Compactor – Total Data Control (2019)

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It is good to see that some people remain active in the scene. Two decades ago there was this ‘circle’ of American artists who cooperated on several projects. Loretta’s Doll, 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse, Thee Majesty, A Murder Of Angels, etc. and one of these artists, Derek Rush, I mostly know for December and most particularly the great Dream Into Dust.

Rush also has had a label all this time (well, with a pause), Chthonic Streams and he keeps developing new projects, such as Compactor.

Compactor has quite a discography starting in 2012, of which I have heard some material, but by far not all. On “Multicore” (2017) the sound is a bit “rhythmic noise”, on “Technology Worship” (2018) much rougher, going towards noise, here and there harder rhythmic noise and here and there death industrial.

“Total Data Control” is more of the “rhythmic noise” type, but not of the very heavy kind. Often there is a (somewhat too) repetitive industrial beat with a lot of weird sounds and rhythms on the background, a bit ‘over-the-top IDM’. It is mostly this strangeness on the background that I find most interesting. The tracks on this album are sometimes a bit harder, sometimes somewhat lighter, but they remain (rhythmical) industrial.

Available on tape, but I guess you better be quick, since there are only a 100 copies, or as Bandcamp release.

Links: Compactor, Phage Tapes

Sutekh Hexen – s/t (2019)

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I do not listen to metal a whole lot. There are a few styles that I (sometimes) enjoy, such as old-school thrash, but for a while I have been sifting through doom metal a bit. I am no fond of the depressive type, but the (often even slower) “funeral” genre (and related) have some bands that I enjoy every once in a while.

There are also bands that blur the lines between electronic music and doom metal which sometimes results in interesting music. Khost, The Body, Author & Punisher, these type of bands.

Of course the name Sutekh Hexen came along in these searches. I never really listened to them though. I remember hearing tracks that are ‘too metal’ for my liking and more interesting tracks with electronics, or at least a noise-type approach. And then Cyclic Law sends a promo of a forthcoming album (end March 2019). A good excuses to listen to this American outfit a bit more attentively.

There are black metal like vocals, high-pitched guitars, but then to make ‘noisescapes’, “ambient metal” so to say, but dark and oppressive. When compared to industrial or noise music, the sound is pretty ‘wall-of-noise’.

There are several such bands whose vocals I do not like (those of The Body are downright annoying), but in Sutekh Hexen they fade a bit into the guitar noise most of the time. In doom metal I best like instrumental tracks still, but this new album of Sutekh Hexen is a good one in the style. I need to listen to some more material of this band. I now see that they even have a split with Trepaneringsritualen.

Even though there are over a dozen of previous releases, this latest album is “self titled”. It will come on CD and 2LP and batter your ears for almost 55 minutes.

Links: Sutekh Hexen, Cyclic Law

Oake – 47019 (2019)

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From hip Berlin comes yet another form of techno, a minimalist kind. The label Stroboscopic Artifacts has a series of 12″s with alchemical / esoteric covers, all called “Monad” and then numbered. Oake released such a “Monad”, numbered XXIV.

Another artist in these series is Tommy Four Seven who also has a label… 47, the label that released the latest Oake.

The artists in this genre do not just come from Berlin. When you look around there are quite a couple of more or less similar artists. See my review of Kerridge for a couple of names. Strangely enough, with quite a few artists making this dark, minimal and fairly industrial type of music, noone seems to have come up with a way to describe the style.

It is not that the music always leans towards a dark type of IDM (‘intelligent dance music’). Most projects also have tracks of a more minimal techno (hence: danceable) kind. Indeed, sometimes the sound is well described as “industrial techno”. Less convincing is the term “dub” as it has been in use for decades. Spotify / Everynoise seems to prefer the term “mandible“, but they seem to be the only ones using that term.

