Review: Surface Records has never pulled any punches as one of the UK's toughest techno labels, and The 65D Mavericks have embodied the same spirit with their charged, lyrically provocative approach. After a lengthy hiatus label and artist are back in action, and sounding as fierce as ever. "False Prophets" is not for the faint hearted - an avalanche of thunderous drums and expletive-laden diatribes. "Cosmic Drift" is marginally more meditative, but still positively unhinged in its execution. "You Lost Your Mind" flails around a muddy, punky swamp of deviant sonic behaviour, and "Immovable (dub)" throws one last curveball into the long grass, stripping out the bark without losing the bite of this proudly individual group of techno marauders.
Review: Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani returns to Stroboscopic Artefacts with 'Embryo' - an immersive four-track micro-odyssey spanning across jagged ambient scopes,unmapped acidic grounds and further leftfield-friendly sonic territories, opening up the path for his forthcoming sophomore LP and first ever for Stroboscopic Artefacts, 'Morphic Dreams'.
Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
Review: Having previously offered up his raw, all-action experimental work on obscure or outdated formats, Anna Funk Damage (real name Andrea Natale) has finally released a 12" single. The EP is as intriguing and challenging as you'd expect, with the Italian noisenik flitting between skewed, sub-heavy electro-horror madness (crazy lead cut "Badass Bitch"), thrusting 8-bit industrial murk (the Cabaret Voltaire-meets-Nitzer Ebb-inside a Commodore 64 insanity of "Bloodydeath"), gabber-speed post trance mutant funk ("Elm Street (Faster Edition)") and sub-heavy body music that rhythmically has more in common with UK funky than it does DAF or Front 242 ("That's Why I'm Hot"), which also includes some shimmering, life-affirming synthesizer chords.
The McDonald's Prayer (Japan Blues regrind) (5:58)
The McDonald's Prayer (Ossia Milkshake mix) (3:19)
Review: Seb Gainsborough and Chester Giles' ASDA project has been one of our highlights over the last couple of years. Through their punky, deranged aesthetic, the duo have given new meanings to the spoken word disposition and, in the process, left the doors wide open for interpretation. The music scene needs that. We need that. It's as if their work has cleansed the air for us and taken our minds back to a time when genres weren't such a big deal; a palette cleanser, if you will! "The McDonald's Prayer" marks their second outing on for No Corner and, much like The Abyss LP, the tune blazes through poetry with disparate shots of bass and sparse percussion stabs. This is all rendered all the more special thanks to a remix from London's Japan Blues, whose remix duties ever since that pair of bruisers for Place No Blame have become household favourites of ours, and he's on form here; a lo-fi slew of bass moulds around hazy claps and peaceful melodies to create a masterful groove. Ossia comes in for the second remix, this time stretching the original out onto some vintage Metalheadz vibes... minus the breaks. Sick.
Review: After initial outings from phile and Ptwiggs, the Deep Seeded crew welcome phile member Barking into the fold for another excursion into crooked techno from the outer realm. There's a lingering sense of industrial malaise emanating out of "Singularity" thanks to some dense signal processing, while "Clay Passage" pings off into a strange but utterly accomplished trip into Fourth World techno that packs a serious rhythm without the need for obvious drum lines. "Pathos" matches malevolent beats and tones with dominant ambience to create a proper push 'n' pull of a track, and then "Prone" rounds the EP off with some gutsy analogue demolition for the broken techno and electro crowd to get wild to.
Review: New York's Black Dice had to land on their native LIES imprint at some point. It was only a matter of time before label head Ron Morelli picked them up, and he's done so in fine style. The American Tapes, DFA, and Paw Tracks casuals are made up of Eric Copeland, Aaron Warren and Bjorn Copeland, and the trio like to get a little wacky over their coldwave grooves. "Big Deal" is a true post-punk reincarnation, a track that manages to pick out everything that was right about the early 80's by adding in elements of noise, rock, and a little techno. A monumental tune. "Last Laugh" is more dubwise in its approach, where a distorted guitar sways from side to side amid a fuzzy whirlpool of aqueous sonics and dusty percussion. A great release from LIES, and a fresh addition to their more usual house and techno onslaught.
