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Ad Noiseam weekly update [Apr. 19th, 2011|02:09 pm]

Ad Noiseam label news:

Ad Noiseam interview on Trebuchet Magazine.
Loop Stepwalker is a filthy mixmaster

New items in the store:

In stock today in the Ad Noiseam online store are:

Cortex  - Vacuum Theory CORTEX - Vacuum Theory - 12" (Praxis)

After a short (but still too long) pause, Praxis is back and this time around with something a bit different than the dark breakcore and pounding beats we could have expected. This EP by Cortex, who I believe is a newcomer to the scene, is more of a very heavy atmospheric record, based on droning noises and sparse industrial beats. Definitely not a dancefloor thing, but more of a nice piece to build oppressive, haunting moods (and then unleash some beats, but that's another story). A well done and nice change of pace.

Karsten Pflum - No Noia My Love KARSTEN PFLUM - No Noia My Love - CD (Hymen)

If 2010's "Slaphead Faun" was a collection of tracks Karsten Pflum had written over the years, this new full length album gathers (as far as I can hear) only relatively new material, written at the same as the Ad Noiseam-released "Nemo Loon" EP. Starting off in a very IDM-ish manner, close to some early Warp and Rephlex release (including the odd acid pads) and in this sense reminiscent of the "Slaphead" CD, "No Noia My Love"'s second half turns into the same kind of very bassy, dynamic and excellent spatial dubstep as what he had done on "Nemo Loon". Clear sounding, punchy but soulful, an extremely recommended album.

Twenty Knives - The Royal We TWENTY KNIVES - The Royal We - CD (Hymen)

A long time has passed since Pale (last hear of on an old Sonicterror 12") changed his name to Twenty Knives and released a few compilation tracks here and there. Here finally comes a full length album, intriguing and shockingly "different". Where I was expecting IDM beats or breakcore come a very melodic, song-based, mid-tempo collection of songs which, though they have an IDM foundation, remind me more of Luke Vibert's playful geekeries or, more often, of Animal Collective long washed out weirdness. At times poppy, at times emotional, often offbeat, this album is for sure something that stands out (even more considering the label it was released on), and though it is not without charms, it requires a lot of effort from its listeners to get this electronic take of weirdo free-wheeling songs. Not bad, but curious.

Stendeck - Scintilla STENDECK - Scintilla - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Every two years brings a new full length album by Polish producer Stendeck, and 2011 is no exception, with what is now his fourth CD already. "Scintilla" pretty much sees this guy stay faithful to his kind of emo-electronica, with a particularly heavy handed approach this time around. I might be wrong, but I recall Stendeck's previous efforts to be a bit more on the glitch side of things, and "Scintilla"'s thick beats and as-much-in-the-foreground-as-possible melodies, while still working, seem slightly detrimental to the album's subtility. Still, all of you industrial fans who want to kick back and listen to something romantic: this is for you.

Deathmachine - Dark Energy / They Hunt Us DEATHMACHINE - Dark Energy / They Hunt Us - 12" (Genosha One Seven Five)

You really hear Deathmachine's veteran experience on this 6th relesae on The Outside Agency drum'n'hardcore One Seven Five label, as the way this guy juggles between his dark gabber beats, drum'n'bass breaks, heavy sampling and dancefloor-packing rhythms is all done with insolent ease. The sound is clear but pounding, the tracks are both efficient but varied and fresh enough, meaning that the whole thing is very deserving to get an accolade from TOA. Recommended.

Instra:mental - Resolution653 INSTRA:MENTAL - Resolution653 - CD (Nonplus)

Ten years in the business, and finally a full length album for the Instra:mental duo. This act, which kicked off with drum'n'bass, rapidly touched more dub territories, got labelled as dubstp at one point and seems to be firmly anchored in modern sounding dub techno at the moment, offers here a particularely well produced and thought off collection of slightly housy, at times garage-leaning dubby tech and electro. It's all surprisingly dynamic and percussive for an album which at first seems relatively midtempo and smooth and, as usual, it all sounds very futuristic and clean. A real success from an act which has long been underrated and is finally getting the attention it deserves.

DJ Madd - Pitch Black / New Reality DJ MADD - Pitch Black / New Reality - 12" (Osiris Music)

Downtempo-ish and stripped down new two tracker from DJ Madd, presenting here tunes that fit very well with the rest of the Osiris roster: dub-heavy atmospheres, futuristic beats, a tempo under control, and the whole thing laid out alongside regular dubstep structures. The B side is particularly nice, and here comes a record that could be spun easily between something from, let's say, Kryptic Minds or Cyrus. Nice one.

