Review: According to Infrastructure NYC head Function, this compilation was compiled like an album and involves not only the core group of artists but also connects the dots between the label's past, his Berghain 07 mix CD for Ostgut Ton, the legendary Sandwell District days and the respective history of the artists. Infrastructure Facticity spans "a narrative ranging from lush, ambient electronics and post-club diversions, to contemporary club techno and back again." British artist Robert McNally provides the artwork and musically the highlights are not so much the dancefloor ready bangers, which are mainly quite good, rather the moments of restraint such as Vatican Shadow's brooding and almost Boards Of Canada sounding "Swords Over Paradise", the slow burning reduced acid of Cassegrain & Tin Man's "Open Sea" and Rrose's finest moment yet, "Cephalon", which can barely be described in words!
Theology Is Life & Death (Pakistan) - (5:31) 77 BPM
Descended On Guayanilla (CNN) - (3:56) 66 BPM
Arms Of Yahweh - (5:16) 74 BPM
Manufactured Silencers Under Direct Orders - (4:16) 78 BPM
Living On & Off At The Shadows Motel - (6:50) 65 BPM
Small Explosives & Blasting Caps In The Pages Of A Phonebook - (7:06) 59 BPM
McVeigh Figure - (13:37) 59 BPM
Shadows On The Courthouse Wall - (9:48) 106 BPM
Waco Postmortem (Murrah) - (9:12) 88 BPM
Review: Dominick Fernow doesn't do things by halves. When he unleashed his sixth solo album under the Vatican Shadow pseudonym, Death Is Unity With God, it came on no less than six cassettes. Oh, and only a hundred of these six-tape packs were manufactured. Naturally, an online scramble for copies ensued. Happily, Modern Love has decided to reissue it, stretching the 20 tracks across three CDs. For those in love with his typically dark, murky and intense take on electronic music - think droning textures, foreboding electronics, glitch-influenced rhythms and bombastic post-dancefloor workouts - it should be essential listening. Given the sheer scale of Fernow's ambition, it's undoubtedly his most remarkable work.
Review: Released on Dominick Prurient's own Bed Of Nails label last year, the label's inaugural release sees a deserving wider digital release. The influence of techno which was somewhat foggier in his previous records is brought to the fore on this EP; the title track, which comes in two halves, sees incisive kicks playing off against gravelly claps, with the kind of broken rhythms more characteristic of industrial UK sounds. It's something repeated on the rapid fire of "Cairo Is A Haunted City", but despite this, his music is still filled with the kind of spectral melodic explorations which unhook his more earthly beats from the physical realm into something altogether more nightmarish. The output of the Downwards imprint is obviously a reference point, but the beatless kosmische of "One Day He Heard The Call" which closes proceedings shows that there is more to his influences than a fondness for '90s Birmingham techno.
Voices Came Crackling Across A Motorola Hand-Held Radio - (5:10)
He Held The Victims Responsible - (3:44)
Chechnya's Ghosts Loom Large In Death Of Former Spy - (6:09)
Snipers As A Breed Tend To Be Superstitious - (7:16)
Review: The heavily sought after "Ghosts Of Chechnya" cassette finally sees a digital release. Vatican Shadow is unstoppable at the moment, his alchemistic beats and military themes marking him out as a singular talent. This latest affair, a sort of LP, is nothing short of stunning and it's tracks like "The House Of The Followers" with its dubbed-out, reverberant noises, that make Vatican Shadow stand out among his peers. The aptly named "Voices Came Crackling Across A Motorola Hand-Held Radio" is another beast, where chugging kick drums meet ominous pads and crackling static. "Chechnya's Ghosts Loom Large In Death Of Former Spy" is another fine example of his creative ability to mould techno into any shape he sees fit; but it's the filling spaces made up of eerie melodies and stripped beats, like "Snipers As A Breed Tend To Be Superstitious" which make his recordings so enchanting. Highly recommended as usual.
Jordanian Descent (Guantanamo Military Commissions) - (15:12)
Review: Vatican Shadow has emerged as one of the most interesting and elusive acts within modern techno. Dominick Fernow's music is consistently tricky to pin down and he's been restructuring the connection between dark, industrial rock and techno - something which has gained massive support from veteran Birmingham boy, Regis. Jordanian Descent is another spine-chilling journey into chambered, military beats and dismembered melodies. The "Sharia Law" mix is a slow-moving, monster of a track. Menacing snares and hi-hats are transformed into slithering pieces of percussion which whirl along to a chugging, progressive beat. "Guantanamo Military Commissions" is faster in tempo but nonetheless effective; a pounding, granulous kick drum makes way for a shifting collage of apocalyptic sounds and atmospherics. Another huge record from this mysterious producer - an absolute TIP.
Review: It's a good thing that Hospital Productions are unearthing most of Vatican Shadow's cassette takes on digital format, a lost collection of sublime electronic madness which would otherwise only be available for 75 lucky punters. "There Was A Black Banner On The Floor", a submerged kick drum leading the way for a medley of sharp percussion sounds and chilling tones, is some of Vatican's best work to date; while the provocatively named "Al Qaeda Possess Nuclear Capacity" sees our man in a more pensive mood, where cascading tribal drums are swayed by a mesmerising bundle of climatic synths and radiances. "Wahhabi Money Flows" is another brilliant downtempo piece, all complete with his usual blend of inter-wining snares and bass lines; but it's the ominous bass frequencies and haunting pads of "Once This Fire Gathers Strength" that truly separate Vatican Shadow's work from the rest of his peers. Highly recommended as usual...
Review: Despite featuring what appears to be a refugee camp viewed from the other side of a fence on its cover, Vatican Shadow's "They Deserve Death" is one of its author Dominc Fernow's most mellow, introspective moments. Its layered guitar textures recall The Durutti Column's eponymous album and early New Order. Shifting the tempo and style for the title track, the author surprises again with what sounds like his approximation of jacking Chicago house, albeit with a man groaning away in the background. Completing what is one of Fernow's most unpredictable releases is the tunneling techno groove and layered, distant shrieks of "Weapons Inspection".