Hard-nosed breakbeat rave styles from Mark, Unterton’s resident rave mutant
‘Fucking Sick Of Myself Since Day One (Hot Desk Mix)’ starts out promising with a brooding payload of darkside rave pressure, but quickly gets a bit dodgy with splashing big beat breaks that take us right back to early ‘00s raves we’d rather forget.
‘Hats Off To Herr F.’ is much more successful, working whirring breaks and grumbling Reese into an IDM tizzy, before the title track rolls out like a Krust or Digital c. 2000.
Athens-based Pi catch Jk Flesh in a wickedly rotten, up-for-it mood on their 4th release, backed with a lean Silent Servant remix and now available to download
The big man comes out gnashing and brawling with ‘PI04 1’, then grouchy and sozzled with the loose blows of ‘PI04 2’, and with thunderous depth charge gabber kicks offset with UK rave regime in ‘PI04 3’, leaving Juan Mendez to lend a fine contrast with his wiry groove and spacious atmosphere in the remix of ‘PI04 2’.
More Gqom-styled bangers from UK grime donny Scratcha DVA, including a tuff but warped link-up with Nan Kolé
Trim back from DVA’s more colourfully warped UKF and instrumental grime productions, he goes dark, minimal and heavy with the martial, staccato attack of ‘FOH’, before welding UK-style grime strings on the clipped, Durbvan-style drum diction of ‘Influencer’.
Nan Kolé jumps in to loosen and light up ‘Influenza’ with cartoonish boings and bleeps on its warped garage ballast, while DVA wickedly marries UK and SA sensibilities in the wigged-out and uptempo pressure of ‘Scorpio’.
‘Aurobindo: involution’ is a series of encrypted, hallucinatory visions realised by Daren Seymour (Seefeel) and Mark Van Hoen (Locust) for CM Von Hausswolff’s Ash International
Perhaps the starkest, strangest release in Mark or Daren’s catalogues, the album offers clues to its reasoning through the track titles, which suggest, as one discogs user points out, that they all relate to the birth and death dates of important, gnostic figures and important events such as the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo of the title, Herman Hesse of ‘Glass Bead Gamne’ fame, Brian Eno, Andrei Tarkovsky, and the launch of the Voyager 2 probe. Recommended to listen at night for optimal scares.
Neon-glowing deep house and R&B swerve from L.A.’s Bludwork and Canada’s AFK
Intriguingly detached, acoustic/offline ambient-pop from 2 Mothers, recorded as the title suggests, ‘Live In Brixton’ for Kamixlo and Uli K’s Bala Club
Recalling shades of Natalie’s doodly sketches for Lynn, the strung-out psychogeographic reportage of Burial, and even Loren Connors chiaroscuro air etchings, ‘Live In Brixton’ is the sort of surreal beauty one might not typically expect from Bala Club, but it’s totally welcome all the same. The voyeuristic feeling of eavesdropping on a precious, private bedroom recording session is strong on this one.
Ontal’s 2017 EP of hard-nosed techno for Athens-based Pi Recordings available digitally
It’s elbows out for the galloping scrum of ‘PI02 1’, before they properly put some back into it on the bruxist charge of ‘PI02 2’, and flash their teeth on the murderous pelt of ‘PI02 3’.
Industrial techno legends Orphyx dial in reinforcements for an armour-plated retread of ‘PI02 1’ primed for dancefloor war-faring.
Paris-bassed label Promesses joins these pages with Mobbs’ scuzzy, soundtrack-like blend of ghetto-tech, rap and gritty ambient caulk in ‘OneLord’
As a resident of London’s NTS, Mobbs’ monthly radio shows follow a similarly mazy, mosaic style of tiling found here in his first album. Formed of 22 fractured vignettes, the album unfurls like a modern noir thriller set between the Banlieues and the Bits, full of tense synths and interludes recalling late ‘90s style D&B intros and breakdowns as much as immersive computer game tropes, but pulled by rhythms from ghetto-tech, reggaeton, dungeon rap and modern, roadwise African styles.
Highlights come in the likes of his murky stepper ‘Bees’, the teasingly short Arabesque ‘Khat Lip’, the cold and brittle sound design of ‘Belly’, and the parting rap shot ‘TBS’ starring L.A.’s Kane Grocerys, Marcy Mane and SickboyRari. But, as suggested by the fades between cuts, and the album’s undulating flow, it’s best consumed in one go, on headphones, on the bus or on the mooch.
Back on her Noise Manifesto label, Paula Temple hammers out two cavernous bits of techno drama
‘Raging Earth’ goes on hard and gloomy with powerful kicks and sky-searching pads, before breaking down and doubling down on the darkside bassline.
‘Raging Noise’ is even nastier, developing 4 minutes of distorted drone-noise designed to bring crowds to their knees, before pushing into the red for a severely atonal climax.