NAARC – LOAM

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[ IF, 2017 ]

It was in early 2017 when I received a beautifully packaged double cassette by the Atlanta based industrial trio NAARC. When I listened to the tapes, they didn’t catch my attention at first. The harsh, electro-industrial seemed simply out of my league. But then I asked myself: “Since when exactly do you classify yourself into leagues!?”. So I listened again as a means of reverse engineering the post-industrial genre I’m hooked on lately and I got some sort of an epiphany. I’ve never been able to precisely describe the “industrial” genre, but now I am, because it’s so clear now. The rusted, acid-stained sound truly sounds like something born in a dirty factory, and the two lengthy tracks that finish the album go beyond, into the noisy fog somewhat reminiscent of Skullflower. It’s like getting lost in the part of the city you were never aware of, but enjoying the surroundings.

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WWWINGS – PHOENIXXX

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[ Planet Mu, 2016 ]

Post-Soviet Hyperfuturism: WWWINGS is a trio of (post)electronic producers coming from the different regions of Russia and Ukraine who are pretty much leaving the rest of the musical world far behind. Hiding under the aliases GXXOST (also known as Lit Internet), AWRWSW (Lit Daw) and Lit Eyne, they seem more like a group of elusive hackers straight outta cyberpunk fantasies than actual musicians, juggling data packets and gliding through bleeping, cut-up sounds like digital ninjas. If Berlin acts such as Amnesia Scanner or M.E.S.H. provide a glimpse into the future, these guys are a fully paid, all-inclusive trip to the world of “unthinkable complexity”, to quote William Gibson himself. After listening to this album, who cares if it’s grime, post-industrial, or whatever else? It’s the Future, with a capital F. Highly recommended!

Lutto Lento – Dark Secret World

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[ Where To Now?, 2017 ]

Dark Secret World by the Varsovian sound explorer Lubomir Grzelak a.k.a. Lutto Lento is a maze. An amazing maze, pardon the cringy play on words here. But seriously though, the newest album by the tireless sound miner who once ran the truly trailblazing Sangoplasmo label shows all the influences Lubomir went through to achieve his own sound. It’s part dub, part spoken word, part industrial and part experimental (experiental?) electronics that share the common trait of searching for the forbidden. The entire album feels like a big voodoo ritual, with names like “It’s A Horror And It’s A Wonder”, “Gyal a Devil” or “The Living Hell”, providing a skewed Caribbean atmosphere with every beat, but not leaving behind a strange sense of humor with grotesque spoken word samples and hints in the album cover, as if asking: can you spot the little, cartoonish devil in the otherwise dark, brutalist artwork? No easy questions, no easy answers. Highly recommended!

Fire-Toolz – Drip Mental

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[ Hausu Mountain, 2017 ]

Angel Marcloid a.k.a. Fire-Toolz proves to be one the most devoted KAOSS EDGE fans with a totally crazy cybergrunge trip Drip Mental. With a cool death metal logo and even cooler album artwork (Windows XP background! Blue screen of death!! Bong!!!) the debut album by Fire-Toolz is a wonderful clusterfuck of ideas and melodies, easily crossing the lines between easycore techno and e d g y industrial electronics with who appears to be SammyClassicSonicFan on the vocals in some of the tracks. Drip Mental is, well, for the lack of the better word – mental. In a good, whatthefuckamilisteningtoandwhydoiloveit!? sort of way. Recommended, you post-web weirdos!

Drose – Boy Man Machine

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2016 ]

Black fumes exploded in my face when I launched this album on an Orange Milk Bandcamp page. Among the colorful, glitchy psych output of this label Boy Man Machine, an album by the Columbus, OH based Drose (led by Dustin Rose) stood out like an enormous, rusted anomaly. Channeling the tortured chords of early Swans, sinister electronics of Throbbing Gristle and the legacy of sludge and doom metal Boy Man Machine is a sparse, unsettling soundscape of dark, underlit industrial buildings and rusted machinery. A blackened look at modern technology usually offered by the Orange Milk Industries. Recommended!

Pure Matrix – Drain

Whoa, an album with a cover featuring shibari bondage that isn’t harsh noise!? Well I never! What we get here instead is a Kosmische asteroid made on Moog and ARP 2800 in New York’s Queens, but could easily pass as one of those monumental analog electronic revivals from mid 00’s/early 10’s Ohio released on half-forgotten homespun labels like Wagon, Rubber City Noise or Hanson Records. The relation between the artwork and the music on the cassette is not accidental: there is constant, slowly growing tension in the cold, alienated raw synthesis which never fires off anywhere – like a skilled, experienced dom tormenting and edging their slave to get close to release, but never quite allowing a full orgasm. Drain does the same, making you think there’s some sort of breakthrough waiting, but it never comes. Leaves you frustrated, but still listening somehow. But that’s how orgasm denial works, kids.

OOBE – Stealth

The second album by the Torino based producer Yari Malaspina, who took on the mystical alias OOBE, released on a London label Cleaning Tapes, is a journey into the zones occupied by Huerco S. and Andy Stott, covering the thumping, booming techno beats with a thick coating of digital dust and distant sensual wails. It’s stealth music, but it’s something much more than ambient. More like some sort of codeine boogie (thanks for that, Boomkat!). Clearly a serious progression since the hit-and-miss stuff of OOBE’s 1080p release, Digitalisea. Worth checking out for the behemoth of an opening track. Highly recommended!