Review: Primitive Brumbeat is the order of the day from Minimal Wave on this weighty seven inch presentation of early Karl O'Connor material. Recorded under the Sandra Plays Electronics banner, Her Needs presents two versions of the same track from different periods of O'Connor's musical development and provide further enticing historical evidence of one of techno's most illuminating figureheads. Those who indulged in the brilliant White Savage Dance 12" from Downwards from late 2011 will be all over the DIY odes to O'Connor's childhood heroes such as DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses here. The 1999 version in particular which originates from the same recording sessions that ended in the seminal Diversion Group release A Man Has Responsibilities.
Review: Katsunori Sawa is no stranger to the Weevil Neighbourhood, first appearing on the experimental Berlin outpost as Steven Porter with confidant Yuji Kondo. Having subsequently walked on the Weevil side sans his Steven Porter compadre for The Two Legs 12" late last year, Sawa's relationship with the Neighbourhood is emboldened further with a new 12" entitled The Holy Ground. If you have a rudimentary grasp of the avant garde drum and bass and musique concrete that Weevil Neighbourhood specialise in, you'll love what Sawa gets up to on these four tracks as walls of rhythmic noise, undulating bottom end rave and terrifying soundscapes are explored with thrilling results.
Review: Guy Tavares makes a rare appearance on his own Bunker outlet under the Schmerzlabor alias. We're pretty excited to say the least given the fact that Tavares releases music once in a blue moon, and instead prefers to use the label as a platform for other sewer dwellers to excel. Four tracks of bitterly uncompromising steel funk, noise-fuelled techno driller-thrillers. Sounding like the inside of one of Tavares' famous bunker raves, the air is humid and drenched with fuzzy distortion, where beats collide and contort into sweltering bundles of dancefloor noise. A bloody bunch of chest-bursters, hawk-nosed and machine-licked. Viciously recommended and ludicrously unmissable. Bunker wins again.
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: Following up the closure of his respected Jealous God imprint, former Sandwell District accomplice Juan Mendez returns to Hospital Productions to follow up 2011's bold outing Negative Fascination - presenting these modern EBM mutations in the same vein. Mendez captures the zeitgeist of classic early '80s industrial dance on the rusty rattle of "Harm In Hand", followed by more driving body music of the steelier persuasion on "Damage" and the pitch-black technoid riot "Death Of Decadence".
Review: L.I.E.S latest muscular missive comes courtesy of Dutch scene stalwarts Parrish Smith (previously of Knekelhuis and Dekmantel) and Interstellar Funk (AKA Artificial Dance big cheese Olf van Elden). Rich in machine drums, cranky modular synth sounds and industrial intent, the four-track missive sees them angrily stomp between mind-altering, mid-tempo throb-jobs (the strobe-lit electronics and druggy arpeggio lines of "Misinformation"), buzzing 4/4 electro ("High Gates"), raw, redlined, noise-addled techno ("Macrodosing") and the kind of dark, moody and throbbing dancefloor fare that sits somewhere between angular industrial music and frustrated, lo-fi techno ("Collapsed Buildings"). For want of a better term, this is music for dystopian dancehalls, prorogued parliaments and the children of broken societies.
Review: Weevil Neighbourhood is more of a movement than a label. It's a idea that has its roots firmly placed in topography and the physical world. For instance, they don't use numbers to catalogue their music, only words. SPR, a young producer from Hamburg, seems like the perfect fit to the label's improvisational sound aesthetic, an artist who isn't tied down to any particular genres and, instead, likes to keep things noticeably loose. "Axis" opens the score with a hollow fuzz of sonics and spectral atmospherics, and "Mirror" simply takes this one step further into oblivion. On the flip, "District" adds in a faint layer of dubbed-out beats among the haze, and 'Out" punishes the listener with a total noise abstraction in the same style as artists like Andrew Coltrane (TTT). Recommended.
Review: Jack Adams, James Parker and Nino Pedone, or rather, Logos & Mumdance and Shapednoise, return as The Sprawl, an intergalactic unit of surrealist sound designers with a penchant for the unknown and the bizarre. Inspired by William Gibson, the creator of Cyberpunk, The Death Of Rave have landed a rather interesting project from this lot. Starting with "Burning Chrome", noise-riddled shards of percussion are twisted into abstract shapes before entering cinematic planes of harmonies; "Black Ice" further locks the patterns into something utterly imperceptible. "X System" delivers a Gabber-style punch of drums before mutating, once again, into something totally undefinable, and "Online Seance" wraps us in the cold touch of a computer programme, a deathly blanket recalling the cosier side of those pods in The Matrix.
