SHHH…: I of the Storm LP/DL Thisco

SHHH…: I of the Storm      LP/DL  Thisco

The latest album by this Portuguese act takes a step forward in sound electronically speaking, with an array of fluttering broken beats, feedback, raging drones and obscure ambient electronics.  Rui Bentes has always tampered with obscurity in his tenure as this project, but for me, this latest output grasps an element of control in how each individual part equates to the greater sum.

Careful application and placing works well with the format of vinyl, providing a concise and enjoyable affair that feels immediate; and never outstays its welcome.  A heavy soundtrack vibe permeates this latest affair, which is somewhat assisted by the dense production; constantly providing a soft underbelly pads and reverberated beats scarred by sharp electronics.  There is however, the odd smattering of aggression on ‘I of the Storm’ to keep any listener on their toes, providing a necessary break when things slow down.

As such, there is enough peculiarity on this album to keep older listeners happy, whilst reaching out to fresher ears with an expanded palette of complex electronics and newfound maturity.


SHHH…: Afterglow 3”CDr ep Thisco

SHHH…: Afterglow  3”CDr ep  Thisco

I love my oddities and collect three inch CD’s, so this put a smile on my face the moment it dropped through the door.  Admittedly, a lot of the time there isn’t a whole heap on offer from such a format, but I love the novelty value.

The last two releases I reviewed by this artist were fairly solid affairs.  Decent rhythmical noise, that whilst isn’t going to set the world alight, does have a place within the genre and a firm foundation on which to expand.  “Afterglow’ thankfully, is the first step on that journey.

A remix of ‘The Thief’ opens up this EP with gusto; distorted beat with proper grinding, slick bass lines that ultimately smacks of originality.  Whilst most artists approach their work firmly from an electronic perspective, Shhh… dares to tamper with analogue intersections that are now assisting the project in labours that could make it stand out from the crowd.

‘Inside Every Storm’ and the title track follow, heading off down pathways we have heard before from this artist, but with a wider horizon in mind.  Masses of swirling ambient and machine-head hums swirl and rattle against each other, whilst brief encounters with beauty seep through the cracks.  It’ this new found attention to detail that was missing from previous works and paves the way for the next full-length, that could prove to be quite special should it be an expansion of this current form.


THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED: s/t CDep Thisco + A Gaveta

THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED: s/t  CDep Thisco + A Gaveta

Flanged synths, steady beats and flamenco guitars are the opening gambit to this three track EP that suddenly smash together into a dense atmospheric soundscape of Industrial tinged psychosis.  There is something genuinely original in the mix that I applaud and that is the variety of styles that are bravely patched together to make ‘Kill me First, Fast and Again’ an excellent introduction to this artist.

The Industrial tear up travels further onwards on track two, ‘(Scenes From) A Silent Light’, which blends distorted rhythms, obscure electronics and chimes, with torn apart vocal samples and harmonious natural bass.  Once again there is a fair blast of originality that courses throughout that I can’t quite put my finger on.

‘That Close’, continues with gentle flanged guitar lines and samples with gliding atmospherics that once again kick off at the mid way into a barrage of torment, with the beats kept low so the analogue sounds tell a story all of their own.

I was really surprised by this unassuming release that says more than initial impressions give on its rather drab packaging.  The true magic lies in that once you have listened to it, the temptation is there to press play once again, upon which you find other new layers and avenues that you didn’t witness upon first listen.  I would like to hear a full length from this artist soon, although I hope my expectations have not been set too high.


SHHH…: s/t | low lights CD’s Thisco

SHHH…: s/t | low lights  CD’s Thisco

Two albums have been sent here to review and as one has been released significantly earlier, I will combine them as a whole.

First up is the self-titled CD, which opens up ironically with ‘Don’t Panic’, utilising vocal samples and crunching break-beats.  It’s a frenetic start and thoroughly engaging from the off that filters into the down tempo ‘Les Americaines’ trudging forward with off-kilter electronics that are competent, but not really engaging the listener as well as it should do.

The more exciting aspects of this release are when the breaks are allowed to the mix. ‘Silent Nations’ displays some impression of suspense, whilst the mashing breaks thump away over the top; this is where Shhh… shines most.

Overall this is an interesting release, nothing that will set the world on fire though.  I do feel more attention should have been paid to the production surrounding the breaks. They do punch and they most certainly kick, however the do lack the clarity that would have made them truly bombastic.

‘Low Lights’ had me intrigued from the packaging alone.  The digipak is wrapped in a type of glass paper; excellent, although I am sure this is going to be a nightmare on the shelf next to other releases when it tears their covers to bits.  Nice.

‘Junk Kick Baby’ is an improvement on the last release all on its own; the hook ridden grinding bass line is excellent over the subtle power noise rhythms, but should have been used a lot more; although redemption does come in the form of some crushing trademark break-beats.

‘Conflicts and Resolutions’, is an upbeat surging blast of wire electronics and feedback that crush away over a simplistic rhythm and utilises a power electronics ethic.  This clever mash of styles is one of the more effective tracks I have heard from this artist throughout both albums and shows a genuine flair for mixing genres.

Another element of ‘Low Lights’ that makes it stand out is the knack of switching at will from ambient to all out dance-floor power noise, as the dramatic change over between ‘Slow Room’ and ‘Weak Signal’ attest to.

Generally this is all over better album than the s/t; the production has been tweaked marginally and makes for an all out better listen overall.  Shhh… is definitely one for those that like their music with a slightly obscure edge making for a more eclectic listen.

7/10 | 7.5/10 

V/A:Riyaz Master CD Thisco

V/A:Riyaz Master CD  Thisco

Sub titled ‘Future Comparative Ethnic Research’, I will be honest, I haven’t got a bloody clue as to the reason behind this compilation. Either way, this is an exciting, minimalist listen.  A wide variety of styles are all encompassed within this album from jazzier elements, to shoegazer, to dub, to subliminal electronica and the outer reaches of IDM.  Mainly this compilation is from a bunch of artists I haven’t heard of apart from the aforementioned Mimetic and C-drik.  However, each hold their own, and even though this is an audibly sparse CD, it engages the listener, being perfect background music, or for playing in your car stereo on a late summer nights drive.  This is part 001 in what looks like to be a series of releases in this fashion.  Count me in for number 002.