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V/A – Whiteline Vol. II

V/A - Whiteline Vol. II

12″ vynil, AEntitainment, 2007

“Whiteline Vol. II” is a vinyl-only, limited edition release consisting of five exclusive tracks from a few rising artists in the post-industrial domain of noisy beats. It arrives as the second installment of a series by German-based Aentitainment, a label which makes up for a mere handful of releases with a manifesto that (metaphorically, at least) invokes the admirable qualities of the male seahorse and its young. Mission statement aside, although the few cuts found on this DJ-friendly compilation present an assortment in sound, their mediocre potential for catchy appeal remains the collection’s weakest link. This short format could work for Aentitainment if only the tracks themselves were more forceful, an understandably difficult prospect given the compilation’s physical limitations.
“Whiteline Vol. II” begins with “Notting Hill Bricks” from German producer and tech-specialist/writer Bob Humid. It sends the set off to a jarring launch with cut-up guitar stabs and off-kilter drums that coalesce into something akin to a deconstructed punk song. Flashes of crafted noise and vibrating bass injections add an extra dimension to an otherwise minimally-instrumented endeavor, and bolster the track’s standing as most original of the bunch. “Our Fear” by The Outside Agency (a hardcore producer from the Netherlands) begins with a subdued intro that eventually explodes into an industry-standard power-rhythmic barrage of heavy beats. Bursts of overdriven electronic sound break up its repetitively phrased syncopations, and after about three minutes a few loops of head-nodding, high-impact breakbeats briefly take over. Then it seems that the initial burst of adrenaline wears off and “Our Fear” gives in to the atmospheric tones haunting its underlying layers, trailing away in sluggish anti-climax. Next up is Dresden’s Noise Creator, who delivers “Chainsaw Dub,” a crippling, slow-motion breakcore piece of sorts. Its lurching, abstract beats are dominated by terse cymbal and snare hits. The music is thick and viscous, like a shredded-groove dubstep marmalade, but hardly memorable. CTRLer’s “Flesh” follows, taking its name from the prolific sample it employs, one which has surfaced numerous times, from mid-90s jungle (Dub Pistols, if memory serves) to pioneering powernoise (Converter) – “…all obsessed with the taste of flesh”. Here is an alternative breakcore style to that which came before, one now fast-paced and bursting to distortion with whiplash-inducing guitar samples. Spanish producer AZ-Rotator brings “Whiteline Vol. II” to a close with the darkly textured organic sounds of “Night Mutant Creature.” Arguably the standout cut of the record, the popping staccato beats and experimental electro-breaks serve to demonstrate this artist’s signature IDM aesthetic. Disorienting and abrupt channel shifts interrupt the bass rolls, squeaks or chirps, and shivering reverberations that characterize its complex layering.


— Dutton Hauhart

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