Review: When it comes to techno, can it get any more serious than a collaboration between Ancient Methods and Orphx released on rock hard Belgian label Token? Well yes, as soon as you hear the music is does. "Age Of Iron" sounds like the sub-aqueous dub of Rich Oddie exchanging blows with an armoury of Ancient Methods percussion, while "Degenerate" is proper, rigid and heads down techno funnelled through a tubular filter. "Kali" features the same type of rolling rhythm, stop-start loops as what's heard throughout Regis' early work, only the frequency spectrums are sculpted to form a musical production, even though this is industrial techno, while "Seven Signs" croaks, clinks, and jangles like shackles scraping against concrete, sounding like something designed for dungeon clubbing - and, we might add, it's worth powering through the sonic malevolence for the drum breakdown alone.
Review: Eschaton are back everyone: look out. The infamous collaboration between Ancient Methods and Orphx have decided to reign in terror once more on Belgian imprint Token so be prepared: this one is a one way ticket to hell and back! Starting out with the body bashing broken beat assault of "Deus Irae", they then serve up the slow burning post-apocalyptic anthem "Those Who Obey". "Answer My Prayer" definitely sounds more like Michael Wollenhaupt than anyone else: this is techno-doomcore like only he can create. Finally the hellish drone of "No Other Gods Before Me" ensures one seriously white knuckled duvet ride for you tonight!
Review: This is the first Orphx release on Sonic Groove this year and it sounds like there has been no change to the Canadian duo's modus operandi. "What Will Burn" is a pulsating groove that sounds increasingly hypnotic and menacing as it snakes its way over steely drums. "Drowning For You" is similar in sound to 2010's Black Light release - also on Sonic Groove - its brooding bass underpinned by chattering beats and percussive volleys. Finally, there's "Tangled Paths". Less oppressive than Orphx's usual approach, its stepping rhythms and lumbering drums suggest that Oddie and Sealey are sometimes not quite as serious as their catalogue suggests.
Review: Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but clearly not for Orphx. Following a series of EPs on Adam X's label, the industrial duo now release their thirteenth studio album and their first long player to feature on Sonic Groove. Mirror has no shortage of the gut-busting broken beat workouts that the project is best known for, best demonstrated on "Sever The Signal" and "Blood In The Streets". Orphx also show that they are equally adept at straight down the line techno - evident on the tortured shrieks and distorted kicks of "Molten Heart" and the deranged acid of "Zero Hour" - but they also effortlessly conjure up the atmospheric, sound scapes of "Walk Into The Broken Night" and the title track.
Review: Richard Oddie and Christina Sealey have been making music together for the best part of two decades, but despite having 10 albums to their credit, it is only in the last two years that the techno community became aware of Orphx's magic. The reason for this is a series of EPs issued on Adam X's Sonic Groove label that consisted of hypnotically dark, menacingly understated grooves. More club-focused than their previous works, Black Light and Traces in particular were inspired meetings of the duo's abstract textures and an adherence to repetition that flowed with a uniquely addictive viscosity. So does their latest album make the leap into the techno sphere? In many ways, Radiotherapy embodies what every techno album should strive for: rather than delivering a series of dance floor bangers, it sees Orphx focus on stepping rhythms, less direct than the Sonic Groove releases. But more importantly, it's the duo's exploration of texture that really impresses. "Compulsion" is a case in point; based on shuffling 808 drums, the visceral bass and eerie bleeps allow Orphx to provide their own take on old school electro. With so many techno producers trying their hand at abstract sounds, it is ironic that one of the year's best techno albums should come from industrial veterans.
Review: Electronic music doesn't get much darker than Orphx. They were last seen back in 2016 with the excellent Pitch Black Mirror album, and thankfully, not much has changed since. The industrial duo still blend noise, techno and ebm better than anyone else. This fusion is audible on the menacing, stepping opener, "Solipisit", which veers off into acrid acid or on the pummelling, pounding rhythm of "Bare Life", which features abstract noise and searing guitars in the background. On the furious, frenetic rhythms of "Pain is the Teacher", it sounds like Rich Oddie has taken to the mic to dispense the quick pace vocal lines, while "Tröma Nakmo" is a pounding, distorted banger.
Review: With numerous vinyl, CD and cassette releases over the past 20 years, Orphx are true techno veterans; Boundary Conditions marks their third release for Adam X's Sonic Groove label, and sees them continue to blur the lines between techno, industrial and noise music with stellar results. "Outcast" begins with a tunnelling bass pulse, slowly giving way to savagely distorted synth blasts, gradually building to a frenzy of broken noise. "Vanishing Point" is similarly beautiful in its abrasiveness, coating its simple beat with distorted drum rolls and delicate tones, while "Periphery" takes a gentler approach letting its textures and rhythms unfold and breathe in more cavernous surroundings. Once again the duo prove why they are one of techno's most enduring outfits.
Review: Dark 'tunnel' techno may be a very current sound, but there are few producers who come close to emulating the alluring noise that Orphx make, but then again, there are hardly any other acts with the industrial background that Richard Oddie and Christina Sealey boast. Like the excellent Black Light release, Traces is centred on rumbling basslines and metallic rhythms. "Apparition" is the most dancefloor-friendly track, its cold, mechanical bleeps creating an irresistibly menacing feeling. "Vapour" meanwhile is based on a more disjointed arrangement, but, flitting from straight 4/4s to bassy lunges, is as relentlessly utilitarian as Surgeon's work. Finally, "Density Current" threatens to dissolve in a wave of hissing percussive noise and murderous subs, but Orphx maintain the dancefloor dynamic that is central to their Sonic Groove output. If you want to disappear down techno's wormhole, then this is the soundtrack to guide you.
Review: Canadian duo and former Juno Plus interviewees Orphx provide their fourth EP for Adam X's label, and in the process muddy the waters. Preceding releases on the label saw Oddie and Sealey extricate themselves from their industrial approach and focus instead on their own vision - and a bleak one at that - of club techno. On this occasion however, the lines are blurred. "Cut Through" does have the same kind of cold, detached bleeps that made "Black Light" such a malevolently addictive listen, but they unfold over a broken beat and razor sharp percussion. The key difference becomes clear as the track progresses; while the other EPs had a clean, austere sound, the introduction of a murderous, distorted bassline on "Through" makes it messier, more abrasive and like a halfway house between the Sonic Groove releases and their work for Hands. Up next, there is no such ambiguity; "Devourer" is based on twisted, tangled rhythms and fuzzy, feedback-filled sub bass lingering with intent in the background. "Preta Loka" meanwhile offers some relief; again, the rhythm is dense and off beat, but the way that the ghostly chord sequence unfolds over the seething mass of fury means it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Radiotherapy. "Hunger" sounds like Orphx wanted to choose between the club and their natural habitat and decided this time to head back into darkness.