CD, Coreline Media, 2008
A four-way ballistic battle ensues on this selection from four disparate artists with only distorted percussive processes in common. In theory, this has the potential for excellence, but in practice it falls short.
Hypnoskull, often considered the finest exponent of Belgium’s harsh electronics scene, kicks things off with uptempo craziness: “23 Inches of Steel” teeters precariously on the verge of gabber, only noisier, though things slip back into the (slightly) more sedate realm of rhythmic noise for his finest offering on this compilation, “Breakwars,” which is inspirational in its use of unexpected sampling and glitch-riddled drums.
Caustic fans will be pleased to note that Matt Fanale’s technical prowess keeps improving, while his toilet humour just gets worse. On this split EP he rants about such diverse topics as the legal system (“Making the Law”) and the perils of statutory rape (“You Fuck Jailbait”), all accompanied by his personal brand of crushing, tearing rhythm.
Coreline are by far the best reason to buy this recording: this is what the EBM of the future should sound like. Skilfully blending diverse elements of noise, techno and drum’n’bass to create masterpieces like “They Shall Know No Peace,” Coreline balances melody and discordance like very few other artists today can manage.
The PCP Principle, unfortunately, is not as exciting. The elitist attitude with which he puts himself and his music forward on MySpace doesn’t translate very well in the four tracks on this EP, “Cold.Alone.Afraid.Dead” being the most accomplished among these. Overall, I find his crossover approach similar to, but less refined than, Coreline’s and, as a result, disappointing.
In general, nothing about “Savage Lands” is particularly brilliant. There are a few highlights that club DJs will appreciate, but overall it’s a mediocre presentation that doesn’t do adequate justice to the artists it is meant to promote.
— David vander Merwe