The Sixteen Steps - "Signals From The South" (6:28)
The Sixteen Steps - "Promises On The Run" (7:17)
Review: Rampant and 'up for it' as usual, the Cititrax label is back with a new set of wayward technoid experiments for the more trained ears on the dancefloors. This time it's Romania's Borusiade and newcomer The Sixteen Steps who share two sides of a wax plate and, of course, proceed to annihilate any idea of a quiet night in. The former sets off with the mechanical acid bumps of "Infatuation", guided by an eerie set of vocal blurs, and that's followed by the comparatively more beat-centric techno of the apocalyptic "Confutation". On the flip, The Sixteen Steps first lands on "Signals From The South", a house banger with noxious levels of mutant bass at its core, followed by the single-minded industrialism and sheer techno brutality of "Promises On The Run". WOWZAH!
Review: Having made his name during the late '90s and early 2000s as a maker of particularly forthright techno, Oliver Ho has broadened his horizons in recent years. Nowhere is that more obvious on his Broken English Club project, which debuted last year with a pair of industrial and EBM minded releases for Jealous God and Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. Here he returns to the latter, laying down more fuzzy, straight-to-tape journeys into analogue, mid '80s dancefloor experimentalism. There's naturally much to enjoy, from the peak Cabaret Voltaire grittiness of "Drycutting", and the bleak EBM throb of "Ritual Killing", to the ghostly synthesizers, Jaydee bass and droning textures of "Channel 83".
Review: Founded last year by Regis, James Ruskin and Juan Mendez, Jealous God's initial 'issues' fell very much within the remit of the expertly sculpted techno that the now defunct Sandwell District pioneered. However the label's focus has seemingly become a lot more open ended and willing to exploring the trio's well documented love for DIY post punk and industrial sounds and it's something that continues here with the debut of Broken English Club. The latest project from UK techno producer Oliver Ho, Broken English Club seems to be his most confident expression of his post punk and industrial influences, which have previously manifested themselves to varying degrees in the Raudive guise and his work as The Eyes In The Heat. His five track Jealous God debut features the excellent "Plastic Bag" and is complemented by a dub heavy mix CD from Taylor Burch of DVA DAMAS.
Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
Review: Having built its name on various artist releases featuring old and new artists, Contort Yourself is branching out with a new series that focuses on one contemporary act per release. In this instance it's Coletivo Vandalismo getting some much-deserved attention. The Portuguese industrial punk outfit have a visceral sound that favours noise and distortion, but most importantly they know how to wield these sonic tools for maximum impact. The snarl of the synths and the crunch of the drums on "Hostages Of Society" could easily be too much in the wrong hands, but here the errant tones find their own space in the mix, making the impact of the track all the more on-point.
Review: Although Corrupted is being trailed as a "mysterious Japanese doom metal band formed in 1994", the label credits suggest it's actually the work of long-serving industrial producer Martin Bowes (previously a member of such forthright combos as Attrition, Pigface and Engram). "Felicific Algorithim" is an intensely uncomfortable and mind-altering affair, where sampled screams and redlined white noise rise above the distortion-splattered doom of the aggressive and twisted backing track. The 13-minute A-side version is, in many ways, terrifying in its disconcerting and fragmented approach, while the flipside, a kind of dark ambient version based around foreboding held notes and barely audible vocal samples, sounds like the work of lauded noisenik Dominick Fenrow.
Review: Dead Fader is the alias of one John Cohen, here with a set of remixes of his forthcoming Jenny153 LP on Milanese imprint Parachute. Across nine tracks, it bridged the gap between classical and club music structures, while examining the crossover points between the two disciplines. According to Cohen, his work deals with themes of acceptance and an 'opening up' emotionally. The recordings presented a viewpoint of the potential space that exists on the outer limits of dance music. Here come some stellar remixes from the LP by the current who's who of industrial edged techno music. Birmingham legend Justin Broadrick aka JK Flesh delivers an abrasive and slow burning rendition of "FYI" showcasing his trademark guttural sound. The inimitable Roly Porter of Subtext fame delivers a cinematic and suspense filled sound design epic on "Raw Food" and Scottish beatsmith Kon-Om-Pax (Planet Mu/LuckyMe) serves up some lush and evocative futurism on his rendition of "Life Cycle".
