There is another form of techno that I have been exploring the last years. “Dubstep” is a very slow form of techno, usually based on “drum & bass” type rhythms. Much of the music is annoying to me with female vocals and happy melodies, but there is also a more dirty side to the style.
I know “darkstep” is not the term to use, as that is closer to “drum and bass”, but the description is fitting for that style of “dubstep”. Sometimes I run into the description “filthstep”, I suppose that fits the bill.
“Broken Note” is not the slowest, dirtiest, occultist artist in the genre, but it does have some excellent releases. “Dubstep” is good enough of a description here. There are not the typical speedings-up and heavy breaks on “Exit The Void”, but here you have the steady rhythm in spite of the weird beats, the typical creaking sounds and minimalist approach. Maybe you can compare this release to the relatively known project Noisia.
If you want to further explore the genre, for a darker approach (also thematically) look for Substep Infrabass; somewhat more typical for the (darker) style are Datsik and Download.
There seems to be a great ‘new’ subgenre of techno music. I have written about it before in my reviews of Oake and Kerridge.
A style called “minimal techno” seems to have a rising popularity. It sounds like the name sounds, minimalist techno. Often danceable, sometimes even 4×4 beats. (Probably) within that “minimal techno” scene (if there is such a thing) there are also projects that lean towards an industrial sound, some of these projects take their speed even slower making dark, experimental, rhythmical, well, “industrial techno”. That description as been used for many years for the “hardcore” type of techno, but what Spotify seems to call “mandible” is slow, industrial techno.
The Swedish duo Shxcxchcxsh does not seem to offer an explanation (or even pronunciation) for their project name. Their releases and track titles are just as weird. The four tracks here are called “VOOO”, “OPPO”, “POPP” and “VVOV”.
Shxcxchcxsh sometimes has a somewhat industrial sound, like on the magnificent album “SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs”, on their latest, the sound is more typical ‘minimal techno’, so a simple rhythm and not much else. “VOOO” is not the duo’s best work, but I do want to draw your attention to the project, as their material is interesting. To me at least.
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.
It has been quite a while since I was looking for music similar to Igorrr. Igorrr makes completely mad breakcore with elements of any type of music imaginable, including metal. Pryapisme does something similar, but here the metal seems to be the basis and the breakcore elements ‘additions’.
Pryapisme is also completely insane. They go from extremely fast metal to jazz, orchestrations and classical music. They are even weirder than Carnival In Coal. There seem to be more of these weird metal outfits, but none are as strange (and good!) as Pryapisme. Their latest album is not their best in my opinion, but here is an album to try if you want something weird and different.
It does not happen often that I run into a musical genre that is totally new to me, but that still proves to be highly interesting. A while ago I stumbled upon OAKE. When reviewing that latest EP I wondered from what type of scene they would come. Some fringe of industrial, some fringe of techno, experimental doom, or something wholly different?
Then I ran into Kerridge, the sublime “Fatal Light Attraction”. Kerridge’s music is very minimalistic techno, somewhat industrial in approach with pulsating rhythms and noises and (sometimes depending on what beat catches your attention mostly) a very slow pace.
So I have started doing some research. Kerridge has a few releases out. Under the monicker Samuel Kerridge there are some more and the man also has a label: Contort. There are projects like Kerridge and not just a few either it seems. Lakker, Talker, We Will Fail, Ketev, Positive Centre, Rrose, Shifted, Silent Servant, Shapednoise, SHXCXCHCXSH (who I already knew) and more. Sometimes the music is fairly typical “minimal techno” with a steady beat and ‘happy sounds’, but some of these projects make a nice piece of fairly slow and dark music (and some combine the darker tracks with more ‘easy listening’ ones. This starts to look like a scene to sift through to see what I like. So far the journey has been quite interesting!
