All the right noises: September 2018 in 21 tracks


GAZELLE TWIN – Better In My Day (From Pastoral LP)

Gazelle Twin leaves aside her blue school gym gear and body horror themes examined in her album Unflesh, for a grotesque character study of Middle England curtain-twitchers, Brexit dead ends and destructive banality. The abrasive industrial electronics is made more chilling with shrill recorders and flutes, and her new character is a sort of court jester chav, playing on Little Brits’ disdain for the working class folk devil. Better In My Day is a series of Daily Mail column headlines, delivered with seething venom.

_______________________________________________

BEAK> – Alle Sauvage (from >>> LP)

Beak’s third LP is another postcard from the outer limits of post-punk, krautrock, kosmische, jazz and space rock, and is a cert to be in most of the top 10s that matter come December. Alle Sauvage is all high-fret bass and nervy synths, which builds into a John Carpenter space jam lightning bolt halfway through. Majestic stuff.

_______________________________________________

YVES TUMOR – Honesty (from Safe in the Hands of Love LP)

Yves Tumor’s new album Safe in the Hands of Love takes abstract R&B and dark pop into further cosmic realms than even Arca and FKA Twigs in recent years. This debut for Warp Records is also already one of the most striking releases on the iconic label in years. Where most over-hyped R&B is too treacly and rooted to 90s charts, he weaves in noise, dark ambience and psychedelia to mess with your gut feelings. Honesty is a stand-out, hissing like a shattered and swirling deep electro track with nervy snapped snares.

_______________________________________________

SLEAFORD MODS – Dregs (from Sleaford Mods EP)

How did Sleaford Mods not already have a song called Dregs? For a band that cast a weary eye over the grotesque aspects of of broken Britain, small town lad culture and dole desperation, the next step was Jason Williamson barking, “SPIT TRAY” and hawking something rotten from the back of his throat.

_______________________________________________

LONNIE HOLLEY: I Woke Up In a Fucked Up America (from MITH LP)

Lonnie Holley giving a thumbs-up salute on his new album MITH is an evil trick to pull on an unsuspecting listener – there’s nothing going right in his world, or yours really. I Woke Up in a Fucked Up America is the lead single off the improv jazz and blues artist’s latest LP, and it’s a hellish lament, smothered in frazzled electronics and terrifying foghorn blasts.

_______________________________________________

LOW – Dancing and Blood (From Double Negative LP)

While nowhere near as on the nose as Childish Gambino’s This Is America, Mike Dean’s Grab Em By Da Pussy or YG’s Fuck Donald Trump, Low’s Double Negative is the latest album to tackle the ongoing shitshow in the US. With a subtle horror atmosphere befitting their slowcore minimalist legacy, the LP is a collection of quietly melancholy tracks hacked away by crumbling electronics, and the glitchy pulse running through Dancing and Blood instils abject fear.

_______________________________________________

VILLAGERS – Real Go-Getter (From The Art of Pretending to Swim LP)

Within half a day of Villagers’ fourth album’s release there was always talk of Irish album of the year. It’s not that hysterical, really – Conor O’Brien is one of this generation’s most accomplished songwriters – whether it’s the singer-songwriter minimalism of 2015’s Darling Arithmetic, or the widescreen electronic production sheen on The Art of Pretending To Swim. Real Go-Getter bobs along on intricate effects and a typically catchy hook with underlying barbed lines like “since I got better I’m a real go-getter”.

_______________________________________________

KNIFE KNIGHTS – Seven Wheel Motion (from 1 Time Mirage LP)

Shabazz Palaces are already true hip-hop outliers, owing as much to Bitches Brew Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock as leftfield originators like Kool Keith and Jonzun Crew. But Palaceer Lazaro’s new side project with fellow Seattle artist Erik Blood is a few degrees further into the unknown, with cosmic jazz and funk to the fore. On Seven Wheel Motion it sounds like Knife Knights are working on a new genre on the fly, like Shabazz Palaces remixed by a reincarnated Sun Ra and a couple of aliens he picked up along the way.

_______________________________________________

NONAME – Blaxploitation (from Room 25 LP)

Chicago MC Fatima Warner’s second album as Noname is another showcase of her nimble, effortless flow she perfected in youth poetry and spoken word events. She raps over delicate electronica and live spiritual jazz, and in the case of this track, actual blaxploitation samples.