Review: Digital Poodle are one of those outfits from the 1980's who happened to stumble onto techno by accident, focusing on making deadly, driving songs rather than fitting into a genre or style. Alongside them there are the likes of Psychik Warriors Ov Goia and a few others, but this stuff is pretty damn hard to come by, and releases like this are few and far between. The impressive Suction label out of Canada has decided to reissue their "Work Terminal" tune - a screeching, venomous bit of screamo EBM - backed by a trio of remixes. OH transform "Work Terminal" into a more direct techno bullet with subtle swarms of the original's screams, while Solvent give it a more aggressive reshape a-la electro. It's the Metro Tekno version that gets our attention, though, and those heavy percussion patterns must surely be total winners on the sound system.
Review: Once every three or four years, Kassem Mosse drops a new record under a new alias. We've loved the producer's mystique, which he has retained since day 1, because it is representative of a true artist and musician, evolving new ideas while remaining grounded in a particular aesthetic that is personal to him. This debut DJ Residue 12" drops on Will Bankhead's TTT, whom he has kept tight relations with over the years, and has hit us pretty hard. In fact, it is the most relevant depiction of techno, or general warehouse music, that we have heard this year, shifting and morphing endlessly, going from the regular to the utterly insane with pure ease. Sludgy beats, eerie atmospherics, and Mosse's intricate percussion patterns form a beautifully dark variety of noise music. Recommended, as per usual.
Review: The latest volume in Brokntoys consistently excellent DDQ series comes courtesy of Elements of Joy, one of the lesser-known aliases of UVB producer Sebastien Michel. All four tracks originally slipped out on a limited cassette on Michel's own Body Theory label back in 2016, and here appear on vinyl for the very first time. Built around the producer's love of industrial, experimental new wave and dark ambient, all four cuts are fuzzy, dystopian and thoroughly alluring. Highlights include the foreboding, distorted shuffle of "Les Consequences De Mes Actes", the throbbing industrial-funk heaviness of opener "In Every Man" and the droning, guitar-laden growl of closing cut "The Great Struggle".
Review: If you're in the mood for some industrial-strength dancefloor experiments and lo-fi workouts saturated with noise, this collaboration from old studio buddies Felix Krone and Yu Aseada AKA Ena should hit the spot. It's an altogether more foreboding and paranoid beast than their previous joint excursion, hence the new "F&E" alias. After offering up a decidedly dystopian ambient intro, the duo slowly cranks up the pressure via the industrial dub techno/electro fusion of "Thesis" and the crackling lo-fi techno crustiness of "Premis I". "Premis II" offers a more percussive and rolling take on the same murky blueprint, while "Conclusion" is a suitably hypnotic chunk of dub techno.
Review: Current heroes of the industrial techno sound here tend to focus on the industrial side of things for The Cast Project: a vinyl affair from Los Angeles based on the collective sounds from a faction of artists. They are said to gather a few artists; each of them providing several unique audio samples, clips and/or field recordings that best define their sound. They then collect the samples from each artist and redistribute them to the artists as a master pack, at which point they create a unique track. First up fellow Los Angeleno Luis Flores delivers the grinding and guttural first offering, while 138 then delivers some impressive Autechre styled IDM on his/her effort. On the flip, Dutch terroriser Bas Mooy delivers a furious and powerful warehouse techno stormer that blows the doors off as always. Finally Serbian duo Ontal deliver some more of their typically contorted takes on techno.
