This year we turned five, moved haus, released nothing (until now), and spent much of our time SCREAMING INTO THE VOID about various matters, which, when analysed more closely, share a common root in Abject Tory Skulduggery / The Steady Collapse Of Capitalism. Things can only get worse.
Or can they? Whatever your take, one thing's for sure: a mini-mixtape box set featuring the works of ABBA(TOIR), Dillinja, D:ream, Arseny Avraamov and Tiësto, covered, reworked, mashed up and fucked with, alongside ALL NEU ORIGINAL SLUDGE, is just what you need to see twenny-two out and twenny-three in. Just ask our happy DJ promo customers: "this is piss" / "this is shit" / "this is living".
Spread over eight bitesize sides of xtra-speshul abbarrations and dubbed to just 10x four-cassette tape boxes w/ custom inlay printz, grab the fully formed, shaken/stirred/spat-out opti-sonic experience while you can; or wait for the digital werks-on-plinths version of events to appear separately. Either way – and having now had time to make our (simple) minds up – things can only get worse.
Zetex was inspired by, and partly constructed from, the short-lived transformation nocturnal East London underwent during 2020, when the noise-floor of diesel engines and alcoholism was replaced by a bottomless, inky silence.
Only when listening to amplified recordings of the 'silence' were details revealed, like a space telescope exposing distant galaxies — the cries of urban wildlife, dystopian safety announcements, and the hum of unknown heavy machinery, presumably the sound of London, The Grey Machine itself, echoing and mixing together, diffused through hundreds of miles of empty streets.
Within the fuzzy contours and secluded spaces (some tiny, like drawers in a doll’s house, others vast and endlessly unfolding) you will find a place to sit and rest, to take deep, mindful breaths, to ponder, to smile, and to conclude that all is indeed fucked and that the idiots have, after all, after much less of a fight than they deserved, won.
We’re at Baywatch remake stage capitalism, comrades, and all hope is lost. So break off a piece of this sonic sponge – warm, steamy and perpetually crumbling – and settle down. Things can only get worse. A bite of this will be bliss to the trap – a mournful mouthful to calm the piehole. The time for screaming and shouting is over; enjoy the silence if you can. Everything is in the oven. Don't worry.
What do you do when you've made a super-gnarly, somewhat accidental anarchotechno rig smasher using brutalist 1950s test kit, put out by a label who love yr werk and sold out in a day? You do the same again, but bigger and better. If it ain't broke...
Sadly, the wider world is pretty broke right now, in every sense of the word. This is something Hainbach's bruising new album – a deepening of, yet subtle departure from, his previous misc.work – serves to reflect, its plunging beats and swarming tones sketching out the dark, strobe-lit contours of a looming black hole, as social life and subjectivity slowly fragment, stall and shatter.
The architect of this psychosonic blast – the sound of “tape stretching over knives” – has this to say about it: “Schwebungssummer embraces anxiety, the mad rush of adrenaline useless in a crowded subway, the joy of jerky movements in ill-lit clubs, and the inevitable disaster”. What this disaster is, exactly, we don’t know: there are too many possibles to choose from. But there are streaks of melody here too – striking and bright – acrobatic leaps and turns, and driving, earthly riddims that tug the whole thing along like Popeye on a spinach trip. Kovid Krautrock? Industrial ambience? Cosmic mud? Schwebungssummer is all these things and more.
We've opted for red wax this time, a B-movie blood-orange splash to paint yer decks with, with updated analogue artwerx. Tidy stylings for our tenth outing, despite the doom/gloom. We hope that you appreciate the package, the sounds most of all, as we pack our bags for the future, pause for breath, and plough on.
As we near the end of 2020, and with it the end of All Things, Kessler V have made this little mix – won inna series & limited to twenny – to ‘take the edge off’ said things, and to take the absolute Misc. in the process.
