Panopticon EPDscrd

Panopticon EP

Label: Dement3d Records
Format: Limited 12”
Release Date: 17/03/14

You’d be forgiven for not knowing elusive outfit Dscrd (pronounced ‘discordance’). The group is formed of five producers from Paris who keep their media presence to a minimum, despite having featured on Stroboscopic Artefact’s legenday Monad Series. Nevertheless, their latest EP is nothing short of brilliant, littered with a myriad of intriguing moods and ideas, executed with phenomenal production.

The EP opens in a brash and audacious manner – fusing the inventive use of fuzzed-out NIN guitars with the pounding sub-noise that dscrd are best known for. ‘Watch and Punish’ has a distinctly live sound that a lot of music of this kind lacks – it’s easy to hear each respective musician’s part develop, giving the sound a much needed animated feel.  

‘Second Zone’ pushes the sound even further, shuffling sporadically between twitchy spasms of percussion and mind-bending digital feedback. Fresh rhythmic patterns continually reappear from nowhere, but vanish again into the bustling noisy backdrop. The hectic convulsions and tremors are reminiscent of some abstract forms of neurofunk and techstep; textures shape-shift at such a breakneck speed that you wonder if you heard them at all.

However, ‘L’Etale’ stands out as a clear favorite; the arrangement is so restrained and sparse that it almost sounds like a stock recording of a computer idly humming to itself. But listen a little a closer and you hear elements of dub, industrial, glitch, techno and drone all showing their bones as the track unfolds. The artificial purr that underpins the piece eventually reaches a level of complete articulation, filling every iota of possible headspace before sneaking back off into the cold shadows.

‘Austeria’ closes the EP with a twisted, earthy dub, which occasionally skulks out of view until almost completely hidden. But ultimately, no one can hide for long in the panopticon, and any semblance of optimism has all the life squeezed out of it by one final surge of static.

  • Published
  • Mar 06, 2014