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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Hospital Productions is a non-stop operation and following this year's long-players from Alessandro Cortini, Ninos Du Brasil and Ron Morelli, Vatican Shadow's latest swoop is this ambient album produced with Function. The seven-track LP was recorded between Berlin and New York, and it's described as best suited for after-hours home listening, but whether you really want to listen to this after a big night is up to you. Indeed "A Year Has Passed" and "A Year Has Gone By" are downbeat and melancholic, whereas other tracks lean more towards industrial ambient, similar to fellow Hospital artist Lussuria's work. "The Nemesis Flower" is a darker highlight while "Red Opium" and "Bejewelled Body" is where the house and techno beats lie.
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.
Spot A Witch By Changes In The Persons Behavior - (5:01)
In New Guinea Police Don't Have The Petrol Money To Search For The Witch Murderers - (5:01)
Bodies Of Suspected Witchs Are Dumped In The River Or Buried In Toilet Pits - (5:01)
Sorcery Killings - (5:01)
Review: Dominick Fernow's Hospital Productions has been running for donkey's years, continuously shaping the fine lines between abstract experimentation, sound installations and electronica. This is Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement's sixth instalment for the label and as usual, comes courtesy of a generous digital re-release from its original and near impossible to find, cassette format. A haunting wall of noise opens "Spot A Witch By Changes In The Persons Behaviour", a rich concoction of white noise which eventually transforms into a more stable, drone-fuelled dissection. The chillingly named "In New Guinea Police Don't Have The Petrol Money To Search For The Witch Murderers" is a fine example of their objective: to capture situations and reduce them to a musical context - crackling, almost human field recordings guiding the whole 5 minutes. Same goes for "Bodies Of Suspected Witches Are Dumped In The River Or Buried In Toilet Pits", a bizarre alignment between haunted recordings and tape manipulations; and its only on "Sorcery Killings" that the artist gives us anything near a concrete musical arrangement. Otherworldly recordings from the label!
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: 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.
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.