That said. As I said in my review of “Monas XXIV” I prefer the style of Oake of the first releases “Vollstreckung” (2013), “Offenbarung” (2013) amd “Auferstehung” (2014) which are much darker than what this duo made later. But “47019” is still a nice piece of dark techno music. Four tracks, spanning about half an hour.

This ‘genre’ / ‘scene’ keeps bringing me interesting new names every once in a while. Not all music of all artists sounds brilliant to me, but if you want to get an idea of style that I do like, listen to my Spotify playlist that I named “electronic doom” a couple of years ago when I quickly had to come up with a name and could not think of anything better.

Links: Oake, 47

Am Not – Incursions (mc 2018)

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The excellent Am Not released a tape on Zaetraom, lining him with other excellent noise projects such as Anenzephalia and Ke/Hil.

On “Incursions” Tamon Miyakita goes from his magnificent death industrial and dark wall-of-noise style with brutal vocals to more tranquil tunes, somewhat ambient or even soundscape-like perhaps even.

Also there are guest musicians. Hermann Kopp in the second track (vocals, not violin), S.T.A.B. Electronics (whom I discovered because the project share labels) and two ladies, one of whom also cooperated on “The Developing World“.

“Incursions” opens brilliantly and brutally. Also “What Are You Waiting For” is a great track. The cooperation with S.T.A.B. Electronics worked out well and (as can be expected) the track is pretty harsh. I am less convinced by the more tranquil tracks, even though I do like the industrial, but not very noisy, “Cruth Do Bhaile”.

Previously I reviewed the “appendix” which also has a more tranquil track that I like less than the other tracks. What occurs to me playing “Incursions” is that the noise on these last two releases is more of the harsh type and less of the structured kind of the two brilliant full-lengths. Even though I do like the more extreme tracks of Am Not, I like the structured tracks a lot better than the more tranquil tracks that seem to have replaced them.

Let us see in what direction Am Not develops.

Link: Am Not

Kompikations – No Good News (2019)

It has been a while since I heard a track of this Belgian electropunk outfit on X-Wave Radio. By then they had a few releases out that were old sold out. A little later I discovered that these releases are available from Bandcamp.

The trio makes excellent punk. A vocalist, live drummer (who sounds like a drumming machine, which is quite a feat) and a guy on keys. The music is very much punk, but (as expected) ‘half electronic’. Perhaps they are the ‘most electropunk’ band that I know.

In spring 2018 I got to see them live in a total punk bunker in Aachen, Germany, an extraordinary lively show.

On 1 February Komplikations released their latest 12″ on the same label as their previous releases: Rockstar Records. The preview track “Radio” was less energetic than previous releases. The other tracks prove to be even more so. There is even some sort of ballad.

The music still sounds like Komplikations with the typical vocals, drumwork and synths, but the punk-sound, even the punk-feeling, wore off. There still are the political / social lyrics (a punk band has to have a message, eh?), but I sorely miss the energy of the previous albums.

Links: Komplikations, Rockstar Records

Moral Order – Freedom Locked (2018)

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Tesco has found another wonderful noise project. “Freedom Locked” contains a nice bunch of industrial noise tracks. Droning sounds, raw rhythms, brutal vocals. Dark and moody. It is a sound that we hear more often lately. Think Ausströmen or the recent Tesco release of Deathpanel. This is not too bad, since I love the style, but it is starting to get hard to keep projects apart.

“Freedom Locked” is not too long (about 40 minutes, 12″ length) and it is certainly good. I do not have a whole lot more to say about it. When you like the other projects that I mentioned, you can safely buy Moral Order’s debut. There seems to be another album, “Wrath Of God” which comes in a wooden box, limited to 45 copies and released by Gradual Hate. I hope a better accessible version of it will be made available too.

Links: Moral Order, Tesco Organisation

Offerbeest – Afrika (2018)

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As the name of this project suggests, it is from the Netherlands. It means ‘sacrificial animal’. Offerbeest is actually one of the projects of the man behind Gnaw Their Tongues, an interesting dark doom metal project. I do not know if I knew if that came from my homeland though. He also appears to be active in the nice noise project Aderlating.

