Review: American industrial/noise producer Matthew Folden has been a longtime staple of Dominick Fernow's Hospital Productions camp. Matter of fact, he first appeared on our our radar with the Back In EP on Fernow's now dormant diffusion imprint Bed Of Nails back in 2015. Babe Beer Bar Car compiles Folden's work between 2012 and 2015, previously only available on cassette format. Various greyscale experiments in minimalist electronics await you here: from the seething and saturated slow motion pulsations of "Somewhere In Miami" or "So Sue Me" to evocative ambient textures like "Loudmouth" or Zip It". There's even moments of what could even be considered IDM (ish!) like on "White Lighter."
Review: Hospital Productions is a non-stop operation and following this year's long-players from Alessandro Cortini, Ninos Du Brasil and Ron Morelli, Vatican Shadow's latest swoop is this ambient album produced with Function. The seven-track LP was recorded between Berlin and New York, and it's described as best suited for after-hours home listening, but whether you really want to listen to this after a big night is up to you. Indeed "A Year Has Passed" and "A Year Has Gone By" are downbeat and melancholic, whereas other tracks lean more towards industrial ambient, similar to fellow Hospital artist Lussuria's work. "The Nemesis Flower" is a darker highlight while "Red Opium" and "Bejewelled Body" is where the house and techno beats lie.
Review: Unknowns was first offered as a super-limited cassette bundled with a rare boxed version of Dominick Fenrow's 2017 Prurient album, Rainbow Mirror. Here presented on vinyl for the first time, it sees the prolific Fenrow join forces with Skin Crime man Patrick O'Neill (Hanged Man's Orgasm was an alias he used in the late '80s and early '90s), writer Scott Bryan Wilson and synthesizer player and all round studio don Kris Lapke. There are two 15-minute plus epics to enjoy, both of which mix dystopian noise and heavily processed samples with skewed synthesizer parts, '90s modem noises and barely audible excerpts of the ever entertaining Fenrow reading Wilson's expressive prose. For the record, it's the B-side cut that's the most apocalyptic.
Review: Given his prolific nature, we were rather surprised to find that "Shadows of Death & Desire" is actually John Juan Mendez AKA Silent Servant's second album for six years. It's an impressive set, with Mendez offering up a stony-faced, steel-eyed shuffle through industrial-fired machine chug ("Illusion"), mind-altering EBM workouts ("Damage", "Harm In Hand", the throbbing "24 Hours"), icy electronic soundscapes (the vintage Autechre style dancefloor IDM of "Loss Response"), early '80s style Cabaret Voltaire industrial funk (the brilliant "Glass Veil"), and moody compositions where razor-sharp guitars and foreboding electronics envelop particularly skittish electro drums (closing cut "Optimistic Decay").
Review: Longtime techno innovator Silent Servant finds himself on the cult Hospital Productions to close out this year in visceral fashion. 'Harm In Hand' is many things - dark wave synth and jittery techno and it even has a hint of jerking EBM rhythms. It's a trip back to the future on a pulsing wave of menace. 'Damage' then cuts more loose, with spraying synths and crashing hits trapping you in dystopia and 'Death Of Decadence' bring all manner of raw textures, twisted synth lines and stark drums to a line techno groove.