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: 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: 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: The Poverty Is Violence stable are firmly established now as an essential conductor for rabid, rowdy and downright rasping mechanics from subterranean operators of all shapes and sizes. Anonymous but reportedly veteran Dutch producer XXX previously appeared on the label in 2016 with the wild Noorder Scannen 12", and now returns with a bludgeoning new release. There's a consistent metal grind to the percussion on Westzaan Doelen, while the synth tones in between tend towards the jagged and abrasive, there's space and poise in the arrangement to lift this out of knuckleheaded noise. "Don't Go After Her" reverberates with clamouring intensity while the beefy chassis of "Just The Two Of You" shimmers under an acidic glaze - this is full-tilt deviant music executed with finesse to match the grime.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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: 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: 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.
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.