Look, at this point beginning a discussion of the latest Filmmaker record with a comment about how prolific Fauntes Efe’s primary project is has become a cliche, one we’d fall victim to with more frequency if we were able to cover more than a fraction of that work. Hell, production delays have resulted in one pressing of the last Filmmaker record we wrote up only being shipped now, and in the interim at least two full lengths, six EPs, and a couple of compilations have been released, not including new LP Hollywood Cult.
Still ostensibly rooted within Efe’s home turf of throwback techno and EBM, Hollywood Cult is proof positive of just how much grey area there is between the theoretically distinct worlds of techno bosy music and “mutant” EBM. Specific sounds can be picked out belonging to either camp, but the lo-fi delivery and chaotic if not downright arbitrary arrangement and construction of the tracks ends up taking precedence. Like Bryn Jones or Richard D James, one gets the sense that Efe locks onto a groove or intersection of programming which strikes his fancy, rides it for all its worth, and then moves on.
“Shocking Therapy” finely grates acid squelches into such tiny fragments and jams them into such tight spaces between thudding techno kicks that the listener experiences a sensation closer to panicky itching than the expected builds and falls of classic acid. In fact, that sense that the tracks exist to communicate a certain low-fi, smoggy texture rather than a particular genre or rhythmic register, is the overarching sense communicated by Hollywood Cult. The queasy undertow suggested by the echoing synth flutters beneath the surface patina of percussion on “Peacekeeper Ripper” and the red-lined drum loops and heavily-flanged synth sprains of “Criminal Rite” cinch that impression.
As I alluded to off the top, keeping up with Filmmaker’s releases is no small task, and even dedicated listeners may find it difficult to ferret out substantive distinctions from one release to the next. While that can make exercises like this write-up a bit challenging, it also means that just about anything can serve as an entry-point to the catalog. The counterpoint of of holo-tinted, heavily-phased programming and lo-fi kicks and snares (which could either connote 90s EBM or breakbeats, depending on your personal history) on opener “Secrecy” is as good an introduction to Efe’s aesthetic as one is likely to get at this point. Wide-screen ambition, grainy Super-8 charm; that’s Filmmaker.