Showing posts with label industrial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label industrial. Show all posts

29 March 2013

Swingfest 2013 London - Free download

In anticipation of Denovali Record's Swingfest, they've put together a 21 track free sampler of something from all corners - Fennez, Andy Stott and Thoms Koner are all favourites, but there's a broad range of artists on the sampler that you've likely never heard much of. From sludge rock and classical piano to techno and industrial, it's a fine mixtape.

28 March 2013

Flying Saucepan Records

Today's recommended listening comes from Flying Saucepan Records, an Ayrshire-based archive label run by an old friend of Shallowrave. Designed to clear hard-drives, catalogue archives and provide an outlet for many projects that never saw the light of day, Flying Saucepan's first release proudly display their mid-90s heritage, channelling acid, rave and the Sheffield warehouse scene. Also rocking out the speakers is the first Panpod, a mix of influential and related projects that joins the dots between electro, industrial, rave and techno, and is really rather kinky. 

18 February 2013

Black Dog mixes

After listening to their new 12" repeatedly, I've been consuming more and more of the Black Dog, and I'm digging both these mixes for completely different reasons. One's the brilliantly deep darkwave/ IDM/ techno that they're renowned for producing, the other a collection of post-punk and British experimental that's a fascinating history lesson for those who weren't around to see it.

15 February 2013

Shallowrave. Show One, Year One

Shallow Rave awaken the groundhog and welcome in spring with a selection of techno, electronica and experimental noise. Twisted machine funk, malfunctioning electronics, and some screwy samples make for the usual mixed bag.
  1. Lakker – Death Mask – Love Love Records
  2. Albert Van Abbe – Sugar Lobby Series 9090 – Curle
  3. Raime – Told and Collapsed – Blackest Ever Black
  4. Tropic of Cancer – The One Left – Mannequin Records
  5. Alan Backdrop – PDST – Motoguzzi Records
  6. Mike Shannon – Made in Belgrade – Exone
  7. Lakker – Numb – Love Love Records
  8. Mike Shannon – Sidewinder (Exercise One Remix) – Exone
  9. Yves De Mey – Whispering Strokes – Sandwell District
  10. TM404 – 02 303 303 303 303 606 – Kontra Music
  11. Konx Om Pax – Twin Portal Redux – Planet Mu
  12. Sandwell District – Immolare (Function Version) – Sandwell District
  13. Kode 9 – Black Sun (Partial Eclipse Version) – Hyperdub
  14. Stephen Brown - Mini Mood – Skudge
  15. Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar – Eye Q Records
  16. Kresy – Crupier en Celo (Delete Remix) – Multi Vitamins
  17. FRAK – Pulse Crack – Musika
  18. Zomby – Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix) – Hyperdub 
  19. Mark Pritchard & Om’Mas Keith – Wind It Up (Original Mix) – Hyperdub
  20. The Host – 3AM Surfing – Planet Mu
  21. Walton – Mangled Riddim – Hyperdub 
  22. The Immortals – The Ultimate Warlord – RCA
  23. J Dillah – Fuck The Police – Up Above Records

14 February 2013

The Black Dog - Return Ov The Bleep

The Black Dog - Return Ov The Bleep (11 March, Dust Science Recordings)

In their many and varied incarnations, The Black Dog have repeatedly delivered ground breaking music and reinvented themselves countless times. Approaching their 25th year as a production unit, they show no signs of drifting into the mid-life morass of pipe-and-slippers electronica, still putting out techno that's complex and intricate, whilst possessed of all the fire and fury of a steroid-enhanced bull. There's radiophonic samples, an insistence on using the arcahic "ov" in the title, and a totally arbitrary numeric titling scheme, but it's a relatively small dose of intellectualism- this is the Black Dog re-engaging with City of Steel techno, and delivering wicked fat productions. In part, they attribute this return to basics to their Electronic Supper Club project, which has seen the Black Dog nurturing the Northern electronic scene and promoting artists who were likely children when Bytes was released.
As the elder statesmen of bleep and bass, The Black Dog display a strong sense of maturity and subtly on Return ov The Bleep, with Bleep 4 and Bleep 2 on the A-side working montone waveforms for lengthy periods before carefully distressing and displacing them across a 4/4 pattern. As with all minimalism, it's a delicate balance between subtlety and boredom, but the richness of sound and the weight of the subs engulfs the dancefloor, rendering the subsequent distortions suitably gnarly. On the flipside, it's more of the same - huge basslines and skronky analogue tones for the heads, but slightly funkier beats for the feet. Bleep One bears more than a passing resemblance to Surgeon's work, with its double kicks and broken rhythm building an off-kilter techno beast. In contrast, Bleep Five fires up a massive acidic synthline and drenches it with over saturation, managing to conjoin Sheffield's history of both fired-up rave and experimental post-punk/ industrial. Since their Liber series emerged last year, the Black Dog have been one of my absolute favourite acts, and Return ov the Bleep draws from the very best of their multiple incarnations to produce techno that engages with a rich history without ever sounding overly retro, and still manages to show modern producers a few tricks.

