Knifeladder – Organic traces

Knifeladder is a UK based industrial project, with members John Murphy, Hunter Barr and Andrew Trail. Especially John Murphy is a well-known name of course, being involved with many industrial and apocalyptic folk acts, like SPK, Current 93 and Death in June. He also is active as Shining Vril, a more ritual ambient project. But John Murphy might be a veteran, the music on “Organic traces” sounds as if it has been made with a lot of fresh enthousiasm. Knifeladder brings us a highly energetic mixture of powerful industrial and tribal percussion sounds. ‘Organic traces” contains 7 long, slowly developing tracks.

The first song, ‘Red drum’, is a really chaotic dense affair, reminding me of the wildest work of The Birthday Party, sounding highly improvised. ‘Faultline’ is my personal favourite, a repetitive track with a lot of tension, spoken vocals with a dark ambient background and some low bass. The mood reminds me a little of early Death in June, though it sounds less gothic and more ritual. ‘Scorched Earth’, another highlight, continues in this ritual, monotonous vein, with powerful vocals and tribal drumming, which get more militant as the song evolves, and over-the-top chaotic toward the end.

Conclusion: certainly an interesting release by Knifeladder. The music does not sound very modern, but reminds more of early 80’s industrial/experimental works. “Oganic Traces” contains some nice hypnotizing ritual tracks and some energetic industrial pieces. Not a very light course to digest, but who would expect fast food from John Murphy and co?

artist: Knifeladder
label: Operative Records
details: 7 tracks