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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: British techno veteran Oliver Ho has released some fine material as Broken English Club since debuting the alias back in 2014. The English Beach, Ho's second BEC full-length and first for L.I.E.S, is the audio equivalent of a trip to a run-down North Sea coastal resort on a wet Wednesday in November. Full of end-of-days electronics, stripped-back industrial techno, moody minimal wave shufflers and bubbly EBM workouts, it's as authentic a tribute to early '80s electronic experimentalism as you're likely to hear all year. Highlights include the Nitzer Ebb style bounce of "Pylon", the foreboding, desolate electronica of "Rust Ballad", the angry electro moodiness of "Carrion" and the rolling, organ-laden autumnal bliss of "The English Beach".
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 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: 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.
You Weren't Worth The Paper You Were Printed On (The Sun) - (12:42)
They Found You Shattered On The Concrete (The Moon) - (12:40)
Two Golden Stick Webs (The Day) - (12:39)
Annihilation Of The Vagina (The Night) - (12:38)
Review: This time Dominick Fernow takes the form of his Prurient guise, a project restricted to Fernow's considerably noisier frame of mind but one that still manages to evoke boundless emotion. As you would imagine from the title, "You Weren't Worth The Paper You Were Printed On (The Sun)" is ripe with anger and brimming with energy - a ten minute grind of furious drones and rising vocals form the depths of those booming noises. "They Found You Shattered On The Concrete (The Moon)" is no less menacing but Fernow moulds and rearranges the shapes of the oscillator waves to the point of total abstraction and rage, whereas "Two Golden Stick Webs (The Day)" takes a more hollow approach, fusing mounds of delays and effects with crumbling voices and metallic screeches. Last but not least, "Annihilation Of The Vagina (The Night)" upsets and disrupts with no hesitation thanks to its subdued screams dropping effortlessly into heavy, noisy drones built for the brave-hearted - it's noise at its purest form: honest, brutal and provocative.
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: Alberich and Lussuria are no strangers to the deep, treacherous caves of the Hospital Productions portfolio, and we couldn't think of a pair more suited to the catalogue than these two shadowy characters. Classed as ambient/drone, we think that the duo's sound travels much deeper than that and in fact, we would place this sort of material in the same bracket as noise artists like Robert Turman or Aaron Dilloway. "Continuum" is an unsettling affair, a bundle of drones moving stealthily across a landscape of solitary distortion, and both "Antechamber" and "Anti-Renaissance" do their best to increase the momentum. "Untenable" opens the B-side with a dark cloud of sonics floating in mid-air, whereas "Alabaster" drowns in its own cool, meditative wave of smoke, and "Voice Of The Dagger" enters the abyss with the help of some truly cinematic swarm of unsettling, and beautifully archaic synths.