Archive

Tag Archives: Techno

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a gutful and a half of the oleaginous flagshaggery that’s been clogging the arteries of this blighted nation since a certain overprivileged nonagenarian turned up her toes. Sanctuary from the forces of the fawning is urgently required and who better to provide it than ex-Napalm Death drummer and iron-fisted ringmaster of Circus Dubquake, Mick Harris. A timely reactivation of his fearsome Fret alias, ‘Because Of The Weak’ is industrial techno armed to the teeth and with mayhem in mind; a shockingly graphic illustration of man’s inhumanity to machine with little apparent purpose other than to destroy and be destroyed. Imagine the breakbeat-strewn arrhythmia of Skee Mask or the Zenker Brothers fermented and condensed to a toxic black magma and you’re in the vague vicinity of this mile-deep bomb crater, but the severity of the punishment Harris metes out here has precious few parallels. The menacing tone of track titles like ‘20oz Gripper’ and ‘Shut That Dog Up’ is reflected in the music’s withering hostility. Asteroid-sized kicks and breaks smash through ramparts of chest-crushing bass like boulders launched from a trebuchet, parabolas of ionised dub and hi-hat hiss glowing blood red in the fallout. Released via New York’s L.I.E.S. imprint whose roster of sickos and seditionists have long plied their trade at the seedier end of the hardcore continuum, ‘Because Of The Weak’ melts down techno’s hedonistic throne and recasts it into stun grenades. Obscenely wealthy monarchs, consider yourselves warned.

L.I.E.S. Records

Disinclined to toe the self-limiting line of genre fundamentalism, Brooklyn-based imprint Ohm Resistance may be a broad church, but the primacy of bass over all other sonic prerogatives is, and always has been, its raison d’être. The fourth, and apparently final, instalment in OR’s annual sampler series, ‘Perihelion Infinite’ is a comprehensive showcase of the label’s lurid, low end-led aesthetic, featuring sixteen exclusive tracks (un)lovingly crafted to rupture every gas main within a 9-mile radius. Despite the occasional nod to stylistic orthodoxy (‘Subterranean’ by Metalheadz stalwart Jaise is a case study in drop-forged industrial jungle), the majority of these beasts are defiantly chimerical; scaly, multi-appendaged hybrids with their gaze fixed firmly on the future. Atsushi Izumi’s ruthlessly overdriven ‘Casaurius’, for example, fuses drum & bass and techno at the spine whilst a cannonade of scimitar-sharp breaks ensures the happy hardcore sugar rush of DrillBasser’s ‘Even’ leaves a distinctly sour aftertaste. Elsewhere there are forays into critical mass post-dubstep (DEFCE’s suffocating ‘Pain Centers’) deconstructed breakcore (the alarmingly vertiginous ‘Eat Sleep Repeat’ by Belfast belligerents Slave To Society) and even Emeralds-esque kosmische (Bob Rogue’s luminescent ‘Asteroids’), but the predator at the apex of this sub-chomping food chain is Sagana Squale’s nightmarish ‘Blood Goddess’, a paranoia-wracked bolus of malice aforethought trip-hop Portishead would have killed to concoct. Embrace the bass.

Ohm Resistance

Exceptionally stoned offering from Jah Excretion, a meditative solo mission into mesmeric Ambient Dub Techno territory, very Rhythm&Sound/Basic Channel influenced. Shimmering aqueous field recordings manipulated over blip radar Dub percussion motions and subsonic Earth’s crust Bass frequencies, with detail only truly revealed though the smoked-out haze at pealing volumes, using the voluminous excesses of his Harsh Noise influence to carve a sonic form of minimalist sound at maximal volume – This is as far from Harsh Noise as Iwasaki San has ventured, with sumptuous, smothering results. I found myself wanting longer songs here, as the entrancing sounds would possibly benefit from more play time room to breathe (smoke) – however, this is still an exceptional little recording,  Dub heads & Techno listeners would do well to explore this one. Play it unbearably loud.