19 December 2012

2012 favourites Tropic of Cancer - I Feel Nothing

As every magazine starts compiling the inevitable end of year lists and arguing over the best releases, best live acts, most influential singles etc, I realised I'd never given any time on the blog to the bloody excellent Tropic of Cancer, who I've really been digging this year. With releases on Downwards and a forthcoming long-player due on Blackest Ever Black, there's a strong technoid influence running through their work, with hints of Raime, Throbbing Gristle and Regis all apparent, despite the slower tempo and gnarlier sound palette. Tropic of Cancer's work finds the middle ground between the syrupy psychedelia of hynagogic pop and the bleached emptiness of Witch House, carefully nurturing the space at the edge of sound to create unsettlingly beautiful atmospherics around dark gothic pop songs.
For me, their releases were some of the best stuff of 2012, and appealed to both my love of electronica and techno, and my long-standing love of doom metal. Yeah, I said it, they're doom. Deal with it. Bandcamp here.

26 August 2012


A free-to-download mix from Shallow Rave's TEXTURE, to promote the upcoming Dark Electronic night HE▲VY D▲ZE II at Nice 'N' Sleazy, Glasgow, on 29 August. Event details here.

From the bass-weight hip-hop of Aparition, Blam Lord and Spz Chaote and Death Grips to the widescreen electronic pop of VS//YOUTHCLUB and Com Truise; from the dark electropunk of DARK MOTHER to the 90s synth-stabs and breakbeat goodness of Rachel Haircut; and from the trap beats of heRobust to the pounding proto-EBM of ▲NDR/\S, this is the sound of HEAVY DAZE.


Cadence Weapon X Grimes - 88
Ceremonial Dagger - Unphazed
Lorn - Weigh Me Down
Ghosts - Sniper Wolf
Rachel Haircut - Make U Move
Com Truise - Brokendate
Liars - A Ring On Every Finger
DARK MOTHER - Devastator Did
Three 6 Mafia - Who Run It (Busted by heRobust)
Aparition X Blam Lord X Spz Chaote - 8-Bit Sorcery
Death Grips - Get Got
Ritualz - Alien
Ghosts - I Walk Alone // // // // //

28 June 2012

Perc - A New Brutality

 Perc - A New Brutality (Perc Trax 29 Jun)

Perc Trax latest EP is more of what you'd expect from the label that's established itself as the port of call for brutalist techno - unrefined, uninhibited, noisy and drug-fuelled sonic battery. From the no-signal tone that opens the record, and the sweeps of white nosie, to the double-kicks and murderous bassline, the title track is the kind of brilliantly devastating industrial techno that is to speed what The Melvins are to Afghan black. With a sense of mechanistic decay and corrosion seeping through, Perc pushes his meltdown to a place somewhere beyond the dancefloor, but with just enough to rythym and drive to keep it techno. Whilst Boy is similarly devolved techno, there's far more melody and warmth involved, and it with it's half-step and breakbeat influences, seems to be aiming for the kind of ground Surgeon occupied on last year's Breaking the Frame. It's on Cash for Gold and Before I go that Perc really comes into his own, displaying strong Cabaret Voltaire / post-punk influences and moving into the realms of experimental electronica without losing his techno grounding - the former sees Perc working his favoured brokenbeat style, with analogue bleeps and groans crafting a mournful landscape. The latter serves as a dark coda to the record, combining piano and organ chords with malfunctioning machinery and scratchy tape delay reminiscent of Max Richter. Both tracks apply a similar aesthetic of decay and antiquity via brooding melodies and lo-fi recording quality, and the end result feels like a silent film soundtrack, tying in with the starkess of the cover.

