Tag Archives: Power Electronics

Street Sects – End Position

(The Flenser, 2016)

Street Sects (from Austin, Texas) was formed in 2013 by vocalist Leo Ashline and producer Shaun Ringsmuth, and released a few singles in 2014, before creating this their first full-length, a masterpiece which appeared unannounced to many from nowhere, sinking its sharpened claws into minds not disgusted by styles such as Electropunk, Industrial, Noise and Power Electronics.

I gotta admit I wasn’t that convinced about the genius of the band after having heard a couple of songs from this album, but couple of days later, after delving deeper into the violent and chaotic alluring world of the album as a whole, I became an adherent of this shit. This stuff is spiritual.

As already mentioned, what you get here is a fierce and quite original mixture of classic Industrial mentality (think of the more aggressive and faster pieces of older Skinny Puppy or Ministry), Punk Rock (or Electro-Punk if you will), and Noise, chemically (psychedelically) combined into an original and fresh end result.

Most of the music consists of samples which could have been gathered from a steel factory of some sorts, put together in an imaginative way. The clanks, thumps, rattles, fizzes, thuds, hisses, bangs, hums and slams are backed up by vicious electronic bass-lines and pounding snares and kicks, rhythms mostly not related to any certain musical style, except Industrial naturally. The grooves of the beats are sometimes childish even, yet working in an extremely convincing way with all the sample-based madness surrounding them.

There are not many clear melodies to be found on this album, as the music relies mostly on the insane cacophony brought by the various sounds and intense beats, but when you do hear them in the form of synth-lines (mostly), they sound beautiful and strong, yet you realize you wasn’t really missing them in the first place. Such is the power of this music.

The vocals are mostly screams through filters of heavy distortion, and they work perfectly with the music. But what gives this stuff a professional feel to it is the vocalists use of clear and melodic singing in the right places, nodding strongly to their influences, but maintaining the aggressive and original feel of the band.

Besides the distorted chaos and aggression, this album is packed with various emotions of sadness, melancholy, hopelessness, self-destruction, hate, disgust and other cool vibes. In fact, without having read the lyrics, I’m betting my head on them being descriptions of resentment, revenge and suicide, making the cover art (artist) a perfect pick for the album.

There are no weak parts on the album, making it a very solid and powerful totality. In this age, after having heard almost everything music has to offer (when it comes to ideas), it is always a pleasure to find someone taking classic pieces from here and some from there and combining them into something that is truly refreshing and moving. That is something we underground music lovers, grown apathetic after years of first being in love with and then disappointed by many powerful styles of music, are always secretly hoping for.

Give this album a chance, and if you get what I’m talking about above, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. This might very well be your favourite album of the year.

The Flenser

Bandcamp

Facebook

L.O.T.I.O.N. – Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence

(La Vida Es Un Mus, 2015)

I came across this band via a recommendation of a friend, which was an extremely welcome gesture, since I had been looking for an “Electronic Punk” band with the genuine aggression of a Crust band, and something fresh to offer. In the case of this album, both the classic sleazy and guttural attitude of Punk Rock (and of course Crust Punk) as well as the low-fi hostility of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics meet in an surprisingly imaginative way.

I have little knowledge of the New York scenes where this band has spawned, but apparently the group consists of members of bands such as Nomad, Dawn Of Humans, Zatsuon and Survival.

The soundscapes of the album are crafted mainly by putting layers of clanky and exploding Industrial beats and percussions (with a vintage groovy nature, so no “Electronic Grind” going on here) and other effects, waving synthetic basses (such as those of classic Hardcore Techno) and other old-school sounds, and phasing flanging distorted guitars (playing Punk riffs, naturally) on top of each other, with enough space and diversity in their individual sounds to give the whole bizarre mix a unique low-fi kinda three-dimensional feeling, which (especially when finished with the very Punk-oriented screaming vocals) seems to be very much alive and breathing.

The true genius of the album lies in the imaginativeness of the people responsible for this stuff, when it comes to creating eleven cool songs with this specific formula. The music sounds indeed unique and original, which is always a positive thing, and maintains it’s fascination all the way through the album. Altho the end result might be a bit low-fi (as mentioned before) to many, it most likely does not matter to the artists (and most fans of the stuff) themselves, since this work of art comes clearly from the feelings brought forth by the classic styles of Anarcho Punk as well as the more extreme forms of Electronic music, which are pretty low-fi by nature.

I heartily recommend this album to anyone into the rebellious feelings and audial aesthetics of Punk, and the harsh aggression summoned forth by means of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics. You know what I’m talking about, if you are truly interested. A very inspiring and awesome album indeed.

La Vida Es Un Mus (Bandcamp)

La Vida Es Un Mus (Store)

Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis / RIPIT – Split

(Ångström Records, 2015)

Noise and Power Electronics are music styles few understand, and even fewer really know how to perform. One might think of ominous dark men in balaclavas shouting in front of a screen showing disturbing video-material, or perhaps some pseudo-militaristic approach to this genre, but fortunately there is so much more to this culture and style than that.

The opening track of this release by Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis reminds me of the more modern Noise, such as the recordings of Henrik Nordvargr Björkk, in it’s synthetic and Electronic nature. The sound is extremely sharp yet warm at the same time, like lying in a heated ocean of sharp nails. As the high-pitched screaming distorted vocals enter the scene, I am getting strong nods to Black Metal (because of my background in the style in question), but then again this might not be that uncommon in all kinds of Power Electronics and Noise these days. All in all a very atmospheric and strong track, paving way for the following tracks in it’s intro-like qualities.

The following four tracks by RIPIT are quite different in composition and executions. Although being extremely Noisy (having the same audial aesthetic nature as the first song), they remind me more of Glitchy stuff like Autechre. Lots of bleeps, clicks and thuds, small intense storms of beat-like yet chaotic thumps and basses make up most of the material on these four songs, surrounded by (again) warm and sharp winds and floods of noises. The vocals on the last two tracks are screaming and intense just like the ones on the first track, while having more variation to them.

The overall soundscapes on this release is of high quality, giving multiple mental orgasms to the audiophile most interested in extreme Electronic audio. However, the short length of this release is at the same time cool in the sense the songs are very powerful and strong, giving you satisfaction fast, but at the same time I am left wanting more, since I’d like to make love with these tunes and music like this for a much longer period of time. Then again, considering the nature of split-releases (in the form of 7-inches such as this and so forth), the length is pretty standard and solid. The feeling of the cover-art fits the chaotic yet sophisticated and thoughtfully occult nature of the music perfectly.

If you want to know more about those things called Noise and Power Electronics, or if you are a fan of more modern Noise already (perhaps not the old-school stuff like NON), and Glitchy Electronic stuff (such as the aforementioned Autechre or music styles like Breakcore), you should definitely obtain this release.

Ångström Records

Facebook

Soundcloud