Review: William J.Youngman's Headless Horseman project has created a new and exciting techno sound that was only an offshoot of EBM and industrial in years past. Stepping out of his own imprint, the dark horseman lands on Tommy Four Seven's excellent 47 label, tearing through the speakers from the get-go thanks to the toxic sounds of "Revelation", and the even nastier sway of "Concussion". Metallic and hard-nosed in absolutely every way, "Locust" follows up on that with a menacing pounce of beats and cavernous bass, while "Gravity" breaks the techno groove for something much more in line with the likes of Powell's Diagonal output. Big boy sounds.
Review: Lyon's Julien Viallet, only recently baptised under the HLM38 moniker, lands with his debut EP for France's KUMP label, making it the imprint's second EP to date. Representative of the cultural shift that has taken France over nowadays, "Illicite Song" is a wonderfully dextrous blend of Eastern chimes and slow, meandering beat music that only subtly references techno or house. "French Dudu" is a little more tech-friendly, albeit grounded in the same form of percussive experimentation, while "Exit" references the sounds of bands like Throbbing Gristle, spewing industrial oddities from every orifice. Remixes come from Front De Cadeaux and Kris Baha, respectively, dropping yet more additive rhythms to the collection. Recommended!
Review: LA Club Resource's Innsyter helps carry Contort Yourself into this new realm of dedicated solo releases from contemporary artists (their previous form was to split releases between archival and new tracks). The snarling, industrial palette is much the same, and the years of origin are as ambiguous here as they've ever been on the label, making Innsyter the perfect addition to the catalogue. From acid-dipped synth pop to nightmarish wave contortions, this record is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you already love the dark and deadly world of Contort Yourself then this brilliantly-realised, consistently inventive record can't fail to hit the spot.
Review: Whatever Makes You Feel Safe is a collaboration between Canadian producer and singer Marie Davidson and Berlin based Ukrainian sound designer Invisible Church. They met in Montreal during Red Bull Music Academy festival and shared the idea of exploring the concept of feeling safe both on a personal level and as a part of society. Quite different from what you'd usually associate with Davidson but still worthy of your attention all the same. Beginning on the A side with "Collage" featuring some chilling drone experiments over textural sound design and field recordings which allow Davidson's haunting vocals to carry the track further into the void. Sounds like a cross between OAKE and Lustmord. Next up "Never Release The Tension" delves further into pitch black territory on this contorted downbeat industrial thriller. Finally on the flip, we've got an epic 10 minutes of haunting esoterica in the form of "Ten Years" and features Theo Parrish on cymbals! The label recommends it as for fans the late Mika Vainio, Black Rain, CTI, and the Bladerunner OST. Pretty on point, if we do say so ourselves!
Review: In advance of release, Diagonal and Elon Katz have been particularly mysterious when it comes to the contents of The Human Pet. Instead of the usual press release, they simply emailed journalists a bizarre list of "care instructions" for said mythical companion. Katz, who rose to prominence as part of Streetwalker and White Car, is something of a bombastic, electronic eccentric, and The Human Pet is ostensibly a pop album dragged through several hedges backwards. Expect impassioned, stylized vocals, twisted boogie synths, scattergun electronics, bizarre beats, breakcore style cut-up madness, and crusty special effects. Oh, and discernible nods to EBM, industrial and Autechre.
Review: The combination of Richard H. Kirk and Minimal Wave was never going to disappoint, but the four tracks on this Never Lose Your Shadow 12" are still very special! Digging deep through the archives of the Cabaret Voltaire front man, Veronica Vasicka presents a quartet of solo recordings that have never been committed to wax before. The highlight is undoubtedly the A Side title track, a lolloping ten minute track of hypnotic industrial action made all the more memorable by Kirk's acerbic intonations about "the blind leading the blind". If you've caught a Vasicka DJ set recently you will have probably lost yourself to these ten minutes. On the flip are three tracks recorded in the same late '70s period which are distinctly more experimental in tone and just as vital.
