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We're over the moon 🖤 to be back for BEATS and NOISE on Sat., 12th October 2024 with MONOLITH, an exclusive performance by STATIQBLOOM + BLUSH RESPONSE, MONO NO AWARE, MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52, MONYA, SANS-FIN and an UDO WIESSMANN DJ B2B WITH GUESTS DJ set. Get ready for a night from rhythm'n'noise to industrial techno and party with us at the mighty Kulttempel Oberhausen!
Prepare for the latest leg of an auditory journey like no other as FORMS OF HANDS returns for its 23rd edition: Featuring the obligatory 14 exclusive tracks, this compilation is a testament to the ingenuity and diversity of theelectronic underground scene as represented by the HANDS label roster. The manifold of performing artists of FORMS OF HANDS in 2024 include ESPLENDOR GEOMETRICO, SONAR, S.I.N.A, S.K.E.T., GREYHOUND, 13TH MONKEY, HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH, HYSTERESIS, SUPERSIMMETRIA, MS GENTUR + SVEN PHALANX, SATURMZLIDE, ICD-10, STROBO.LOLITA and ANARCHOTECH. From industrial via rhythm'n'noise to techno and everything in between, each track showcases the unique style of its creator. While diversity reigns supreme, what truly sets this compilation apart is the exceptional standard of production and intricate sound design. These tracks exude maturity, offering a refined listening experience that captivates from start to finish. Don't miss out on this extraordinary collection of electronic mastery and experience the evolution of sound, HANDS-style.
Step into the realm of sonic discovery with the captivating SONAR remix album, "Volt Revisited," a reimagined delicacy born from the acclaimed "Volt Control" release of 2003. The original double 10" vinyl on HANDS, a gem for collectors, now finds its much-requested reissue in CD and digital formats. In "Volt Revisited," DIRK IVENS and ERIC VAN WONTERGHEM aka SONAR's signature rhythm takes center stage, undergoing a transformative journey orchestrated by a diverse lineup of international artists from the post-industrial, rhythm'n'noise, industrial techno, and electronica underground scenes. What sets "Volt Revisited" apart is the profound respect each remixer pays to the original material: While infusing their own unique sonic signatures, they preserve the unmistakable essence of the original, ensuring that each track remains an integral part of SONAR's art. Leading acts such as ORPHX, AH CAMA-SOTZ, GEISTFORM - who are still at the forefront of musical innovation - as well as ELECTRONICAT, CONVERTER, MIMETIC, ROGER ROTOR, FRAMES A SECOND, ROTORIK and HIV+ contributed their distinct styles, weaving a rich tapestry of sound that pays homage to SONAR's enduring legacy while exploring new boundaries of musical expression. From pulsating beats to atmospheric textures, the remixers add layers of depth and diversity, transforming the album into an immersive sonic experience. Carefully remastered by Eric van Wonterghem, the album retains its freshness and urgency, proving that even after 20+ years, the power and relevance of SONAR's music endure. Don't miss out on this extraordinary reimagination of a classic masterpiece, feel the pulse!
S.K.E.T.'s long-awaited fifth release "Empires Fall!" is here just in time for the 20th anniversary celebration of their debut for HANDS. Following their last release, "Capitalism - Continuing Crisis", the duo is back and is here to stay - ready to take you on a journey that will push you further into S.K.E.T.'s industrial chaos. Brace yourselves, strap in tight! The dormant machine is awake again and well set to shake you along their explosive, powerful and ever so skillfully arranged beats. 70 mesmerizing and breathtaking minutes loaded with S.K.E.T..'s original and highly acclaimed sound, delivering a high-octane sonic experience that ignites passion and introspection. With speaker-shaking intensity, the album builds suspense and urgency with every beat, yet offering moments of contemplation amidst the chaos to find your zen (or at least catch some breath before the madness returns). Through meticulous layers of distortion and impeccable attention to detail, S.K.E.T. pushes the boundaries of auditory exploration, inviting you to join the revolution and unlock the power within. "Empires Fall!" is not merely a soundtrack for agitation - it's a weapon of mass empowerment. With its fusion of visceral energy and thought-provoking depth, this album becomes a beacon of hope in dark times. It reminds us that our voices have power and that our actions can shape the course of history. Turn up, your neighbors will thank you later. Rise up, be heard, and join the revolution: Together, we will shake the foundations of tyranny and usher in a new era of freedom and justice!
