When I have trouble sleeping, I tend to go on huge soundcloud binges… often bringing lucrative musical returns. Manchester producer Bhrisc is one of my most recent late night discoveries, and with Mary Anne Hobbs already taking any interest, I’m clearly not alone in my way of thinking. Describing 6550 on her 6 Music show as a “descent into darkness”, his take on modern techno knowingly exploits a sense of loneliness and alienation. L.A Arch is all smokey textures and industrial noise… you quickly lose yourself in the repetitive droney beats. Bhrisc’s production is cold but emotional; a thudding and fragile detachment from reality.
If the most certain part of life is death, then the second is that many will die too soon. Needlessly.
My father died feeding the birds
It could be any of us. It could be anywhere. It could be you, it could be me. This existence we so often treasure not nearly dearly enough – it’s so incredibly and inconsistently temporary.
My mother cries when the drones attack
Against all odds we’ve been granted the gift of consciousness, won the lottery of life. Human life is just too precious, jumps through far too many hoops simply to be allowed the right to exist, to allow it to be taken away by the maniacal genocide of ethnic cleansing.
My sister went up to the wall…
Tyranny holds so many forms; it could blow our brains out instantly or it could slowly and silently neuter the human spirit, covertly forcing us to relinquish our collective potential. Perhaps we just don’t realise that together we have the choice – the responsibility – of affecting the status quo. We could transcend this plastic fallacy of democracy in a heartbeat.
…she threw a rock and a bullet came back
In any case, the best questions are the ones whose power will never be outweighed by that of the answer; they stir and linger, they remain resonant long after the words have gone.
As an opening statement, the intent of Manchester collective Hartheim is laid bare in brutally ambitious debut offering Yellow.
It’s not often a piece of music delivers the kind of tension or unnerving beauty found here… but then its pretty clear that Hartheim are not your typical band. Lyrically brave; the track details the consequences of living with disease and addiction, vocals murmur and howl above a swirling industrial backdrop. At nearly 7 minutes long, this is a substantial and atmospheric journey we are being taken on. Recorded in the infamous SWAYS Records Bunker with producer Martin Hurley, it never panders to those in need of a quick fix, preferring to build slowly towards an epic conclusion.
A new year, a new Manchester already blooming in the little sunlight it receives.
Yellow will be self released on limited edition cassette alongside a remix from renowned Manchester producer, BLCK LNG.
Autobahn are five young guys from Leeds making one hell of a racket. Channeling the likes of Pissed Jeans and Interpol, their shadowy, industrial guitar music is high on attitude and bad intentions – their live show well honed. Front-man Craig Johnson tensely stalks the stage, roaring cathartically, venting his demons – the band are focused, tight and gang-like and motor along like they’re gulping down diesel.
Force Fed is bold and memorable – an exorcism of pure bleeding hatred. A chilling, well chiseled post-punk outburst propelled by a relentless beat, a stabbing bass line and some fittingly Bernard Albrecht-esque guitars. When Johnson screams his way through the chorus, spewing out the hook, “What I want is for you to fall down” – it’s so biting, so full of venom you just might.
The vast majority of prediction lists are predictable in themselves, dominated by artists with huge marketing campaigns behind them. New music blogs are all too often the same, more concerned with backing a winner (and getting hits) than going against the grain, working harder to find something new and exciting. The blogs I admire have always presented the listener with something a little different.
Right now, Tom Hardwick Allan is something a little different, as exciting to me as a figure like Dean Blunt. His darkness and mystery have much appeal, as does his youth. He is at times a difficult listen and however beautiful and fucking brilliant I think he is, his music is always going to be a hard sell to your average listener.
Cold Clear Sky displays an array of textured sounds, from the industrial and the eerie, to the warmth of recorded chattering at a party. They build into a rich and deeply profound noise, his deeply emotive baritone voice balanced within, and each word with the weight of the world behind it. Often his voice remains in the background of his compositions, but here it is starting to break out. Hardwick Allan continues to intrigue and amaze me.
The Underground Youth have released new album The Perfect Enemy For God on limited edition vinyl through Fuzz Club Records.
Criminally ignored by the Manchester scene; its been a slow process of self discovery for Craig Dyer, who started the project in his bedroom and has now recorded several albums there. I guess its indicative of the modern era that an artist can be largely unknown in their own city but find a growing and loyal fanbase online. The Underground Youth are a true DIY success who have figured out how to turn your musical influences into something new and exciting. This skillfully crafted record is certainly worthy of your attention.
‘The Perfect Enemy For God’ available to buy 300 copies only.
I would imagine I would not find myself alone if, when faced with the tags “drum & bass / jungle / reggae / Estonia”, I ran a mile in the opposite direction without even the slightest inclination of beginning to look for a play button. But this time, like a lucid dream taken a decisively sinister turn I indeed did press play and something very odd happened.
While indeed there were hallmarks of drum & bass emanating from my speakers: the cones wobbling in a way only the bass contained within those particular sub-categories of dance music can achieve; skittering rhythmic figures dominating the landscape – the overall picture was far darker and greyer than I could have ever anticipated. Before me was a thick, bleak, industrial tapestry – nothing like my normal ‘bag’, but somehow already ingrained deep upon the psyche. No ambient comedown or slides of psychedelia, instead confronted by a grainy monochrome beast constructed of concrete, dystopian paranoia and foreboding weather patterns. A wonderful gift from Estonia’s second city, Tartu. By a guy who prefers to be known only as “Thing”.