Heads know to go to Pildoras for the absolute best in equatorial body music, but the Colombian label also has its fingers in more exotic pies. Bogotá duo Dot Drama work each of minimal synth, synth punk, and general early 80s tape-based experimentalism into new EP Surcos just as much as they do the more strict rhythms we often expect from Pildoras. To wit: Genders, Suicide, and The Sixteens are much better guideposts for the lurching 808s of “Andar” or the austere tropicalia of “Vodka” than whichever classic EBM sources you’d care to name. The pinched, nasally programming of “Surcos” could probably be linked to Portion Control easily enough, but Ela Vann’s laid back croon takes the edge off its bricked shuffle (and a very solid Filmmaker remix appended here isn’t so far from that act’s recent work). The constantly galloping ahead of itself “Permanence Distante”, where roaring lo-fi synths are constantly burbling over the edge of a seemingly endless series of drum fills, feels like the real mission statement, with bricolaged noise overwhelming the beat.
Nothing Lasts Forever
aufnahme + wiedergabe
Harriet K Morgan’s work as Military Position is broadly self-defined as death industrial, although fans of rhythmic noise will certainly find a pleasing amount of that sound on 2023’s Nothing Lasts Forever. Indeed, it’s probably those rhythmic elements that landed her in the orbit of aufnahme + wiedergabe, although this is a far cry from the majority of that label’s output. The sound of the EP is often tightly packed, with corroded kick drums smashing together behind a wall of squelching feedback; tracks like “I Can Enter Your Heart” and “You Don’t Define Me” are pummeling, but are tempered by Morgan’s alternately monotone and furious vocal delivery, even as she points an accusatory finger at the power structures personal and political that inform her work. Those themes come into even sharper focus on the less openly aggressive cuts like “Gaslit”, which while no less caustic in its application of reverbed noise and drones allow more of the project’s messaging to show through. Morgan spits “You’re hearing me in this moment/Sit down and be quiet/shut up and be quiet” through gritted teeth, her barely sublimated anger accented by a sample of a callous talking head dismissing a murdered sex worker. It’s potent stuff in form and execution, uncompromisingly difficult in the best way.