Comprising ALL YR FAVE 7AM BOOZE-POP CLASSIX (fans of Enyassette, deconstructed Whigfield and trillion-yard-stare diskodrone smash hits, take note!) all mashed up, edited and blended into cosmic sonic soup, this cassette-only sacrificial offering is devoted to Saturday nites spent alone, staring at stars that barely pierce the light pollution of civilisation and its discontents, mixing drinks till Godot sticks the lights on.
*Shipping 2 Your Ears on cream-coloured cassette in red-tinted case, w/ custom Whigfield inlay + sticker. Edition of 20; no digital, no tracklist, no clips.*
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again in an hour of fuzz, sludge and theft, Barry’s Bunker is the product of 1x gig, 1x preparatory sesh, and 1x sesh on the barrys. It’s Misc.’s ninth release in three years and appears just as the world, as we know it, appears to be ending. [WAVE]
Rather than boring you with facts (like the artist’s identities, or the LP’s many means of production [zzz]), and rather than begging you for dosh, like the sudden glut of digital buskers out there rn, we’d like to take this opportunity to pause and remember... Barry Evans (RIP) was tragically killed – brutally pushed off a cliff by a blonde – in episode 2653 of EastEnders, aired at 20:00 GMT on 2 January 2004, ten years after he first stepped onto set. His Boring-Real-World counterpart wanted to do panto, so he had to go. Until now, this momentous loss, as sudden as it was shattering, has lacked a monument, and so it was that Convoi Exceptionnel was conceived and the Bunker created.
Back in the Boring Real World, there’s trouble at mill (see track 1). The Beeb have axed EastEnders (see track 6), the cops are flying drones all over the shires (and dying blue lagoons black in the process, the tits – see track 7), and BoJo’s Hard B*exit Hard Hat House Party (see track 5) has been gatecrashed by armageddon. Yet the world itself is breathing for the first time in a while (see track 2), it’s still round, inhabited and lively (see tracks 3 & 4), and the sun still rises in the east (end).
This record, made by artists, musical and otherwise, free from the constraints of commercial, genre and audience expectations, is dedicated to the Boring Round Real World: to blue lagoons, black bats and Barrys, wherever they may be.
Impulsgenerator is a ‘club’ record made by a man who doesn’t make club music, released on a label that puts on ‘clubnights’ but doesn't release club tunes. It’s a departure for us both, but a deepening of what we already do. D’you feel us?
Constructed using a splendid piece of olde-school German test equipment (and contiguous technologies), from which it takes its name, it comes all the way from said partition’s teknofuturist capital, Berlin. Instead of the future, though, Hainbach has consulted the past in the creation of this fizzy, scratching soundsystem artwerk, which draws on influences as diverse as Pan Sonic, Stockhausen, Aphex Twin and Iron Maiden, and represents “the most radical break from my previous releases”.
Indeed, for Comrade Goetsch (Stefan, to you), music is “communication between people”, “a feeling of flow”, and what flows from the past into the present here, in abundance, is a kind of electric energy that discharges itself in thick, sticky rhythms and drones, pulses and blasts, which don’t so much hit the ear as invade and fill it. Pour yourself a cup of this and you might just end up lashed.
MISCWX008 is also a 12”, a *real* one (our first), and comes in shiny radioactive yellow for maximum Technics kix/dinnerparty wowz. It’s got pretty pictures and patterns all over it and, if you pitch it to the right speed, it’ll mix with your shitty landfill house records like petrol with piña colada. One more for the road please boss!
The first I heard of it all was when [text missing] from the [text missing] label got in touch to say he’d been sent this strange demo, with little of note to identify it. All there was was the email address and the name of the guy who sent it – as it turns out, my name, and my email. But I didn’t send it, and I have no awareness of where, or who, it came from.
It sounds like there’s bits of mine in it, for sure. I recognise a track that seems either lifted wholesale, or subtly reversioned. There’s something else that sounds like a remix of something I made a while ago. And [text missing] who I work with swears he can hear the Manic Street Preachers in there. Bizarre.