Kryptic Minds - Can't Sleep KRYPTIC MINDS - Can't Sleep - 3x12" (Blackbox)

Very nice second album by the british duo Kryptic Minds, who have gained quite a lot of popularity since their 2009 debut. Though traces of their pulsating, dark but aerial dubstep basses are still to be heard on most of the tracks of this "Can't Sleep", this album also presents a lot of changes, ranging from very nice female vocals on two tracks, or the inclusion of more friendly trip-hop elements here and there. Therefore not brostep as some could have expected, clearly mor than just regular wobble, here comes a mature album that might be the sign of Kryptic Minds making their mark outside of their original niche. Recommended.

Back in stock:

The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - Mutations EP THE KILIMANJARO DARKJAZZ ENSEMBLE - Mutations EP - 12" (Ad Noiseam)

A bridge between their first album on Planet Mu and the forthcoming second one on Ad Noiseam, the "Mutations EP" is The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble's coming of age. Profound and organic but dark and impressive, it is a perfect rendition of the ensemble's live shows and the proof that there is still something fresh to be done at the meeting point of post-rock, jazz and drones. A deeply emotional and original trip.

Ginormous - The Sound Of Love Impermanent GINORMOUS - The Sound Of Love Impermanent - CD (Ant Zen)

Excellent third album by Ginormous. While the first two were nice, I always thought that this problem was coming a bit too short and a bit too late. With this third CD, losely built around material written for a dance performance, Ginormous finally breaks away from the post-Gridlock, industrial-ized electronica mould and delivers something which is part Coil-esque (most of all a couple of tracks with vocals) part folk, and which doesn't necessarily takes much influence from the industrial scene. The result if contained but very clear, highly melodic, melancholic but not kitsch at all, and just sounds very good to me. My favorite Ant Zen release in quite some time.

Sickboy - Into Oblivion SICKBOY - Into Oblivion - CD (Mirex)

Back in stock! 2005 album by Sickboy, embracing here a pretty distorted, instrumental and straight kind of breakcore. Hard, pounding, broken as it should be, and with enough noise, changes and energy to shake any dancefloor. A well executed tough album for breakcore fans.

Hecq - Steeltongued HECQ - Steeltongued - 2xCD (Hymen)

Even though it might follow the same formula as "0000" (a double CD featuring an album and a profusion of remixes), Hecq's sixth album is a huge leap forward for this german producer. Gaining from his experience as a sound designer and leaving behind both the über-clinical glitch and the Lustmord-ian low soundscapes, "Steeltongued" manages to gain both in complexity and in emotion. Add to this 12 great remixes (including three by Ad Noiseam favorites Spyweirdos, Mothboy and Raoul Sinier), and you get an extremely recommended album that might stay as Hecq's true coming of age. Congratulations.

Hecate - The Magick Of Female Ejaculation HECATE - The Magick Of Female Ejaculation - 2x12" (Zhark International / Praxis)

Back in stock, the absolute classic and definitive debut album by Hecate, who catapulted her to the breakcore spotlight in 2001. Wicked, varied, lo-fi and driving, this album was one of the angular stones of the breakcore sound back then, and is clearly one of the full lengths that any decent discography of the genre must contain.

Hecate - Ascension Chamber HECATE - Ascension Chamber - 2x12" (Zhark International / Praxis)

The long awaited second full length album by Hecate. This main character of breakcore and dark rhythmic noise comes back with a far more varied album than anything she has done before. Letting the hectic of her Raquel de Grimstone project behind, she offers here a very compact, well produced and catchy second album, full of dark beats, glooy atmospheres, weird frequencies and danceable rhythms.

Tapage - The Institute Of Random Events TAPAGE - The Institute Of Random Events - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Really nice first full length album for Tapage, a dutch producer who used as a collaborator for Ophidian in the hardcore scene as for a writer of pretty and glitch electronica tracks. And still, this is what's on the menu of this "Institute Of Random Events", a very laid back but rich and "full sounding" album of clicky beats, echoed pads and flowing melodies. The whole thing has the good idea of not sounding too much influenced by the industrial scene, and ends up being quite a stand out release. Congratulations

Tapage - Fallen Clouds TAPAGE - Fallen Clouds - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Second album for Tapage, confirming all the good things that one had heard with the first. Still as far away as possible from the gabber and hardcore scene (in which he is also active) as possible, Tapage delivers with "Fallen Clouds" a pretty complex, relentless and bleepy electronica album whose material ranges from the complex and detailled (and close to AZ-Rotator's debut at that) and the more delicate and "emotional". It's all clear, not overly dark and well done, and therefore results in a pretty solid album of well crafted electronica.