Bandcamp

Justin K Broadrick has upped the tempo of his release schedule lately and barely four months on from the power techno slugfest that was ‘New Religions Old Rules’, he unpacks the nunchucks for another six belts of spleen-rupturing Sturm und Drang. ‘Veneer Of Tolerance’ though is a very different kettle of sabre-toothed piranhas to its predecessor. Hobnailed kicks still stomp through brackish mires of bass yet there’s something far more insidious at work than mere brawn and belligerence, an undercurrent of subliminal dread that levers open the mind’s eye and injects it with a pupil-dilating serum. After a brief Godflesh-flavoured aperitif, the walls close in with frightening rapidity, and with them the reality of just how ruthless a purge of dance music’s hedonistic trappings Broadrick has effected, though it’s less their mechanics than the images these tracks evoke – troupes of zombie gymnasts bouncing dead-eyed on a trampoline made of human skin; the heads of guillotined heretics thudding wetly onto concrete – that serve as the EP’s primary instruments of antagonism. Were an incautious DJ to drop one of these psychoactive bombs into a peak time set, a Mixmag editorial headlined ‘BERGHAIN ABLAZE AFTER CANNIBALISM OUTBREAK’ might be the least of their worries. Boom.

KR3 Records

Collaborative issue between JK Flesh and Echologist. 4 tenderising tracks, head-enveloping brittle fibrous Techno with an entropic bent, diminishing returns and total futility, miserable, menacing and mangled – experiential and longform, syrupy, banging as fuck. Runs awkwardly through a delay haze yet with lots of swingin’ kick funk. Hyper-designed hardtek expanse unfolds at a menacing pace, minimalist layers of damaged radar bass, skullbreaking sequences of archaic hats and manacled claps drift to and fro across the delay field, paranoiac with potent shifting pulsing rhythm, loops swinging in and out of lockstep with purcussion and Bass in broken mandala alignment – shadowswept and lunatic, jaundiced heads float in decompressed airlock zero gravity, treading a fine line between science fiction cannabinoid innerspace inhabitation and dancefloor melting extro-expression. Brilliant.

Bandcamp

The duo of Stephen Gethings (Magnetize) and Barry Murphy (The Last Sound) have been wreaking various shades of aural havoc for more than fifteen years, but ‘Blown Vestige’ is Whirling Hall Of Knives as we’ve rarely heard them before. All but absent is the redlining kick-drum carnage that made albums such as ‘Decate’ and ‘Voix’ such ear-savaging delights (think Regis after six pints of ayahuasca) but don’t go equating beatlessness with toothlessness. WHOK still have a full compliment of fangs, but this time, it’s your heart, not your throat they want to sink them into. Predictably though, for an outfit whose usual œuvre is the techno equivalent of cluster munitions, their take on ambient is about as far from cachou-scented New Age wallpaper-hanging as it’s possible to get. This is visceral, attention-demanding music that, despite its relative lack of gratuitous bloodletting, still lays siege to your consciousness with the same steely intent as their more rhythm-centric experiments. Amorphous billows of exfoliative distortion scud across the stereo field like storm clouds; chrysalids of crimson noise rupture and drip acid syrup into your ears, but it’s WHOK’s uncanny ability to conjure the organic from the inorganic that sets ‘Blown Vestige’ far apart from the pack. ‘Deconthroat’, for example, is so redolent of a slow-burning cello arabesque it wouldn’t sound out of place on a Clarice Jensen album, whilst the subaquatic swoon of closing track ‘Saw-tail’ is a sublime reimagining of A.R. Kane’s nebulous guitar shimmer blissfully untethered from the prosaism of wood and wire. Over the years, I’ve used many adjectives to describe the mighty WHOK’s irascible sonics, but ‘beautiful’ has never been one of them. There’s a first time for everything.