Review: Bologna crew Alley Version return with a new 12", this time welcoming Richard Smith in his scintillating L/F/D/M guise. Smith has more than proven himself as a techno outlier par excellence, and so it continues on this gnarled and knotted batch of tracks. For all the lo-fi crunch, there's vitality and verve spilling out of all these tracks, especially the artfully messy "Flats". "Lemon Sunrise" is more decidedly unhinged, and "Plutonium" takes a slow and suffocating glide through freaky soundscapes teetering between the netherworld and the sunkissed boulevard. For DJs looking for the most club impact, "Blank Cheque" is the one though - a dishevelled banger for disjointed souls.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After appearing on Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder with the fiercely infectious "It's Alive!" 12", L.F.T. lands on Eye For An Eye with more gutter-bound sonics from the grungiest corners of the electro scene. There's as much noirish seduction as gnarly distortion going on throughout this deadly record, from the soundtrack steer of "Atomic Enigma" to the brittle minimal wave delights of the title track. Super punky and lo-fi in all the right places, this 12" once again confirms L.F.T. is one of the strongest voices dealing in DIY electro from the darkside.
Review: As part of longstanding no wave duo Naked On The Vague, murky girl group Knitted Abyss and extraterrestrial drone project Half High, Lucy Phelan has been a critical force in the Sydney DIY scene for over 10 years. Under the solo veil of Lucy Cliche, she annihilates with these four wavey techno tracks that honour her noise and punk ethos. With pounding drum sequences, draining synths and emotionless vocals echoing Cosey Fanni Tutti, her dark dreams sabotage our calculations of modern dance while demonstrating how physicality and the ethereal can interact.
Review: Bedouin Records enlist Thomas Feriero for some new music from his current industrial period. The former tech house man doesn't shun his roots altogether, laying down functional grooves but haunted by darker and noisier textures and tones. "Onto Duat" is clunking and intense, "Take Nothing With You" is lit up by serrated synths and oversized hi hats tethered to monstrous break beats, while "Change Your Mind" is a sludgy, paranoid cut for marching crowds. "Riot Patrol" is the best of the lot, with slow motion heaviness and a real sense of dystopian atmospherics locking you to the floor.
Review: Having built his reputation via a trio of must-check EPs on Bokeh Versions, Mars89 transfers to Alex Hall's "mutant electronics" imprint Natural Sciences. The producer is a neat fit on the imprint, with "2020" containing a quartet of creepy, hard-wired, industrial-tinged cuts that seem eerily fitting for these troubled times. He begins with the bone-rattling beats, machine-gun percussion hits, ricocheting metallic clonks and gut-punching bass of "GoodThing", before successfully fusing mutilated industrial sounds and paranoid rhythms on "JoyCamp". Over on side B, "DayOrder" is a strangely swung slab of mind-altering electronica that defies easy description, while "MiniLuv" is a thumping stomp through lo-fi techno territory in the company of a steroid-fired monster.
Review: Pavel Milyakov has largely impressed since making his debut under the Buttechno alias earlier this year, delivering a pair of 12" singles that gather together short, hardware-driven experiments in a variety of dystopian styles. Here, the Russian producer debuts under his given name, once again flitting between dark and spacey dancefloor workouts, bleak broken techno, macabre electro, wonky IDM and panicky ambience. Despite the stylistic shifts, the EP hangs together impressively, thanks in no small part to Milyakov's penchant for industrial textures, tape echo and haunting melodies. If you're into the releases of L.I.E.S and Berceuse Heroique, you need this in your life.
Review: Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label plunges once more into the grimy underworld of electro and wave music, this time guided by dungeon dweller Morah who debuted on the label in 2015 and has since gone on to great things via Lux Rec, Berceuse Heroique, brokntoys and more. "I Saw, Strained Her Eyes Peering Into The Gloom" is a bittersweet dance with distortion as disheveled as it is catchy, while "Dance When Lights Off" pushes even further into the red with scintillating results. "Against Your Beloved" sounds positively shimmering by comparison, even if on its own it's still a truly dirty slice of jacked up electro. "One Shade The Less, One Ray The More" is a strong closing bout that draws from a similar sound bank and applies it to a more techno-minded structure.
