2012/39 (I) : Of briars and buds

I was barely awake (and the early hour as well as the somewhat cozy chair certainly didn’t serve an awakening purpose) as I half heard, half felt the dentist’s drill vibrating within my skull, when suddenly music echoed in my mind: Camo & Krooked. Veiled in the vague and amorphous emotion of complete incomprehension, I began to envision today’s journey into the vast valley of bushes and thorns, thought of the scratches and disruptions my lamentable soul was to endure from the mean frequencies, of the ambushes and assaults that would again await me there. Returned from the strange world of sterile scents, the lips lit with a quick prayer, I nonetheless headed out into the jungle, and behold! entwined between glitchpop and beta-states, feelgood trash and music for passionate tank drivers, I found indeed a few blossoms shimmering through the mist. I broke them, gently, and knew: there is God within the bushes.

Introducing the category Neurofunk to go I’d like to start today’s revue by pointing out a track that found its initial debut already in May, but has just now been rereleased as part of Faders United’s Schlagzeug und Bass Sampler volume 2: Shinobi by russian producer Neoside. Repetetive, hypnotic and with a proper dose of dirt, this music-made energy pinpoints one precise direction: straight ahead. At times brute and techy, then again marching in cool and industrial fashion, yet always wicked; this neuroninja is rendered a special touch by the upbeating tender squeeze of a cat (-you’ll know what I mean). As the speech sample suggests it, and we have nothing more to add: Impressive.

Neoside – Shinobi (Histeria Records / Faders United) – http://soundcloud.com/neoside/neoside-shinobi

With a somehow trashy approach to their atmo-synths, Pageant and PC Project are obviously trying to distract us from the fact, that their Unconscious EP does eventually contain some proper sound. Pageant, the cunning, contributes two tracks of crispness and thickness, and particularly Next unrolls a carpet of cuddly endearing bass. PC Project, the streetwise, pounds the drums relentlessly on his half of the EP that is indeed replete of escapades of sound. Unfortunately the two do sometimes not only hide behind arbitrary textures, they are timid as mouses when it comes to dealing with the internet, and thus chose a label that rejects representation. Pity.

Pageant, PC Project – Unconscious EP (Mind Outside Recordings) – http://www.beatport.com/release/unconscious-ep/971162

If Lomax had a dark side (-just suppose), it would probably sound similar to the new EP of Athens-based Insom, a piece of music that would rightfully deserve the EP of the Week Award (alas the more do we grief as there is no such thing). For Insom uses the three tracks Lift Up, Downgrade and Disguise to make it perfectly clear that he knows exactly when what has to happen how. His breaks and sounds are balanced in prototypical equilibrium, just as he works the music’s electrifying way round some kitschy edge just close enough to leave your mouth open in astonishment. This, the lunatic groove tendency and the outstanding melodic work of the in all likeliness most structured of Greeks add up to a marvelous construct, one definitely dare not miss. And yes, the bass is nice too.

Insom – Lift Up / Downgrade / Disguise (Ammunition Recordings) – http://soundcloud.com/insomud/sets/insom-lift-up/

To be held for a Black Metal band is a burden, very few of us carry. One of the victims of this rare plague, non-Scandinavian Mayhem, has -in corporation with Logam- recently released another record with very little guitar in it (though there is some). Ouroborus and Centuria offer thoroughly enjoyable vibes on a viscose foundation of fine round bass, not exactly opulent in information, but entirely made to comfort those in need for sub; and with winter coming, one can hardly cluster too many warming frequencies…

Mayhem, Logam – Ouroborus / Centuria (Santoku Records) – http://soundcloud.com/santoku-records/sets/ouroborus-sanw002/

The in all probability ‚biggest‘ of this week’s releases has got to be the new Symmetry compilation The Other Side -but it’s not clear which side we’re dealing with. With the label being Break’s own, the to me most ambivalent of producers naturally contributes some music to it, still rigidly putting on top of his convincing foundations of outstanding crunchiness the stamp of his vocal fetish. I admit: It makes me mad to hear the darkest vibes and most caustic basses thwarted by a female voice completely out of context – especially with Break being such an outstanding producer. Be that as it may, this habit spoils the opening track Love So True at least for me (yet the poppy jazz-interlude is kind of weird, and as to the freaky delay-stuff at the beginning of the reprise, who let that happen?), as well as Who We Are, that I must consider a complete loss due to its unbridled audiopornography (call me prude but there are borders…), which hurts, for what blazes through under the moans is quite nice. His third contribution, Kicked To Death, abandons this praxis, but is second not only to his collabs with Octane & DLR (Power Down, with the exception of the middle part a very nice track, but beware of the saxophones!) and Silent Witness (currently at the height of his art), but to many other of the altogether 12 tracks. With The Hills Have Ears (feat. Silent Witness) likely being the best track on the album, one shall also not miss the quartet of Hydro, Mako, Fields and Villem’s bedtime story for bad basses, Dissolve, as being just a bit more special than the other tunes by Code 3, Ulterior Motive, Prolix and Xtrah (among others). Those who actually cried watching Titanic are very likely to get teary-eyed with this album; those who didn’t, should approach it with caution: a great many of its songs are likely to drown before one’s very ears. One should, however, definitely approach this record.

Break, Code 3, DLR, Eastcolors, Fields, Hydro, Mako, Mikal, Need for Mirrors, Octane, Prolix, Silent Witness, Ulterior Motive, Villem, Xtrah – The Other Side (Symmetry Recordings) – http://soundcloud.com/symmetry-recordings/sets/break-presents-the-other-side/

Apart from the featured collaboration with Code 3, Yeti, on the above mentioned compilation, James Davidson and Greg Hepworth alias Ulterior Motive have recently released an EP of their own: it’s called Versus and confronts the producers with a total of four collab-partners. And as different as these the resulting tracks turn out to be: Probably because of commercial calculation, the vocal-laden Cartharsis (feat. Lenzman) is set as initial track, but doesn’t really build the momentum one would expect an opening title have. But just when you start wondering about the aim of the EP, Evan Vischi -better known for his weekly releases under motto and alias Hybris and due to his compositional ingenuity regular subject of this blog’s attempts on apotheosis- comes along with his eight hands and goldmineal idea-fundus. So what can I say? Yes, Bring Out is a rhythmical masterpiece, a structural paragon, an aesthetic multiple orgasm, a 5-star dinner of sound, and yet still unpretentious, in Hybris’ typical and smooth style that doesn’t talk too loud and still has much more to say than most of nowadays screaming music. ‘You bring out the best in me’ is what the vocal says -I gladly forgive this one-, and the fertile trio does indeed bring out the best of the merged power of their combined CPUs: Thank you for this track.

Part two of the EP consists of collabs with FD and Krakota, and Drum Circle (with its subtly chaotic yet characteristic tendency for cowbell) as well as Minesweeper tighten the rhythmic nexus to a groove of immense power and almost force the listener to get caught in their net of percussion and drive, while entertaining with their roaring basses and slick breaks from beginning to end. For reasons of questionable exclusivity, one has to progress as far as Subtitles Store at Surus to finally get the EP, but that journey is absolutely worth it.

Ulterior Motive, Lenzman, Hybris, FD, Krakota – Versus EP Pt. 1 & 2 (Subbtitles Music)

Cartharsis / Bring Out – http://soundcloud.com/stholdings/ulterior-motive-versus-ep-part

Drum Circle – http://soundcloud.com/surus/ulterior-motive-fd-drum-circle

Minesweeper – http://soundcloud.com/dnb-48/ulterior-motive-krakota

Your weekly music update: http://www.facebook.com/Subsphere


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