Review: Over the last few years, the occasional studio collaborations between Factory Floor's Nik Void and Throbbing Gristle heavyweights Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have proved to be faultless exercises in industrial music/techno fusion. They're at it again on third album "Triumvirate", a collection of dark, intense and mind-altering concoctions that veers from ricocheting, delay-laden alien funk ("T3.4") and surging, club-ready hypnotism ("T3.2", "T3.3"), to raw, Surgeon-esque assaults on the senses ("T3.5") and clanking, concrete-clad fare that recalls the best of Carter and Tutti's early '80s TG work ("T3.1", "T3.6"). There are few surprises, just a series of angry, on-point instrumental excursions that should delight all of those of an industrial persuasion.
Review: Chicago-based experimentalists HIDE built their reputation on a handful of releases - including an inspired debut album - built around densely layered sound collages, intense rhythmic snapshots and manipulated electronic noise. On new album "Hell Is Here", the American duo has opted to pursue a slightly different sound, with intense, screamed and - in one bizarre instance - vomited vocals rising above distorted, brain-melting sub-bass, mangled percussion, Nine Inch Nails style guitars and unsettling redlined electronics. It makes for intense listening, but there's little doubt the pair has produced a thrilling piece of work that should find favour with all those of a punky, leftfield disposition.
Review: Margaret Chardiet's semi-regular album outings as Pharmakon are always worth a listen, if only to recoil at the intensity of her unsettling blends of buzzing industrial noise, paranoid vocal screams, throbbing aural textures, forthright mangled guitar riffs and rusty, razor-sharp power electronics. "Devour" is the artist's fourth album for Sacred Bones and her first new set for two years. It explores similar sonic territory to its predecessors, offering claustrophobic, mind-mangling soundscapes that are creepy, disturbed, awe-inspiring and sonically challenging in equal measures. In some ways, calling out individual tracks as highlights seems pointless: this is a singular, ever-changing work that sees Chardiet escort us on a nightmarish journey through experimental extremes.
Review: Throbbing Gristle's second studio album is an essential work that conjures some of the most harsh and nauseating music you can imagine (not a surprise given "Hamburger Lady" is a piece about a patient burned from the waist up and forever contained in a hospital). It was pioneering in texture and technique, and mixes both live and studio recordings into one of the band's most stylistically varied works. Creeping and haunting, confrontational and challenging from front to back, the spoken word samples from children and mutated voices will probably haunt your dreams forever, so listen with caution.
Review: Few acts did more to champion the sound of "extreme noise" than Whitehouse between 1980 and 2009. They famously first set their stall out with debut album "Total Sex", a controversial set whose cover artwork fell foul of censorship due to its explicit content. That artwork has been restored on this first CD reissue since 1994. The music remains gloriously odd, out there and mind altering, offering a drowsy and trippy blend of unsettling electronics, barely audible vocals, hissing noise and modular synthesizer sounds so intense and druggy that they may well be capable of inducing freaky hallucinations. If you don't yet own a copy, grab one of these before they're gone.