Providence's long-running, noise-induced techno producer Mincemeat or Tenspeed has dissolved into the new project under the name Davey Harms. This Loop is Gonna be the Death of Me is a throbbing face melter full of earth shattering rhythms that will render you helplessly shaking on the floor. "Quiet Smith" is a melting pot of heavily distorted loops, crafted from feedback fed through multiple pedals, becomes chopped, and skewered into skillfully rendered, heart throbbing compositions. It feels as though the inner circuitry of Davey Harms' gear is being pushed to its physical limits, emanating billows of radioactive smoke. Intricately layered patterns are formed from dense layers of feedback. There is a rawness on this album that comes from a great degree of knowledge and control over these sound forms and effect chains. This Loop is Gonna be the Death of Me is a voyage into a euphorically gyrating machine that is spewing battery acid.
Ceremonial Abyss delves into a dark, cavernous, acid wasteland on "Void Trak I," an aptly named cut off the act's self titled-debut on Cuss Fetish. Ceremonial Abyss as a whole is a cerebral journey of deeply enthralling hardware techno. The track's hazy, atmospheric, synth patterns float above vividly manic rhythms. It becomes a cacophonous labyrinth of interwoven sonic textures. The slow, chilling drone that opens it reverberates into a brooding melancholia. Its murky subterranean soundscape is soon met with a thick, throbbing bass, coupled with a tumultuous kick, which coalesce together, challenging your ability to stand still. Forming an ominous shadow of aural entrancement, "Void Trak I" burns a hole through you, leaving only ashes to account for your charred remains.
Pete Swanson may be most famous for his work in the celebrated noise duo Yellow Swans, whose six years together lead them to acclaim in the experimental scene, with releases on labels like Root Strata and Type. Yet, Swanson also has a longstanding solo career, with a sound that is continually evolving. Most notably, he is a case study of an American musician whose work is slowly crossing over the boundary from noise to techno. The early stages of Swanson's transition to more dance-oriented music was in 2010, when he recorded Man With Potential in an isolated spot in Oregon, shortly before moving to New York in 2011 to begin an accelerated nursing program at Columbia. In New York, a scene of similarly-minded musicians with noise backgrounds were an apt audience for Swanson's new record, attracting him a fresh following. Swanson is once again switching up locales, soon ditching the east coast for Los Angeles, where he will seek out employment opportunities and take advantage of more spacious accomdations for his musical projects. We recently took some time to talk to Swanson about his experiences in New York and the ongoing convergence of techno and noise into the powerful hybrid it has become.
AdHoc: It’s sad to hear you’re leaving New York. When did you move here and what stuff did you see right away that you really liked?
Pete Swanson: I moved to New York in summer 2011, and I couldn’t really go to shows very much for awhile because of a very accelerated program I was in at Columbia. One of the first shows that I saw was actually a Bunker show with Rene Hell, Keith Fullerton Whitman, JD Emmanuel, Raglani, Led Er Est, and Kassem Mosse. It was kind of bonkers! Actually, one of my favorite things about that show was that Rene Hell managed to get really drunk that night, and he was leaning over pretty heavily on the table while he was playing one of his laptop sets. You probably know his music is getting more and more abstract, and there was this point where it was getting very, very quiet, but then it just stopped. He was just sitting there; he didn’t move at all, didn’t change his expression, and was just pawing his mouse. It seemed to take way too long, somewhat more than a minute. Eventually the promoter came onstage and tapped him on the shoulder to figure out what was going on, and it looked like he just tapped the space bar and all the sudden all of this crazy noise started coming out of his computer after total silence for that time. It turned out his computer had crashed, and he had to reboot it. He was drunk enough it didn’t really register, so he restarted it onstage without letting the crowd know, and it took forever.Read More
Berlin has been having a techno and house rennaisance for a good quarter century now, attracting all sorts of talent to play weird clubs in back alleys. Berlin transplant Campbell Irvine was a classically-trained violinist in Australia without any background in creating house music. He emerged with the Shambala EP last year and moved to Berlin where he met David Sumner, aka Function, a New York DJ whose label Infrastructure NY had been dormant since 1998. Sumner heard the tracks for Irvine's Removal of the Six Armed Goddess and, having just revitalized his label, he decided to put out the 12" this past June. The three songs on the record are texturally complex, featuring thick swaths of delayed static, ominous moaning, and samples of Arabic music that hovers like a miasmic fog above a deep industrial 4/4 groove. Nevertheless, this is dance music indebted to UK darkcore and acid house, with a dark ambient electronica bend ala Muslimgauze or Demdike Stare.
Listen to a track off the record, "Thread Laid Bare On The Ground," below. You can order Removal of the Six Armed Goddess from InfrastructureNY here.