Review: It's been three years since the last Mondkopf album but now the Parisian noisemonger is back with a savage progression of his journey into stark, atmospheric bass music pared down to a skeletal industrial lurch. Space is a huge factor in what Paul Regimbeau creates, not least on tracks like "The Stars Are Falling" with its nerve-jangling combination of monolithic bass tones and protracted silences. Elsewhere there is some hope to be found woven into the crushing march of "Hades" as bright brass notes call out around the metallic scrapes and sludgy kicks, while "Immolate" rounds out the rhythmic side of proceedings with some gutsy broken techno throwdowns. It's a staggering feat of sound design and singular approach that marks another fine step forward for a true product of these times.
Review: Ali Wells' label has become a buy on sight imprint for those seeking solace in techno's darkest corners - and this release by Parisian producer Mondkopf is no exception. "No Icons" echoes the sound of collapsing buildings, its slamming broken beats housing a noise that could well be a skyscraper being torn down. "Ruins" seethes with relentless percussion and titanium-plated beats, before exploding into a wall of static hiss. "33,000 Bells" meanwhile is downcast and eerie, its central riff coming across like a chming guitar submersed in post-Sandwell tunnel hypnotics. It hurries to a fuzzy finale, allowing the listener to finally draw their breath.
Ease Your Pain (Kandging Ray remix) - (6:10) 128 BPM
Ease Your Pain (Low Jack remix) - (7:37)
Ease Your Pain (Somaticae remix) - (14:20) 125 BPM
Review: Mondkopf hands over his bass-heavy sound to three remixers, but can they compete with the system-levelling original? On the evidence of Kangding Ray's version, the answer is a resounding yes. The bass is brooding, welling up and carving out a sonic tunnel that sucks in noisy tones that whoosh and groan as they get tugged backwards into the vortex. By contrast, Low Jack's take is slower and more direct, its combination of wired piano lines and insane riffing unfolding over a stop-start groove. The label is also catering for DJs and the Somaticae take is an insane 14-minute stomper boasting epic synth builds and a bleeding bassline.
Review: Mondkopf ventures to the outer limits of techno with this release on In Paradisum. The title track is based on dense, doubled-up beats, but it's really the searing bassline that gives it an edge. Visceral and viscuous, it sounds like Border Community on acid, something that is accentuated by the hints of trance melody that populate it. "Fading Rainbow" is more experimental, with Mondkopf forsaking any notion of dance floor appeal and focusing instead on a series of subsonic blips and bleeps and half-heard noises and effects ebbing and flowing in the background. Jesse Somfay delivers a remix of "Pain" and try as he might to live up to the original's skewed intensity, his paranoid, acid-cloaked rhythms play second fiddle.
Katsunori Sawa - "Unpleasant Consequences" - (6:01) 88 BPM
Codex Empire - "Assuming The Posture Of Death" - (5:22) 69 BPM
Rommek - "Mantra" - (6:03) 64 BPM
Von Grall - "Sacrifice" - (5:41) 64 BPM
Manni Dee - "A Lackey For Life" - (4:58) 64 BPM
NX1 - "LYA1" - (5:35) 62 BPM
HUREN - "The Man With The Snake On His Face" - (10:07) 61 BPM
Isorinne - "Weightless Breath" - (6:40) 75 BPM
Review: Much like imprints cuh as In Paradisum a few years back, the Leyla imprtin is killing it on the space that resides between house, techno and noise, with artists from all three disciplines working together for a sound that is both unique to the label and highly representative of the times we're living in. It's a various artists compilation this time around, with names like Mondkopf, Codex Empire, Von Grall and Manni Dee all bursting through the speakers with their inimitably tenebrous approach to crafting dark, underground industrial music with a techno edge. Although you'll undoubtedly be peddled some hyped releases from other labels, you should not walk away from here without having listened to this because, in our opinion, this is the cr?me-de-la-cr?me right now. Sick.
Review: London based Split Music has fast gained a reputation for its expertise in placing music in audiovisual projects - from Hollywood movie trailers like (Blade Runner 2049) to brand films for globally recognised fashion brands. This reputation was affirmed this year, upon winning the prestigious Golden Trailer Award in L.A. They have now launched their latest project: the Research label. This will showcase the artists they represent, by challenging them to push the boundaries of their production process. Indeed this is not what you'd expect of the artists and what they usually do. The aforementioned modern industrialists These Hidden Hands (comprised of Tommy Four Seven & Alain) serve up the brutal and abrasive "Radon". The aforementioned award was for the use of their music in the brutal RAW Worldwide trailer. Elsewhere, the masked crusader SNTS is usually appreciated for his complex and highly engineered strains of hypnotic techno - but his offering is the cinematic and suspense filled drama of "Dunkelheit" which wouldn't have sounded out of place in the aforementioned Denis Villanueva blockbuster. Jan Grebenstein (Downwards) is undoubtedly one of the most singular talents in the current electronic music climate - his offering "Meet My Needs" sees the Kassel native deliver yet more contorted perspectives of techno that he's now renowned for.