Ripit‘s latest album, Lvnar Xtorxion, is one very aggressive tape with some solid old-school artwork. The Third Type Tapes imprint has been utilizing this very specific style throughout their catalog, and they’ve certainly stuck with the tradition here. It is with Lvnar Xtorxion that Belgium’s analog master, Nicolas Esterle, who’s actually been quite productive this year, has made his return under his primary solo moniker. It’s also possible that you’ve already come across his work in the past as part of FUJAKO or Solar Skeletons. As Third Type Tapes notes, Lvnar Xtorxion is,
‘…the soundtrack of a sacrificial murder, the manifestation of a sabbath of birth and death simultaneously. Like a resurrection after psychic suicide through the inner-core of a snake nest…’
Despite how that may seem, those liner notes aren’t a joke at all. The record is a harsh listen, not because it’s extreme or radical, but because its complexity takes on an aggressive life of its own. Yes, you can sense multiple electronic genres lurking and clashing inside, ranging from abstract, experimental, and techno to noise, drone, and industrial. What’s most significant about Lvnar Xtorxion, however, is how all those elements exist in a constant battle for dominance. This results in an audial mass of anxious ambiance, built by tense, battling drones that often creep towards the back of the mix in order to make space for dominant harsh beat patterns and deformed sounds.
The beats here are at war. Sometimes they are pure—even danceable or massive—but often they become heavy and leave you hanging, waiting for radical BPM jumps, which actually do make an appearance towards the end of the tape. Lvnar Xtorxion is still a super balanced and varied record, where high points range from the Side-A closer, ‘Dub Despot’, and the Side-B opener, ‘RisxOvReex’. I get the impression that this is music to be experienced in the live arena though, because only a huge sound system can handle Ripit’s thick sound. Lvnar Xtorxion is not a record that can fully shine when played on your tape deck, portable MP3-player, or whatever else you’re probably using, but in a huge venue, filled with smoke and silhouettes of people who are truly committed to the idea of being brainwashed by sheer volume.
A1) Lvnar Xtorxion
A2) Passive Self Mutilaxion
A3) Corroborative Misleadead Ambixions
A4) Despot Dub
B1) Risx Ov Reex
B2) Thee Ploterz March
B4) Dope Hi Curling Instructor in Purple Bath Suit