This second official release from 13th Monkey is what you would most likely expect from a release on the Hands label – pounding, distorted rhythms with plenty of harsh noises thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to differentiate “Return of the Monkey” from a large majority of other rhythmic noise albums.
The album definitely has a particular character, sounding different from contemporary acts, and repeated listening increases appreciation. There are certainly plenty of things happening, showing definite programming skills, but the stop-start and constant changing can be infuriating.
There are two main elements to this recording – crunchy noise beats and symphonic melodies – and no matter how you slice it, they simply don’t fit together that easily. Each aspect is done well on its on, but the jarring juxtaposition is too radical to be particularly likable. If you’ve always wanted to hear Final Fantasy sped up and set to fast-paced rhythmic noise, your opportunity has come at last.
Libido Formandi is a curious name, bringing to mind suggestions of an awakening sexuality and growing lust. There are surely many sexy and cool moments in this album, but overall the sounds contained within are far too dark and harsh for seducing an unsuspecting victim!
A little rhythmic noise spotlight from old and new releases from the labels Ant-zen, Hands Productions, Signifier and Out of Line.
Wierloyb brings you a release with plenty of powerful, booming and rhythmic noises and beats – as would be expected for something released on the Hands label. Though some of the material can be a bit repetitive, the album never seems to become mundane or boring and most of the tracks are short enough not to lose interest.
“Radiotherapy” is a subtle, somehow fragile, blend of simultaneously complex and simple rhythmic elements; insistent blips and cracks emerge, always appealing, never irritating. Stepping down from the harder, pounding beats of albums such as “Insurgent Flows”, this new work is a welcome return to the more atmospheric tones of earlier times.
It’s not often that I come across a CD that I have difficulty listening to in one sitting, but Geistform accomplish this on “Transistor Music”, their fourth studio album. Imagine this: high-energy, synth-driven, uptempo stuff, but with an underlying menace that is quite likely to scare off the usual fans of similar offerings.
“2010 Hands” follows suit from previous instalments in this compilation series, presenting material by a variety of artists, from relative newcomers to label staples along with material by lesser-known side projects. In the end, most of the contents of this compilation should come across as fairly familiar to those used to the musical aesthetics of Hands Productions. Nevertheless, there are a few surprises which make it worth checking out.
The reason why “Misfire” falls short comes down to its chaotic nature. That said, it is still lots of fun, and a great party record, but works better in a shuffled playlist than as a stand-alone album.