Review: Moopie's A Colourful Storm label launched earlier this year as an extension of the popular online platform that has hosted a rich and diverse stream of mixes from the likes of Imaginary Softwoods, DJ Nobu, Frak and Rabih Beaini to name a few. Pro-tip: do check that latter live mix from the Morphine boss! It was the archival sounds of Denial and their lost Oz classic cover of "California Dreaming" that heralded the arrival of A Colourful Storm, but this second release on the label switches the focus to more contemporary fare. Power Relations is a two track 12" of bad-mannered, f*cked up club trax from Melbourne's Nerve. The stomping, nocturnal techno of the title track is backed with a Photek-meets-Sunn O))) terror stepper entitled "Heads & Ordinary Concrete". For fans of Regis, Emptyset and Blackest Ever Black.
Review: Lucerne based Prasens Editionen was founded in 2011 to give home to Zweikommasieben Magazin. Ever since, a bunch of magazines, books, zines, records, tapes and oddities have been published. After digging deep into their vast archive, they found two gems that are particularly striking: a live recording from a collaborative project (on Side A) in the form of the the textural industrial/noise journey by Nilbog entitled "Liverecording 02/11/16". On the flip Mr Pena's "TMC" (The Markt Chronicles) is a three minute gabba onslught. Mr. Pena lets loose, aiming at hardcore dancefloors while balancing between fight-or-flight terror and pacifying joy. Edition of 300.
Nocturnal Emissions - "Even The Good Times Are Bad (1983)" (4:33)
Innyster - "Todis" (6:08)
Review: Contort Yourself reaches its sixth installment with yet another era spanning gathering of post-punk and industrial oddities for the most deviant of dancefloors to digest. In the contemporary corner we have Penelope's Fiance, a promising industrial artist from Greece. Meanwhile on the B-side, Nigel Ayers as Nocturnal Emissions takes us back to 1983 with the utterly chilling "Demon Circuits Bloodbath" and "Even The Good Times Are Bad". L.I.E.S boss Ron Morelli steps up as U202 to remix "Even The Good Times Are Bad" as a death march of malevolent percussion.
Review: When Piska Power isn't studying to become a doctor, he is making modular synth sounds to melt your mind. This six track mini LP is a comprehensive overview of his work: pulsing drum rhythms, clicks, shapeshifting arps that are bubbling, blistering backed with dehumanised vocals that are skewed and stretched. This is an avant-garde take on experimental noise and industrial that dips into techno, EBM and coldwave from a perspective that draws you into this unique world and keeps you there. A superbly strong collection.
Review: John Talabot's Hivern Discs could be a case study in suggestive dance music. Made for serious soundystems, finely tuned to perfection, the spectacular level of detail means even when there's a hint rather than definitely defined beat, there's always a sense of rhythm that's easy to feel with feet, while the arrangements themselves are aiming straight for the mind. An expansive six tracks form this EP, which pretty much define that idea. Oma Totem's "Amb Minus", for example, uses tom-style drums to create urgency, with scarcely a kick in earshot. "Center Of Things", by Mioclono, counters that by bringing the 80s vibes via a purposeful punch, reverbed synth line and low-bleeps, threatening to put you in a trance. Closer "Bretonn", meanwhile, sees Odopt adopt a dark, desolate mood that sounds as though it was born on a factory floor.
Review: Primitive Brumbeat is the order of the day from Minimal Wave on this weighty seven inch presentation of early Karl O'Connor material. Recorded under the Sandra Plays Electronics banner, Her Needs presents two versions of the same track from different periods of O'Connor's musical development and provide further enticing historical evidence of one of techno's most illuminating figureheads. Those who indulged in the brilliant White Savage Dance 12" from Downwards from late 2011 will be all over the DIY odes to O'Connor's childhood heroes such as DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses here. The 1999 version in particular which originates from the same recording sessions that ended in the seminal Diversion Group release A Man Has Responsibilities.
