This grizzled and gory style of techno isn’t new, it’s born out of post-punk and industrial nastiness; an age of pit closures and regime change. But it’s interesting to hear it as a response to the world around us.
TH ± Tar Hallow, arrived in record shops in aggressive fashion. Inner sleeves grimaced, heavy black and white imagery beaming a crooked smile. The music was even heavier. 12”s by Super Unknown and Klankman screamed until throats were left hoarse and sore. That same ache, that same pain, that same heated hate is present in the latest addition to the family.
Charlton is no stranger to the fiercer side of electronics. Anyone who knows his output on labels like Krill or Mord will be familiar with his personal kick and thump approach. It’s a similar audio assault that is being offered for Charlton’s self-titled EP. Like a fist being rammed into a mouth “Meaning of Life” pile drives into life. Distortion and static battle for position, drums pour down with each new layer looking for shelter beneath the next to fall. The only human touch is distant vocals. And it’s not easy to find a human touch on this EP, though it is, ironically, to be found in many titles. There are echoes of it, the battered piano keys of “Religious Human.” But that’s the last glance of man on this EP, from here-on in he is buried. “Humanist Manifesto” is brutally buckled. Pounding punishment, enough to shake fillings out of wisdom teeth, is coupled with screeching, searing serration. The head honcho, Hana Versie, takes over for the finale. “Religious Human” is given a last pebble dashing with strings being somewhat cut.
This grizzled and gory style of techno isn’t new, it’s born out of post-punk and industrial nastiness; an age of pit closures and regime change. But it’s interesting to hear it as a response to the world around us. The daily bombardment. Sound. Image. Sound. Image. The factory floor has been replaced by the call center. The burn of toil replaced by the burn of a computer screen. Our problems are those of the past, just differently packaged. Charlton’s music is an audio reply to a difficult age, and it’s not an easily digested reply.
Charlton is available on TH ± Tar Hallow.