The Azoic

Cult Colombus, Ohio EBM act The Azoic have been working their craft since 1996 and have very little to show for it. This culminates the song title of this track quite nicely as in the lack of attention they’ve been shown. Not Justified is an incredibly well-written, synth-heavy stomper, addictive yet tangled in bondage tape all the same. Almost sounding like it was sown together from 80’s electronica remnants, the pulsing hypnosis this causes is second to none and the darkness it dwells within is delicious. I’m also a fan of the Madebelief remix of this song, both of which are featured on the joint CD Forward + Conflict of which the remix is an even mistier but decidedly more intimate affair. However, the original takes some beating, even if it is with whips and chains.

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I Am Legion – Choosing For You

I was initially hesitant about the collaboration between Noisia and Foreign Beggars despite my love for their previous work together because well… Noisia have been somewhat of a creative drought of late and Foreign Beggars’ work for me, can be kinda inconsistent. That hesitation was immediately wiped after I heard this. Make Those Move was brutal bass and not much else, but Choosing For You has a more graceful dark electro swagger (?), confined in a skittery, dancefloor bombshell. Lyrics leave a lot to be desired at times, but never this year did I think I’d find myself using the phrase ‘brain fungus.’ I’d love to know the story behind that because it’s stupidly infectious. But that just seems to be the essence of this track in a nutshell. The beat is straight-up head-nodding in the back of a car with your mates material, the bass goes as low as Satan’s basement and that drop will make anybody body-pop more than an itchy body with Tourettes. This was clearly made with the streets in mind, much down to the influence of the Beggars no doubt and again shows the uprising of trap in recent months as a dominant dance genre. I Am Legion are out to prove why they are essential in their respective art styles and if Choosing For You is the grounds to prove it, then consider them heard loud and clear.

Earthlimb

I very nearly posted this not long after I’d heard this group last week because of how astounded I was by this German prog-rock outfit. Ever-shifting, mood morphing throughout and delivering a satisfying, crunching heaviness in its payoffs, Earthlimb has all the vital ingredients of an engrossing but ultimately killer ensemble. My example, Oceans Of Astate is eight minutes of transcending synths, powerful vocals, skilfully interwoven acoustic guitars, stadium-filling lead guitar wails and that same explosive heaviness I mentioned before. Their debut Origin is some what of a priceless artifact, absolutely pleading to be excavated and with their undeniable talent, you’d be somewhat of a fool not to.

Blacklisted

Sometimes you just need a short concentrated burst of fury and Philadelphia hardcore outfit Blacklisted deliver that by the bloodbucket full. Just falling under the two minute mark, I Am Weighing Me Down (which is a song title I take great pleasure in screaming at times) is a cleverly calculated tirade on religion but is by no means a looker. Savage, uncompromising and relentless, you’ll have no room whatsoever to breathe in the 27 minutes of 2008’s Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God as body after body after body will fly at you during their vicious attacks.

What The Blood Revealed

After seeing these guys yesterday, there wasn’t going to be much chance I didn’t mention them after they destroyed the Rattlesnake. Scottish post-metal juggernaut What The Blood Revealed have an utmost patience for building up atmosphere before sending everything crashing down into a hellish firestorm. The riffs are absolutely gorgeous, oozing with ambience and a unforgettable beauty before punishing chords force the most passive of listeners into a titanic struggle. The technicality of their musicianship cannot be understated enough, but their instrumental prowess has a more organic, terra firma production, rather than reaching for the furthest depths of space, which gives them a more unique appeal to their fellow contemporaries. Waiting For The Storm has an accuracy unlike many other song titles, whether metaphorical or literal, it stands as a sensational moment on their spectacular debut Harbour Of Devils.

Mrs Jynx

Hannah Davidson, better known as Mrs Jynx, is an incredibly talented producer. Scratch that. Astonishingly talented. Whilst in the vein of Aphex Twin, Mrs Jynx blends achingly beautiful ambience but with a true emotive touch that you simply cannot precision engineer. Extrafusion has a human-like warmth that radiates throughout once it gets going and it seems to be somewhat of an irregularity that a synthetic atmosphere can sound so organic, and more so, alive.

Golem!

You can think of Golem! as Gogol Bordello’s more traditional but sexier younger cousin. Meat Street, from second album Citizen Boris, is a whirling dervish of Slavic heritage and up-lifitngly upbeat klezmer spirit that still retains the well-informed tongues of the punk ethic. Albeit in the language of their own culture. The harmonies are delightful, the brass steals the show and surely you can’t not listen without having a smile on your face. In fact, I dare you not to.