This Terrible Virtue Of Forgiveness (GIL remix) (4:23)
Review: After almost a year hibernating (presumably within the dystopian ruins of a once proud Industrial city), S S S S man Samuel Savenberg returns with more angry workouts, noisy soundscapes and creepy ambient interludes. Surprisingly, much of the material is more melancholic and unsettling than it is forthright and insanely intense, with only the fuzzy, high-octane crunch of "Stripped" having any serious dancefloor intentions. This is not a criticism, though. In fact, the EP's more considered soundscapes and music concrete style collages are uniformly inspired, with the droning lament of "This Terrible Virtue Of Forgiveness" and yearning "Absence" standing out.
Review: Having crept out of the tape undergrowth and respected haunts like Clan Destine and Always Human to earn more civilized recognition on BANK Records NYC and Bliq, Strahinja Arbutina makes the move to Vivod for yet more of that edgy, leftfield techno business that keeps mothers awake at night from worry. The grit, noise and distortion has been faithfully carried through from the cassette-based roots of Arbutina's sound, but these tracks are more than ready to do the damage in the dance (where you're less likely to find a tape deck). Hold on tight as the likes of "Way Ahead" give the sound engineer a fright when they think the system has overloaded.
Review: Pete Swanson, formerly of Yellow Swans, continues to merge noise and techno with ear splitting results on the Punk Authority EP for Software Recording Co. Last seen blowing synapses with the triumphant Pro Style EP, a distinctive looking and sounding release for the Type label, Swanson evidently is looking to surpass that attempt to merge his background in ear piercing noise with the rhythmic tropes of techno with this four track release. Allegedly named in homage to the 80s Guttenberg classic Police Academy, the Punk Authority EP has wisely been daubed "deformed warehouse techno" by Software with a "vomited pulse half-heard through a Stuttgart toilet stall" at its heart. Such vivid descriptions are well justified on the basis of Swanson's productions, most notably the final 12 minute track "Life Ends At 30? which we advise you approach with caution (and the bass turned down).
Review: KUMP's second multi-artist extravaganza - the Lyon-based label's first such exercise for two years -brings together tracks from a quintet of eccentric experimentalists. Clanking, horror-inspired creepiness is provided from the start via Jon The Baptist's lolloping "Hear No Evil", while those looking for some chugging, mid-tempo dancefloor sleaze should make a beeline for Maahrt's "Davardage". Elsewhere, Stove's "Chief of Nine Sisters" is an industrialist's take on tropical music with a suitably pagan twist, and Yssue and Yaws' contributions both sound like contemporary re-inventions of Nitzer Ebb style electronic body music (albeit with a touch more inherent looseness).
Review: As 2015 draws to a close, Stephen Porter member Katsunori Sawa releases his debut solo album for the intriguing Weevil Neighbourhood. It's a pleasingly varied affair, with the Japanese producer touching on numerous styles whilst retaining a crackly, late night atmosphere throughout. After opening with the evocative, creeping ambience of "Beginning", he moves onto the shuffling, hypnotic dancefloor spookiness of "Escape", and elastic minimalism of "Immediate Awareness". "Anxious Kid" is a tribal-tinged dash of IDM darkness, while "Antagonist" is thrillingly difficult to describe. Arguably best of the lot, though, is closer "Unauthorized Page", which bristles with industrial textures, surging rhythms and complex percussive arrangements.
Review: Second Layer's World of Rubber, first released on Cherry Red way back in 1981 - some two years after the duo's first outing on 7" - has long been considered something of an industrial classic by those in the know. Here, it gets a deserved re-press from the folks at Dark Entries. 34 years on, it still retains the power to shock, with Adrian Borland and Graham Green's raw, weighty mix of post-punk basslines, sharp guitars, fuzzy electronics, tape loops and basic drum machine grooves still sounding deliciously fresh. Certainly, it's comparable to many more celebrated releases of the time, and arguably more spontaneous in feel.