Review: Gruth incorporates pitch black and aggressive textures into his sonic palette. Incorporating techno, ambient and industrial, but mainly rooted in the Nordic darkness of metal - this is the experimental music project of Juha Puupera. Drawing further influence from UK sound system culture and Italian 'Giallo' of the '70s, he's joined by homeboy Hannu Ikola (Subself/Ether) who is a techno DJ and producer on this EP. It features the grinding and guttural sludge techno deconstruction of "Severely Decomposed" and "Disgorged Viscera" on the A side. The pitch black techno of "Ke Jawenan Deserration" and the haunting dark ambient soundscape "Futile Demise" where Gruth is joined by Helsinki-based violinist and sound designer KuJo.
Review: The latest instalment in Pinkman's white label Broken Dreams series is a collaborative affair with imprint affiliate Identified Patient joining forces with vocalist Sophie Du Palais, who has previously contributed to one of the producer's other EPs. Du Palais is in full on mascara-clad minimal wave mode on trippy opener "Peaceful Panic", a throbbing fusion of raw synthesizer riffs, mind-altering arpeggio lines and crunchy drum machine hits. Her stylish spoken word vocals come to the fore on dark and psychedelic electro number "Sleep Without Rest", before Lasznikoff joins in the fun on closer "Everything is Done", a fuzzy and up-tempo workout rich in macabre, low-register riffs, incessant percussion hits and trippy, late night aural textures.
Review: Ah, a real gem of the NYC No Wave era is the focus of Dark Entries attentions here as the stunning Holland Tunnel Dive by ImpLOG is given a more than timely reissue. For the uninitiated out there, ImpLOG were formed by The Contortions band members Don Christensen and Jody Harris under the name ImpLOG, after the former left the iconic No Wave act in 1979, and released just the two records together. The story goes that Christensen's recorded experiments with found sounds, and an array of instruments such as a Univox drum machine and Casio keyboards impressed Lust/Unlust Records founder Charles Ball sufficiently enough to issue two tracks from the submitted demo tape as the Holland Tunnel Dive 12? in 1980. It's remained a highly prized record ever since and this lovingly recreated edition from Dark Entries is a must!
Review: Samurai's highly collectable Red Seal series continues with a mission to Manchester. Home to key players such as Skittles, Dub Phizix and DRS, the 'Mani' scene just keeps on giving. This three track 12" is a perfect example, as we find fellow native Indigo joining the dots between three genres with ease and engaging production skill. "Reaching The Source" is a blissed out Autonomic workout that's ideal for both headphones or early doors, "Trthys" is a much slower, sludgy bass 4/4 workout that sits somewhere between Dirtybird and Wookie while "Talia" ends us on a soft, soulful note. A lullaby on marbled vinyl: does life get much better than this?
Review: San Francisco trio INHALT burst onto the scene back at the turn of the decade, going on to release a trio of well-regarded EPs on [Emotional] Especial and Dark Entries. Here they return to the latter label with their first 12" for almost four years. As usual, their music is stylish, dark and clandestine, with wild-eyed German vocals riding brooding, John Carpenter-influenced arpeggio lines, creepy chords and bustling drum machine grooves. Our pick of the bunch is probably the up-tempo, triple time hustle of "Commerce", though the more polished and atmospheric opener "Alles" and EBM-minded bubbler "Schwarz" are also mighty fine.
Review: Whatever Makes You Feel Safe is a collaboration between Canadian producer and singer Marie Davidson and Berlin based Ukrainian sound designer Invisible Church. They met in Montreal during Red Bull Music Academy festival and shared the idea of exploring the concept of feeling safe both on a personal level and as a part of society. Quite different from what you'd usually associate with Davidson but still worthy of your attention all the same. Beginning on the A side with "Collage" featuring some chilling drone experiments over textural sound design and field recordings which allow Davidson's haunting vocals to carry the track further into the void. Sounds like a cross between OAKE and Lustmord. Next up "Never Release The Tension" delves further into pitch black territory on this contorted downbeat industrial thriller. Finally on the flip, we've got an epic 10 minutes of haunting esoterica in the form of "Ten Years" and features Theo Parrish on cymbals! The label recommends it as for fans the late Mika Vainio, Black Rain, CTI, and the Bladerunner OST. Pretty on point, if we do say so ourselves!
Review: L.I.E.S latest muscular missive comes courtesy of Dutch scene stalwarts Parrish Smith (previously of Knekelhuis and Dekmantel) and Interstellar Funk (AKA Artificial Dance big cheese Olf van Elden). Rich in machine drums, cranky modular synth sounds and industrial intent, the four-track missive sees them angrily stomp between mind-altering, mid-tempo throb-jobs (the strobe-lit electronics and druggy arpeggio lines of "Misinformation"), buzzing 4/4 electro ("High Gates"), raw, redlined, noise-addled techno ("Macrodosing") and the kind of dark, moody and throbbing dancefloor fare that sits somewhere between angular industrial music and frustrated, lo-fi techno ("Collapsed Buildings"). For want of a better term, this is music for dystopian dancehalls, prorogued parliaments and the children of broken societies.
Review: Los Angeles based producer Alex Gray aka D/P/I of CHANCEIMAG.es returns, this time on French imprint Shelter Press with more avant electronics excursions on the Composer LP. Thee seven sound collages are said to be an experiment in rhythm, where human error is introduced to basic sounds (such as a djembe or conga) via midi controllers, introducing complex processes and effects which naturally developed into compositions. Gray himself hopes his album "can act as a beacon of creativity for future generations, who are currently being completely saturated by marketing content for products and media that will do nothing but confuse and distract them.
Review: Udacha just gets better and better with every release, branching out into ever more exciting shapes and styles beyond their house and techno foundations. On this album from Indoor Plants, wild fourth world visions collide with hardware processes in a dazzling display of transcendental music for those who like their thought-provoking tunes to pack a punch. The likes of "Targitaus" deconstruct club music conventions in a quest for new rhythmic purpose, and yet the soundsystem pressure is expertly sculpted out of the daring shape of the music. Elsewhere there's surrealism in abundance, as on the wonderfully weird "Hunch", and that's just scratching the surface of this truly essential LP.
Review: Planet Mu usher in the return of Ital Tek and a new sonic approach for the long-term label associate, as Hollowed finds Alan Myson switching up his approach. The chance to immerse himself in a new studio set up was the impetus for Myson to engage in laying down countless hours' worth of loops, drones and textures. It is apparently a method he used as a teenager, but armed with years of recording experience he was now able to make the record he had then envisaged. Fans of the crisp style of dubstep Ital Tek made his name on might be a bit taken aback by this new direction, but there is plenty of fine music to explore here for those that like their sounds abstract and impressionistic.