_______________________________________________

OBJEKT – Secret Snake

Secret Snake pulses with organic life, even if it doesn’t feel quite human – more like the firing synapses of some alien life form, along with guttural vocal tics and gurgles. Brilliant lead track from Objekt’s upcoming second album. Review here.

_______________________________________________

$HIT AND $HINE – You Were Very High (Very High EP)

A Funkadelic-style jam through a wiry metallic noise prism, on the Texan producer’s latest 12-inch of weirdo jazz-funk and glitch. Review here.

_______________________________________________

APHEX TWIN – MT1 t29r2 (From The Collapse EP)

Richard D James’ late period victory lap that started with the Syro album carries on with the Collapse EP – four tracks, perfectly formed, condensing the whole Aphex Twin range from drill & Bass to ambient across one 12-inch. Full review here.

_______________________________________________

CLARK: Harpsichord ECST (From ECST TRAX EP)

After Oneohtrix Point Never’s dalliance with MIDI harpsichord passages on his Age Of album earlier this year, Clark takes the medieval instrument into more far out territories. Sampling his own hissing vocals, Clark adds braindance skits and proggy synth pads to the intricate hammered harpsichord motifs, for another thrilling left turn by the electronic master.

_______________________________________________

NORDRA – Human (from Pylon II LP)

Seattle producer Nordra’s tagline on her Bandcamp profile is “dystopian soundtracks to make you feel”, and her latest album Pylon II will move you to tears or the fear, depending on your mindset. She opened her last EP with the track, Apologize to Me, Humanity, but Human is an almost tender beatless sci-fi analogue synth jam with melancholy pads and wafting abstract vocal samples.

_______________________________________________

GIANT SWAN – The Rest of His Voice (From High Waisted EP)

There’s no real substitute for seeing Bristol duo Giant Swan live, with frontman Robin Stewart channelling every one of your favourite punk and industrial reprobates, elbow deep in cables along with production partner Harry Wright. Their EPs come close though – High Waisted is another slab of visceral EBM techno, and The Rest of His Voice comes on like a headbutt.

_______________________________________________

ADULT. – Perversions of Humankind (From This Behavior EP)

Perversions of Humankind could be a shorthand for ADULT.’s subject matter over their 20-year career in the electronic underground. The Detroit electro duo’s sixth album is another uncompromising collection that riffs on Throbbing Gristle-style industrial venom as much as classic synth duos and other Motor City figures such as the Drexciyan rhythms of early Dopplereffekt, Japanese Telecom and Arpanet.

_______________________________________________

GRUTH – Disdained Doctrine (From Befallen EP)

Brazil-based Finnish electronic producer Gruth’s third EP for experimental label Tormenta Electrica is a “sister piece” to his first release Futile Demise, which digs deeper into black metal tropes, and heavier mechanical industrial heft. Disdained Doctrine is all hissed black metal vocals, processed guitar riffs and techno kicks hitting the red. Interview with Gruth here.

_______________________________________________

 

PLOM – 0017A

Banjaxed mechanical bird noises, drilling techno, insectoid hisses and squirts, and a rhythmic barrage that conjures Aphex Twin (the time he put sandpaper on the decks. Full review here.

_______________________________________________

THERAPY? – Success? Success Is Survival (from Cleave EP)

In the 90s Therapy? would often ham it up in leather and studs for Kerrang! cover shoots, maybe self-conscious of the backlash from the metal community, with their short hair and love for Hüsker Dü. They did, after all, appear above Slayer on the 1995 Monsters of Rock poster. But the riff on Success? is their most metal riff since they covered Iron Man with Ozzy, and Cleave is up there with their best albums. And I’m not just saying that cos I’ve been a fan since I was 14.

_______________________________________________

PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS – GNT (from King of Cowards LP)

If stoner rock kings Sleep didn’t actually smoke as much weed they might sound as invigorated as Newcastle metallers Pigs (x7), who channel the most psychedelic aspects of Black Sabbath. Album opener GNT is a hell of a mission statement, with colossal, downtuned riffs drenched in grease, psych-rock sonic trickery and singer Matt Baty bellowing from the rooftops like Lemmy on a bender.

_______________________________________________

SUMAC – The Task (from Love In Shadow LP)

Following the amazing team-up with Japanese noise pioneer Keiji Heino, American Dollar Bill, Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On, abstract metal trio Sumac get even heavier, with elements of improv, prog, death metal, doom and thrash over four tracks in an hour. In fact opening track The Task kinda has all of the above in its 22 minutes.

_______________________________________________

Advertisements