Tapage & Meander - Etched In Salt TAPAGE & MEANDER - Etched In Salt - CD (Tympanik Audio)

One could write a lot about this album and how the new collaboration between Meander (a.k.a. Ophidian) and Tapage sounds very different from both their first (the "Hydromedusa" 12") and their respective solo material. Miles away from Ophidian's gabber tracks, but also from Meander's previous breakcore EP for Low Res, "Etched In Salt" is also a lot more synthetic and lush than Tapage's first two albums. An exercise in contained electronica, with just the right amount of breaks, "Etched In Salt" is a strongly produced album from two beasty producers, in which the listener definitely hears the stylistic restrictions, resulting in a good, home-listening whole.

Undermathic - 10:10PM UNDERMATHIC - 10:10PM - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Undermathic's second album, again for Tympanik, is a nice and very "atmospheric" affair, even though it oftens gets quite heavy and lush. A mixture of accessible, charming melodies, industrial arrangements and thick electronica beats, it's also something that flows very well, and which I guess could work pretty well for long night drives or headphones sessions. Seducive.

Autoclav1.1 - All Standing Room In The Goodnight Saloon AUTOCLAV1.1 - All Standing Room In The Goodnight Saloon - CD (Tympanik Audio)

I've never really understood Autoclav1.1's aim, and this new album is not going to help. Starting with tracks which, to be brutally honest, sound like a strongly watered down version of Detritus's "Fractured" (same beats, but plainer, same guitars, but thinner, same melodies, but restricted to a couple of notes) then heading down to a painfully simple mixture of new wave synthlines, EBM beats and gothic tones, there's not much for me in this "Saloon". The super emo side of this all could probably appeal to some (not to me), but the production could definitely use some improvement. Restricted to people whose whole wardrobe is black.

Fractional - Blood FRACTIONAL - Blood - CD (Tympanik Audio)

After a handful of recorsd and a full length album on Flint Glass's Brume Records, Belgium's Fractional offers a new CD, this time on Tympanik. The choice of a label is pertinent: while Fractional has been occasionally labeled as a drum'n'bass or breakcore act, it is really his industrial side that comes first and foremost on "Blood". Oscillating between d'n'b breaks, very digital-sounding post-Skinny Puppy influences, rave pads and dark atmospheres, this new album is a rather energetic ride between mid-tempo tracks and club-oriented one. Quite lush, dark and very fitting on Tympanik, in my opinion.

Candle Nine - The Muse In The Machine CANDLE NINE - The Muse In The Machine - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Interesting debut album by this American artist which should feel completly at home on Tympanik Audio, for his "Muse In the Machine" has clearly flirted with both sides of the industrial sound of the last ten years. Some tracks aim at the dancefloor with a an almost post-EBM-esque sound, while some other swirl in the whole heavy handed, melodic electronica that this label has been pushing. Reminding me a lot more of the luscious productions of Keef Baker than of the scarcity of Gridlock, here's a well executed first album which raises curiosity and interest.

SE - L36 SE - L36 - CD (Tympanik Audio)

Following an already nicely downtempo first album, SE come up here with a follow-up showcasing quite a radical change. While dark electronic undertones are still to hard on this "LE36", we're dealing here with considerably more accoustic and post-rock material. I don't think that I'd be wrong if I wrote that this act has listened quite a lot to the Constellation and Kranky roster, or to Clint Mansell, and it shows. As far as I am concerned, this is something which sounds a lot more authentic and close to the heart than similar electronic attempts at emulating the melancholy and grittiness of the genre: SE manages here very well and come up with several great tracks on this album, closed by an excellent remix by the always-reliable Subheim. Recommended.

Kryptic Minds - Can't Sleep KRYPTIC MINDS - Can't Sleep - CD (Blackbox)

Very nice second album by the british duo Kryptic Minds, who have gained quite a lot of popularity since their 2009 debut. Though traces of their pulsating, dark but aerial dubstep basses are still to be heard on most of the tracks of this "Can't Sleep", this album also presents a lot of changes, ranging from very nice female vocals on two tracks, or the inclusion of more friendly trip-hop elements here and there. Therefore not brostep as some could have expected, clearly mor than just regular wobble, here comes a mature album that might be the sign of Kryptic Minds making their mark outside of their original niche. Recommended.

