Review: Italian "hard noise" specialists Urashima has unearthed something rather significant here: a previously "lost" early recording from Japanese maverick Masonna that was initially slated for release before what became his 1989 debut album, whose explicit title cannot be repeated here. Comprising two lengthy experimental soundscapes created using feedback, white noise and a legion of effects units, both parts of "Bursting Absolute Moods" are abstract in the extreme, offering a cacophonous journey through the artist's intense imagination that will frighten most listeners but delight noise enthusiasts. Of the two parts, it's the second that surprises and intrigues more, with sporadic bursts of activity being joined by screamed vocal textures and short periods of quiet reflection.
Review: Shape-shifting post-punk quasi-legends Bourbonese Qualk are finally getting a bit of the shine they so richly deserve after years in obscurity, not least thanks to the retrospective compilation on Mannequin back in 2015. Now Platform 23 are reissuing their classic album "Laughing Afternoon", originally released back in 1983 and having lost none of its impact. It's a slippery, shape-shifting creation that veers between uneasy soundscapes and gutter-dwelling funk, with some truly visionary signal processing, electronic textures and more besides in the mix. It's a crime this crew aren't held in the same regard as their other early 80s post-industrial peers, but at least the wrongs are being righted now.
Review: Earlier this year, Gallhammer member Vivian Slaughter delivered her first solo album, the noisy and intense "Morgenrode". Here the NYC artist dons the Viviankrist alias again for a debut outing on Diagonal. It's a decidedly dystopian affair all told, with Slaughter offering up a mixture of distorted post-apocalyptic soundscapes (see the audio air strikes of "Eleventh"), hard-wired rhythmic pieces (the mind-altering industrial throb of "Blue Iron"), mutilated IDM workouts (the fizzing electronics and tipsy lo-fi beats of "72hours"), surprisingly melodious ambient cuts ("Midnight Sun", "Out of Body", "Behind Mirror") and amphetamine-fuelled dancefloor smashers (the bombastic and eccentric "Tear").
Review: Music On Vinyl's Ministry reissue series continues via this heavyweight re-press of "The Land Of Rape And Honey" on orange and gold vinyl. On its initial release in 1988, the album was seen as something of a departure from the Al Jourgensen-helmed band's previous output, primarily because it mixed their previous EBM, industrial and experimental synth-pop influences with heavier guitar riffs, more stomping beats and the kind of growled vocals more prevalent in heavy metal. Listening back 31 years on, the album has lost none of its luster, with highlights including the low-slung dub-rock chug of "Golden Dawn", the ricocheting drums and dystopian screams of "Destruction", the EBM-rock throb of "You Know What You Are" and the 400 Blows style electro-dub funkiness of "Abortive".
Review: Music On Vinyl continues to serve up essential reissues of classic Ministry albums, with 1989's "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" becoming the latest set to get the audiophile-friendly heavy vinyl treatment. The record is a little heavier and fuzzier than some of its predecessors, with greater use of rambunctious, mind-altering heavy metal guitar riffs and less reliance on the Fairlight CMI-driven arpeggio style basslines, oddball samples and bustling EBM rhythms. Of course, Al Jourgensen and company's trusty drum machines are still present and correct, with riff-laden songs being joined by occasional blasts of bass heavy post-punk style weightiness ("Cannibal Song"), rubbery mutant disco (the sample-laden stomp of "So What") and suitably dystopian industrial funk workouts ("Faith Collapsing").