Review: Surface Records has never pulled any punches as one of the UK's toughest techno labels, and The 65D Mavericks have embodied the same spirit with their charged, lyrically provocative approach. After a lengthy hiatus label and artist are back in action, and sounding as fierce as ever. "False Prophets" is not for the faint hearted - an avalanche of thunderous drums and expletive-laden diatribes. "Cosmic Drift" is marginally more meditative, but still positively unhinged in its execution. "You Lost Your Mind" flails around a muddy, punky swamp of deviant sonic behaviour, and "Immovable (dub)" throws one last curveball into the long grass, stripping out the bark without losing the bite of this proudly individual group of techno marauders.
The McDonald's Prayer (Japan Blues regrind) (5:58)
The McDonald's Prayer (Ossia Milkshake mix) (3:19)
Review: Seb Gainsborough and Chester Giles' ASDA project has been one of our highlights over the last couple of years. Through their punky, deranged aesthetic, the duo have given new meanings to the spoken word disposition and, in the process, left the doors wide open for interpretation. The music scene needs that. We need that. It's as if their work has cleansed the air for us and taken our minds back to a time when genres weren't such a big deal; a palette cleanser, if you will! "The McDonald's Prayer" marks their second outing on for No Corner and, much like The Abyss LP, the tune blazes through poetry with disparate shots of bass and sparse percussion stabs. This is all rendered all the more special thanks to a remix from London's Japan Blues, whose remix duties ever since that pair of bruisers for Place No Blame have become household favourites of ours, and he's on form here; a lo-fi slew of bass moulds around hazy claps and peaceful melodies to create a masterful groove. Ossia comes in for the second remix, this time stretching the original out onto some vintage Metalheadz vibes... minus the breaks. Sick.
Review: Dead Fader is the alias of one John Cohen, here with a set of remixes of his forthcoming Jenny153 LP on Milanese imprint Parachute. Across nine tracks, it bridged the gap between classical and club music structures, while examining the crossover points between the two disciplines. According to Cohen, his work deals with themes of acceptance and an 'opening up' emotionally. The recordings presented a viewpoint of the potential space that exists on the outer limits of dance music. Here come some stellar remixes from the LP by the current who's who of industrial edged techno music. Birmingham legend Justin Broadrick aka JK Flesh delivers an abrasive and slow burning rendition of "FYI" showcasing his trademark guttural sound. The inimitable Roly Porter of Subtext fame delivers a cinematic and suspense filled sound design epic on "Raw Food" and Scottish beatsmith Kon-Om-Pax (Planet Mu/LuckyMe) serves up some lush and evocative futurism on his rendition of "Life Cycle".
Review: William J.Youngman's Headless Horseman project has created a new and exciting techno sound that was only an offshoot of EBM and industrial in years past. Stepping out of his own imprint, the dark horseman lands on Tommy Four Seven's excellent 47 label, tearing through the speakers from the get-go thanks to the toxic sounds of "Revelation", and the even nastier sway of "Concussion". Metallic and hard-nosed in absolutely every way, "Locust" follows up on that with a menacing pounce of beats and cavernous bass, while "Gravity" breaks the techno groove for something much more in line with the likes of Powell's Diagonal output. Big boy sounds.
Review: LA Club Resource's Innsyter helps carry Contort Yourself into this new realm of dedicated solo releases from contemporary artists (their previous form was to split releases between archival and new tracks). The snarling, industrial palette is much the same, and the years of origin are as ambiguous here as they've ever been on the label, making Innsyter the perfect addition to the catalogue. From acid-dipped synth pop to nightmarish wave contortions, this record is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you already love the dark and deadly world of Contort Yourself then this brilliantly-realised, consistently inventive record can't fail to hit the spot.
