Black Light Odyssey
Anton Floria and Craig DeGraff’s resumes as remixers for the likes of Depeche Mode, Erasure, and IAMX have served them in good stead when it comes to their own productions as Black Light Odyssey. As showcased on their new three track EP, the pair have an uncanny flair for the subtle tics in sound design and arrangement which make dark synth/body music work in club sets, yet there’s nothing overdone about any of Kontrol‘s tracks in terms of production or composition. Lean compositions like the ‘Kraftwerk does acid-EBM’ approach of “Assume Kontrol” do a great job of cycling and augmenting individual sounds without ever letting the flow of the track become too complex or overwrought. “Destoy!” finds immediate yet inscrutable means of adding polish and tactile oomph to a versatile and approachable club-nodder. More solid stuff from the duo which should easily find its way into a variety of DJ formats.
The Age Of Decay
Moroccan industrial project Pröphan certainly don’t hedge anything on their new release The Age of Decay for Greece’s OSM Tapes; the themes of the EP, namely social and personal decay and disintegration are reflected in every track. Interestingly those ideas manifest quite differently (albeit always with a similarly lo-fi sound) on a song by song basis. Tracks like “When The Sun Rises From The West(عندما تشرق الشمس من الغرب)” and “The Dreams I’m Not Allowed To Have (الأحلام الممنوعة)” are largely ambient in nature, but the delicate guitar and softly sung vocals of the former are wholly distinct from the deep grinding drone of the latter, both reaching ominous ends via different avenues. Neither sounds like the thudding noise rock of “Give Me What’s Mine (عطيني ديالي)”, where a rusty guitar slowly wheels out of control, escaping the boundaries established by the crushed percussion and torn up vocals, the song’s rhythm the only thing that keeps it from falling apart entirely. Notably closing track “My Homeland Abandoned Me (بلادي فيا سمحات)” takes a similar template and cools it down with a mournful whispered melody, the guitar line drilling out sorrowful lines that disappear into an obscure distance even as the drums plod onwards – a perfect summation of the release’s epigram, “I have decayed, not a lot of me remains, but what remains must carry on.”