"Alte Liebe ..." marks the revival of an old love affair with electronic music: If you frequented festivals like FORMS OF HANDS or MASCHINENFEST in the noughties, chances are you experienced the captivating performances of S.I.N.A whose unique appearance left an indelible mark, fronted by female singer Sina Huebner, backed by Stefan Boehm aka NULLVEKTOR on controls. Their releases are still topical, and "Snapshot" from 2000 is rightfully considered a foundation stone for the rhythm'n'noise and industrial techno genre. Fast forward to 2024, and the comeback album is finally here, offering a mature and confident exploration of themes ranging from self-doubt to female empowerment against an engaging and versatile musical backdrop. Musically, "Alte Liebe ..." presents a diverse sound: From melancholic, post-punk melodies to electro clash and EBM-infused structures, S.I.N.A demonstrate their versatility and depth within a minimalistic approach. The album's rhythms and soundscapes set a captivating pace, while Sina Huebner's remarkable vocal range adds an emotional depth that resonates throughout each track. In terms of lyrical content, "Alte Liebe ..." explores the complexities of human experience. Through German and English lyrics, S.I.N.A navigates themes of self-doubt, female empowerment, and emotional introspection with sincerity and depth. Each song offers a unique perspective, inviting listeners to reflect on their own emotions. The five new tracks of "Alte Liebe ..." are complemented by remixes from HANDS label mates MONOLITH, AH CAMA-SOTZ and CERVELLO ELETTRONICO, who bring their trademark sound and are all dance floor bound: Agitating tribal, repetitive dance floor material. "Alte Liebe ..." convinces with its maturity, confidence, and timeless appeal. Join S.I.N.A on their musical rediscovery and embrace the bold evolution of their signature style.
Join "My Battle," the debut solo album by ERIC DE VRIES, one half of the industrial legend WINTERKAELTE. With over three decades of experience, their “drum'n'noise“ signature style has carved a unique path in the realm of electronic and industrial music. And especially ERIC DE VRIES's electronic drumming, serving as the rhythmic heartbeat of their sound, is a spectacular display during their live shows. This surprising and exciting solo album delves deep into ERIC DE VRIES' personal journey, his fight against cancer after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in early 2023. Through seven powerful tracks spanning over 48 minutes, "My Battle" emerges as a manifesto of energy, offering a compelling narrative for the dance floor and beyond. In "My Battle," ERIC DE VRIES draws from the essence of WINTERKAELTE's rhythmic allure: While the noise aspect of their signature style typically manifests as a wall-of-sound, here it takes on a more minimalist role, serving as both a foundation and ornament for the rhythmic and energetic flow. Experience the raw intensity and emotional depth of "My Battle" as ERIC DE VRIES navigates his personal struggles with resilience and determination: Track titles like "Maximum Chemical Dose", "Marching without Fear" or "The High before Decay" are directly related to the existentially threatening experiences of Eric's cancer diagnosis – and yet he does not dwell in gloom or hopelessness, but churns out one surefire bid for the dance floor after the other. This album is a testament to the power of music in the face of adversity, showcasing how something horrible can lead to something inspiring and energizing: "My Battle" offers inspiration and enjoyment to many, serving as a beacon of strength and resilience.
What a sighting - the alien unit 5F-X had left our galaxy in 2010, leaving scientists puzzled about its return. But here it is, with 12 all-new tracks, a 65-minute fusion of science fiction industrial, rhythmic intensity, and alienated sounds of various earthly and otherworldly sorts. Get ready to dive into a world where acid-tinged techno meets broken beats and industrial rigidity, all wrapped in an atmosphere of extraterrestrial intrigue. On "Robby Road", 5F-X seamlessly blends celestial rhythms, throbbing beats, and hypnotic grooves to craft a mesmerizing auditory experience. Each track is a sonic adventure, guiding listeners through intricate patterns of sound that echo across the void, propelled by hypnotic rhythms that evoke the rhythmic pulse of celestial machinery. From the ethereal whispers of alien civilizations to the atmospheres of distant galaxies, this album transports you to a realm where time is fluid and reality is shaped by the endless possibilities of the cosmos. Titles on "Robby Road" make reference to a plethora of very earthly pop cultural themes including Autechre, Douglas Adams, The Beatles, and Alien, adding an extra layer of intrigue. With its eclectic approach, this album offers a diverse yet cohesive journey through the outer reaches of sound: So familiar, so unique. Take a stroll down Robby Road!
