Review: Paris imprint In Paradisum describe Sewing Machine, the second full-length from sometime L.I.E.S man Low Jack, as "brutal, stupid and wicked". It's certainly brutal, fusing distorted techno rhythms and bleak industrial textures with droning electronics and blasts of clandestine white noise. Few people do this kind of post apocalyptic, balls-out intensity better than Low Jack, and there's a certain amount of funk within the titanium-clad rhythms and concrete-laden modular synths. Of course, it's hardly cheery, but then Low Jack doesn't do "fun" in the traditional sense. Sewing Machine is full of thrills for those of an industrial persuasion, though.
Review: It's been three years since the last Mondkopf album but now the Parisian noisemonger is back with a savage progression of his journey into stark, atmospheric bass music pared down to a skeletal industrial lurch. Space is a huge factor in what Paul Regimbeau creates, not least on tracks like "The Stars Are Falling" with its nerve-jangling combination of monolithic bass tones and protracted silences. Elsewhere there is some hope to be found woven into the crushing march of "Hades" as bright brass notes call out around the metallic scrapes and sludgy kicks, while "Immolate" rounds out the rhythmic side of proceedings with some gutsy broken techno throwdowns. It's a staggering feat of sound design and singular approach that marks another fine step forward for a true product of these times.
Review: Mondkopf ventures to the outer limits of techno with this release on In Paradisum. The title track is based on dense, doubled-up beats, but it's really the searing bassline that gives it an edge. Visceral and viscuous, it sounds like Border Community on acid, something that is accentuated by the hints of trance melody that populate it. "Fading Rainbow" is more experimental, with Mondkopf forsaking any notion of dance floor appeal and focusing instead on a series of subsonic blips and bleeps and half-heard noises and effects ebbing and flowing in the background. Jesse Somfay delivers a remix of "Pain" and try as he might to live up to the original's skewed intensity, his paranoid, acid-cloaked rhythms play second fiddle.
Ease Your Pain (Kandging Ray remix) - (6:10) 128 BPM
Ease Your Pain (Low Jack remix) - (7:37)
Ease Your Pain (Somaticae remix) - (14:20) 125 BPM
Review: Mondkopf hands over his bass-heavy sound to three remixers, but can they compete with the system-levelling original? On the evidence of Kangding Ray's version, the answer is a resounding yes. The bass is brooding, welling up and carving out a sonic tunnel that sucks in noisy tones that whoosh and groan as they get tugged backwards into the vortex. By contrast, Low Jack's take is slower and more direct, its combination of wired piano lines and insane riffing unfolding over a stop-start groove. The label is also catering for DJs and the Somaticae take is an insane 14-minute stomper boasting epic synth builds and a bleeding bassline.
Review: Qoso's debut album follows a series of EPs for In Paradisum, but it sees him venture farther in an experimental direction. "Superwoman" is a jittery, noisy affair and "Shame on You" features a blaring foghorn and little else. "Miss California" is another curiosity, with Qoso recording a random woman's monologue before plunging into swampy, murky noise. That's not to suggest that Printemps-Ete is bereft of dance floor techno. "Peaches N Cream" and "Saindoux" are powerful broken beat workouts, and "Strass & Paillettes" is a high-tempo, big-room loop affair. Best of all though is "Emotional", which sees Qoso jump in and out of time using the kind of rolling break beat that would make Shed envious.
Review: Run Dust is a project from Luke Calzonetti, an American artist who is a member of the noise band Child Abuse. Given his background, it's no surprise that In Paradisum describes Supermarche as its most 'macabre' yet. Certainly, there are traces of Calzonetti's noise background throughout, from the screeching vocals and distorted broken beats of "Todd Rundgren's LSD" through the dense tapestry of malfunctioning computer noises that comprises "The Bath" and the sprawling feed back textures of "Dull Conversation". There are other, more atmospheric moments on Supermarche, like the textured soundscape on "Intro" and the lovely chiming bells of " Sincere Crime", but in the main, this is all about bringing the noise.
Review: Dressed Like A Bubblegum definitely wins the prize for this week's most unusual release. The title track starts off with a dark, stepping rhythm, not too dissimilar to some of the output on Perc or Stroboscopic Artefacts, its bass and backing track getting more and more intense as it progresses. By the second part of the arrangement however, it has descended into a droning, noisy sound scape. "Lack of Serotonin" is even more unpredictable. It starts as a relatively innocuous chiming chord-led groove, but gradually, it too falls prey to Somaticae's penchant for the noisy and distorted, like the way a horror film plot moves from the innocent into the disturbing.