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techno music

Sonic Area * Madness & Miracles (2013)

  • idm

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

[Haven] * Noir (cd 2013)

I mixed up [Haven} with Havan and expected dark ambient. I was not too happy to hear some soft techno with female vocals which is entirely not my taste. There are sparse darker parts which are more interesting, but I really dislike the overal sound of this album.
Perhaps the fact that this came out on Zoharum is in a way interesting. There have been releases on War Office Propanda / Rage In Eden in the past, so may I did know this project (and they sound different on this release), but you will have to like soft techno if you want to try this.
Link: [Haven], Zoharum

v/a * Forms Of Hands 13 (cd 2013)

Just like two years ago I got me a copy of the latest “Forms Of Hands” when in Leipzig. Hands appears to become more and more a label balancing between the good old “rhythmic noise” and techno music. Quite like Ant-Zen perhaps. “Forms Of Hands 13” is largely still what I can call “rhythmical industrial”, but much of this music has left the sharp edges and became somewhat technoish. Then again, the music is quite energetic like we are used to of this style and the variation between the more seriously loud tracks and the more IDM-type of tracks make the “Forms Of Hands” series a nice series.
Just like two years ago there are the relatively famous projects such as Winterkälte and Ah Cama-Sotz, allmost classic projects such as Orphx and Geistform and projects that are new to me such as Kaibun and Phasenmensch.
However I like the music live, I do not play it much at home, but these Hands compilations are a reason to buy something in the style.
Link: Hands Productions

Igorrr ‎* Hallelujah (cd 2012)

There are many breakcore artists who simply throw a whole lot of samples in the blender, put some extreme rhythms over this and thus create their albums. Initially the French project Igorrr seems to be one of those, but on closer listening, there is something in Igorrr that I miss in a lot of breakcore: dedication and detail. Try to imagine a combination between classical music (orchestral and opera), folk, breakcore, grindcore, jazz, heck, is there music that Igorrr does not use? There are flinches of Venetian Snares, not in the last place the brilliant “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” album, but Igorrr goes way off into the extreme sound of breakcore, but at as many moments he also employs very moody orchestrations and creates the weird beats according the music. There are piano parts with accompanying beats at the speed of the piano, the same with Spanish guitar. The music goes from breakcore maddness right into some folksong and on to opera; oftentimes metal and allways with a breakcore basis. On this new album Igorrr also seems to sing himself more and his vocals are as varried as his music, from opera to screaming and death-grunts, sometimes in one track too. I am sure that this music is not for anyone. You have to be able to stand complete musical maddness and extremity, but when you can enjoy breakcore and not just the noisy side of it, you might want to check out Igorrr. In a way Igorrr falls something between Venetian Snares and Arcturus with its orchestral metal with varried vocals. Hard to describe, but if you like humour and extreme electronics… Sometimes brilliant, sometimes just good, but certainly something you have never heard.
Links: Igorrr, Ad Noiseam

Oyaarss ‎* Smaida Greizi Nākamība (cd 2012)

DiscogsGoogle translator says that the title is Latvian and means “Crooked Smile Futurity”. That sounds as weird as the original title! The music is not too common either. Oyaarss makes some kind of IDM (is that term still used today?) of the tranquil kind. So tranquil even that the music sometimes leans towards soundscapes or ambient. Here and there the sounds gets rougher and goes more into the direction of “rhtymic noise”, a sound that I somehow expect from the label Ad Noiseam. However the Last.fm info on the project speaks about “harsh and atmospheric sound, with heavy distorted beats” and even mentions the music styles industrial, post-metal, sludge and noise, this will make you overly expected about the intensity of the music. I can tell you, it is all fairly easy-listening. Not bad though, it is a nice IDM sound that serves well as background music.
Links: Oyaarss, Ad Noiseam

Aabzu ‎* There’s No Other God Than Rambo! (cd 2012)

I do not think that I ever heard of Aabzu, but since I also never heard of the labels that released the first two albums, this may be very well possible. In 2010 Aabzu released a cd called “Rambo” and Zoharum presents recordings of a live performance in the same year. The music can be described as ambient IDM, often soft and soothing, at other times a bit more rhythmical and technoish. The overall atmosphere is ambient though, but I think that people who like those tranquil sounds of dub/IDM might enjoy this album as well. For me there might have been a bit more variety, but I guess this album goes well as background music.
Links: Aabzu, Zoharum

v/a * Forms Of Hands 11 (cd 2011)

I did not buy very much at this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen, just this compilation and a Loki compilation. I hoped to get “2011 Hands”, their annual multi cd label compilation. Unfortunately these series are abandoned and now you can only get the series of the annual Hands festival which started in 2000. This 11th festival compilation has several projects that are new to me. Libido Formandi, Shorai, Wieloryb, Hysteresis and Edgey. Projects that I did know are Angina P, Maschinenkrieger vs Disraptor, Empusae, Winterkälte, Incite/, Greyhound and Orphx. Of course that is just me, but when getting a Hands compilation I hoped for some heavy “rhythmical industrial”, “indancetrial”, “rhythmic noise”, whatever you call it. It takes a few tracks before the harder sounds gets in. It looks like it that Hands became (or perhaps always was), more of a techno label. The sounds here go from IDM to more straight forward (soft) techno, but also breakcore and fortunately the larget part is “rhythmic noise”. I must say that most tracks do not sound all that bad and some are simply great (go Wieloryb!), so this is a nicely varried compilation. I still like the harder tracks best.
Hands Productions

16Pad Noise Terrorist * Utopia (cd 2010)

The project’s name suggests a pretty loud industrial sound, but I must say that the sound of 16Pad is closer to IDM than to danceable industrial terror. Ok, the technoish music is harder than much of the music from the techno scene, but “noise terrorist”? Nah. Not that the music is very bad or extremely boring, by the way. I think this album may appeal to people who like, for example, the harder kind of drum’n’bass, but I just hoped for a bit more of sonic terrorism.
Links: 16Pad Noise Terrorist, Hands Productions

D-Passion * Data Recovery (cd 2009)

Well well, D-Passion released a cd! Looking at the cover, I see quite a typical gabber face. D-Passion is one of the classic Third Movement artists enlightening their compilations with great industrial techno. D-Passion balances on the border between gabber and tekno, but does not lean towards the wrong direction. His style is fairly dark, pretty agressive, has a lot of samples and loud beats; not the the-faster-the-better ideology of the gabber or speedcore style, but always in a nice danceble pace. The music is minimalistic enough and does not have too many breaks and changes in speed, which makes it very enjoyable. Great heavy techno!
Links: D-Passion, The Third Movement

Peaky Pounder * 10 Non-Stop Peaky Hits (cd 2009)

I mostly know Peaky Pounder from his label’s compilations, but I also heard some of his vinyls. Peaky often makes the quite popular techno (minimalistic, regular beats and with minimal sound on the background), but then in a heavy, industrial fashion. Great stuff. Now there is a cd. I like the fact that within a DJ culture vinyls are still released to play at parties, but I personally prefer to buy cds to play at home, so I was happy to hear about a Peaky cd. Our Dutchman thinks that things to not have to be too dark and wanted to create something lighter with disco samples and stuff like that. However the tracks presented are obviously Peaky, most tracks are not as hard as I like them, but there sure are nice tracks here too. Here and there I find the tone a bit too light though and it seems that the speed has gone a bit down too. Overall the album is not as good as I hoped and it seems that Peaky gets about as crazy as for example Kid 606 here and there. At least the sound is not very typical (not even for Peaky Pounder) and some tracks are still good.
Links: Peaky Pounder, The Third Movement