V/A – Dissonant Structures

This is the first release of the new Australian label Cranial Fracture Recordings, and what would be a better start than a fine compilation with 30 different acts? There are a few better known names present on “Dissonant Structures”. Dive is the ‘headliner’ of course, and acts like Savak, Wilt, Suspicion Breeds Confidence and Cordell Klier. But there also many contributions of acts I did not know before, so you can use this sampler to get to know some new stuff. Musically we are treated to a mixex menu of harsh industrial and dark electro, so no poppy stuff here.

The compilation starts not very accessible on disc 1, with the noisy pieces of Radial and .dai. Next is Detritus, with their always powerful mixture of breakbeats, industrial sounds and melancholic ambient layers. Defused Fusion offers us a pounding noisy rhthmic industrial attack, while Andraculoid contributes a cool technoid piece. Next is Dive, with their well-known ‘Sidewalk Sinner’, with an infectious rhythm and the recognizable distorted vocals of Dirk Ivens. The EBM line is continued by Dioxyde, a fine dark electro piece in the Suicide Commando tradition, which could do well on the dancefloor. The instrumental and monotonous rhythmic Stark track is highly effective, and with some nice atmospheric layers. IWR turns up the speed with another electro piece, with very dark Hocico-like distorted vocals.
With Tankt you suddenly have the feeling to be taken to a late 80’s electro danceclub, is this an reincarnation of Nitzer Ebb? A fine track though. More modern sounding is Mystral Tide, with restless beats against a nice ambient background. As the song evolves you even hear some crossover guitar sounds. Reality starts as a Wumpscut/Hocico clone, it’s a very straightforward, accessible dark electro hit. Then things get a little more experimental with Analogue Tribe, a strange soundscape with some weird rhythms. The track from C/A/T is called ‘Noizemaker’, and it is indeed a powerful blast. Delta of Venus contributes a beat-drive track that really makes you nervous. Disc 1 is ended by a high-speed Converter remix of a track by Diverje.

After this beat festival you are happy that Disc 2 is a little more tranquil. I really like the noisy and hypnotizing drones of Navicon Torture Technologies. Cold dark ambient is brough to us by Suture F, with the appropriate title ‘Polar Lights’. Isomer sounds very threatening, evolving into a bombastic yet noisy track, full of tension. Next up are some very dark and unsettling soundscapes, full of deep drones and strange effects, by Mantichora, Screening and, Narc. Another threatening dark ambient piece comes from Lux Mammoth, with a lot of tension in the air. The experimental glitchy sound and seemingly random structure of Suspicion Breeds Confidence is harder to endure. Next up is another experimental sound engineer, Cordell Klier, who creates a nice mysterious atmosphere. The same can be said of Wilt, with a more traditional dark ambient sound, a fine track.
Furthermore there is an industrial soundscape by Bloodflowers, which gets really noisy at times. Then finally some space, with the lighter ambient sound of Vespertine, which music sounds as heavenly as the bandname. Angelic music is not a speciality of Savak, and the title ‘Taliban pistol’ does not sound very cosy. But it is not the industrial attack you might expect, in fact it is a slow brooding composition which gradually gets more uptempo. The final piece is taken care of by DVT, with a noisy epilogue.

I really like the diversity of this sampler, ranging from straightforward dance tracks to noise attacks, and from experimental soundscapes to more atmospheric pieces. And “Dissonant Structures” also compiles many lesser known but promising acts. If this is a taster, we can expect a lot from Cranial Fracture…

artist: V/A
label: Cranial Fracture
details: double cd, 30 tracks