Review: American industrial/noise producer Matthew Folden has been a longtime staple of Dominick Fernow's Hospital Productions camp. Matter of fact, he first appeared on our our radar with the Back In EP on Fernow's now dormant diffusion imprint Bed Of Nails back in 2015. Babe Beer Bar Car compiles Folden's work between 2012 and 2015, previously only available on cassette format. Various greyscale experiments in minimalist electronics await you here: from the seething and saturated slow motion pulsations of "Somewhere In Miami" or "So Sue Me" to evocative ambient textures like "Loudmouth" or Zip It". There's even moments of what could even be considered IDM (ish!) like on "White Lighter."
Review: Unknowns was first offered as a super-limited cassette bundled with a rare boxed version of Dominick Fenrow's 2017 Prurient album, Rainbow Mirror. Here presented on vinyl for the first time, it sees the prolific Fenrow join forces with Skin Crime man Patrick O'Neill (Hanged Man's Orgasm was an alias he used in the late '80s and early '90s), writer Scott Bryan Wilson and synthesizer player and all round studio don Kris Lapke. There are two 15-minute plus epics to enjoy, both of which mix dystopian noise and heavily processed samples with skewed synthesizer parts, '90s modem noises and barely audible excerpts of the ever entertaining Fenrow reading Wilson's expressive prose. For the record, it's the B-side cut that's the most apocalyptic.
Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo (with Silent Servant)
Praying Mantis Black Arts
Chile's Crimson Tide
Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo (Substance remix)
Review: Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement has long been one of the more intriguing aliases of prolific producer Dominic Fenrow. Unlike his better-known and highly politicized Vatican Shadow project, RSE has no dancefloor ambitions. Instead, it sees him take a deep dive into the world of ambient music, delivering tracks that fuse droning textures and the hazy pulse of dub techno with humid field recordings and picturesque electronics. Ambient Black Magic, the sixth RSE full-length, could well be the strongest yet. While it does include stretched-out moments of late night creepiness - a feature of previous albums - there are some stunningly melodious and meditative moments, too, not least opener "Jungle is a Shapeshifter", a near 35-minute co-production with Silent Servant whose fluid beauty is almost breathtaking.
Review: Given his prolific nature, we were rather surprised to find that "Shadows of Death & Desire" is actually John Juan Mendez AKA Silent Servant's second album for six years. It's an impressive set, with Mendez offering up a stony-faced, steel-eyed shuffle through industrial-fired machine chug ("Illusion"), mind-altering EBM workouts ("Damage", "Harm In Hand", the throbbing "24 Hours"), icy electronic soundscapes (the vintage Autechre style dancefloor IDM of "Loss Response"), early '80s style Cabaret Voltaire industrial funk (the brilliant "Glass Veil"), and moody compositions where razor-sharp guitars and foreboding electronics envelop particularly skittish electro drums (closing cut "Optimistic Decay").
Final Victory: Christ Became A Man & Had Truly Assumed Human Nature (4:54)
Review: Hot on the heels of "Church Of All Hallows Eve", Dominick Fernow returns to his Vatican Shadow alias for another stern rumination on geo-politics and Western interference to a soundtrack of dark ambient and industrial intensity. Fans of the project will find much to latch onto on "Kneel Before Religious Icons", as the continuous wrestle between harmonious melodies and noise takes place over hissing percussion concerned with texture and tension far more than dancefloor impact. This is message-heavy music that bows to no one, just how we like Fernow's flagship project.
Unknown To The Peacock The Serpent & Scorpion Conspire (4:47)
Soviet Union's Vietnam War (3:25)
Review: Back in 2012, Dominic Fernow offered up a highly limited edition cassette containing rehearsal recordings of a themed show in Los Angeles entitled "Kuwaiti Airforce". He's now decided to make these available on vinyl, alongside a slew of other rare tracks recorded in the same period. Like Fernow's later Vatican Shadow work, it's highly political and offers a lo-fi and noise-soaked trip through dark ambient and hypnotic, atmospheric mutations of techno. Arguably the most arresting tracks are the collaborative ones: the hushed, sample-heavy creepiness of Demdike Stare hook-up "Cohors Helvetica", and the deep, minimalist techno hypnotism of "SNA" by Los Angeles Death Cult, a one-off studio face off with Juan Mendez AKA Silent Servant.
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