Review: Having debuted on Valcrond Video label last year with the Immured 12" under her familiar Xosar alias, Sheela Rahman now returns to the platform for some "shared make-believe" with founder Luke Wyatt for new project Body Tools. Taking a catalogue number as its title, this two track 12" follows a succession of Body Tools radio broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio and showcases a softer, more hypnotic side which in the case of lead track "Locusts & Lions" hits hard when the poignant piano makes its presence felt. "Brave" channels a strange, modern kosmische vibe that will really hit the spot deep in the mix.
Review: Last year, Circuit, Burns & Hawk provided Rush Hour's No Label with the well received From The Legal Pad of... Now two thirds of that crew return to Torn Hawk's Valcrond Video with Becoming Nice. Like we've come to expect from the label, the three tracks across this release are emotional without taking itself too seriously, and the delayed '80s guitars are both playful and a little ironic, but it works. "Becoming Nice" is the highlight and it's a production that combines new age synths with '80s house melancholia and summery pop rock. It's the type of song you'd like to hear soundtrack a nostalgic montage of super 8 film. "Janice Will Dealt With It" stays rocky while maintaining a blurry house dynamic, while a broken beat "Cement Truck With Pretty Eyelashes" sounds like The XX only super-charged minus the breathy vocals.
Review: Delivery is the work of Greg Shin, who has previously appeared on LA Club Resource and Smashing Tape Records. Now he appears on Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with a wonderfully diverse set of leftfield machine workouts, kicking off with the tempestuous drum twitches of "Brain Drained". "Technology Transplant" is a polar opposite, focusing on calm drifts of ambient synth with a mournful tinge. The B2 is worth digging for, as "Four Two Nine" seems to balance the two other tracks and make for the most club-ready piece on the 12".
Review: Valcrond Video continues its devilish run of form with this new single from Fallbeil, a project that has previously been spotted on New York Haunted, Return To Disorder and Mannequin. That should give you an idea of the kind of deviant sonics we're dealing with here, skirting around industrial, electro and techno with limber and dirty hardware jams for the sinister dancefloor. "Rolling Dutch" clearly nods towards The Hague way of doing things, all eerie pads, gnarly acid lines and rasping drums, while on the flip side "Rave On Plastic" pushes the bubbling monosynth action to the front of the mix.
Review: Having been spotted splurging out guttural techno mischief on Super Rhythm Trax and No Logo, G-23 gets invited to Torn Hawk's Valcron Video label with more of that deviant sonic behaviour to share with the world. There is sludgy bass, strangled acid and clattering percussion aplenty on lead track "Access Code", while "Bleep Shots" throws down hard and raw with an utterly sick mix of grotty drums and gnarled synth blots. There's a Mr Husk "unmix" of "Access Code" which adds some extra melodic strains into the melee, and then "ARS Trip" finishes the EP off with some end of days tone damage for anyone left standing.
Review: Having previously shored up at Finale Sessions, Public System and Proper Trax in the past, Grey People makes a move towards Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with an EP of machine magic that touches on all manner of moods. "Cryogenically Frozen" is a hard-hitting slice of club tackle to get bodies jacking and sweat pouring, while "Coma Tunnel" takes a warmer approach without losing the boxy beats. Meanwhile the label boss saddles up on the B side for a dreamy remix of "Coma Tunnel" that ramps up the reverb and creates a long form surrealist dream out of the original's component parts.
Review: Valcrond Video invites you into the world of Helmer's "Roccale". Helmer's second release picks up the pummel that began with his first release, and continues the attack with three tracks of thoughtful, pulsing darkness. "You Say I for Me" presents a forbidding metallic landscape, a snake winds through it in the aural form of an eerie growl, making its way among the crunch and clutter to periodically emerge and rear with menace. "Corrib chun Mask" is what they play for prisoners sentenced to hard labor in the gulag of the future, if hard labor = dancing for days. "spry -Env", the closing piece on Roccale, is perhaps Helmer's most masterfully evocative. We have walked in on a ritual, dominated by an incense pendulum that swings and smokes, and carries with it the sound of an ancient transgression.
Review: Valcrond Video, the label run by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt (Torn Hawk), Apresents VV-013 Russo's ""Wild Metals"". A
Russo (Ari Russo) is an NYC based multi-artist whose engagement with abandoned media finds an outlet in the video bursts he culls as OfficeFern. As a programmer, he's produced innovative music generation tools such as the Diamond Arpeggiator. He returns to his own music with this collection of challenging and transporting structures.A
Wyatt and VV are eager to endorse Russo's latest report on crossmodal perception, a true exercise in synesthesia.A
""Wild Metals"" sounds like ferns and orchids infiltrating a tableaux of black plastic electronics, the breed of black plastic that Russo and Wyatt both found sinisterly inserted into the grid of their childhood. It provided the skin for some of their favorite toys, and its general resonance was aligned with the fast cars, women, and architecture that dominated their imaginations.
Review: Valcrond Video presents the next work by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt, Songs From Bad Kid School.
On a high desert plain, inside a cinder block compound, a prank squad is incarcerated. Between fiddling with ninja stars and leafing through back issues of Fangoria, they find time to scrape out the soundtrack of their escape.
On the first track, heatsick guitars and steel wool beats suggest a landscape strewn with abandoned car carcasses, old Camaros left for dead in the sun, used for shotgun practice.
The B-side leads off with the beat-less, articulated sprawl of "Saline Flats". Here is the story of a desert search for water: figures warping mirage-like on the horizon as they make a confused journey over dunes, ending with a cathartic drone that suggests the mirages resolving into a real oasis. Though it is just as likely that the bad kids have expired from thirst, and ascended to the sublime.