Review: Guy Tavares makes a rare appearance on his own Bunker outlet under the Schmerzlabor alias. We're pretty excited to say the least given the fact that Tavares releases music once in a blue moon, and instead prefers to use the label as a platform for other sewer dwellers to excel. Four tracks of bitterly uncompromising steel funk, noise-fuelled techno driller-thrillers. Sounding like the inside of one of Tavares' famous bunker raves, the air is humid and drenched with fuzzy distortion, where beats collide and contort into sweltering bundles of dancefloor noise. A bloody bunch of chest-bursters, hawk-nosed and machine-licked. Viciously recommended and ludicrously unmissable. Bunker wins again.
Review: Self-proclaimed "techno body music" duo Schwefelgelb seem a neat fit with Cititrax, the Minimal Wave sub-label set up to handle contemporary electronic music rather than reissues. There's something particularly muscular, robust and otherworldly about their label debut, which remarkably is their first EP of original tracks for two years. Opener "Die Dunne Hand" sets the tone, with the pair conjuring up a throbbing, mind-altering EBM-funk workout that sounds like an unlikely Nitzer Ebb cover version of the KLF's "What Time Is Love", while "Auf Die Erde" sees them wrap crunchy percussion and dystopian vocal snippets around a surging EBM bassline. Side B begins with the stripped-back metallic mutant funk of "Die Augen Gehen", before the duo dives into chugging, flash-fried industrial/electro/techno fusion on the mind-bending "Das Blid Das Wiederkehrt".
Review: Greyscale textural abrasions courtesy of the AnD boys under their Shadows guise, dedicated to their forays into industrial mayhem. Wasting no time getting stuck in with the white knuckled duvet ride of "Leaves In the Wind", it will engulf you in its wall of noise and shock you with its harsh modular blasts. The body bashing pulsations of "What If They Are Watching You" plunders the same depths as Kerridge or Shapednoise; the sound of tremors emerging from the fault line. Some sludgy grindcore metal to be heard on "On A Mad Train" could easily be mistaken for some of J.K. Flesh's more recent works while "Lights Out" closes proceedings with a noisy and nefarious power electronics excursion that'd make even the Posh Isolation crew stand up and notice.
Review: London's Shamos is back on the scene, after a couple of great releases back in 2016 on Funkineven's Apron Records. The brand new Youth imprint was inaugurated by fellow Brit Yard a couple of months ago, and Shamos (pronounced 'Shay-mos' apparently) carries on with the nasty vibes here with these four kick-ass cuts. Starting off with the industrial edged street attitude of of "Found Grace"and the dreamy lo-fi house of 1321313132 on the A side. The flip features the neon lit 80's horror flick aesthetic of TMF and finally the four minute analogue punk groove "Nuws" reminiscent of NYC terrors such as Nick Klein or Enrique.
Review: L.I.E.S latest muscular missive comes courtesy of Dutch scene stalwarts Parrish Smith (previously of Knekelhuis and Dekmantel) and Interstellar Funk (AKA Artificial Dance big cheese Olf van Elden). Rich in machine drums, cranky modular synth sounds and industrial intent, the four-track missive sees them angrily stomp between mind-altering, mid-tempo throb-jobs (the strobe-lit electronics and druggy arpeggio lines of "Misinformation"), buzzing 4/4 electro ("High Gates"), raw, redlined, noise-addled techno ("Macrodosing") and the kind of dark, moody and throbbing dancefloor fare that sits somewhere between angular industrial music and frustrated, lo-fi techno ("Collapsed Buildings"). For want of a better term, this is music for dystopian dancehalls, prorogued parliaments and the children of broken societies.
Review: Weevil Neighbourhood is more of a movement than a label. It's a idea that has its roots firmly placed in topography and the physical world. For instance, they don't use numbers to catalogue their music, only words. SPR, a young producer from Hamburg, seems like the perfect fit to the label's improvisational sound aesthetic, an artist who isn't tied down to any particular genres and, instead, likes to keep things noticeably loose. "Axis" opens the score with a hollow fuzz of sonics and spectral atmospherics, and "Mirror" simply takes this one step further into oblivion. On the flip, "District" adds in a faint layer of dubbed-out beats among the haze, and 'Out" punishes the listener with a total noise abstraction in the same style as artists like Andrew Coltrane (TTT). Recommended.