The title track may be AFX level of Rargh-techno masochism, but the 'new brutality' Perc unveils is more of the slow-burning, brooding emptiness than predictably unrelenting noise, and there's moments of beauty to be found in the darkness. One of their better releases.

13 March 2012

Monolake - Ghosts (Imbalance Computer Music)

Monolake - Ghosts (Imbalance Computer Music)

Robert Henke's Monolake project returns with its first full length since 2009's foray into untreated sound Silence, this time utilising more drum and bass-inflected structures to explore the malleability of sound. One of Henke's major achievements has been his continual ability to utterly reinvent the contemporary zeitgeist, redefining the minimal sound with Hong Kong, creating a terrifying industrial/ breakbeat hybrid on Momentum, and reinterpreting the merging strands of dubstep and techno as an experimental untreated album on Silence; as such, it's slightly jarring to hear a man widely regarded as being at the cutting edge of electronic music's philosophy and science reacquainting himself with his D'nB and Breakbeat roots. It's fair to say that credibility of both genres has been severely strained over time, with the tools of the trade (funky drummer, reeses bassline etc) having been overworked to the point of boredom, or pushed to extremes of speed and volume that inevitably burn out.

Whilst Ghosts opens with a rapid 2-step pulse and lfo-wobbled sub-bass that sounds very breaksy, it's immediately recognisable as Monolake, with dessicated vocal snippets and armour-piercing percussion that sounds like absolutely no-one else - it's Henke at his most terrifying; doomier than ever, haunted by freakishly engineered vocals and sprays of digital glitch. Whilst much of the tempo of the album is decidedly upbeat, as a musical journey, it's a slow-moving beast that takes gazes on Goan psychadelia and eastern mysticism, playing out through singing bowls and the echoing sounds of great valleys. Creating natural acoustic phenomena through digitial synthesis, then feeding them into an array of digital effects is a stark contrast to Silence's unmastered beauty, and as such, even the more ambient moments of the album feel imbued with darkness and doom.

Ultimately, any new record from Monolake is happily recieved, and even total curveballs such as silence, and Henke's inimitable style makes for compelling listening. With Silence and Ghosts the first two parts of trilogy, I'm eagerly anticipating the final third.

4 January 2012

Makai - Beneath the Mask

While listening again to the game-changing, techno-mantic genre-buster that is the 'Some Strings Attached' mix by Ancient Methods, I was moved to check out an individual track.

A groovy and intense industrial breakbeat track, Beneath The Mask came out on the now defunct 'Precision Breakbeat Research' back in 1998.

Ancient Methods are playing the Twisted Pepper in Dublin on the 28th of January, Berghain in Berlin on the 2nd and then Glasgow at La Cheetah on the 24th of February.

19 October 2011

Yves De May - Counting Triggers (Sandwell District)

Yves De May - Counting Triggers (Sandwell District, out now)

Moving further and further into the abstract, Sandwell District present a truly surreal double pack from Yves De May, composed of vague, minimalist sketches and empty spaces. Closer to the sub-zero electronica of Sahko, or 6K than the usual Sandwell fare, Counting Triggers elevates minimalism to fetishistic levels, cutting away at the mix to leave only a mass of sparse tones, white noise and dark ambiance. It's difficult to say whether the vinyl-only release is intended to challenge DJs, or appeal more to the collectors, but with more than a passing reference to techno, it's tempting to give it a spin. It's tricky material to work with, doing more to deconstruct techno than to emulate it, and the loping beat that emerges partway through opener Particle Match is quickly drowned out by an ugly groaning bassline. There's a few other moments that have potential too, with Whispering Strokes channeling some of Gas' hard drone stylings, but stripping away all the warmth and comfort in favour of sharpened edges and drill-tipped high-end static. Equally, closing track Resonating Red revolves around a loping dub riff and snatches of surprisingly organic sounding guitar that feels like one of Rod Modell's more introspective (or overblown) extended jams. However, despite the occasional moments of syncopation scattered across the LP, the majority of the record is composed of experiments in sound that share more with impressionist art or sound collage than "music". The magnificent Ice Carrier is definitely a favourite, stretching out analogue pings and synthesiser noise across epic levels of delay and reverb to create a dark sound bath designed to be played loud.