Not all music is as good as that of OAKE or Kerridge, but I must say that from most of the music that I listened to, I like the larger part and that is something that rarely happens to me when I find a new genre. What is a bit odd though, is that there is enough of this music to ‘be a scene’, there are labels that release this sort of material and yet I have not found a ‘name’ (‘tag’, ‘cabin’) for it. “Industrial techno” is a description that I run into frequently, but this term is also used for harder types of techno ((post-)gabber). “Minimalistic techno” is also already ‘in use’. The beats are not always such that I could use the term “IDM” (Kerridge has very regular beats for example). I do not know. Yet, perhaps.
A while ago I heard a magnificent track that made me think a new Galakthorrö project was on its way. It was a track with the mysterious title “Sehtohree Diin Chromtas Vehns” and it proved to be of a project called OAKE. The track can be found on the 2013 EP “Vollstreckung”. OAKE appears to be a couple from Germany and they have quite a couple of releases available.
These releases are usually vinyl and released on labels that I do not know, Downwards, Resistance / Restraint, Noiztank, Stroboscopic Artefacts. Apparently nowhere near the industrial scene, I have not seen a place that sells their releases.
The music of OAKE and dark and mysterious. Weird dark ambient and rhythmical soundscapes that sometimes seem to lean towards IDM, while at other times there is a guitar drone that makes me wonder if this is a very experimental doom project. Like I said, in dark and rhythmical moments, OAKE could be on Galakthorrö. Especially their oldest material (2013/4) is some of the best new music I heard in a while.
“Monad XXIV”, the latest release, is again an EP. It takes about half an hour and has four tracks. “Monad” is a bit more typically rhythmical ambient, not unlike some material from a label such as L.O.K.I.-Found; sometimes a bit ‘tribal’, sometimes more IDM. The music is certainly interesting, but I like the earlier material even better.
A new Venetian Snares? What would mr. Funk come up with this time? “My Love…” opens rather jazzy. Not is not completely new and I must say that I can have Funk’s jazz pretty well. Soon it becomes clear that Venetian Snares again tried to make a pompous album with classical music too, so here we have two styles combined. Then there is the (by now familiar) mix between classical and breakbeats. Sometimes the beats go out of control, sometimes the music is easier to listen to. What is more, I have not heard each and every Snares album, but I do not really remember hearing the man himself sing. He has quite a peculiar voice. He is not a very good singer, but it is not like the vocals are out of tone with the music.
There are a couple of very good tracks. Other tracks are just allright. Overall “My Love Is a Bulldozer” is a nice album.
Links: Venetian Snares, Planet Mu
Like every year Hands Productions organises their Forms Of Hands festival. Like many a year, I buy one of the 1000 copies of the festival compilation during the Wave Gotik Treffen. Like every year, the compilation contains the Hands-type of music: “rhythmic noise”. Well actually, much of the music is not that hard or noisy. Most of it, as usual, is good though. Hands seems to operate mostly on the harder side of IDM these days, but they do well. They find new and interesting projects and with a remaining high standard, buying a compilation like this is by far no leap in the dark. I said it before. The style of music is not one that I listen to very often, but every once in a while, so it is good that there is this ‘standard’ yearly buy at the Hands stand in the Agra hall in Leipzig during the Whitsun weekend!
Link: Hands Productions
Not too recent, but I just discovered this and I want to bring this band to your attention. The energetic music of Black Bug goes from electropop to (electro)punk to digicore and then with (no)wave influences. Sometimes there are ‘wavey’ male vocals, sometimes distorted female vocals. The electronic music follows the vocals, sometimes wave, sometimes punk and this is also when the guitars get in. Yep, this is the good stuff!
Link: Black Bug
By far the greatest show on last year’s (2013) Summer Darkness festival was Sonic Area. Musicwise somewhere between dubstep, witchhouse and IDM with a pompous sound. The album that was (mostly) performed was the magnificent “Music For Ghosts” (2012). Not all albums are as good as that cd, apparently Sonic Area is/was more of an IDM project.
Now Deezer recommended me a new release of this French project. Four wonderfull tracks which are perhaps not as gloomy as “Music For Ghosts”, but they do have the same weird approach. “Madness & Miracles” seems to be a download album only. Oh well!
Link: Sonic Area