“Afrika” is the second of three Offerbeest albums and is released by Malignant, so well available (even though the physical copies are limited to 300).

It is but a half hour album with with noise music. Layers of distorted sounds, drumming or more industrial rhythms and distorted vocals. The album has a few nice tunes here and there. I like the tracks “I Am The One” and “Cut Out Their Hearts” which are fairly typical noise tracks with brutal vocals, but the other tracks are not too much to my liking. The sound is a bit too chaotic for me perhaps. Nothing to do about that.

You can listen to this album on Spotify or Bandcamp. When you want a physical copy, be quick about it.

Link: Malignant Records

L//D//R ‎– Shadow//World (2018)

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When I was looking for music to add to my “women in extreme music” playlist, I ran into a name that did not ring a bell: Lana Del Rabies. Now that is a funny artist name. Del Rabies has two albums out, but on Deathcomb Arc. A label that I did not know.

“Shadow//World” has a sound that is somewhat industrial, but different. Repeated rhythms give a bit of an ‘industrial vibe’ and the weird sounds that Del Rabies sometimes uses perhaps even more so, but different from your typical industrial album. A notable part of the music are Del Rabies’ varied vocals; from softly sung to screaming to (slightly) distorted. There are ‘unpleasant sounds’ and distorted rhythms. Indeed, I think an industrial audience may like it. I must say that I do.

Links: Lana Del Rabies, Deathcomb Arc

Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die (2018)

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I was looking around for music to add to my “women in extreme music” playlist when I ran into a name that did not ring a bell. Lingua Ignota appears to be a classically trained artist who released two albums by herself. The second album has been rereleased on a label that I did not know, Profound Lore, which does have releases by artists that I do know.

“All Bitches Die” opens with noisy and pompous electronic music which is accompanied by the tortured screams of Ignota. The music leans a bit towards martial industrial, but heavier, especially because of the vocals. Then about halfway the music goes over in piano music with normally sung vocals. Towards the end of the 15 minute track, mayhem returns.

The second track is lot shorter, just below five minutes. It contains singing and some organ on the background. Then follows a longer track, also with singing over piano, but with a noise-backdrop halfway. The screams return in the next track, but more muffled over what could again have been part of a martial industrial album, an organ and dark ambient tones. The last track is more tranquil again.

Like Diamanda Galás we here have a woman wandering through the darker parts of music and using her powerful voice in a variety of ways. I especially enjoy the darker tracks of this album and “All Bitches Die” made me curious about the debut album called “Let The Evil Of His Own Lips Cover Him”.

Links: Lingua Ignota, Profound Lore Records

Am Not – Unpunished: Appendix (10″ 2018)

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The appendix to the excellent “Unpunished” album comes as a beautiful 10″. It has cards with the lyrics and an A5 booklet with an interview between the label and the project.

The appendix contains four tracks. They are more of the wall-of-sound type than some of the tracks on the cd, but excellently moody and layered like we are used to from this great project. 

The 10″ opens with a monologue from “The Singing Detective” slowly going over in a death industrial type of low frequency noise blasts. The vocals are screamed and hardly understandable. 
The vocals are even more muffled on “Dark Star Kinshasa” which is really a wall of noise. 
Over on side B follows the only obvious link to the “Unpunished” album (track-wise) with “Extremophilia II”. Where this is a short track on the cd, we now get a longer, pounding track with screamed vocals.
Closing with the instrumental “State Funeral”, which is relatively tranquil and a not too interesting track, we close this way too short album. But not to worry, by the time this piece of vinyl arrived, I had heard of a cassette released by Zaetraom, so I guess I better be quick. There was a tape version of “Appendix” limited to 24 copies, so how many copies will there be of “Incursions”? 

Three magnificent tracks. Am Not remains perhaps the best new noise project of late.

Links: Am Not, Tesco