Should this take off, it will mark a significant turning point for Sandwell District, and much as we love Regis' epic techno marathons, it would be fantastic to see them explore a darker, more experimental direction. I'll have this one at full volume for a while yet.

12 September 2011

The Black Dog - Liber Nox

The Black Dog - Liber Nox (24th October, Dust Science recordings)

The first of the Black Dog's Liber trilogies concludes with a speaker-busting 12" of industrial-tinged darkwave techno that nicely rounds out the previous two releases. Stripping away the four-to-the-floor kickdrums in favour of more breakbeat-inflected material, The Black Dog resurrect the grinding kickdrums and ethereal synths of Liber Church to add a touch of intellectualism to nevertheless brutal techno. High Rise Choir Reprise nods to Bass Mantra with it's meandering, low-passed bassline complementing the floaty synths. Shying away from the 4/4 of the previous records, it's an inherently funky track, contrasting an optimistic, upbeat feel with doomy textures and industrial touches. With both tracks clocking in at healthy 7+ minutes, The Black Dog allow more and more layers to build up in the mix, creating multiple builds and climaxes - by the time the soaring strings enter High Rise Choir Reprise, it's all gone insanely epic. Dissident Bleep on the flipside sticks to much more minimalist palette of sound, relying on the force of its kickdrums and the discordant redux-heavy synths to build new dynamics. It's probably the darkest track in the trilogy, with synthesised vocal samples creating a paranoiac atmosphere, before a suffocating bassline drowns it out. A nice conclusion to the series and a great complement to the album, The Black Dog's latest reinvention is proving one of their most successful yet.

[Dustv031] Liber Nox - The Black Dog - Dissident Bleep by The Black Dog [Dustv031] Liber Nox - The Black Dog - High Rise Choir Reprise by The Black Dog

29 July 2011

The Black Dog - Liber Temple

The Black Dog - Liber Temple (Dust Science Records, 05/09)

The link between Sheffield's heavy industry and its avant-garde electronic ouptut has long been acknowledged by the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, Warp and The Black Dog. The latter's second 'book' in the Liber series (leading into the album Liber Dogma to be released on Soma) sees them laying down some crunching industrial, channeling Sheffield's technological heritage into powerful dancefloor material reminiscent of Dettman or Ancient Methods. Heavy Industry draws it's kickdrums from drop forges and it's hi-hats from steel cutlery production, which in other hands could easily become worthy explorations of samples and little else, but in the right hands becomes utterly devastating. Opening with a deceptively mellow analogue bleep, The Black Dog then proceed to bludgeon the listener with a rapid-fire distorted bassline that shakes cones and devastates speakers, and then that kick drum comes in.

Holy shit.

Mechanistic and brutal, without ever losing any of it's dancefloor credibility or subtle melodies, Heavy Industry manages to at once convey images of industrial Britain and all its character and power, whilst still giving us the kind of late night floor filler that Surgeon or Monolake would consider devastating.
It's a shame then that Greedy Gutter Guru fails to provide the same kind of powerful fix, contentedly chugging along where Heavy Industry hit a hard gallop. There's the same power to the samples - the hi-hats allowing even more of the original clatter to permeate through - but the Detroit-inflected synths detract slightly from the percussive fist-fuckery, and there's less of the emotive dynamics that make the A-side such a beast. Still, there's fun to be had with it, and if this is the mid-trilogy placeholder that paves the way for a devastating finale, the third one ought to be an absolute monster.

5 May 2011

Atari Teenage Riot - Is This Hyperreal?