What’s oddest, though, is that in the email the guy sent out, he was referring to it as a compilation of tracks, new versions, sketches and out-takes of what he suggested was a hugely successful back-catalogue. He was talking about licensing tracks from multiple labels, masses of press interest and a tour that took in many dates; albeit to cities I’d never heard of. Where the fuck is Leng?
Here at Misc., we believe that good werk – e.g., 365 days of pointless toil in your shitty job, for a company that won’t exist next year – deserves great rewards, so on this special day, treat yourself to a special treat, on us.
This Perfectly Constructed Audial Commodity should be the soundtrack to everyone’s Yule, moving as it does through soothing pastoral ambience, heartstring-plucking spoken word and onwards/upwards, into the sonic heavens – a place of fluffy clouds, flashy designer robes and flirty angels. Beam me up m8.
To be honest, Huhu, a former choirboy two-piece who recently discovered Purple Drank and Max/MSP, have chosen to release this tonal miracle on Christmas Day because they couldn’t be arsed to get it out earlier in the year, and tend to be quite pissed at this time of the annus. Mr and Mrs Misc. have done their best to tart things up with some flashy post-Duchampian graphix and accompanying blabbers but, at the end of the day, you can’t polish a turd.
And you certainly can’t polish a potty-full of them, shat out lean-and-mean onto the interwebs like reverse heartburn, as here. So just pipe down, sit back and soak it up: resistance, like most things in life (most of all art), is futile.
Misc.’s fifth release arrives just as Misc. turns one, and it’s one for the occasion, to be sure. A carefully curated, mastered and packaged collection of once-disparate tracks dating back 5+ years, Amanda Butterworth’s dreamy Misc. Works defies its assembled/archival status, resonating as a gripping, muscular, often haunting work in the singular.
Present here are guitars, FX, synths, loops, a 606, 707 and, perhaps most affectingly, Mücha’s voice, omnipresent and drifting through the 4-track mix like vapour. Her past band werk has certainly made its mark: these are ‘songs’ as much as ‘scapes’. Yet the line between the two is never clear. Perhaps they’re simply both. Or neither.
Either way, for this extra-special edition – which, like all of our offerings to date, is also an artwork – they’re glued together by cassette, cosied up in contiguous bliss like the passing clouds on its cover. There’s a suggestiveness to the choice of motif, but also a sarcasm: Misc. Works, for all it drifts and drones, is anything but ‘miscellaneous’.
Make of that what you will. Or, even better, stick the tape on, see/hear for yourself, and forget about the shite you read in the blurb. The only way is up. See you there.
Hot on the heels of a bruising third release – Brothomstates’ archival timebomb, Untitled, sent from the past to destroy the present and very nearly succeeding – we have a somewhat smoother although no less singular dish to serve up.
Orrest is a multimedia artist from Manchester, whose name derives from a patch of Cumbria dear to him and central to this, his debut, project. A bitesize LP and series of associated objects, plucked from said Cumbrian landscape and arranged for home consumption, Holotype is as much a staunch (but sensitive) distillation of urban sonics – techy mid-90s IDM, contemporary UK bass music, Autonomic pop – as it is a psychogeographic sketch of the rural space it serenades.
Moreover, in an age of ‘studio muscle’, ‘sound design’ and ‘expert engineering’ (all on full display here, for what it’s worth), Holotype angles away from the huff, puff and hysteria. Avowedly off-piste, it skips to a musical, painterly, at times abstruse beat, in dialogue with yet disinterested in the brash and gaseous digital soundscapes of the day. ‘Popular’ music, yes, but lurking at the edges.
Defined as “the type specimen used in the original description of a species”, Holotype truly is a sonically self-contained and stringently self-generated beast, conceived, produced, mixed, mastered, assembled, packaged, printed and distributed by Orrest himself, with a gentle helping-hand from ourselves. Just as we did not all that long ago, we urge you to stumble across it.
