Review: Always positioned gleefully on the edge of any discernible music scene, Russell Haswell has never been shy of confrontation in the sound he disseminates. That he now rubs shoulders with darlings such as Powell and the like is merely happenstance - he will continue doing his thing unabated. So it is on this malevolent but surprisingly danceable single track for Editions Mego, which places a simple disco beat at the back of the mix and leaves the rest of the space free for an especially nasty distorted synth line to squeal and wail its way through eleven minutes of pure rave energy. Hearing this over a big system may well prove to be a life affirming or spirit crushing experience.
Review: A respected figure within the world of visual arts, which has seen him exhibit in numerous galleries across the world over the last two decades, Russell Haswell is perhaps best known for his prolific work in the realm of experimental noise. Brandishing a discography that dips back into the late '90s and features a raft of releases across Editions Mego, iDEAL and Warp. Haswell's latest solo album comes courtesy of Powell's increasingly essential Diagonal Records imprint, and sees a shift towards more overtly rhythmic material, with influences including Autechre, Aphex Twin, Adrian Sherwood and Napalm Death. As you'd expect, it's a bracing affair, and one that does a better job than most at connecting the dots between techno and noise.
Review: Editions Mego's latest amalgamation of organised noise comes from none other than Russell Haswell, a man whose been globetrotting the world of leftfield labels - from Downwards to Warp, his unique style of detached arrangements and organic sounds is becoming less obscure with each release albeit his dark and moody aesthetic. The apocalyptic "Black Metal" kicks off the LP and we're immersed in a war zone of crackling oscillations and detonating sonics, forming a thick layer of menacing drones. The first sight of a regular kick drum comes on "Killer Snakehead", a frenzied workout of white noise, stripped-naked beats and flickering synth stabs; but his mastery of the noise elements comes on "Record Shop Day", where Haswell creates only a fuzzy and frenetic distortion of a techno track, no beats or recognisable sounds, just the bare outline of what techno would sound like played through a distorted set of speakers. Brilliant.
Review: As 2014 has rolled on, Powell's Diagonal label has really gathered a sense of momentum and direction with its succession of releases. With the Juno office stereo still in recovery from the most excellent Shit & Shine LP Powder Horn, this new double pronged noise sermon from the masterful Russell Haswell only adds to their impressive year. Comprised of two 10-minute tracks, Double A is at times as bracing as anything else from the Haswell canon, with the scratched, spasmodic improvised sonics of lead track "Foxy" potentially capable of scaring Richard D James back into hiding. "One Take Dub No Edit" is described by Diagonal as a "flashback to a vital time when futurist Latin freestyle and industrial funk were the dancer's choice" and is perhaps the closest concession to the dancefloor from Haswell yet.
Review: When it comes to boundary testing noise excursions, Russell Haswell is your man, and here he delivers an edit with a suitably obtuse title to accompany the mammoth 73-minute run through all manner of challenging tones, scrapes and squiggles. Pain Jerk takes a similar if slightly less lengthy approach with a more playful if equally jarring set of sounds pasted together in willfully disorientating formations. It's certainly not for the faint hearted, but there's a whole lot of manic audio to get utterly lost in if your mind is open to the challenging noise within.
Review: The Downwards label precede the intriguing release of a new album from multi disciplinarian Russell Haswell with this remix release brandishing wildly different reinterpretations of the Coventry based musician's work from William Bennett, Kevin Drumm and label boss Regis. Haswell and Downwards seem like a good fit given the former's long career of boundary pushing music across labels as varied as Editions Mego, Warp Records and Carlos Giffoni's No Fun Productions, while the latter have remained uncompromising in the direction of their release schedule. It's a rare occasion when you can identify a Regis remix as the most accessible contribution to a release, but that's certainly the case here, with the Downwards chief delivering a twitching, loopy techno workout of "Chua Rave," while Whitehouse founding member William Bennett - another former collaborator of Haswell's - has remixed "Harshing" which is quite aptly described by Downwards as a "stereo head f*cking, brain floss session". This is surpassed in the "skin crawling brutal sonics" stakes by the minute remix of the same track from the Chicago-based experimental musician Kevin Drumm.
Special Long Version (feat Sue Tompkins - Demo) - (9:59) 133 BPM
Let Suffering Become You - (2:44) 133 BPM
Review: We're not gonna lie when we say that we absolutely love Russell Haswell. The UK industrial misfit is among the few who can truly bring the heat in pretty much any situation he's in, or on any record he's unleashing his deathly twists of distortion on. Over recent years, he's struck up a winning partnership with Diagonal boss Powell, and together they've now racked up plenty of releases and DJ sets, both bashing out the hard gear on a constant basis. Haswell is back on Diagonal here, coming through with five harsh, penetrative tracks under the umbrella of Respondent. While none of these tunes could be classified as traditional techno, or even 'dance' music, they do contain enough movement to appeal to a very specific sort of DJ - the ones with the most cojones! This is classic Haswell material at its most cavernous. Recommended.
Review: After he dropped his 17-strong opus to Diagonal back in September, maverick noise botherer Russell Haswell gets bothered himself by a strong cast of other ne'erdowells from the outer reaches. The stars of the show are Autechre, who turn in something quite unusual for the occasion with a brutally reduced, interference reveling "Conformity Version" of "Heavy Handed Sunset". Label boss Powell brings some of his future-EBM stylings to his "Cov Megamix" of "Hardwax Flashback", while DJ Stingray does a fine and confrontational job in reworking "Gas Attack". It's a powerful collection of fringe sonic studies that manage to make experimentation lots of fun.