Concrete Fence: New Release (1) (Pan)
This collaboration between noise maestro Russell Haswell and techno legend Regis (Karl O’Connor) delivers the goods as anyone familiar with either artist might expect. “Industrial Disease” kicks things off, living up to its name with a sick combo of rhythm and noise. It starts with a drone of midrange noise before a patient, strident beat takes hold. The staggered kick and snare combo is pure Regis, not unlike some of the icier remixes he’s turned out in the last year or two. The slow and continuous manipulation of feedback and noise into unusual shapes and configurations keeps things plenty interesting as the rhythm section otherwise disappears.
“Caulk” is the least punchy of the three, with no real rhythmic low-end to anchor it like the other two, but its combination of drippy effects, skittering and sputtering, with Haswell’s wilder noise patterns and sculptures is effective. Its final stretch of thick, midrange noise reminds me of vintage NON in the best of ways. My favorite track might be the third, though. “The Unabridged Truth” starts in more conventional form, if only by merit of its steady, ordinary kick drum that provides the meter for its swirling doodles of noise. It’s deceiving when its techno framework seems to be building while the noise recedes; halfway through, the beat drops out completely, never to return, and the noise loops and sputters and shifts shapes. It really shouldn’t work, but it does.
What it lacks in friendliness for less adventurous DJs it makes up for in how exciting it is to my ears. I hope the duo continue to explore this intriguing combination of sensibilities.