Genre: Electronic / Breakcore / Power Noise / Rhythmic Industrial
01) Before the Storm
02) Terminal Accretion
03) Stress Failure
07) Left wanting
08) Trouble Horizon
09) I become
11) Floor Crank
Edgey, or one Stephen James Knight, has been busting out the chaotic rhythms for a good decade now, having mostly produced his unique blend of power noise (and related styles) through the wonderful German record label Hands Productions. Of course, there is the exception of the “Target Acquired” single on Black Monolith in ’05 as well as the split with Depth Error on the sadly now defunct Hive Records in ’06, as well as a few others, but for the most part Edgey has made his name through HANDS. That said, it’s no surprise that “Misfire” comes on the heels of the successful “Flawed” on the same label. It’s also no surprise that “Misfire” comes three years after the fact as well, considering the complexity of the music involved. It certainly cannot be an easy task to masterfully craft his specific style of electronic music.
Edgey’s sound is simply described as a mix of many electronic genres that can be perceived as dark in style, including power noise,, hardcore, industrial and noise to the lighter sounds of IDM and ambient. Misfire specifically would lure a newcomer to Edgey’s style into a false sense of security in that the album opener and one of the best highlights of the record, Before the Storm, is a downtempo cinematic view of dark electronics that takes on a night-time urban aesthetic much like similar moments in music from Dismantled or Impurfekt or even the orchestral moments of Wreath of Barbs-era :Wumpscut:. Chaosbane, another highlight track features a light ambiance that is paired with a minimal beat that quickly descends into an all-out rhythmic noise bombardment. Left Wanting opens with a hardcore techno-styled bass kick heavy beat reminiscent of Lenny Dee himself while it ends on a playful, somewhat somber note that is more akin to what the title itself implies. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Edgey’s style is that it almost acts as a compilation of various electronic genres that are related, but that no one probably expected to flow so smoothly when forced together. While seemingly chaotic, it is simply another new frontier forged by one solo artist, and the fact that he can sculpt tracks together from such varying styles and make them fit harmoniously together serves as a testament to his abilities and pure will as an electronic musician.
Misfire is everything that the title implies. The chaotic breaking nature of heavy rhythms, the strangely well-flowing power of clashing sub-genres, the intensity that is created through the tightrope walk that inevitably forges its way between desperately frantic beats and outright noise. The no-holds-barred attitude of the packaging also lends its hand in creating the effective feeling of hard-edged aural warfare. Blood red packaging is broken up only by the bold white type of track/artist info and the black silhouette of unending spirals of barbed-wire. The digipak itself isn’t flimsy, but rather a thick, durable cardboard with an even more durable unique encasing for the disc itself. The artwork has been created by long-time HANDS-related artist and partner of Udo Wiessmann (Hands Productions owner), Nicola Bork, whose stylized version of Knight on the inner portion of the digipak, perhaps especially because of the coloring, reminds large of Aidan “Brute!” Hughes’ iconic work with KMFDM. So it seems, hidden away behind the various subgenres present in this album, there is a strong destructive, militant edge to this release, though not necessarily in a martial aspect, but rather more in the industrial punk aesthetic. The “fuck your rules, I’ll do it MY way” aesthetic.