May techno column is on!
Blush Response – Selection For Societal Sanity
Techno-industrial maestro Blush Response a.k.a Joey Gonzalez returns shortly after his collaborative EP with Rhys Fulber Corruption Of Form, this time with a solo work on Sacred Court called Selection For Societal Sanity. Expect futuristic techno with throbbing synths and industrial rhythms, underlined by mysterious atmospheres and enriched by his usual skillful sound-design and attention for the details. Vortigaunt welcomes us in his cyberpunk world with noir ambiances, showcasing nervous lines and eerie effects soon reached by steady rhythms and dark undertones. The track grows into a droning techno affair with compulsive percussions and well placed synth sounds. The streets of a future world not so distant are here evoked, as well as a frenzied race against time. RA9 is a techno-industrial number with stomping rhythmic patterns and buzzing bass-lines, an energetic track which gains momentum during its crescendo. Electric vortexes and steel-like beats guide us among the sonic storm, offering a dancefloor destroyer in the making. Aptly used samples and oniric synth-lines complete the grandiose episode. Net Terminal Gene starts with dark and noisy ambiances, slowly developing an obsessive sound with disturbing samples and broken elements. All of the sudden, rhythmic frames and pulsating patterns conquer the scene, giving us a rhythmic-noise inspired number recalling the more experimental side of Blush Response’s music. Steady snare-drums are added to a great effect, as well as eerie motifs full of melancholy. Acceptance By Exclusion ends our voyage with IDM-inspired broken rhythms and throbbing bass-lines with an EBM feel, conjuring a groovy track with explosive rhythms. More and more elements are added, and an enthralling techno motif is now our guide among shrilling sounds and hypnotizing loops. Another example of Blush Response ‘s style, a unique mixture of techno, experimental electronic music, industrial and EBM with a sci-fi theme that can be actually be heard in his music.
Dionysian Rituals – Theatre Of Tragedy
Jay Coen (SHFTD) project Dionysian Rituals debuts on Clan Destine Records with the 10-track cassette Theatre Of Tragedy, showcasing its highly experimental and ritualistic brand of techno industrial music. This is not a club friendly record aimed to the dancefloor, this is a work born from a precise artistic impetus, an evocation of ancient rituals dedicated to Dionysus and the concept of the eternal cycles of death and rebirth. As in ancient Greek culture the sacred rites of Dionysus have been appropriated and transformed to theater performances, now they live in this work in which mechanized rhythms and bombastic sounds are the new means of expression. The title track evokes a misty atmosphere thanks to its abrasive distortions and diaphanous sounds, introducing a rhythmic mantra with ecstatic energy – the crescendo here conceived grows into a dark techno affair with droning motifs. The last part of the track is dominated by static sounds and shrilling elements, keeping a mysterious scenario. The Sacred Mask Of The Wild God fuses dark ambiances and distant industrial samples, evoking a grim soundscape with slow movements. Suddenly, a compulsive rhythm finds its place in the composition, pummeling us with its fast drums and distorted kicks. A techno industrial obsession is the main theme of the cut, a ferocious and tribal ritual for a modern age. This last element is further developed in Channeling The Presence, which showcases an ethnic percussion and sampled shamanic mantras; the rhythmic element becomes a hypnotizing motif putting us in a state of trance. A perfect mix of ambient and technoid sounds, the track recalls the work from Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, but with its own identity. The Fearsome Divinity welcomes us in a world made of droning bass sounds and repeated loops, an alienating pattern with rhythmic qualities and industrial undertones, while The Last Time I Saw Her Eyes ends the album with its eerie and evocative dark ambient theme full of grace and suspended atmospheres, reminding us once again the experimental nature of the work. Techno as exploration, evocation, and a spiritual yet carnal experience: these things, and more, can be found here.
Headless Horseman – Headless Horseman 008
Headless Horseman (a.k.a the producer William J. Youngman) returns with the eight installment in his series of self-named EPs. Headless Horseman 008 continues the ongoing sonic saga with three new techno industrial bangers characterized by hard drums, distorted soundscapes, and a powerful production. The result is another journey into a dark world full of mystery and engaging rhythmic mantras, fitting perfectly his image and narrative purpose. Bed Of Stone is the firs chapter in our journey, an unrelenting exercise in suspended tension and controlled rhythms with a ritualistic feeling, which builds a crawling crescendo with cinematic qualities. Obsessive factory-like movements are added during the development, while dark ambiances and distortions underlines the track. The Distress Subsided is a majestic experience, starting with dark ambient orchestrations and following suit with stressful ambiances and pounding drums. Grim vibes and punishing rhythms are the main theme of the episode, but enthralling snare drums with a hypnotizing nature are not forfeit, as well as masterfully crafted synth melodies – this last element giving to the track an elegant old-school feeling. Gallanty Mounted ends the EP using pitch-black atmospheres and imposing drums, crafting a subtle crescendo with sparse sounds and obsessive rhythmic patterns. Sci-fi pauses made of synth sounds prepare us for steel-like kicks always united with bleak visions and menacing motifs. A work showcasing a dark techno style balancing a skilful sound-design and apt ambiances evoking the grim world of the Headless Horseman.
Samuel Kerridge & Taylor Burch – The Other
English experimental techno artist Samuel Kerridge is a household name in this field of electronic music, with a career which spans over seven years, three previous full lengths, seven EPs, and various compilations and mixes. Taylor Bunch is one half of Dva Damas and Tropic Of Cancer, projects that redefined new wave and post-punk music. Now they unite forces in The Other, a collaborative effort made of seven “transmissions” characterized by syncopated micro-rhythms with IDM and experimental qualities, as well as by Burch’s voice in a crooning mood. The result moves away from Kerridge more abrasive and noise-tinged moments of the past (a growing tendency in his recent efforts) toward a sound rediscovering 90’s IDM, ambient music, broken rhythms, D&B, and minimal electronic elements. Transmission 1 is a perfect example: micro-rhythms with a syncopated nature intertwine with the singer voice, which becomes an instrument in itself. Old-school arpeggios complete the compulsive movements, in an atmosphere made of restraints and releases. The second chapter follows a more controlled route, but at the same time it showcases a darker vibe with grim timbres and eerie ambiances. Sparse rhythms and sudden synth-lines underline Burch’s voice and its soothing narration, offering a skillful contrast. Transmission 4 offers distorted keys with orchestral vibes and chopped movements, while abrasive kicks build an imposing mantra. Shrilling synths and industrial elements complete the track, while the last part give us a dramatic finale with distorted bass-lines. Transmission 6 manages broken rhythms and droning lines, crafting a solemn moments with suspended atmospheres and IDM structures recalling Autechre. The singer voice continues her poetic narration, interrupted by sudden burst of instrumental music following fragmented passages. A work showcasing both a collaboration, both the new course of Kerridge career, characterized by a more elegant, but not less experimental, style.