Atari Teenage Riot - Is This Hyperreal? (June 20th)

Atari Teenage Riot's new studio album, their first in 10 years, is vicious, nasty music for angry people, full of jackhammer beats, overdriven noise and screamy, riot-inducing vocals - it's absolutely awesome. Opening with the two recent singles Activate and Blood in my Eyes, ATR launch into gloriously mental, breakbeat-driven hardcore, full of hooky sloganeering and raucous gang-vocals, the latter drawing the powerful vocals of Nic Endo to the forefront. Drawing on subject matter as diverse as political activism, sex traffic, freedom of information and plastic surgery, ATR cut through the malaise and apathy of the consumer culture like a chainsaw through a mattress. There's more of the same in Codebreaker and Rearrange Your Synapses; three-chord, high speed machine music that rips up everthing in its path with cheerful abandon. However, as fun and effective as the breakbeat madness is, it's limited in its scope and can grow a little repetitive - title track Is This Hyperreal? is one of the album's stand-out numbers, working a series of vocal chants over a beatless 303 bassline that continually threatens to erupt and comes across like some early Scorn or Head of David number. With hints of (Pandemonium-era) Killing Joke's brooding paranoia, Nic Endo, Alec Empire and Cx Kidtronix take turns at inciting the listener to action and rebellion, and the rare sense of restraint actually delivers a far more powerful message than bellowing along at 180bpm.

One of ATR's central concepts has always been a fascination with machinery and the evolution of digital technology, both lyrically and technically; there's a nice homage to the retrograde Atari sound in Collapse of History, which begins with the classic pong sounds building up a beat. As well as being one of ATR's most interesting aspects, it's also a limitation at times, and Empire rarely lets vocals pass through the mix untreated - everything has to have delay, distortion and reverb, which can become frustrating and make tracks feel overworked towards the latter half of the album. Overall, Is This Hyperreal? is a brilliant slice of digital hardcore that sits neatly alongside ATR's other works, and hopefully, is a springboard for a triumphant return. Considering the tour dates lined up (wot, no Glasgow show?) it seems a fairly sure shot.

4 April 2011

Northern Structures - Self Similarity

Northern Structures - Self-Similarity - Sonic Groove

More dark minimal business from Adam X's Sonic Groove label, drawing taught rhythms from a mechanistic, industrial soundscape of rattly percussion and metalllic pads. This is the Danish duo's debut release, and despite focussing more on loopy DJ tools than evolving tracks, is a very accomplished EP. Opener, Plus Minus revolves around a distressingly moody kick drum, with all the hi-hats sharpened into nasty attacking stabs and delicate synth swathes washing through the high end. Rotations and Self-Similarity draw from a similar palette of hardened clanks, smashes and industrial samples, coming across like a more brutalist Marcell Dettman or T++. Despite the hard edges, Rotations is surprisingly melodic, working a single swelling chord over the course of 6 minutes to great effect, and proving that one great riff, played well, is all it takes to build a great tune. Self Similarity pulls a similar trick, with a big nasty bass chord morphing throughout the tune and augmenting the four-four jack with a rattly breakbeat that comes on like Momentum-era Monolake. Whilst the 3-tracks on Self Similarity probably won't make quite the same splash as Ancient Methods or Adam X's releases on Sonic Groove, for a debut release, it's some of the best industrial techno I've heard in quite a while. Definitely going to be spinning it for a while.
Northern Structures - Self Similarity (SG1044) by Northern Structures Northern Structures - Rotations (SG1044) by Northern Structures Northern Structures - Plus Minus (SG1044) by Northern Structures

17 March 2011

Sandwell District - Feed Forward

Sandwell District - Feed Forward (Sandwell District)

Despite being one of the biggest things to happen to techno for the past couple of years, Sandwell District's album has been strangely absent from the racks of our local record stores, was only pre-orderable on boomkat when I had no money, and is fetching around 80 bucks on discogs. However, a little bit of ingenuity (find a mate with a copy, persuade him to loan it), and a fair heft of work have put me in possession of the audio from this monstrosity. Admittedly, I'm lacking the gorgeous artwork from Silent Servant, and don't have the joy of holding a double-pack album and a 7" single in my sweaty little palms, but fucking hell, is this a beast of a package. Opening with the apocalyptic three-parter Immolaire, Sandwell drag the listener through a powerful mixture of pure percussion and beatless spaces, before giving us more melodic techno from Speed + Sound (a rework of Function's track from Sampler #1), robo-industrial battery from Grey Cut Out, and dried out, barren wastelands on both sides of the 7". As we've come to expect from Sandwell, it's hard-as-nails; full of mechanical crunch, jacking beats and ominous distortion in the high-end. This isn't the Millsian school of "Hit them hard, hit them fast" brutality though; synth swathes and distressed strings are offered up to tantalise the listener, but never break through with enough force, lurking behind walls of static and groaning bass to generate a crushingly empty feel. Even the Surgeon-esque Hunting Lodge, in all it's jacking glory, contains a definite sense of groove and rhythm that holds back from bludgeoning you to death.

