The past two years [2011-2012] have been a very exciting time for all things rhythmic. This niche of Industrial has seen a very serious turn just recently, with releases getting much crisper, collaborations becoming a more common way of compiling more exciting albums, and the sophistication of labyrinthine structures seems to now be a regular occurrence. The move away from the linear has been a great turn for the inclusion of styles like Power Electronics into the repertoires of artists of obvious danceable persuasions. “Stonebrain” is a great set of reworkings. The tracks are to the point, none of them exceeding the 6 and a half minute mark, perfect for the dance floor. Not all the selections are designed for this, but most do have enough going on to keep your attention fixed.
The talent lined up for the compiling of this EP shines on its own when one takes a mere look at the track listing. One of the founding members of Ars Moriendi, Andreas Schramm affixed the likes of some of the most adept in the art of noisy patterns, with entries manipulated by the likes of Norman Piske, aka, Nin Kuji, Theologian Prime, and for a nice twist, the EP opens with an Asche (DE) version of a hyDrone track. Perhaps this was done in order to make clear the symbiosis this pair share more pronounced. These last three names really made sure their contributions stand out. From hyDrone, we get an abstraction of an already awesome piece that uses [in fact, I feel it’s the only fluid and atmospheric use of] a sample of William Burroughs. Both versions are great.
This leads me, though, to a point which dropped a point for me, which is the sample-use. I felt the tracks with the more obvious sample-sequencing could have been stronger without it. That is the one and only thing that I disliked about the work. Other than that, I appreciate most everything about it. The remix done by Theologian is something of a break in the beats, as it is something that feels muddled and empty at first, then giving way to some of the more rigid drum patterns, but to close, has the best vocal processing. Some of the best out there, not just on this EP. That is just the kind of element that would have made this album, at least for me, a step above its current self.
Written by: Rexington Steel
Label: Industry8 / Format: CD / Cat. # i8-01
1 Confusion (Version)
2 Last Words (Version)
3 Home Crisis
4 Steam Room (Count Suckers Reprise) (Version)
5 Queer Angel (Version)
6 Distorted Doom (Rmx by Theologian)
7 Last Words (Rmx by hyDrone)
8 Queer Angel (Rmx by Nin Kuji)
9 Dogday Sunrise (Rmx by Iszoloscope)