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russell haswell - Factual
Russell Haswell is enjoying a purple patch at the moment: Factual is effectively his third album this year, following the recent 5" Vinyl Series LP on Downwards and the Scandinavian Parts live document for iDEAL, and is if that weren't enough he's soon to unveil Concrete Fence, a new collaborative project with one of modern techno's most revered figures. Haswell's stubbornly abrasive recordings, not to mention his live sets, are invariably hard-going for even the toughest and most adventurous ears, and so it may surprise some of you to learn that Factual is a diverse, dynamic and - by Hazza standards - accessible work. Opener 'Black Metal Into Demo' is a beguilingly atmospheric piece, its buzzing low-end drones and slow, undead drum tattoos apparently inspired by flashbacks to his experiences of early black metal concerts around Europe. 'Killer Snakehead' and 'Rave Nihilation' were created to explore the intersection between extreme techno and Japanese noise, and the former in particular - an acid stomper reminiscent of early Regis and Jeff Mills - will have all serious ravers chomping their lips bloody in approval. 'Urban No!se' and 'Record Shop Day' are harsh, corrosive noise assaults more typically Haswell in style, and the album closes with 'Sheffield', a live session recorded by Peter Rehberg at the Steel City's Channing Hall ("a haven of religious liberalism and tolerance"). Factual is a must for the hardcore Haswell fans, obviously, but also a recommended entry-point for those looking to grasp why he's so admired.