Label: Combat Recordings
Release Date: 12/05/14
‘All tracks are aggressive DJ weapons’ reads London based Combat Recordings’ Discogs profile. Indeed, if I were forced to condense this review of their latest offering to one line it might read something similar. Comprised of four original tracks from Edinburgh based producer Ingen & Ontal’s Boris Noiz, the EP is also backed by an earthquaking remix from Monster X & Stormfield’s Fausten project.
The release is constructed with stark brutalism; the muscular jolting percussion of a track such as ‘Rituals’ is designed with raw functionality at its core, yet its affront no-nonsense assembly is also where its appeal lies. ’Root & Stem’ is similarly heavyweight. Here the track’s distorted drums are offset by a snaking 303 riff, incessantly dragging the track forward.
This aside however, the release remains largely free of tonal elements, leaving the harmonics with which Ingen & Noiz ease from their percussive elements room to be heard with clarity. ‘Symbols’ is an excellent example of this - a contrast of reverberant hits and dryer foundational elements leaves more than enough for the listen to become immersed in. The later half of the track works into a distorted frenzy of broken rhythms, like a rock drummer pumped full of amphetamines and let loose on a kit processed through a chain of fuzz pedals and filters.
Boris Noiz’s presence is made known through ‘Spikes’, calling to mind Ontal’s Violet Poison released ‘Function’ with its jackhammer drums and severe, grating textures. Processed glitches and vapourous hits are reinforced by the duo’s harshly overdriven kick pattern.
Heading up the release is Fausten’s jumbled recast of ’Root & Stem’. The original’s acid-hook reinforced by menacing blasts of sub-bass and clattering mechanical percussion.