Descend into the depths of industrialism with SCHACHTANLAGE GEGENORT's 2024 album, "Coal Phase-Out" a riveting exploration of electroacoustic and industrial music. Featuring nine tracks spanning roughly 50 minutes, "Coal Phase-Out" showcases Denise Ritter's impeccable sound design and craftsmanship. The music, though experimental and formidable, possesses a rhythmic allure that demands the listener's attention. Archaic, otherworldly, and urgent, the album offers a rewarding listening experience, serving as a remarkable document of industrial soundscapes. SCHACHTANLAGE GEGENORT, conceived by musician and artist Denise Ritter, delves into the realms of audio recordings from coal mining, iron, and steel industries. With four albums under her belt since 1997, including two self-releases and two under the umbrella of HANDS, Ritter's sonic journey continues to captivate audiences. This album marks a departure from the thematic essence of SCHACHTANLAGE GEGENORT: "Coal Phase-Out" serves as both a farewell to coal and a resolute statement advocating the abandonment of fossil fuel consumption. Notably, "Letzte Seilfahrt", "Prosper-Haniel", and "Stille im Streb" feature audio recordings taken at a depth of 1,200 meters in Germany's last active coal mine, Zeche Prosper-Haniel, shortly before its final closure. Additionally, Ritter incorporates computer-generated sounds and beats for the first time in other tracks, aiming for a distinct departure and playful liberation in sound.Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing depths of "Coal Phase-Out" available on CD and digital formats via HANDS, and experience the transformative power of sound.
Prepare yourself for an immersive exploration of rhythm'n'noise with the collaborative album "Laerm Bruit Noise" by MS GENTUR + SVEN PHALANX the newfound alliance of MS GENTUR and SVEN PHALANX. Over the duration of 11 tracks, this album presents a captivating contrast of upfront, aggressive, distorted industrial outbursts and sophisticated atmospheric elements. The result is a dynamic blend that tantalizes both the senses and the intellect. With a minimalistic approach, punctuated by occasional vocal samples, "Laerm Bruit Noise" offers a visceral yet cerebral listening experience. The collaborative effort between MS GENTUR and SVEN PHALANX unveils a unique synergy, born from their rich and diverse musical backgrounds. Both hailing from the Frankfurt area, these seasoned artists bring over 20 years of experience in the music underground. MS Gentur represents the rhythm noise lineage of the 1990s, with a distinctively old-school style that has garnered a dedicated following, particularly at HANDS festivals, where he remains a fan favorite. Fans have been eagerly awaiting a new album from MS Gentur, and "Laerm Bruit Noise" delivers on those expectations. Sven Phalanx, renowned for diverse projects in the fields of ambient as well as EBM, industrial and his recent collaboration project with Andreas Davids. "Laerm Bruit Noise" is a powerful sonic onslaught within a carefully crafted framework, inviting listeners to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery. The creative chemistry between MS GENTUR and SVEN PHALANX holds promise for a unique musical experience: Raw, bellicose energy and intellectual depth!
Since MONYA's debut on HANDS in 2019, she has emerged as one of the most prominent and respected figures in the industrial techno genre. Known for her exceptional talent as a producer and captivating live performances, Monya continues to push the boundaries of sonic exploration with her latest album, "Euphoria" appealing to listeners on both an intellectual and physical level. Featuring 11 tracks spanning a total of 64 minutes, "Euphoria" showcases MONYA's adeptness at seamlessly blending personal and political themes within the realm of industrial techno. Each track is a testament to her unique perspective, with elements of EBM sequences, haunting vocals, and pulsating techno beats intricately woven together. Remarkably, these individual elements are allowed to stand on their own, creating a rich tapestry of sound that varies in speed and intensity. Beyond its musical prowess, "Euphoria" serves as a deeply personal and political statement: Through her art, MONYA navigates the delicate balance between self-expression and social commentary, demonstrating that the two can coexist harmoniously. Each track is a reflection of her personal journey, resonating on both individual and societal levels. Completing the album are remixes by acclaimed artists Years of Denial and label mate Cervello Elettronico, representing the extreme ends of the album's sonic spectrum (i.e. dark and brooding and hard-hitting upfront). Their interpretations add an extra layer of complexity and depth to MONYA's work. Experience the euphoria of sound!
