CENOTYPE: The Hour Before CD Industry8
It’s been a long time in the grand scheme of things since we have heard anything from Lenny Bogatch’s Cenotype project, with just the debut ‘Origins’ released on the now defunct Hive Records label and the self-released remix album through ‘Origins Productions’.
‘The Beauty of Night’ opens up this mini-album/EP, with operatic ambient and snarling vocals, reminding the listener that Bogatch is a fan of power electronics, even if this isn’t, if that makes any sense.
‘3am’ is up next with intricate beats that steer away from any form of power noise that we have previously heard from the project. Indeed if anything the structure suggests a hint that Lenny has been listening to a lot of IDM of late; the pad work could have done with a little more range and variation considering the length of the song, but all in all this is a good effort at trying something relatively different.
From here on in the Cenotype of old comes back into play giving a decent account of himself with some good old fashioned distorted beat and the like. It’s a pleasurable romp with ‘Nubian’ coming out on top, reminding me just how much I enjoy Cenotype live.
Cervello Elettronico gives us a more experimental electronic mix of ‘6X8’, whilst Intoner mixes ‘She’s Dead…’ into an excellent brooding mass of swirling industrial, topping the remix wars, with a rather plodding Vynilrob mix of ‘Unearthed in Brooklyn’ to end this release.
‘The Hour Before’ is a neat return to the scene; packaged in an octagon fold out sleeve, it looks all the better. If you were one of the lucky ones, you will possess the extremely limited box set/T-shirt combo that has since sold-out and the packaging does edge up the scoring a little.
V/A: More Than Nine Lives 2xCD Industry8
I have to commend this new label for throwing their worth in to the more charitable side of our scene. ‘MTNL’ is a two CD compilation packed in an A5 double sleeve and a benefit release devoted to PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society); a more than worthy institution, I should hope you agree. I am an avid fan of our feline chums, so I cannot recommend the gesture enough.
Disc 1, tentatively titled ‘Attack Cat’, opens up with the more Darkwave musical leanings from Mueran Humanos and Bestial Mouth, leading onto the surprising ‘Red-Eyed Puffback’ by Synapscape; given I am an avid listener of this duo, the more 80’s electronic approach on offer, is a welcome, dramatic shift from their previous works. The variation in styles throughout this release is more than evident, as Nadja also provide one of my more favourite numbers from this side of the album, with ethereal guitar work and sublime vocal harmonies, riding a shoegazing wave of bliss.
Access to Arasaka leads us into Disc 2: ‘Nap Cat’. Once again displaying a superb ear for complex, precise electronics centralised around giving every element its individual space, ‘Freeside’ is a wonderfully atmospheric song that transcends IDM and such like. Other tracks of note come from ‘Worms of the Earth’ with his analogue-aware soundtrack elements, the complex Industrial of Zero Degree and the haunting Black Tape for a Blue Girl.
There are a million and one genres floating throughout this double disc affair and in all honesty, the tracks I have chosen probably say more about the music I listen to and enjoy, rather than me slating them by their omission from this review. Yes a couple of songs on here are truly awful, but credit has to be given for the artists involved in this release and their love for our four legged furry friends; this is a worthy cause to dig deep into your pockets for and at least will introduce many to music they may not entertain on a day by day basis.
Scoring for this is a hard one, as I give a ten out of ten for the concept and love behind the gesture all in its own right, although have to take into account a couple of artists I simply could not stomach personally. Support PAWS and purchase this for your collection; please.
ASCHE: Stonebrain CDep Industry8
‘Stonebrain’ was conceived to coincide with Asche’s North American tour and licensed from Ant-Zen, comprising of one new track, alternate versions of others and remixes from some well-respected artists.
Versions of ‘Confusion’ and ‘Last Words’, give us a more technical, mechanical Asche; the latter with a slick, grooving old school ‘Wax Trax!’ approach, vaguely reminding me of Revco.
The heavily distorted, power electronics ‘Home Crisis’ filters into an ambient ridden version of ‘Steam Room’ sounding everything like the title suggests. It’s this kind of variation that sets a lot of Asche releases apart from the usually beat frenzy the genre throws at us, although the machine gun driven ‘Queer Angel’ is more than welcome.
Onto the remixes; first up being ex NTT project Theologian, predictably with an expected ambient noise dissection of ‘Distorted Doom’, followed up by a more clinical chop up of ‘Last Words’ by Hydrone. Nin-Kuji provides us a standard distorted beat driving mix of ‘Queer Angel’, which whilst formulaic, is fun non the less; leaving the mighty Iszoloscope to end the CD, with another of his more complex, but ultimately impressive jaunts mixing ‘Dogday Sunrise’.
Overall this a great, collectable edition for fans of the Asche’s discography and I would be surprised if this hadn’t encouraged more people to go see him live, on the tour which this was intended to promote.