Light Mass Body
Suzy Poling’s Pod Blotz has been around since 2002, and has an expansive discography commensurate with that sort of tenure. Those who have yet to experience the project’s particular version of DIY industrial could do far worse than to start out with new EP for Difficult Interactions Light Mass Body, which gives a handy summation of where Poling is at in 2018. The sound of “Returned Human Source” is dense and frantic, featuring blasts of shredding static, long winding filter sweeps and Poling’s own voice doubled and delayed, warping it into new forms as the track rapidly spirals towards its conclusion. Far more slowly paced but no less unnerving is “The Infinite Now” which slows the tempo to a crawl and fills out the track with a massive, swirling phaser that always seems to be moving further out of orbit with the simple kick and snare at the song’s center. Not strictly rhythmic noise, and not totally power electronics, Pod Blotz finds an unhappy medium between the two, forgoing straight anger for an anxiety tuned up to frenzy or reigned in to jittery distress. With commendable intensity, Poling is still pushing her long-running outlet into new and as yet unbounded territory.
Vertex, a Washington crew loosely assembled around those lo-fi low-lifes in Chrome Corpse (and we mean that in the best way possible), are at times as cryptic as they are coarse. For every couple of Night Terrors or Chrome Corpse release rooted in vintage, grimy electro-industrial and dark electro, there’s an anonymous left-field release like the debut from Deadframe. Comprised almost entirely of staticky electronic drones which sound as though they’re either echoing down wind tunnels or being compressed by 386-era soundcards, it’s a record that’s utterly forthright in its sound while also somewhat mysterious in its intentions. At times, the odd punctuation of these walls of noise by vaguely rhythmic pulses and potentially even super-distorted vocals (it’s rather tough to say) seems to be making feints to death industrial or possibly even Throbbing Gristle, but on the whole the focus is on walls of noise subjected to huge amounts of phasing – think power electronics on the other side of vaporwave, or possibly even early Arca after too many playthroughs of System Shock 2. At just under seventeen minutes, the EP’s over before it has a chance to wear out its welcome, or for the shock of its force to abate.