Experience the aptly titled debut album of ANARCHOTECH, a sonic exploration blending vintage electro-industrial elements with captivating beats and gritty sounds. With nine tracks spanning 52 minutes, this album is a testament to vision and talent - and ANARCHOTECH wishes for nothing less than revolution. From immersive listening experiences to club-ready tracks, "Origin Stories" is equally suited for introspection and dancefloor exploration. ANARCHOTECH is the brainchild of Chicago-based artist Rob Boyle, also known as DJ Sprite. With a relentless blend of rhythm'n'noise and industrial techno, he has been crushing dancefloors at America's most respected clubs and festivals for over two decades, leaving a trail of distorted beats and electrifying energy in his wake. As ANARCHOTECH prepares to take the stage at the 2024 edition of the Forms of Hands label festival in Germany, listeners are invited on a journey through dense layers and evocative, sometimes soundtrack-like atmospheres. The tracks on "Origin Stories" showcase a juxtaposition of machine-like precision and emotional depth, reflecting ANARCHOTECH's interests in radical transhumanism and the subversive potential of technology to challenge power dynamics. Notably, the album features two remixes by acclaimed artists iVardensphere and the boundless - adding some definite dance floor appeal to the sonic map of "Origin Stories". Join ANARCHOTECH as he blurs the lines between timeless influences and modern innovation, inviting listeners to explore the intersection of technology, power, and humanity in the digital age.
Don't scratch your eyes, the rhythm'n'noise bedrock that is SONAR is back, 'Future Cries' on HANDS being their 8th studio album after a break of nine years. Dirk Ivens and Eric Van Wonterghem have lived up to a special challenge: The trademark dense crashing waves of noise leave not much breathing room, and while they surely followed suit in accordance with their own sonic legacy, they have created a fresh and considerably varied take on the SONAR sound. It's essential to acknowledge the rich history this duo represents from their roots in the collaborative project Absolute Body Control to their individual contributions with Dive, The Klinik, Motor!k, Monolith and Insekt. SONAR itself have played a pivotal role in shaping the industrial music scene, beginning with their self-titled debut album in 1996, followed by a series of releases, including the highly sought-after vinyl remix album on HANDS in 2003. With pride we present 'Future Cries', the first regular SONAR album on HANDS: 12 tracks that showcase the 2023 update of one of the most influential acts in the genre. Unmistakably recognizable from the first hard-hitting loops of Getting Closer” there is this all-embracing hypnotic and repetitive style that Sonar has always been about. Find some sophisticated abstraction ('Future Cries', 'Modern Touch'), monochrome darkness ('Lighthouse', 'Not so Fragile'), upfront noise mayhem for the dance floors ('So Real', 'You get Yours') and soothing bass tones ('Tonight'). An exciting and versatile album that lets you pick or works great savoured in its entirety. Available as 12-track-CD and limited 10-track-LP in blue vinyl with full album digital download.
PRE-SALE - we expect the 10 track vinyl version for 5th January 2024. Don't scratch your eyes, the rhythm'n'noise bedrock that is SONAR is back, 'Future Cries' on HANDS being their 8th studio album after a break of nine years. Dirk Ivens and Eric Van Wonterghem have lived up to a special challenge: The trademark dense crashing waves of noise leave not much breathing room, and while they surely followed suit in accordance with their own sonic legacy, they have created a fresh and considerably varied take on the SONAR sound. It's essential to acknowledge the rich history this duo represents from their roots in the collaborative project Absolute Body Control to their individual contributions with Dive, The Klinik, Motor!k, Monolith and Insekt. SONAR itself have played a pivotal role in shaping the industrial music scene, beginning with their self-titled debut album in 1996, followed by a series of releases, including the highly sought-after vinyl remix album on HANDS in 2003. With pride we present 'Future Cries', the first regular SONAR album on HANDS: 12 tracks that showcase the 2023 update of one of the most influential acts in the genre. Unmistakably recognizable from the first hard-hitting loops of Getting Closer” there is this all-embracing hypnotic and repetitive style that Sonar has always been about. Find some sophisticated abstraction ('Future Cries', 'Modern Touch'), monochrome darkness ('Lighthouse', 'Not so Fragile'), upfront noise mayhem for the dance floors ('So Real', 'You get Yours') and soothing bass tones ('Tonight'). An exciting and versatile album that lets you pick or works great savoured in its entirety. Available as 12-track-CD and limited 10-track-LP in blue vinyl with full album digital download.