Cruel Nature Recordings

2016 release from mysterious trip entity TM404, released by Kontra-Musik in Sweden. Slimy, decaying, outsider acid Techno saturated in heavy Dub and born of low-tek process, shimmering caustic wet work sounds to soothe and sicken. High minded sound design and resultant smooth-brain groove and thump, each maligned kick/hat/sequence is drenched in ectoplasmic/xenoplasmic slime production and dripping with acidic melted Dub and Techno textures, glistening details bouncing light from the rotund edge of near-formless gelatin Bass pulse, ambient wet electronics and tunneling entropic Techno, drooling in corroded satiation. Stalking the acid rain soaked alleyways of sense and sobriety, solitary bad ass vibes, peripheral to Dub Techno and Acid House, sideways ketamine wonk vision. Pass the petroleum jelly.

Kontra-Musik

There are matches made in heaven and there matches made somewhere altogether hotter, and given the fearsome track records of its two protagonists, it scarcely takes a genius to figure out where this meeting of minds and murderousness was conceived. An alias of sound sadist Kenny Sanderson, Like Weeds destroys techno with the zeal of a latter-day Savonarola, torching its vanities on a bonfire and fashioning something ugly and misshapen from the smouldering, blackened embers. The four tracks he offers here are baleful in the extreme, looming escarpments of greyscale noise that split the difference between power electronics and the heaviest industrial dub. Beats thud with contusive force, every micron of space between them choked with a boiling tar of static that corrodes the lungs like phosgene. By the time the death march of ‘Unauthorised’ fades into silence, the chest-crushing pressure is overwhelming, but don’t look to Andrew Nolan for succour; he’s too busy torturing trip-hop to mop your fevered brow. Ogreish and blood-spattered, it lurches from his dungeon, a Hallowe’en parade of grotesque miscreations primed to rip off your eyelids and drag you face first into a conscious nightmare of obliterating dub. As deadly as the blooms they’re named after, these shambling horrors may be short-lived but the bass bin-blowing havoc they wreak is prodigious. Gird your loins. It’s clobberin’ time.

Survivalist Deathcult

Bead brings the fucking basement dungeon funk straight out of the sex cult nihilist’s compound with this one, the paranoia is palpable and the feds are outside with weapons drawn but we’re nodding the fukk out anyways – brain smoothing Bass, greasy as oil-slicked hair Techno tracks with a slather of wicked funk hats and slow working venom trippin’ sequencer lines, outsider and paranoiac with a hint of come-up euphoria atmosphere and menacing vocal samples drifting in the ether of wizz, minimal low tek and lo-fi as fuck. This project never ceases to intoxicate and alienate, setting a paradigm for no wave experimental Techno that only a select few nutters and weirdos are operating within. Still available on cassette from Nice Music, mine came with a cool sticker too. Properly fucking sweaty.

Nice Music

Techno. Clearly not the final frontier it was 35 years ago, but to an inveterate nightmare-weaver like Justin K Broadrick, still an axe well worth grinding. Unpacking his formidable JK Flesh alias for the first time since last year’s monstrous dub double-header with Kevin Martin’s G36 project, Broadrick returns to the granite-hard beat butchery that made blowouts like ‘Rise Above’ such a fearsome proposition, the acrid pall of industry hanging heavy in the air. A paranoia-laced treatise on humanity’s enduring obsession with indoctrination, ‘New Religion Old Rules’ wastes no time in getting to the point, opening salvo ‘Brain Wash’ churning up the soundfield like a moonshine-powered rotovator, spraying swarf and slag in all directions. The kick drums are colossal, but the breaking wheel of this particular torture chamber is the bass, an evil stentorian grind ripped straight from the attrition section of the Samurai Music playbook. Broadrick’s masterly sound design keeps the action just the right side of wanton thuggery, but the deeper you descend into this hellhole of hostility, the thicker and more claustrophobic the atmosphere becomes. ‘Herd Mentality’, is a rancorous acid-damaged deathstomp that stings with the potency of cobra venom, and by the time ‘Willing Servant’ drives the last of its nails through your forehead, you’ll be yearning for the mercy of unconsciousness. Stunning. Literally.

