Faster Detail – Phase Lock (C52, No Rent Records)

Dance, dub, Review, Uncategorized

phase lock faster detailWhile I confess that I’m not the most well-versed reviewer when it comes to dance/electronica music, I will say that I find Faster Detail’s Phase Lock to be my new entry point into those subgenres. Faster Detail is the project of producer Alex Chesney, also of Gam Spun. On Phase Lock, the first and last tracks of this C52 tend towards harsh noise with electronic manipulations of sound, the “Phase” and “Lock” of the title, while the rest of both sides include bass-heavy beat-laden dance music with tons of modulations, distorted vocal samples, and a bevy of catchy samples.

The beats really don’t stop after the wallop of “Phase,” with Faster Detail sticking to a mid-fast tempo throughout with similar but often slightly varied drum tracks. Vocal manipulations and clear sound samples are interspersed throughout, with the artist often mixing in genre ideas like dubstep drops, drum ‘n bass rhythms, and even some breakcore into the mix. All of these combine to make for a swift-moving and immensely danceable record.

It’s even appreciated when Faster Detail slows things down a bit like on the digi-pop “Slug Windows,” hitting some downright emotional tones along with its video game-like beeps and boops.

Overall, Phase Lock is an intriguing listen, a catchy and fast-paced dance album sandwiched between two harsher electronic tracks. Check it out on No Rent Records’ Bandcamp page and have a dance-off.


Human Vault – Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted (2xCD-R, Exabyss Records)

dub, EBM, Industrial, Music, Noise, Review

hukman vault

Human Vault is Mortum, an industrial artist whose work has been released on a variety of different lables. Exabyss Records is re-releasing Human Vault’s ouput, and Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted is a combination of two recordings on a 2-CD-R set. Tears of the Quiet Ones is a regular full-length album, and the second disc, Souls Inflicted, is a set of four remixes by Vinnui and Gary. It’s a nice package from Exabyss Records, especially if you missed Human Vault output in the past; the electro death industrial music he puts out isn’t for everyone, but the noisy dance sound is nonetheless done well.

Human Vault often uses a standard repetitive beat for his tracks; programmed drums provide the background beat, while various synth tracks lay out the gothic feel, often dark and haunting but hypnotic as well. Most of the tracks clock in around lengthy four- or five-minute marks, using their repetition to lock into a groove as Human Vault growls or snarls over them.

None of these are too noisy, although they have a semblance of that to them; “Void in Fetus” starts out with crackles of static, only to erupt into a bass-driven jam with squeaky interlaced in the mix. “Stupid Sadistic and Suicidal” is an intro piece that lays down more electronics than beats, with a sound sample late in the track that shows where the title came from.

The snarly vocals are the draw here for me, although I have to say that all of Tears of the Quiet Ones’ beats are catchy. The sounds are compiled well, and all of the tracks generally have one or two moments where the song morphs ever so slightly, like “The Defeat of Creation”‘s subtle synth notes in the background. The final track onTears of the Quiet Ones, the Gary remix “The Defeat of Creation,” slows things down quite nicely for a dreamy outro.

Souls Inflicted is a nice bonus for listeners, especially since some the original tracks aren’t included on this release. It gives a quick look at what other sounds Human Vault has created, and at the same time allows Vinnui and Gary some exposure as well. It’s a short CD-R, but definitely worth a listen.

Exabyss’ package of this Human Vault reissue is really nice, and an avid listener of industrial would feel right at home with this album. With that said, I’m not too knowledgeable with industrial myself, but Tears of the Quiet Ones/Souls Inflicted is definitely a beat-heavy album with a lot of good sounds, worth a check even for those who like more noise than music.

Delchia/Trolis & the Giberlingers – Kvantinis Osciliatorius/Mirror Gaze (C70, Terror)

Drone, dub, Glitch, Music, Noise, Review

trolis delchia

Terror presents us with an interesting pairing of bands on this split between Delchia and Trolis & the Giberlingers. Delchia are a two-man group consisting of guitar and vocals, and they mostly do lengthy drones throughout their side, labeled “Kvantinis Osciliatorius”; Trolis & the Giberlingers have a penchant for playing glitchy synth-laden breakcore, and their offering is much more diffuse on “Mirror Gaze.”

Delchia starts things off with the two-part “Kvantinis Osciliatorius,” which mostly spirals along lines of guitar and heady bass parts throughout its run time. It is so droning, in fact, that it’s difficult to note where the first part ends and the second begins; perhaps that is just a reference to the length rather than any meaningful track break. The second piece, “Bedimensinis Dydis,” adds whispered vocals to the otherwise similar pairing of plucked strings, although on this one there are additional notes added to the drone to vary the piece towards the final moments.

Trolis & the Giberlingers open their side with “Magist,” a glitchy synth-pop instrumental with pounding bass, a staccato synth track, and just a hint of static manipulation underneath it all. It’s catchy, in a similar fashion to Fuck Buttons if they were a bit more abrasive. Included are both the regular and live version of “Mirror Gaze,” wandering synth tracks that lead right into each other. “Tu Busi” is heavy on the drum tracking, along with vocal interruptions of deep spoken word. “Beda” is the final cut with a return of the spoken word as well as a slurry of watery electronics that is the closest to noise Trolis & the Giberlingers come. But it’s also insanely catchy.

Kvantinis Osciliatorius/Mirror Gaze is a split that features two very different sonic soundscapes. While Delchia toil in the fuzz and drone of guitars, Trolis & the Giberlingers rave with synth and glitch. From one extreme to the other, this split is a great slice of what both artists can do.

Richmond Tape Club Vol. 2: Slow News Day in the Vampire World (C20, Richmond Tape Club)

dark ambient, dub, Music, Review

slow news day

Slow News Day in the Vampire World is a dub project from John and Tara Morand. On this tape for the Richmond Tape Club, they have a couple of guest appearances from friends, and the tracks are titled to signify whose track it is. There are five tracks on this C20, and each of them have the plodding bass drones you’d expect from a dub album.

The first side consists of two tracks, the first being “Stephen Funky.” It’s a repetitive song with huge bass, and there’s a buzzing element locked into that groove that works rather well as a noisy offshoot to the rather minimal textures. “Delia Dub” and “Bobby Dub” are short tracks that allow Slow News Day in the Vampire World to play with different sounds while keeping their initial beat intact, but the most apparent experiment is the final track “Animal Talk,” a mid-paced beat with echoing drum slaps and a swirling sample that sounds sourced from some vocal clip. There are more sonic changes in this song than any of the others combined thanks to the track’s vignettes. The sound continues to grow, the synths get more defined, and vocal samples echo along with eerie woodwind effects.

The result is a quiet and deliberate effect. Some of these tracks, the liner tells us, were used in an Irish horror film called Portrait of a Zombie, and they do sound like the plodding moments of a film that is slowly building to show us how zombies have taken over the world, as though we’re viewing it on top of a skyscraper and the horde stretches for miles. Some might find the slow progression of these tracks off-putting, however, and those who don’t like dub will probably not find anything here to change their minds.