V/A :: Decapitated One-Liners (Contort Yourself)

Contort Yourself is the latest label to hail from that Scottish industrial heartland and with the rains returning, though they probably never left, the newcomer has a very curious 12” to introduce.

I’ll always have a fondness for Glasgow. By the time I left it I wanted out, and I don’t mean any offence by that. Scotland’s largest city is a great place, especially for music, but it can be pretty tough going at times. I try to keep an ear out for musical happenings from the shores of the Clyde, and there is nearly always something. Contort Yourself is the latest label to hail from that Scottish industrial heartland and with the rains returning, though they probably never left, the newcomer has a very curious 12” to introduce: Decapitated One-Liners.

I say curious based on the names on the EP. It’s essentially a compilation, but that is quite different. Parrish Smith, Helena Hauff, Perseus Traxx and Pankow. For those of you who haven’t heard of that final name, Pankow are an Italian EBM/Industrial group. They formed in the late 70s and throughout the 80s and 90s battered audiences with sharpened tones and machine molded mechanics. But it’s in the present day we start out. Parrish Smith pulls the blinds and breaks the bulbs for the black hearted terror of “Revolution Will Be Televised.” The much mentioned Helena Hauff is up next. The Hamburg based Golden Pudel resident has been getting growing attention with her brand of chalky Techno and she certainly delivers for this 12”. The Bunker veteran turns her hand to Pankow’s “Das Vodkalied.” This remix blurs, combing hardened factory beats with a warm and lilting melody for a wonderfully balanced interpretation. The original follows. That primal energy that characterized the group is on full display. Pain, angst and anger throated out through heavy distortion and fuzz. The Italians are still at the helm for the guttering electronics of “I’m Food For You.” Breathy vocals loop against bulbus bass and skeletal synth-lines. Perseus Traxx closes with “Get Away.” A curling Acid line infects the track as the York man delivers his trademark House style but sadly the vocals don’t add much.

Glasgow is a fertile ground for electronics, but there are already a number of labels in the city with deep roots. At times it can be hard for new imprints to compete, to find their voice and own space. Contort Yourself have certainly outlined their prospective plot with this first outing. Definitely an imprint to keep an eye on.

Decapitated One-Liners is available on Contort Yourself.

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