Review: These remixes of tracks from Death Abyss's recent album are as impressive as the original material. Inigo Kennedy's version of "Seek Happiness In Victory, But Never In Peace" is based on clanging drums and a buzzing, noisy bass. Despite this ominous backing track, Kennedy's synths sound eerily atmospheric, like there is light at the end of the tunnel. A similar approach applies on the Makaton version of "Stop Thinking, Increase Consumption". The broken beats are in your face and ominous, but the dubby shanty in the middle tempers the mood somewhat. There are no such concessions however on Mark Broom's take on "Love Is A Weakness", with spiky metallic rhythms prevailing and on the punishing, pummelling drums of Tomohiko Sagae's version of "Love Is A Weakness ".
Review: Just when you had regained a modicum of faith in humanity, Death Abyss - and indeed the Rodz Konez label - interjects with a healthy dose of noisy cynicism. Like previous DA releases, "Destroy The Mundane" is full of blasts of noise, tortured screaming and feedback-drenched broken beats. The title track is the most intense offering here, its dense off beats culminating in a searing wave of feedback, but it's followed closely by "Morality Is A Handicap", where the rhythm sounds like slabs of metal dropped from 30 floors and the vocal sample could have been recorded in Fritzl's bunker. Ironically, only "Fill Your Heart With Hate" offers a less intense, deranged vision of the world, tempered by a driving drum track.
Review: Had this album been released a few weeks previously, it would have proved to be the ultimate Halloween album. Mired in dense electronic textures, powered by robust stepping rhythms, it offers a far bleaker and more austere take on industrial-themed techno than some of the other producers and labels operating in this sphere. However, if you get n the underlying approach, there is some fun to be had. "Clothe Your Lies In Truth" is fuelled by a murderously aggressive sub-bass, but the robotic vocal in the background provides light relief, while the stepping rhythms of "Disease Is A Weapon" sounds like a post-dubstep producer jacked up on angel dust. "Stop Thinking, Increase Consumption" showcases Death Abyss' more musical side as ghostly synths unfold over a dead-paced groove. There is also a sign that Mr Abyss has a pop ambition and the goth vocals and chiming melodies of "The Black Book" hint at a potential career as Nine Inch Nail's arch-rival. Impressive stuff start to finish.
Review: Voudou Nation is in keeping with the overall tone of Rodz Konez back catalogue, but with one key difference: it sounds like there's some subtle self-parodying going on. "Watch You Burn" by Girl's Revenge does all the things a Rodz Konez record should: its beats are dense and its rhythms splintered and fractured, but it also has an intangible playfulness. The Girls have the same impact on Death Abyss' "Magic of Defiance" and their Disco Hospital remix adds some cavernous chords and dubby shuffle to the ultra-serious proceedings. And if listeners are still yearning for a dose of head-melting broken beat techno, they can flick over to the eerie Death Abyss take on "Watch You Burn".
Review: Like Downwards back catalogue, there is something bleakly industrial yet alluring about "Manifesto". Boasting a title that sounds like it could have been named after a Throbbing Gristle project, the mood here is abrasive and unforgiving. The brilliantly named Death Abyss deliver dark breaking techno, with corrosive riffs unfolding over lurching drums. Meanwhile Sagae's "No Way Out" features harsh beats and a slamming rhythm, while the ghostly chords suggest that a supernatural force is at play. Thankfully, Inigo Kennedy delivers some light relief: while it would be difficult to describe "Pakkanen" as mellow, its mournful melodies and lithe, metallic rhythms are in contrast to the punishing soundtracks that preceded it.
Review: Makaton's label has long been a go-to outlet for visceral techno and Deburring shows that this reputation is still deserved. The original version uses distorted slabs of electronic noise as beats and summons up terrifying screeches and tortured vocals from Beezlebub himself to complete the arrangement. Makaton himself is up to the challenge however, and his "Judgment Call" remix features jarring, jagged analogue riffs unleashed over pounding beats. It's only on the label owner's version with Paul Damage that any semblance of normality returns. Built on lithe, stepping rhythms that sound inspired by Regis's Kalon project, the scary riffs occasionally weave their way back into the arrangement to keep the listener on the edge of their seat.