It's a Berghain record, steeped in Berlin's technoid folklore and designed to be played in clubs where no-one really cares what day it is anymore, but there's a greater depth of influence showcased here, with nods to the industrial and post-punk sounds of Birmingham and Sheffield (Silent Servant's a big fan...), touches of Detroit's widescreen sensibilities and the type of crushing heaviness that belongs on a Khanate or Tribes of Neurot record. Sandwell make all these their own though, and the acid bassline that emerges through Hunting Lodge is pure Chicago; brilliantly bastardised and reworked as their own.

Definitely one of the most powerful techno albums I've heard in a long time; Sandwell have delivered their most complete manifesto to date and thrown down one hell of a challenge to the world. Feed Forward will remain important for years, though a repress seems unlikely, and a digital release is categorically not going to happen. I'll be treasuring this one.

Sandwell District Live Set
Sandwell District on boomkat

4 March 2011

John Foxx & Gary Numan Remix Competition

Cross-post from Dangerous Minds.

The London-based events company Back To The Future have a competition open until the end of the month to remix living synth legends Gary Numan and John Foxx. While the prizes for this competition are only really relevant to people living in the UK (free tickets to the Back To The Future concerts on April 1st and 2nd in Manchester and London, playback of the winning remixes at the concerts) I thought this would be worth sharing here for all the Foxx and Numan fans who might want to have a crack of the whip. From the press release:

This is the first time in their prolific careers that Gary Numan and John Foxx have decided to share the creative side of making music with fans. The competition involves entrants making the best remix of either 'Scanner' by Gary Numan or 'Shatterproof' by John Foxx & The Maths. The winner will get a pair of VIP passes to Back To The Phuture, plus signed copies of the latest Gary Numan album 'Jagged Edge' and John Foxx album 'Interplay'. The winning remixes will be played at Back To The Phuture (at the massive Troxy in London and Manchester Academy). Entries will be judged personally by Gary Numan and John Foxx and an endorsement from each will be given – not a bad boost to any up-and-coming producer’s career!

Gay Numan "Scanner" plus stems:

John Foxx & The Maths "Shatterproof" plus stems:

Upload 'Scanner' remixes to this SoundCloud page:

Upload 'Shatterproof' remixes to this SoundCloud page:

More details on the Gary Numan Facebook page:

21 February 2011

Ministry - Fix, the movie

I'm sure most people have seen this by now, but it looks like Voltergeist's Psampled 69 is going to be making it onto the soundtrack. Big, big news and very exciting to see a local producer getting recognition from such a big name. Premiere screenings of the film will be taking place in Chicago and London, but stay tuned for news of a potential Glasgow screening....

For those that are wondering why we're so excited by Ministry, when all that metal stuff's just a load of noise, I point you the way of Stigmata, Cannibal Song, Hezbollah, Jesus Built My Hotrod and this bad boy.

20 January 2011

Trent Reznor/Peter Murphy/Twiggy Ramirez & Atticus Ross cover "Warm Leatherette"

This kicks some serious ass - members of NIN, Marilyn Manson & Bauhaus cover The Normal's "Warm Leatherette" (made famous by Grace Jones):

29 November 2010

Ekoplekz live set

(From FACT Magazine)
We've blogged before about the uniquely dark stylings of Ekolplekz, and since then, his 12" for Punch Drunk has been on continual repeat on the stereo. Connecting the dots between Daphne Oram, Merzbow and Bass Clef, he imbues the lead-heavy textures of industrial noise and radiophonic soundscaping with a warped sense of rhythm and deep skanking vibes. Whilst Stalag Zero / Distended Dub touched on Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubauten and the post-punk sound, his live set is a more melodic and spacier proposition, full of depth and warmth. Here it is on Fact magazine's soundcloud.

Ekoplekz' blog, World of Eko, is a great resource for the discerning analogue fiend - full of snapshots of vintage hardware, links to some beautiful soundscapes, and some seriously cool artwork.