Detritus / Antigen Shift – Conjugate

A split cd by two relatively new but exciting acts. Detritus, the project of Dave Dando-Moore, head of the Fleshmadeword label, already impressed me before with the cd Sense/Martyr. From Antigen Shift I only knew a powerful track on the compilation “Words, becoming”. On this cd both acts have delivered four tracks, plus a remix of the other act.

Detritus from the UK kicks off with their share. ‘Equilibrium’ is a nice mixture of electronic ambience, powerful yet complex (break)beats and some orchestral elements. A very varied composition with a nice mood, a perfect equilibrium of light and dark, soft and loud, difficult and accessible. The same varied procedure is followed on the next tracks, which are quite filmic at times. On ‘Diminish’ the powerful hammering d&b beats are back which I knew from Detritus, with a background formed by a melancholic ambient soundscape, adorned by Gregorian choirs! ‘Penitence’ follows with a classical string sound, very beautiful and moving film music. I’m pleasantly surprised that Detritus has expanded the atmospheric elements on this release, with the beats and noise being less dominant. Thier last track is again ‘Equilibrium’, but this time in a ‘opportunistic infection mix’ by Antigen Shift, sounding noisier and more machine-like.

Then it’s time for Antigen Shift from Ottawa. It starts rather tranquil, with a dark ambient intro. But it soon gets noisier, with high frequencies and distorted voices. Quite hard to endure… ‘Esbat’ offers us more powernoise, blasting beats and shouted vocals. You really get the impresion of being trapped in a machine factory which is out of control. ‘Black market organ’ starts as a horror soundtrack, before turning into a repetitive noise treatment. ‘Cell death’ is the harshest piece of noise, with stomping beats, though not really becoming rhythmic industrial that is suited for the dancefloor. The ‘Conjugate” cd is closed with the ‘catharsis mix’ by Detritus, which adds a distinct sound to the track, which becomes less noisy and more atmospheric, though with big beats.

In 2003 Detritus will release a cd on the Ad Noiseam label, while Antigen Shift will release a first full-length album on Frozen Empire Media soon. On this split cd both acts manage to impress, though the music of Detritus appeals more to my personal taste. It’s a bit lighter, more varied and atmospheric, while the noisy monotonous industrial sound of Antigen Shift is a bit too dense for my ears.

artist: Detritus / Antigen Shift
label: Fleshmadeword Records
details: 10 tracks, 2002