Review: This cryptic debut from Belgian AIR LQD mixes up science fiction, social criticism and punk ethics into a futuristic sound world where urban decay and artificial intelligence have really taken hold. The brittle, icy electronics of these tracks reminds of Kassem Mosse's experimental lo-fi house work on Workshop. "Repeat Itself" is interspersed with dehumanised voices from a darkened dungeon and leads to some brilliantly unsettling sounds. Abrasive textures rub up next to looping echoes, crashing metal hits and rubbery bass. Though wholly unnatural, paranoid and occult, it all feels so damn right.
Review: Hiroshima-based producer Paul T Kirk is hardly prolific, but has nevertheless managed to release a string of fine albums over the last 14 years. Short Fuse is his first set for alt.vinyl and sees him expand on the dusty, otherworldly industrial, illbient and dark IDM experiments of his 2015 full-length, Sometime, Never. Kirk is a talented sound designer, capable of crafting fascinating, fully-formed tracks that rise above a sound soup built on manipulated field recordings, shortwave radio chatter and crackling electronic distortion. It's a formula that not only guarantees atmospheric listening, but also a string of fine tracks that veer from fuzzy industrial intensity to ghostly ambient bliss.
Review: Alesia Cosmos were a collective of musicians led by Bruno de Chenerilles (and several other collaborators) formed in the early '80s in Strasbourg. Under the influence of William Burroughs, John Cage, Pierre Henry and others, de Chenerilles developed tape music. By 1982, he appeared for the first time under the name Alesia Cosmos Furi Show. This experimental show led to a music project based on his and close collaborator Pascal Holtzer's compositions, performed with other musicians in the beginning of 1983. The Exclusivo! LP was the group's debut album recorded and was self-released in 1983. de Chenerilles and Holtzer's improvisations with the group brought forth more ideas and the album was recorded in a few days. The result was a mixing of electronic music, field recordings, North African and Asian percussion, electric guitars and voices, compositions and free improvisations. All four musicians took turns singing onomatopoeic phrases and backing vocals, even sometimes in an unknown language, a sort of mixed bag between Breton and Japanese.
Profusion II (Fallofthehouseofagodofbiomechanical)
Who Will Save The Tiger?
Review: The belated release of New York industrial ambient crew Black Rain's early '90s soundtrack work in 2011 sparked something in founder Stuart Argabright. It inspired a belated return to the studio and this surprise album, Black Rain's first for 18 years. Given how long they've been away, Dark Pool is a pleasingly accomplished set. Like their previous material, it wades in dark waters, joining the dots between droning electronic textures, skittish, IDM-inspired rhythms, horror chic, industrial noise and bleak electronica. It's hugely atmospheric, of course, but also strangely claustrophobic. It's a brilliant set, all told, but one that shouldn't be taken lightly.
Review: On his three previous solo albums as Blanck Mass, Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power offered up abstract but enjoyable blends of ambient, drone, IDM and electronics. On "Animated Violence Mild", his first full-length for two years, Power has decided to take a far more dystopian path, blending ear-catching, synth-pop influenced melodies with thrusting, doom-laden techno rhythms, growling aural textures, industrial strength noise and hybrid electronic power-pop. It's an ear-catching affair, with highlights including the boisterous, distorted techno-pop of "House Vs House", the post-apocalyptic power-trance rush of "Hush Money", the hypnotic, maximal ambient movements of "Creature/West Fuqua" and the pulsating intensity of "Wings Of Hate".
Review: There have been a dizzying array of releases by Portland, Oregon's avant-metal masters The Body in the last five years alone, but this new opus might be the apotheosis of everything their murky and twisted art has been working towards across a plethora of splits, grim exorcisms and jaunts to the experimental dark-side. A nihilistic opus with as much artistic sleight-of-hand to offer as unflinching catharsis, 'No One Deserves Happiness' has been talked up by the band as 'the grossest pop record of all time', but the truth is more complicated and more fufilling than that - symphonic grandeur, electronic abrasion and beyond-heavy abjection are all here combined into one dizzying and cpherent whole, marking this always square-peg outfits as frontiersmen of extremity unlikely to be rivalled in 2016.
