Review: Hugo Capablanca may be best known for his more disco-minded output from his time on Gomma Records, but increasingly his scattered output and his label have been reaching towards more abrasive material. Nothing will prepare you for the confrontational nature of this daring, 'no label' transmission. The artwork alone is enough to challenge the senses, while the opening track is a metallic drone that gives way to the distended mutant beats of "Top Less". Guy Debord is no less cut throat in delivering a "Disco Punish" remix of "Lap Dance" on the B-side, all deconstructed groove and guttural noise, and then "Dance Less" rounds the record off with another excursion into unsettling, heavily processed noise.
Review: Last year Cardinal & Nun successfully set their stall out via a decidedly lo-fi cassette of wayward techno, EBM, industrial and new wave fusions. Here the Marseilles-based outfit steps it up a notch via a debut 12" for Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. label. The four tracks are suitably loose, dark and otherworldly, with title track "I Met The Devil" - a pitch-black fusion of early Joy Division, throbbing new wave and late '70s Cabaret Voltaire - leading the way. "Go Away" sees them apply the same DIY fuzziness to EBM, while "Empoisonne" wraps discordant guitar solos and gravelly vocal snippets around another arpeggio-driven groove. They round things off via "Disintegration", a slower and druggier trip into thrusting, arpeggio-driven territory.
Review: Having built its name on various artist releases featuring old and new artists, Contort Yourself is branching out with a new series that focuses on one contemporary act per release. In this instance it's Coletivo Vandalismo getting some much-deserved attention. The Portuguese industrial punk outfit have a visceral sound that favours noise and distortion, but most importantly they know how to wield these sonic tools for maximum impact. The snarl of the synths and the crunch of the drums on "Hostages Of Society" could easily be too much in the wrong hands, but here the errant tones find their own space in the mix, making the impact of the track all the more on-point.
Review: Although Corrupted is being trailed as a "mysterious Japanese doom metal band formed in 1994", the label credits suggest it's actually the work of long-serving industrial producer Martin Bowes (previously a member of such forthright combos as Attrition, Pigface and Engram). "Felicific Algorithim" is an intensely uncomfortable and mind-altering affair, where sampled screams and redlined white noise rise above the distortion-splattered doom of the aggressive and twisted backing track. The 13-minute A-side version is, in many ways, terrifying in its disconcerting and fragmented approach, while the flipside, a kind of dark ambient version based around foreboding held notes and barely audible vocal samples, sounds like the work of lauded noisenik Dominick Fenrow.
Review: After a fairly overwhelming 2013 of archival releases that was topped off with that excellent Patrick Cowley compilation, Dark Entries seemingly are maintaining that momentum this year with a clutch of new projects. The first is this reissue of the classic Signals From Pier Thirteen EP by Crash Course In Science, which is a name that should be instantly recognisable to fans of minimal wave thanks to "Flying Turns". The track featured on the Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 1 compilation curated by Peanut Butter Wolf and Veronica Vasicka and has been reworked by Jamal Moss, J Rocc and Ricky Villalobos in recent years. "Flying Turns" of course features on this EP, and this Dark Entries issue is the first time Signals From Pier Thirteen has been reissued on vinyl since the early '80s and is a must for anyone who likes crude electronics and synthesised beats.
A Portrait Of You At Nico's Grave, Grunewald, Berlin (For Bill K)
Along The Isar
At The End Of Spring
Review: San Fran-based multi-instrumentalist Jerfre-Cantu Ledesma pops up on Mexican Summer with an absolute peach of an LP! He's has been making music for no less than twenty years now, and has released on everything from Type to Last foundation and of course, his own excellent Root Strata label which has seen releases from the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Grouper. A Year With 13 Moons is a 16-track journey into the depths of electronic gorgeousity, where mammoth-like waves of feedback splurge onto more docile soundscapes. Tracks like "Love After Love" or "Interiors", although dark and foreboding in places, retain an element of peace and tranquillity, something which Ledesma is just so damn good at. It's music for the open mind, an adventure into the most treacherous of calm waters.
Review: New material from Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti should always be celebrated and their latest joint opus will be of particular delight to hardcore fans. Carter Tutti plays Chris & Cosey is a logical extension of the live show of the same name the pair have been performing and perfecting over the past three years, transferring revisited classics from the stage to the album format. Completed to heed requests for the release of a live album, this double LP features some eight CC classics like "Driving Blind" and "Obsession" newly reworked and recorded at their Norfolk studio. Of course it all sounds as imperious and industrially challenging as you'd expect. Excitingly for completists, there is a second LP included that houses remixes only previously available on a tour-only CD.
Review: Finally! We'd been waiting for Carter Tutti Void's follow-up to 2012's Transverse live recording, and hear it is, the trio's first official studio album in their familiarly distorted and cutting-edge style - and it's as sublime as you'd expect. After all, we are talking about a collaboration between Throbbing Gristle Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Factory Floor's Nick Void, a rather sublime line-up in our books and exactly the sort of fresh air that the electronic / pseudo techno pool needs at the moment. F(x) is a wide-eyed view of techno and all its offshoots; the beats flutter and stir across waves of broken guitar riffs and foreboding vocals, a cold image of the world rendered warmer by the outfit's choice of instruments. This LP embobies the true spirit of both techno and industrial music as a whole, cutting out all the club-centred bull and getting straight to the point: dance, sex, and decadence. Highly recommended, of course.
Review: With Christmas fast approaching, Throbbing Gristle founder member Chris Carter has decided to offer up the perfect stocking filler for industrial and experimental electronica enthusiasts: a limited coloured 6xLP retrospective focusing on the early part of his solo career. While it omits his 1980 debut "The Space Between", it does include expanded, re-mastered versions of 1985's surprisingly ambient "Mondo B", 1998's trippy, hypnotic and rhythmical "Disobedient Redux" and 1999's brilliant "Small Moon Redux". Even more excitingly, one of the box's LPs is the most experimental, out-there and inspired of all, as it is made up entirely of previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1973 and 77. In truth, this LP is worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: Anders Karlsson aka Celldod returns to the spotlight with his third studio album to date, Fragmenterade Minnen. Out through DKA Records, fast becoming a cultural hub for the darker, looser, and more explorative side of techno, the album presents 12 tracks of intellectually honest coldwave and, instead of exploiting the genre's cliches, our man Celldod applies his own mood, vision, and aesthetic to this curious form of pseudo-techno. Wacky electronic waves collide and then gel with its more rigid drum patters and dance-centric grooves, making it a perfect album for rave junkies yearning for the spaces amid the kick drums.