Datacide 18 Record Reviews by Prole Sector

Rebekah:
My Heart Bleeds Black EP
[Mord]
Mord is one of those nosebleed techno labels I always keep tabs on but rarely end up buying (much like Perc Trax or Melbourne’s Green Fetish). They pump stuff out (too much really) at a prodigious rate, within a very bleak and blasted demarcated zone of production parameter but always leaving me with the suspicion that a lot of it, despite artist names, different artwork, titles etc, could easily be endlessly interchangeable without anyone noticing. Back in the day that used to be the very liberation of techno/rave/etc of course, so I’m not knocking them individually in any way, if that’s the gig they’ve chosen – they’ve certainly carved out a niche, but it just comes back to that perennial question, how much more of ‘this’ do I really need? I mean no one can really claim that this is ‘new’ in any way – “The Beat Just Goes Straight On & On”, and on and on etc. (If you remember that annoying big Perry & Rhodan trance techno tune on Rising High from 1993?). It’s just a palimpsest now.

I never imagined 25 years ago, when I was young and dancing to, and already buying, this kind of music (in its absolute infancy) that it would STILL be hammering away – or that the young people of today would still even be interested in pretty much EXACTLY the same thing, virtually unchanged. Frankly I would have been horrified at the thought. And if you’re feeling particularly sour (which I often am) you can be even more dismissive of this un-shifting canon. Most (if not all?) of this genre is imitative reproduction, already familiar and exhausted. You can theoretically (or physically if you must prove a point) check any release at random, in any format, and the first bar will bring the boredom of familiarity to your ear (spot the reference) and more depressingly still, only anticipate the boredom of the, albeit normally clinically well-produced, bar to follow! This is EXPLORED TERRITORY people! where the product matches expectation and desire; the place where all things turn out the way we want them to, where formalism has won the day.

Then if we’re whipping ourselves up into an imaginary frenzy, like the Central Scrutinizer (Zappa reference Compadres, heh), we can rant about this order being just another bullshit tyranny and STULTIFICATION, mere hierarchies of place, position and cultish authority. The producers are all seemingly “Berlin-based” now after all: retro-flash tattooed, ears tribal-stretched, modular set-up, vegan, straight-edge whatever, mastered at D+M, by Rashad “Bloody” Becker, 180g Ltd Edition pre-order vinyl, jetting to London next week to play at Corsica Studios, then on to Sonar or some such for the closing set blah blah blah. The Rant Just Goes Straight On & On…

Keepsakes: Perspectives From A Sterile Hellhole [Haven 001] & Ayarcana/Keepsakes: Music For The Vitriolic Age [Haven 002]
I thought I’d found a mildly interesting antipodean relative of Green Fetish in Haven earlier this year. Starting as an Auckland club night run by Keepsakes and Jaded Nineties Raver, ‘Haven’ was apparently something of a (self proclaimed) hub for New Zealand’s small underground technocentric dance music scene. Until they became yet another “Berlin-based” label that is…FFS! This is beyond a joke now people. The artwork looked promising (reminding me of PCP’s SS sub-label, all prowling masked gangs) and titles like ‘Mind Your Manners Munted Millennial’, ‘Face Struck With An Axe’ and ‘Populist Piss Pot’ suggested a Bloody Fistesque sardonicism. There’s not too much to dislike really (except the elephant in the room – the existential question mark hanging over this genre) or indeed to set it apart from the rest of the pack for that matter. What can you really say about industrial techno now anyway? You’ve heard every variable before; you’ve read every adjective to describe it. Industrial grit – check. Crunchy – check. Gnarled – check. Crushing – check. Driving – check. The tick box exercise is embedded in the tracks’ own riveted-in-place formalism. I could go on but you know the score. Do you need this in your record bag, or collection? Do you want to hear this out at parties? Should you support this brand from the already swollen ranks? Like saying no to a third beer down the pub when you only popped in for a cheeky pint on the way home from work, this is a question of DISCIPLINE now, not personal taste, that only you can be responsible for.

Mickey Nox / Ike Dusk
[Green Fetish]

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Sähkö Recordings Interview (1994)

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

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

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