This silly season, as the sales kick in and 2018 approaches like a giant lump of Trump-like lard, do the right thing for that special someone in your life and buy them a hyper-limited-edition hand-carved USB gravestone containing the first full work from Brothomstates – lord of intelligent dancing – in over a decade.
This terrifying, smallish slab, carrying a terrifying, shortish slab of semi-autonomous computer music that we’d probably describe as ‘post-IDM’ (although might also file under categories as esoteric and nebulous as ‘postmodern decomposition’, ‘dubstep 2.0’ and ‘processkore’), plugs directly into your home computer, fuelling it with the vital sonic syrup it needs to survive a cruel winter of landfill pop, munty Tescozak and dusted-off edam. If it doesn’t break it in the process.
“A satirical piece from the archives”, we’re told – out of hibernation, tarted up and off the leash – Untitled was written “as a sort of a counter-reaction” to the unrelenting maximalism of today’s saturated sonic field, where crushed kicks, plastic piano leads and idiotic lovestruck psychobleets, compressed into tinnitus-inducing oblivion, reign supreme. Spanning drone, glitch, pop, hop, step, tek, bass, bleep and algorithmic industrial appliance-wave, it packs a singular, system-smashing punch; you won’t know what’s hit you till it’s too late.
Delivered to us via “moped interwebs”, all the way from “Soviet Finland”, this also happens to be HMS Misc.’s first guest release, and it’s a thrill indeed to welcome the inimitable States o’ Brothom, one of Warp’s finest, aboard. For those familiar with his genre-shredding sound(s), it will be both instantly recognisable and appealingly new. For those not, it’ll probably just sound psychotic. “Different times, different manifestation”...
In each of Cacophonies’ cacophonies, every track from an unspecified (albeit hinted-at) classic album is played simultaneously, each unit patiently processed to fit with the rest, in turn creating an all-new – generally abstract, at times abject, occasionally euphoric – sonic landscape, one lacking the ‘face’, but bearing the traces, of the source in question.
By considering every song-channel as an instrument of a larger whole – and at root, this is exactly what Cacophonies does – the essence of the original album is distilled, through a maze of analogue and digital effects paths; smoke & mirrors nuclear fallout from the planned demolition, by detonation, of an erased antecedent.
Capping things off in suitably cannibalistic fashion, cacophony 9 is (de)constructed from the Cacophonies album itself, making it in one sense a pleasingly exercise-concluding recapitulation, in another, an excremental final emission forced out at the death: the last gasp; the phantom of the opera; the ‘cack’ of the ‘ophony’.
Two men, two guitars, some drum machines, software, and a basement. Recorded over a series of frantic one-take jams somewhere in the middle of fucking nowhere, Dungeon Ballads is the sound of two distinct – although not distant – worlds colliding: that of the band (in this case, of the punk/shoegaze variety), and that of the club (read: gritty haus/tekno rave in a shed in Poplar).
Digitally framed, shaped and manipulated, undercut with analogue drum loops and motorik machine grooves, Kessler V’s debut LP is nevertheless a fully, at times full-throttle, ‘live’ affair, warts n’ all very much to the fore, for all that there are nods to Raster, Namlook/FAX and The Sight Below (to name but some of Ballads’ electronic reference-points).
The point of the project is not to tritely ‘trick’ the listener into thinking that they’re listening to something they’re not (or vice versa), but to push past the limitations of a humble, DAW-anchored set-up and cramped surroundings, into a widescreen space defined by force, feeling, and good old-fashioned fervour.
And indeed, sonically, the final results – three extended wig-outs set up by a drone – are palpably more ‘rock’ than ‘laptop’, ear-bleedingly angular, abrasive, electrified and piercing, pointed at the heavens like a sawn-off with skag needles for bullets.