Review: Bologna crew Alley Version return with a new 12", this time welcoming Richard Smith in his scintillating L/F/D/M guise. Smith has more than proven himself as a techno outlier par excellence, and so it continues on this gnarled and knotted batch of tracks. For all the lo-fi crunch, there's vitality and verve spilling out of all these tracks, especially the artfully messy "Flats". "Lemon Sunrise" is more decidedly unhinged, and "Plutonium" takes a slow and suffocating glide through freaky soundscapes teetering between the netherworld and the sunkissed boulevard. For DJs looking for the most club impact, "Blank Cheque" is the one though - a dishevelled banger for disjointed souls.
Review: Bedouin Records enlist Thomas Feriero for some new music from his current industrial period. The former tech house man doesn't shun his roots altogether, laying down functional grooves but haunted by darker and noisier textures and tones. "Onto Duat" is clunking and intense, "Take Nothing With You" is lit up by serrated synths and oversized hi hats tethered to monstrous break beats, while "Change Your Mind" is a sludgy, paranoid cut for marching crowds. "Riot Patrol" is the best of the lot, with slow motion heaviness and a real sense of dystopian atmospherics locking you to the floor.
Review: Pavel Milyakov has largely impressed since making his debut under the Buttechno alias earlier this year, delivering a pair of 12" singles that gather together short, hardware-driven experiments in a variety of dystopian styles. Here, the Russian producer debuts under his given name, once again flitting between dark and spacey dancefloor workouts, bleak broken techno, macabre electro, wonky IDM and panicky ambience. Despite the stylistic shifts, the EP hangs together impressively, thanks in no small part to Milyakov's penchant for industrial textures, tape echo and haunting melodies. If you're into the releases of L.I.E.S and Berceuse Heroique, you need this in your life.
Review: Lucerne based Prasens Editionen was founded in 2011 to give home to Zweikommasieben Magazin. Ever since, a bunch of magazines, books, zines, records, tapes and oddities have been published. After digging deep into their vast archive, they found two gems that are particularly striking: a live recording from a collaborative project (on Side A) in the form of the the textural industrial/noise journey by Nilbog entitled "Liverecording 02/11/16". On the flip Mr Pena's "TMC" (The Markt Chronicles) is a three minute gabba onslught. Mr. Pena lets loose, aiming at hardcore dancefloors while balancing between fight-or-flight terror and pacifying joy. Edition of 300.
Review: Greyscale textural abrasions courtesy of the AnD boys under their Shadows guise, dedicated to their forays into industrial mayhem. Wasting no time getting stuck in with the white knuckled duvet ride of "Leaves In the Wind", it will engulf you in its wall of noise and shock you with its harsh modular blasts. The body bashing pulsations of "What If They Are Watching You" plunders the same depths as Kerridge or Shapednoise; the sound of tremors emerging from the fault line. Some sludgy grindcore metal to be heard on "On A Mad Train" could easily be mistaken for some of J.K. Flesh's more recent works while "Lights Out" closes proceedings with a noisy and nefarious power electronics excursion that'd make even the Posh Isolation crew stand up and notice.
Review: London's Shamos is back on the scene, after a couple of great releases back in 2016 on Funkineven's Apron Records. The brand new Youth imprint was inaugurated by fellow Brit Yard a couple of months ago, and Shamos (pronounced 'Shay-mos' apparently) carries on with the nasty vibes here with these four kick-ass cuts. Starting off with the industrial edged street attitude of of "Found Grace"and the dreamy lo-fi house of 1321313132 on the A side. The flip features the neon lit 80's horror flick aesthetic of TMF and finally the four minute analogue punk groove "Nuws" reminiscent of NYC terrors such as Nick Klein or Enrique.
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: Trailed as a direct sequel to his previous solo album, 2017's "Avanti", "Volume Massimo" sees Nine Inch Nails member Alessandro Cortini offer up another immersive trip through droning guitar textures, repetitive synthesizer motifs, exotic sitar parts and fuzzy electronics. It's effectively a series of "maximal" instrumental soundscapes with sounds so large and layered they rise above the "meditative" tag pushed by Mute's PR team. This is no criticism, though, just a reflection that while contemplative at times, one of the most joyous things about the album is Cortini's ability to build thrilling walls of sound.