Review: Brazilian producer Fernando Seixlack has previously impressed with a couple of notably punky albums of experimental techno under the Innyster alias. Here he makes his debut for Ron Morelli's esteemed L.I.E.S imprint with a first full-length under his own name. While still as fuzzy, lo-fi and out-there as its predecessors, "Fernando" is a surprisingly melodious and tuneful affair, with Seixlack wrapping glistening - if distorted and pixilated - guitars and trippy synthesizer motifs around bustling machine beats and wayward electronic percussion. At times it touches on electro, at others IDM and more experimental, abstract pursuits; throughout, the album remains both hugely entertaining and pleasingly atmospheric.
Review: 12 months on from his last outing on Ron Morelli's celebrated L.I.E.S. label, former Napalm Death noisenik Mick Harris once again dons the Fret alias for another exploration of techno's farthest, darkest corners. He hits the ground running with "Slowly Moving In", a polyrhthmic industrial techno workout full of ricocheting, end-of-days electronics and distortion-soaked drums. "The Hill" is, if anything, even more panicked and bone-rattling, as if Harris had re-imagined the soundtrack from notorious Sheffield-based nuclear winter drama "Threads". Over on side B, "Pirates" is a formidably fuzzy and mind-altering attack on the senses, while "Walking With Cameras" adds creepy refrains to one of Harris's weightiest rhythm tracks yet.
Review: Krikor Kouchian's "Saudi" first appeared as a cassette on Low Jack's Editions Gravats label a few years back. Interestingly, the music had initially been composed to soundtrack a French documentary film focusing on the West's appeasement of Saudi Arabia dubious foreign policy. We should applaud the documentary makers for their foresight in casting Kouchian in this role, as "Saudi" - here presented on vinyl for the first time by L.I.E.S - is deliciously creepy, exotic and foreboding. While the melodies employed throughout the soundtrack tend towards the dark and clandestine, there's enough futurist intent and far-sighted electronic sounds to suggest the smallest slither of hope. It's interesting rhythmically, too, employing rubbery and off-kilter machine beats without becoming overbearingly intense.