yourself.
Mind The Gap
‘Mind The Gap’ is a term used by some rail lines to inform thier passengers to use caution when stepping out of the train. Mind The Gap is also a term used by The Haters to describe the use of amplified staple-guns when stapling records or CDs together. All the sounds on this CD were produced from stapling records together.
Three tracks which differ? / similar? by the emence loops of thickend noise. Suits that long piano note extruded by the compulsion of curiousity of G.X. Shattered into infinite variable possiblities by the reverb chisseling performance hood (wink). Full on pile in (to nothing) Remember 0+0=0.
Post Destruction Music –
Id like to review a piece by Steven Mapp, but all his work was pure fever of the possible. His collision approach would make Shizuo shitzuo his pants! Through a cheap mono Philips he’d drop a truly insipired cut-up of Dukes of Hazzard/ bust-up TV ads / Sinclar Saberwolf and 190 Routemaster. Post Destruction Music is the nearest thing I have heard (for pure tape hiss tone only) to his pioneering works. The closeness of the early electronic tape feedback sessions and as the label indicates ‘no synthesisers were used’. Lazer upright portables / scaby queen / kids breakdancing on Roundshaw between bouts of stone throwing…
I saved him from racists but he was sucked into the vertigo void of RD350 confucksionism as his shrine to Marlboro covered wall later disclosed. When you stare into the void long enough,the void seeps out…But is the Scratch Perry of our age not fated to re-apply an even more Splattoon face?
38 cbm – an audio-work for a freight container installation – filter, process and work on urban noises, similar technique to early tape compositions. 5 pieces including a homage to Korg’s MS20! (Ive heard no truer spoken word than via one during Drumtracks sess…) “from outside deep frequencies cause the walls and floor to vibrate” (?) Quality drones, well executed resulting in an imaginitive coll… Nice mutation from cats to babies – question the real source of your domestic terror.
Wild Shores – Instant Music
(Secret Studio Toulouse)
‘Hold onto nothing and it wont let you down’ (Unrelated?) 8 colleges of frozen resonances from video / performance and installations from a reclusive collective. “A constantly evolving harmonic interaction of different non-synchronised cycles…” (?) Saturated in seamless digital editing and over-processing when removed from its visual context neartures the stench of factory presets and ergonomic conformity. (masked or never present ?) Content is the context here – Its not a spanner in the works thats needed for the ambient genre its to off-load the full tool shed into the luke warm bath.
Tapping The Conversation
Being an “audio reinterpretation” of Coppola’s conspiracy movie, The Conversation, this one had to be checked. What we have is a kind of beat combo feel fucked over by a wide variety of noises, data molecules and sound treatments. The involvement of the Techno Animal people and drum samples from Andre Gurov mean that the tracks are pulled away from a “post rock” type performativeness to have a more studio driven effect that gives-off the occasional trip-hop tracks tÑhat are darker and riskier than usual. The problem seems to be the way the beats and an at times very flat sounding bass guitar plod around in the background like the belligerent rhythm sections of old. Factory producer, Martin Hannett should have produced this…made us look for the noises… but he’s dead.
Calcutta Gas Chamber
8 shudders, using recordings made inside a commercial human gas chamber on the outskirts of Calcutta as source. The Indian government has always been on the forefront of population control. Lower cast women, for instant, were constantly encouraged to bathe in or drink from the taling ponds of Jadagoda, where radioactive waste (Thorium) is pumped in. Watermanns prolific output is oftern described as ‘filmic’ (but then so is rubbing your face on tarmac). Here Johns 8 compositions are best described by himself – ‘lots of white noise, very harsh noise, which pierces like a red hot arrow right through your brain’. Maybe. There should be a rating scale for ‘harsh’. This much mis-appropriated term ranges from vague to valid. There are a couple of Armchair-Shrillers (b2 79?) again volume aids to define content or as John said in ‘92 – “Experimental music like classical music has to be consciously listened to, ideally with headphones to get the most out of it. You cant really have it as mere background music; you cant make an omelet and let it hang limp in the speakers.” No more white labels with mushrooms please…
A live session recorded in May 1996 for the VPRO Dutch radio series, Mort Aux Vaches. This is a fragile coming together before secession. That this line up will never be repeated, that the flavour of these sounds can only be heard on this release seems to express itself on the opening track, Initiation: light, airy and subdued harmonics carry tinges of distortion before planes of deeper, more full-bodied, drone sounds cut across. Ambient in the sense that this is a track for the sub-conscious to enjoy without ‘you’ knowing much about it. The Åaccompanying tracks, Alternation and Expansion are equally interesting: ruffled, gruff, yet tight rhythmic cycles disintegrated by single and faintly melodious note-sears on the former and concrete sound-source manipulation on the latter. Members of Maeror Tri are now working asThroum and Drone Records.
‘Tuning down into the lowest reaches of the radio spectrum, particularly in night’s shadow of the solar wind, the listener encounters a range of diverse phenomena, opening an acoustic window on a world alive with electrical activity. Whistling atmospherics from lightning and thermonuclear EMP (electro magnetic polution) ricochet along field lines of the magnetosphere, bouncing between hemispheres of the globe : storms crackle, biostatics whisper, hiss, and sigh: televisions scream: pylons and power loops drone and roar: military signals, the musical pulses of navigation systems, timecodes, and coded data broadcasts deep beneath the sea. Time and space devided, live ‘vivisection’ of particle physics, voices, map lines, weapons, mirrors hidden by the illusion of quiet’. Antiphony, a double CD of remixes of Disinformations back catalogue of atmospheric recordings. The interesting mixes are the works that continue to take the source further away from the norm (flavor of the month techniques limit the scope – instantly grounding the listener Chris and Coseys’ reminded me of 70s mirror badges) The importance of clarifing your ideas and communicating them in a condensed form is the key(?). This approach is tippified by ‘headlights’ the perfect soundtrack for liberating Magham Down. Other worthy tracks of mention are M. Behrens Addition and CD1 tracks 2,4,5. I prefer the original recordings and recomend the Ghost Shells and Stargate EPs.
Extensions/remixes of the essential RRR 100 loops, coming this time as a triple coloured vinyl package dismantling and recrafting/expanding the loops as they came first time around into a series of short tracks each ending in another loop. The result is some excellent experiments/experiences mostly on the twisted side, long enough to play as short diversions between those hard to mix tracks.
(les Disques Bruitistes)
“Time is like the ocean – you can’t hold onto it”
Devoid of fasionable reference, placement – ‘you give me shit and ill bury you’. Ranging from untreated found sound to highly personalised junctures…like a zeppelin’s vertibrae collapsing, an inferno in slow motion. Harsh assemblage molded as if by a crumble like exercise in emotion. Other listening appears pointless. Find this, there is no other.