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: Mike Parker graces Repitch for the third installment of its 10-inch series. Anyone familiar with the US DJ/producer will know that he has developed a singular sound since the 90s and this two-tracker is no exception. "Ketos Troias" is a subdued affair, its drum patterns bubbling beneath the surface as Parker sketches out a hypnotic tonal sequence. "Through Cylinders" is darker and more intense; like many of his best tracks, it sounds influenced by the repetitive sounds of early F.U.S.E material as well as hardcore rave stabs to weave an intense groove that is tailor-made for smoke-filled rooms.
Review: Exit supergroup Binary Collective (comprising dBridge, Joe Seven, Kid Drama and Consequence) lay down their debut document? And it?s every shade of retro-stated future you?d hoped it would be. Diving deep into the analogue abyss, each cut attempts to out-deep the next while remaining well weighted and groove-focused. ?Binary Theme? is Moroder on Mogadon, ?In Pursuit? is a car chase in toxic treacle, ?Cloud Creeping? is what triphop would sound like if it was invented 20 years later while ?Sentries Watch Us? sounds like one of Parliament?s more experimental jams but played and recorded under water. These daft comparisons are just the tip of the iceberg, though ? it?s hard to reference music as matchless as this? Listen and interpret it in your own universe.
Review: American industrial scene stalwart Dominick Fernow makes a somewhat surprising addition to Berlin institution Berghain's mix series on its ninth instalment. Under the Vatican Shadow moniker, he has increasingly flirted with techno, performing regularly at the Berlin institution as a DJ and with his intense live show. Of the mix, Fernow - who is otherwise known for work under many other aliases such as Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement or Exploring Jezebel among others - has stated that his interest in DJing developed out of industrial music traditions such as mail art, tape trading, and sound collage. This sonic 'cut up' of electronic edits bridges the gap between several generations of electronic music subculture, taking in early UK industrial (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), Japanese noise (Merzbow) and the very NYC underground that he came up in with contemporaries such as Virile Games and Kris Lapke (aka Alberich) also featured.
Review: Parrish Smith is a relatively new addition to the extended techno world, but the producer is undoubtedly one of our favourite recent additions, particularly for his sensibility to the core of EBM and industrial music. His previous EP, out through Ron Morelli's LIES, was one of the best 12"s to come in 2017 (in our humble opinion), so this new EP for Holland's Dekmantel crew is nothing but vibes for us! The title track, "Sex, Suicide & Speed Metal", blasts out heavy bass-kicks amid swarms of washed out guitars and doom metal references, leaving "Mute" to provide some comfort to the bone-heads, thanks to its noxious bass and drum-machine centricity. "Fall Into Sin" is yet more death and destruction, driven by a blasting wave of detuned electronics and metallic percussion, while "Skins" bangs out a dubwise slice of post-industrial nuttiness - large up, Parrish.
Review: Is it justified to say that pretty much every release on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder is a total winner? We like to think so. Lapalux aka Stuart Howard returns to the mighty imprint with this new extended EP, a five-track voyage into the unknown, aptly names The End Of Industry. Where does it go from here? Are we destined to be slaves of AI into the distant future? These are the sorts of questions and visions that emanate from this striking piece of work. Vast landscapes of electronics paint a desolate yet rich picture of the future, and we're wondering why Lapalux wasn't called up to orchestrate some of the soundtrack from the Blade Runner 2049. Highly recommended.
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: The tenth anniversary of Perc Trax has provided its owner Ali 'Perc' Wells with the opportunity to release his first ever commercial mix. Using a lot of his own material as well as some smart selections from the label, including Factory Floor's remix of Forward Strategy Group, Wells acquits himself skillfully. However, it's this collection of unreleased material that really stands out. Veering from Happa and Truss' stomping, distorted techno and the Magnetic North-style kicks of Perc's "Hyperlink" to the frazzled broken beats of Forward Strategy Group and Mick Finesse & Pinion's tracks, it also features the cavernous acid of Drvg Cvltvre's "(I Don't Want To Die In) James Franco's House" and the shock-horror rave stabs of Sawf's "Goves". There's no doubt about it - Perc Trax is celebrating its first decade in typically raucous style.
Review: A second collaboration by Perc and Truss has surfaced and it adds to the situational, high intensity techno both are delivering London clubs at the moment. Across eight tracks the two have released as Perc & Truss you can now begin to pinpoint some of the individual elements from both producers. Here it comes through on Truss' straight-laced and hammered-down percussion and the caustic acid lines similarly heard on his MPIA3 alias, particularly "Forever Your Girl". On the Perc side of things, the speakerphone vocal of "Two Hundred" is reminiscent to those used on his Power And The Glory LP, as is the light electrical hum of distortion across the intermittent snares of "Van Der Valk". And if you're after a big old kick drum, look no further than "Judd".
Review: Amongst those that keep track of these things, German trio Hyonobeat are considered proto-techno pioneers. While it's not known whether Detroit's Belleville Three were fans, you could argue that Hynobeat's rhythm-focused approach pre-dated both techno and Chicago house. Thanks to this fine retrospective from Dark Entries, you can judge for yourself. The material included was all recorded between 1983 and 1986, with the wild, off-kilter polyrhythms and ragged TB-303 lines of "The Arumbeya Fetish", mutant electro of "Kilian" and high-octane thrust of the decidedly out-there "Mission in Congo" standing out. Remarkably, Hypnobeat would chain together drum machines and bass synthesizers to create their tracks - a practice that would later become common during the acid house era.
Review: Dominic Fernow dons his Prurient hat for this split release with Karl O'Connor as Ugandan Methods. As you might expect, it's not for the light-hearted; "Call 1" features the Downwards boss' dense, grainy broken beats mixed with Fernow's wounded screeches amid bursts of white noise. "Call 2" is built on a similar approach, but this time the churning noise and dense drums are interspersed with dramatic, dark synths that spiral and twist. The third "Call" provides a surprise, heading back to the loopy techno of early Downwards, but it's only a temporary deviation and the fourth and final "Call" sees the duo deliver a drum-led, droning rhythm.
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.
Review: The wolf and caps lock loving pair known simply as OAKE make a welcome return to Downwards, complementing their stunning debut from earlier this year with a four track EP that is, if anything, even heavier going! Quite where Karl O'Connor found OAKE isn't clear but the Berlin pair fit right in on the current configuration of Downwards alongside the likes of Cut Hands, Kerridge, DVA Damas et al. Whereas OAKE's three track debut Offenbarung was finely balanced between cinematic strings and vocals reminiscent of Coil and a pin-dropping bass-heavy dread shared with kindred spirits Demdike Stare and The Haxan Cloak, Vollstreckung is resolutely darker in execution. See, for example, the serating bass tones of "Sehtohree Diin Chromtas Vehns" and the cacophonous drums of "Tuturden Giit Chreteen Dwe" that both drowning out the more delicate vocals.
Review: For a slice of Heavenly Sweetness from arguably the best alt-contemporary jazz and spiritual label out there, may we reintroduce the sounds of four piece Laurent Bardainne & Tigre D'eau Douce! Having debuted last year with the four track Marvin EP, the group goes large with the Love Is Everywhere album taking in the freshest sounds of brass horns, percussion and free-lacin' cool jazz with all matter of rhodes, cowbells, drums and funkadelic basslines. For subtle disco vibrations look to "Bachibouzouk" alongside freer jazz compositions like "Cabane" and "Apaches". Recorded at ICP studios in Brussels the ensemble looks to ragtime in "Kinshasa" while keeping it mellow and subdued in "Everlasting Child" and spy movie themed in "Song Dong Hee".