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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Datacide 18 Record Reviews by Controlled Weirdness

The Wheel of Rituals
[Viewlexx]
Dirty industrial tinged techno/electro from a mystery artist. 6 tracks of unease and menace. Throbs and clangs deliciously. Perfect for a pagan warehouse all-nighter.

General Ludd
Radd Ludd 2
[Rubadub]
Killer spaced out techno dub from Glasgow. Richard McMaster from Golden Teacher and Tom Marshall contribute 4 tracks of deep and intricate percussion that occasionally goes into heavy bass and drum assault. Rhythms are top drawer, needs a good system to accommodate the low end.

Schwefelgelb
Aus Den Falten
[aufname + wiedergabe] [Read more →]

Datacide 18 Record Reviews by Saxenhammer


Diagnostic
Repercussions
[Jezgro JCDAL001]

This is the first release by Diagnostic, the latest project from Jan Robbe (Atomhead/Undacova/Erratic). There are nine original tracks backed up by remixes from KK Null,Katran and Aethereal Arthropod among others. Glitched, industrial tones and clashing noise / ambient flavours are the core of the Diagnostic sound. This is a far out there, harsh, alien soundscape wonderland that very few people are capable of producing to this accomplished level. While there are beats and rhythmic elements at the forefront on a couple of tracks, the finest moments are when the sound is free flowing and evolves with highly nuanced detail through uncharted sonic territories as displayed on “Vantage point” where chaotic electronics become enveloped by deep space ambience into an explosive sonic cocktail. As a long time follower of all of his projects it is nice to hear the progression in this intense and highly individual release.

Savier:
The Fountain of Perpetual Decrepitude [DRKFLT002]

Scottish producer Savier serves up a cassette for London’s Darkfloor Sound label which continues his exploration of bass weight and slow, heavy beats backed up by remixes by a host of Darkfloor artists and associates. The Savier tracks are a mixture between his trademark distorted, metallic drums, glitchy effects and ones with a subtle use of melody which create a distinctive sound most notably on the two shortest tracks “Cast him in” and “Grooming Dead Rats” but also add a creepy flavour to the title track and “Mrs Warboys”. As the tape progresses it becomes more disjointed with each track, having a slightly different flavour while retaining the moody crunch we have come to expect with “Bulk Bogan part 2” sounding particularly unhinged. The remixes here are pretty much an album on their own with seven in total all going off at different tangents. I particularly enjoyed Opine Kosinsky’s noisy hip hop take on “Bulk Bogan“ and Robert Logan’s very psychedelic rework of the title track.


Umwelt / I Hate Models
[ROD 10]

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Datacide 18 Record Reviews by Low Entropy

Current 909:
Something with Black in the Name
[aufnahme + wiedergabe – [a+w XXIII]]
Current 909 is the project of Pure, who should be known by his releases on Praxis, his Loop recordings, or by being one half of Ilsa Gold.
Current 909 already had two outings in the ‘90s on Atmosfear recordings. These blended relentless Techno tactics with bleakest and darkest of atmospheres. And this is where this record continues. We have 4/4 and twisted rhythms and Techno percussions, and something like a perverted Lovecraftian Dark Ambient melange. And this combination works very well. Only 4 tracks, but the food of nightmares.
In a statement, Pure said he is interested in a certain thing, to connect the Techno ecstatics of the ‘90s with the sombre motions of ‘80s Industrial/left-field outings. A very fitting statement for this record, and I think he did succeed.

Patric Catani:
For Pit People (OST)
[Storage Records]
Patric Catani was the leading head case Gabba-Noize berserker in the ‘90s with his output as E-De Cologne, Eradicator and Test Tube Kid. His musical journey took him to other shores eventually too.
The latest permutation of this is the release here: a soundtrack for a video game called “Pit People”. This brings back memories of his mock game full-length album, The Horrible Plans Of Flex Busterman, and includes some of the best tricks and elements of that album.
But to me we find influences of all his anti-career here; the oddness of the Puppetmastaz, the Candie Hank insanity, withered traces of Breakcore rhythms, and maybe, maybe, some remote inspiration of Gabba.
But to give the lowdown, the dominating style is definitely video game music, with catchy melodies, ironic cheesiness, upbeat drumming, bleeps and clonks, and, without a doubt, a big smile during production.
If you like Catani’s music, give it a try. If you liked Flex Busterman – get this immediately!

Umwelt:
Abandon In Place
[New Flesh – NF20] [Read more →]

Datacide 17 Record Reviews by Nemeton

Christoph de Babalon: Grim Zenith EP [VIS005]
We haven’t had an EP vinyl from CDB in many years, really since the excellent ‘A World of My Own’ 12” on Restroom Records. The wait is paid off with this evocative release limited to 300 copies. A1 ‘Could We Be?’ submerges us in eerie atmospheres and drum n’ bass assault; A2 ‘Pure Dirge’ is a thoughtful, beautiful track with melodies flirting with break beats and clanging bells. The B-side opens with drudging bass and kicking beat construction which is an abstract dance floor hit in my mind. B2 ‘Luxury of Sadness’ with its screeching string arrangements and abstract beat patterns reach a frenetic rhythm of pure mastery. De Babalon also just released digitally ‘The Haunting Past of Christoph de Babalon Vol. III’, which should be immediately downloaded! Both the digital and the vinyl are highly recommended!

Stave: Black Hills [Standards & Practices 2]
The new American label Standards & Practices run by Karl Meier, Ken Meier, and Jon Krohn (Stave) based in Chicago has started out strong. The first release by Talker (Krohn and Karl Meier) is dark and foreboding industrial techno. The second release ‘Black Hills’ by Stave shares a lot of commonalities with the sound of Headless Horseman. The second track is especially kicking with the irregular drum patterns, blistering noise, and dark atmospherics. A3 ‘Inhuman’ is dark and sinister, and B3 is a slow moving experimental track with searing guitar noise.

Schwefelgelb: Den Umgekehrten Atem [Fleisch 05]
For those into the new wave of EBM/synth pop/techno sounds, Schwefelgelb probably does it the best with their dance floor pounding tracks. All the tracks are really catchy, demonstrating complexity and offering something new, while still taking on some of the old tropes. B1 “Das Ärmellose Hemd” is pretty gritty. Recommended, especially if you’re into the vocals.

V/A: [Rave or Die 08]
This 2×10” on grey marble vinyl is a top release from Umwelt’s sub-label, appropriately named Rave or Die for those extremely dedicated to music. [Read more →]

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