Bandcamp

Excellently reductive heavy Techno split with plenty of manacling Funk to move your shackled feet to. A meeting of Napalm Death Side A alumni, here treading rather different yet no less alienated waters – scabrous ancient Techno beats and rugged Bass thuds, crushed production to turn inner-verse spaces into quantum realms, minimal melters to cleanse the bacteria. Mick Harris’ Monrella brings turbine thrust menace and grooving thud kick drive, maximalist and malformed Techno, gritted teeth and havin’ it all alone. Brutal and thuggish. Justin Broadrick’s JK Flesh churns the black aqueous liquor of his recent works into a fine elxir of Techno tar, scabby lo-fi and Industrial-heavy in inference but by way of hard-hitting old tek influence like Basic Channel. Furiously funky and fucking derelict stoned, murderous and diabolically driven. Fire this through an indecent sound system and further alienate yourself from your IRL peers and betters. This split is hard as fukk.

Bandcamp

Broadly speaking, there are only two types of techno producer; those who fuck about, and those who don’t. Slovenian industrialists Warhorse fall emphatically into the latter category as evidenced by ‘Atlatl’, by some distance the most addictive discharge of rancorous aural effluvium it’ll be your pleasure to get smoked by this side of Christmas. Clearly disdainful of the tweak and twiddle brigade and their stultifying micro-manoeuvres, Warhorse pursue a hardline scorched earth production policy here, slashing and burning their way to headfuck nirvana with scant regard for the hardware they destroy in the process. Backing up the threat implied by its track titles (they’re all named after torture devices, mediaeval and more modern), ‘Atlatl’ applies the thumbscrews the moment the needle drops and just keeps on tightening them. A viscous agglomeration of angle-grinder bass, radioactive synth splatter and diseased kicks that burst like bodies on a battlefield, this is sadism you can dance to although it’ll probably blow your legs off. If you’re content to watch techno’s freight train coast gently into a buttercup-strewn siding, please look away now. If, on the other hand you’re the sort of casualty vampire longing for it to hit the mainline buffers at suicidal velocity and catapult fifty tons of scrap iron straight onto Starbucks’ veranda, pull up a deckchair. Crushingly good.

Kamizdat

Repurposing music as an instrument of discipline has been the modus operandi of Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick for over three decades, a fact underlined in blood by the exquisite rigour of ‘Disintegration Dubs’, a preposterously punishing confluence of torque and tyranny that administers twelve strokes of the sonic birch directly to the cerebral cortex. Pitting the dread bass belligerence of G36 (a collaboration between Martin and his longtime sound engineer Gorgonn) against the Damoclean, molar-loosening techno of Broadrick’s JK Flesh alias was never going to make for easy listening, and so it proves, with both artists locked in a bout of brutal, beat-murdering brinkmanship that seems destined to end in their mutual annihilation. Broadrick is in particularly truculent mood here, dismembering dub techno alive then flooding its pristine icefields with toxic waste. The carnage is resplendent, but if it’s subtlety you’re after, you’re shit out of luck. G36’s contributions meanwhile (‘Meat Grinder Dub’, ‘Body Crusher’, ‘Annihilation’ … get the picture?) follow a similar, but even more barbarous trajectory to that of recent eruptions by The Bug, hideously deformed composites of deviant dancehall and corrugated dubstep that pummel you senseless before tightening the sub-bass garrotte until your eyeballs pop from their sockets on rivulets of scalding vitreous humour. Dub seldom gets more pernicious than this. Welcome to the house of correction.

Bríi is the work of Caio Lemos, also of the excellent project Kaatayra. ‘Sem Propósito’ spans two tracks, each clocking in at 28.12. Mesmerising, pulsing, velvety Trance/Techno electronic sequence rhythms and intensely psychedelic, flourishing melodic Black Metal born of clean and pristine tones yet layered in panning obfuscation, with unique Kraut Rock motorik rhythmic sections rife with pre Darkside Floyd influences – lulling somnambulist Trance and non-traditionally rhythmic, layered, quixotic Black Metal drenched with gorgeous spiraling melody, tremolo-summoned harmonies cascading over your consciousness. A somewhat indefinable yet entirely coherent constellation of beauteous and fearsome sounds, a cosmic womb of electronic cobalt Black Metal, lush spiritual forest rituals, shimmering Psytrance evokations… Crucial!

