Review: In 1992, Coil followed up their critically acclaimed '91 album "Love's Secret Domain" with a set of outtakes, unreleased songs and alternate versions recorded during the same sessions. Of course, little they produced in that period was ever less than inspired, and "Stolen and Contaminated Songs" was a far better set than its "odds and ends" nature suggested it would be - as this timely reissue proves. Flitting between string-drenched neo-classical, exotic Indian soundscapes, otherworldly ambient-jazz, Cabaret Voltaire style industrial-electro, contemporaneous ambient house dreaminess, beat-free soundscapes and weird electronic experiments, it's a kaleidoscopic and hugely entertaining affair that's well worth a place in your collection.
Review: Ren Schofield's Container project has been quiet for a few years, but now makes a welcome return with the gnarled and freaky Scramblers. As ever a thick crust of noise is crucial to the delivery of the Container sound, but Schofield is sounding especially fired up on this new record. "Scrambler" is an outright banger that pushes electro into a strange new realm, while "Nozzle" follows suit with a cartoony palette of pings and zaps caked in distortion. This uptempo thrust maintains throughout, although the linearity of the beats gets interrupted on the artfully skippy "Queaser". No one sounds quite like Container, and long may that continue.
Review: A couple of years back, DJ David Goblin (an alias of Belgian designer/DJ/producer David Coquelin) unleashed "Ork Muzik", a bizarre-but-brilliant debut that comprised two insanely action-packed DJ mixes and a couple of similarly eccentric, hard-to-pigeonhole tracks. This follow-up is similarly unhinged - think mind-mangling mutations of rave, industrial, grime, techno, trance and gabber, chopped up and reassembled in the most madcap of ways - and contains a range of collaborations and solo tracks from a wide range of similarly-minded associates. It's ridiculously hard to accurately describe and concrete info is hard to come by- aside from the involvement of Low Jack under the B-Ball Joint alias - but suffice to say it's the kind of set that inspires fear, enjoyment and laughter in equal measure. Delightfully bonkers.
Review: Emptyset have been innovating in the world of electronic music for over a decade now. James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas' music is challenging yet poignant, artful yet immersive and fuses sound design with raw audio synthesis. "Blossoms", the new record for Thrill Jockey was developed by a process of "seeding a software model with a sonic knowledge base of material to learn and predict from". That base material was then embellished with 10 hours of improvised recordings using sources such as wood, drum skins and metal, giving rise to this bleakly beguiling album of drone, industrial and audio experimentation.
Review: Last summer veteran Japanese noisenik Masami Akita travelled to Australia to perform a number of live sets at Room 40's Open Frame festival under his now familiar Merzbow alias. "Stereoakuma" offers up a recording of one of those sets, as well as the accompanying encore. Both recordings are as intense, dystopian, bleak and sonically distorted, as you'd expect them to be, with Akita showing little regard for mood or melody. Noise enthusiasts will love it though, as it captures Akita at his most forthright and focused. There's an added reason to buy a copy, too: both Akita and Room 40 will be donating all proceeds to organizations working to assist wildlife recovery in the wake of the recent Australian bush fires.