Review: The reissue material from the archives of Bourbonese Qualk keep on coming, with this second salvo from the sturdy partnership of Mannequin and Platform 23. The visionary London industrial agitators were on vital form on "Hope", which came out midway through 1984, and now Rude 66 has remastered the music for fresh ears. The mood is persistently murky, but it moves from danceable anti-funk to gutter-dwelling noise baths and atmospheric sonic totems. At once mystical and incisive, otherworldly and grittily real, this is another brilliant reframing of one of the UK's true industrial titans.
Review: It's been a delight to see Oliver Ho's Broken English Club project develop artistically over recent times, with some fine records for Jealous God and Veronica Vasicka's Cititrax label along the way. Suburban Hunting sees Ho deliver his debut Broken English Club album, featuring some 11 tracks of primitive electronics and cinematic pseudo techno cuts. Tunes like "Vacant", "Derelict", or "Scum" all share a loose techno framework, but the real aesthetic is much vaster than that, verging on remnants of post-punk, industrial and all that goodness and hybrid class that came out of the late 1980's. It's another fine addition to the sublime Cititrax discography, and we recommended it just as much as the previous numbers.
Review: New material from Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti should always be celebrated and their latest joint opus will be of particular delight to hardcore fans. Carter Tutti plays Chris & Cosey is a logical extension of the live show of the same name the pair have been performing and perfecting over the past three years, transferring revisited classics from the stage to the album format. Completed to heed requests for the release of a live album, this double LP features some eight CC classics like "Driving Blind" and "Obsession" newly reworked and recorded at their Norfolk studio. Of course it all sounds as imperious and industrially challenging as you'd expect. Excitingly for completists, there is a second LP included that houses remixes only previously available on a tour-only CD.
Review: Over the last few years, the occasional studio collaborations between Factory Floor's Nik Void and Throbbing Gristle heavyweights Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have proved to be faultless exercises in industrial music/techno fusion. They're at it again on third album "Triumvirate", a collection of dark, intense and mind-altering concoctions that veers from ricocheting, delay-laden alien funk ("T3.4") and surging, club-ready hypnotism ("T3.2", "T3.3"), to raw, Surgeon-esque assaults on the senses ("T3.5") and clanking, concrete-clad fare that recalls the best of Carter and Tutti's early '80s TG work ("T3.1", "T3.6"). There are few surprises, just a series of angry, on-point instrumental excursions that should delight all of those of an industrial persuasion.
Review: Finally! We'd been waiting for Carter Tutti Void's follow-up to 2012's Transverse live recording, and hear it is, the trio's first official studio album in their familiarly distorted and cutting-edge style - and it's as sublime as you'd expect. After all, we are talking about a collaboration between Throbbing Gristle Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Factory Floor's Nick Void, a rather sublime line-up in our books and exactly the sort of fresh air that the electronic / pseudo techno pool needs at the moment. F(x) is a wide-eyed view of techno and all its offshoots; the beats flutter and stir across waves of broken guitar riffs and foreboding vocals, a cold image of the world rendered warmer by the outfit's choice of instruments. This LP embobies the true spirit of both techno and industrial music as a whole, cutting out all the club-centred bull and getting straight to the point: dance, sex, and decadence. Highly recommended, of course.
Review: Anders Karlsson aka Celldod returns to the spotlight with his third studio album to date, Fragmenterade Minnen. Out through DKA Records, fast becoming a cultural hub for the darker, looser, and more explorative side of techno, the album presents 12 tracks of intellectually honest coldwave and, instead of exploiting the genre's cliches, our man Celldod applies his own mood, vision, and aesthetic to this curious form of pseudo-techno. Wacky electronic waves collide and then gel with its more rigid drum patters and dance-centric grooves, making it a perfect album for rave junkies yearning for the spaces amid the kick drums.