DJ Hidden & Switch Technique - Imagination  / Intelligence DJ HIDDEN & SWITCH TECHNIQUE - Imagination / Intelligence - 12" (Union Recordings)

Very nice piece of wax as a first release for Switch Technique's new Union Recordings imprint. This Polish musician delivers a very solid, clear and energetic drum'n'bass solo number on one side, in which one can somewhat recognize the influence of DJ Hidden. The later is actually behind the decks for the flip side, a collaboration which has all the deep melodies and dark undertones of his own productions, but also the heavy kicks and straightness of The Outside Agency. Listening to this, it's really no surprise that TOA / Hidden invited Switch Technique to co-write a track for their Genosha One Seven Five series. Recommended.

Skrillex - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites SKRILLEX - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites - CD (Mau5trap Recordings)

So, what do we do with Skrillex? Six months ago, nobody cared about this project of the former singer of some US metal band, but this first album is making a splash that only support from a major can explain (thanks to Deadmau5's success, as this guy signed Skrillex on his label). UK-imported filthy dubstep meets French Touch 2.0 fidget with a more than decent production and a far from negligible amoung of Ibiza cheese. The result is super catchy, has a big, fat sound, and goes straight to the feets from the first listen, but dims out pretty quickly afterward (with the exception of the Noisia and Foreign Beggars remixes). So, is Skrillex's tapping into trends fun and efficient? It is. Is it doing what Rusko & co are trying to achieve? Yes. Is it bringing anything new to the table? No. This thing is probably going to get considerable play right now, but I doubt that it will leave a lasting impression.
And on a side-note, I didn't check if the artwork was done by the same person who designed the Rottun covers, but this kind of Transformers-remake horror is making me wants to pluck my eyes out.

Now available as digital download:

  • STENDECK - Scintilla - mp3 (Tympanik Audio)
  • 2METHYLBULBE1OL - King / Preview - digital (Komod.O Dragon)

    Live dates:

    Apr 20: Wormskull in The Hague, NL
    Apr 21: Wormskull in Terneuzen, NL
    Apr 21: Matta in Liverpool, UK

    Apr 21-24: Niveau Zero & DJ Hidden in Geneva, CH
    Ap 22: Mad EP in Paris, FR
    Apr 23: Matta in Genk, BE
    Apr 24: Broken Note in Leuwen, BE

    Apr 29: Bong-Ra, Broken Note & Balkansky in Antwerp, BE
    Apr 29: Loop Stepwalker in Innsbruck, AT
    Apr 30: Igorrr in Montaigu, FR
    Apr 30: Bong-Ra in Fredericia, DK

    May 5: Broken Note in Wageningen, NL
    May 6th: 10 years Ad Noiseam in Berlin, DE
    May 13: Subheim in Volgograd, RU
    May 13-15: Bong-Ra at Bangface, UK
    May 14th: 10 years Ad Noiseam in Luzern, CH

    May 14: Subheim in Moscow, RU
    May 19: Balkansky & Loop Stepwalker in Barcelona, ES
    May 20: Loop Stepwalker in Bordeaux, FR
    May 21: Bong-Ra & Wormskull in Terneuzen, NL

    May 26: Balkansky & Loop Stepwalker in Granada, ES
    May 28th: 10 years Ad Noiseam in Utrecht, NL
    June 1st: 10 years Ad Noiseam in Paris, FR
    Jun 4: DJ Hidden & Broken Note in Bristol, UK

    Jun 9-12: Broken Note at Glade, UK
    Jun 17: Igorrr in Paris, FR
    Jun 17: Enduser, The Teknoist & Broken Note in London, UK
    Jun 25: DJ Hidden in Biddinghuizen, NL

    Jun 25: Loop Stepwalker in Vienna, AT
    July 9th: 10 years Ad Noiseam in Beirut, LB
    Jul 14-17: Enduser at Dour Festival, BE
    Jul 15: Igorrr in Montmartin Sur Mer
    Jul 21-24: Matta at Secret Garden, UK

    Jul 28-30: Niveau Zero & Cardopusher in at Norbergfestival, SE
    Jul 29-31: Broken Note, Niveau Zero & Matta in Utrecht, NL
    Aug 17-22: Enduser in Croatia
    Aug 25-29: Karsten Pflum at SOL Festival, ES

    Sep 30 - Oct 2: Igorrr & Mobthrow at Maschinenfest, DE
    Jan 6: Niveau Zero & Hecq in Leipzig, De
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