Bandcamp

More bleak lo-fi Techno from outsider Bead. Cold, spacious tech loops with a swathe of ambient muffle and numbing quasi-melodies, slow method introversion weird noise palette, shifting and unknowable, sweaty and uncomfortable, very drugs experiential-oriented, heavy overloads of found sound and mutant sequencing. A long album with long tracks, Bead shows a lack of dancefloor appropriate production behaviors and instead opts for long form menacing Industrial-weathered alienation loops and stinging introverted Bass with lots of space between sounds, not un-danceable but not bothered either way, from what I’m guessing. Anti-social, disordered, inner-world headphones Techno. Very cool.

Bandcamp

Acid casualty industrial Techno evil from the States. Cassette released on BANK Records. Heinous pill shovel repeater nightmares, banging Techno loops from a place of little culture or decency. Low rent, ugly, malformed. Long, brutalist tracks loaded with all sorts of caustic audio explosives and horrible distortion. The slight rhythmic breaks in sampling and audial tape distortions give this a real home-made fertilizer bomb funk. Noise generators, eyes popping out, amphetamine fast and atmospheric, true degenerate Industrial noise techno from a fucked up meth addled trailer park. Drugs music!

BANK – Redacted (?)

Bandcamp

Filmmaker has been lurking at the edges of ebm and affiliated sounds for two or three years, with a sonically varied yet aesthetically cohesive discography of outlandish, dreadful ebm and crimson minimal wave electronics. ‘Vlad Tapes’ is 4 long, lo-fi mixes of different darksynth tracks, a grimoire of castle-dwelling, clammy synthesized Noise beats, a recontextualistaion of repetitious videogame music loops and lobit vampiric aesthetics to a techno bloodrave praxis – Impaling Synth drillers, funky as fuck (which is a real plus), grave and gruesome, decaying and changing, minimalist and crude, stitched together as long beatworks for blooddrinking solo. This shit is heavy and weird, referential to old school Techno and second wave Industrial, head music for fucking basehead freak vampires!

BODY MUSICK

Vril & Rødhåd from Germany here collaborate on an ancient cosmic ambient ode to the unknown mysteries of Enki and Enlil et al, rendered in minimalist metronomic soundscapes. Spartan electronics, microtextutal radar blip Techno, sound collage rhythms and incremental beats, comedown/downer intronautical sound, tripping on interplanetary alignments and ancient aliens, no doubt. Cocoon of audial modular synth haze, sequencer flutter, headphones required. Mesmerizing, textural electronic music with strange intent and austere vibe. WSNWG is collectively producing some weird and mulitfluent sounds, indeed. Contaminate your mind with the knowledge unknown.

WSNWG005

More secretive, atmospheric Industrial Electronics and sweaty desert storm midi demo ambience form Vatican Shadow, here being bankrolled by 20 Buck Spin’s shadow ops branch. Experimental militaria tech beatcraft and atmosphere worship, insecure oil fields and rogue covert ops agents. Dynamic shifts and shimmering beauteous tones amidst crunch beat hypnotism, echo laden percussive electronics, an opioid repetitious ardure, a waterboarding of glistening, illegal electronic delights. Soft impact sneaker beats and stalking, snaking bass lines, smoldering with atmosphere and conspiracy, but with what I can only call a mercenary sense of detachment, too. Muslimgauze and Éric Serra both come to mind here, with some Tangerine Dream too. Beautifully threatening.

20 Buck Spin

Entropic Industrial Techno from Australia, cold, raw and doomed. Recorded live, insidious sequencer lines, cheap speed and self loathing, experimental and isolated. Head smoking funky lurker beats arriving at brick wall dead ends, nasty pulses of rounded Bass, colicky percussion in reverb tar, aggressive, wholly untrustworthy and covered in a sheen of petroleum jelly Noise. Minimalist analogue atmospherics and perplexing tranquillizer sequence patterns. Pure, momentous, ethereal outsider Techno for Noiseheads. Killer tape.

Chondritic Sound