It all sounds a bit precious bodily fluids from the title. The themes of Cold War angst in Stanley Kubrick’s masterful satire, Dr. Strangelove might not be a bad place to start in fact when talking about ‘The Rise of Liquid Alternatives’, the latest release from Brussels-based Orphan Swords. Making up the debut offering on ‘Nurse’, the EP is packed to the brim with paranoia and disturbed mechanics.
Orphan Swords was formed in 2013 by Bozar Music & Arts Festival founder Pierre de Muelenaere and Yannick Franck, the owner of the Idiosyncratics label. The pair have become something of an artist’s choice when it comes to the industrial/techno crossover, perhaps best illustrated by their collaboration with cult New York darkwave band, Ike Yard.
While remaining firmly in keeping with their back catalogue, there are some new nuances to this latest release. ‘The Risk of Liquid Alternatives’ has a sharper, more precise feel to it when compared to the ramshackle drums of a release like Weehawken, a mini-album released earlier this year.
‘Glaysa Labolas’ for example sees razor-edge glitches and pointed blasts of sub almost reminiscent of something from Senking, or Alva Noto & Byetone’s Diamond Version project. By the end however the track has been doused in echoes and reverbs, clattering percussion and wailing vocals moving the offering into hallucinatory realms.
The release’s second offering, ‘Forneus’, takes a more leftfield approach still, reverberating plastic drums pummeling out low hollow resonances alongside groaning synthetics.
As a debut offering from Nurse, ‘The Rise of Liquid Alternatives’ makes a promising start. Orphan Swords’ amalgamation of crisp, mechanical electronics and something more wild and unrestrained positions the label to move in a number of different directions, and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing which path they choose.