Boomkat Product Review:
Unmissable debut of “Anglo-Saxon power electronics” from Æþel Electronics, masticating the poetry of Beowulf in a bed of medieval maelody and nettley noise somewhere between Wold, Wojciech Rusin and Whitehouse. In other words, mad, brilliant stuff.
One of the most strikingly original Hospital Productions in recent memory, ‘Angelcynn’ (“Anglican”) distills the definitive sound of “Anglo-Saxon power electronics” from a clutch of tapes issued between 2012-2016 by Reactive Identity’s Jesse Cannon and Zen Zsigo on their Hastings, East Sussex-based Strange Rules and Winter Cross labels. Living in the lands of the Norman Conquest, they clearly can’t get over the good old days of Anglo-Saxon rule, and use a mixture of early choral music, pummelling bass noise and eviscerated vocals to vent their anguish at modern day society.
Recalling to us everything from the blasted metallurgies of Black Mecha and Wold to the high register shrieks of Whitehouse and Con-Dom and even the salty spittle of another Hastings oddball, Baron Mordant; the music marches from religiose stations of choral majesty thru muddied tracts of bass driven distortion, occasionally arriving at bleak junctures where the gales recede, ultimately stranding us over a 1000 years ago in unrelenting, scorched and bloodied atmospheres with only haunting chants, sprawling dog roses and nettles for company.
Of course, nods to medieval history have become entwined with some dodgy occult beliefs and misappropriated by silly cnuts like O9A and ideas of the dark enlightenment for some time now, but we’re fairly certain that’s not where Æþel Electronics’ concerns lie. Better to take this LP as intended - as a rail against the ills and failures of modernity, viewed thru the benefit of a millennium of detached perspective, and perhaps as an uncanny reminder of the english south coast’s shifting role as a battle ground; a promised land for refugees; and a site of heavy history, art and magick.