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: Last year Cardinal & Nun successfully set their stall out via a decidedly lo-fi cassette of wayward techno, EBM, industrial and new wave fusions. Here the Marseilles-based outfit steps it up a notch via a debut 12" for Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. label. The four tracks are suitably loose, dark and otherworldly, with title track "I Met The Devil" - a pitch-black fusion of early Joy Division, throbbing new wave and late '70s Cabaret Voltaire - leading the way. "Go Away" sees them apply the same DIY fuzziness to EBM, while "Empoisonne" wraps discordant guitar solos and gravelly vocal snippets around another arpeggio-driven groove. They round things off via "Disintegration", a slower and druggier trip into thrusting, arpeggio-driven territory.
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.