This Terrible Virtue Of Forgiveness (GIL remix) (4:23)
Review: After almost a year hibernating (presumably within the dystopian ruins of a once proud Industrial city), S S S S man Samuel Savenberg returns with more angry workouts, noisy soundscapes and creepy ambient interludes. Surprisingly, much of the material is more melancholic and unsettling than it is forthright and insanely intense, with only the fuzzy, high-octane crunch of "Stripped" having any serious dancefloor intentions. This is not a criticism, though. In fact, the EP's more considered soundscapes and music concrete style collages are uniformly inspired, with the droning lament of "This Terrible Virtue Of Forgiveness" and yearning "Absence" standing out.
Review: Having crept out of the tape undergrowth and respected haunts like Clan Destine and Always Human to earn more civilized recognition on BANK Records NYC and Bliq, Strahinja Arbutina makes the move to Vivod for yet more of that edgy, leftfield techno business that keeps mothers awake at night from worry. The grit, noise and distortion has been faithfully carried through from the cassette-based roots of Arbutina's sound, but these tracks are more than ready to do the damage in the dance (where you're less likely to find a tape deck). Hold on tight as the likes of "Way Ahead" give the sound engineer a fright when they think the system has overloaded.
Review: Tabernacle turn their attention towards the industrial side of their musical repertoire with this hard-hitting release from Russian and French outfit UVB76. Hot on the heels of their S A N album on Teenage Menopause, this formidable duo serve up a searing blend of classic EBM pressure and contemporary flair, veering from the Skinny Puppy-esque stomp of "Extend" to the bruising Vex'd-tinted dubstep flex of "Ckahep". "Rust" locks into a jagged, darkside techno rut, while "Helm" gets artful with space and noise sculpture. "Citizen" offers the most measured track on the release, an uneasily submerged kind of electro noir for tortured souls.
Zombies Under Stress - "Maan Zal Zijn" (Svengalisghost remix)
Mark Forshaw - "Submission"
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Contort Yourself has once again gathered the best and boldest from past and present for its fourth EP. To begin with we have the grimacing visage of Volition Immanent, an intense live act made up of Parrish Smith and Mark Van de Maat (Knekelhuis). Behind rawkish distortion, splintered beats and acrid bars screams a boiled anger; a track spitting on the divides of punk and electronics. Nastiness is taken up a notch as noise ne'er-do-wells Zombies Under Stress take over. Static is bent and doubled across thick chords and collapsed clap in the 1986 "Maan Zal Zijn" before the raw and raging battery of "In Onze Tijd." L.I.E.S. regular Svengalisghost grapples with "Maan Zal Zijn, channelling the original's rage into a mechanical monster. The 12" is bookended with bite as Mark Forshaw (Tabernacle/Berceuse Heroique) closes with the tortured and torrential thump of "Submission." A callous, caustic and fervently cruel EP.
La Conoci En Un Concierto De Esplendor Geometrico (3:45)
Europe Is Dead (feat Ana Curra) (6:15)
Valencia Ist Gefahrlich (3:16)
L'enigmatic Martell De Ned Ludd (1:43)
121 Xemeneies (feat Hugo Mas) (7:29)
Aquesta Rave Es Una Merda (5:00)
Review: We Are Not Brothers are an electronic music band from the post-industrial, anarchist and revolutionary town of Alcoi, Pais Valencia - formed in 2006. Comprised of Blai Antoni Vano, Damia Llorens Pico, Francisco Sancho Blanquer and Rafeta, this is (like the name suggests) their third full length release. They borrow respectfully from fellow Spanish legends like Geometrico Esplendor (who they've supported live: as heard on opening cut "La Conoci En Un Concierto De Esplendor Geometrico" while sounding like contemporaries such as The Horrorist or Vatican Shadow. It's a fairly fierce and abrasive affair, featuring layers of contorted and textured greyscale electronics, plus violent vocal styles. Just check some of the titles - "Europe Is Dead" a pummeling riot ready anthem featuring Spanish scene heroine Ana Curra) or the seething "121 Xemeneies" (feat Hugo Mas).
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