The world may be a vastly different one then it was in 2001, but here is something sound for you to hold on to: FORMS OF HANDS returns, as it has since 2001, and 14 artists are to congregate yet again to entertain the HANDS family, to perform their art and continue the tradition of the longest-running post-industrial festival. And here’s the audio document, the annual compilation with always all-exclusive tracks. HANDS has always been about long-term developments, about refinement to excellence, about developing artists over long periods of time – and thus shaping genres. So this compilation is about two main currents: Team rhythm’n’noise starts with the line-up of the experienced MONO NO AWARE, GREYHOUND, MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52, MS GENTUR and female prodigy STROBO.LOLITA. Team techno boasts a truly diverse cast of ORPHX, AH CAMA-SOTZ, NULLVEKTOR, CERVELLO ELETTRONICO, MONYA and SANS-FIN, all hailing from very different backgrounds and promising their unique approaches. To appreciate the artistic variety even more, consider the neuro stabs of 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST, the sheer beauty of PHASENMENSCH + ANTOINE SAINT-MARTIN and the gritty industrial assault of fresh HANDS signing SHROUDS. In its third decade of dedication to sounds off the beaten path, here’s the current FORMS OF HANDS to enjoy!
A title suggesting urban brutalism, how fitting for the 5th MONOLITH album on HANDS - and his 12th in total - a very special addition to the eminent discography of Eric van Wonterghem. As passionate as ever, this is arguably the most comprehensive Monolith album so far, encompassing a wide range of moods and making the best use of his vast background in producing: Rhythmic and repetitive hard dance music, but also atmospheric and inspiring listening, truly intense 75 minutes. The Concrete Playground has something to offer for everyone – dark and secluded tracks for contemplation like the opener “Immortal” or “The Gate of Light”, cheeky electro quotes can be found in “Concrete Playground”, “Push” or “Gallium Element”, and of course there is lots of industrial techno action going on: Some more on the stomping techno side of things (“The Hunter”, “Revelation”), some filled to the brim with industrial wails and screeches (“Blade on Skin”). What sets this album apart is the appearance of a lot of surprisingly nuanced and layered moments, such as when a melodic ambience comes hovering above the dance floor destruction in “The Sky Turns Red”. Lots of variation in the drum programming, exceptional sound design and the embrace of the emotional: “Concrete Playground” works in a highly fascinating dissonance, and is set to leave a big mark!
HANDS veteran MONO NO AWARE returns for his 11th label release – “Koritsu”, Japanese for solitude, and as American poet Jane Hirshfield put it: Solitude, whether endured or embraced, is a necessary gateway to original thought. MONO NO AWARE is about rhythm’n’noise and nothing but, and in his 23rd year (sic!) on the HANDS roster Leif Künzel is set to prove the current topicality of the style. An authoritative sweep, a good hour of exhilarating sonic assaults yielding a good number of tracks for the most underground of dance floors as well as competing for head-nodding sessions at home or with your earphones. Let’s do the math first: 13 tracks plus one remix by label mate S.K.E.T., that’s some value to start with, especially considering his accelerating creativity of recent years which have seen his art embracing a much wider range of expression while remaining absolutely true to his core expertise. Find classic upfront and massive Mono No Aware bangers like “Noesis” or “And what is Honne in 21” next to more minimal tracks like “Surudoi” or “Faces” that combine the noise with a distorted electro groove; indulge in the sinister tapestry of “Was nicht ist” or “Again a nice try” and get smashed with the freeform chaos of “wARNING!”. And while Mono No Aware has definitely carved a niche of its own, it’s no shame to consider a track like “Lowness 1st Cut” as a tribute to the repetitive grandeur of pioneers like Esplendor Geometrico. Embrace solitude, tune in to the rhythm and the noise!
Hot on the heels of the 2021 HANDS debut “Myths And Consequences” comes this, the next TEMPLER album: This time around producer Thomas Chalandon renounces any collaborations and remixes and instead focuses on distilling his trademark sound, which is “old school with contemporary means”. With this agenda, he dishes out nothing less than an instant classic, filled to the brim with highly potential hit tracks - a dark, energetic and brooding rhythmic beast. “H.A.C.E.” surely draws from Chalandon’s background as a techno producer and DJ, as it never ceases to push further, and this combines perfectly with his appreciation for timeless rhythm’n’noise sounds: It is based on slow, massively distorted and bass-heavy rhythms that slip from standard time signatures often enough to generate a heavy tribal atmosphere. Sometimes these rhythms come ultimately pronounced and pounding (“Galaxy of Nowhere”), sometimes ultimately “off” (“Man Behind the Sun”). Also, Chandalon has a real knack for providing each track with an irresistible hook: Ominous ritual chants, ethnic sounds, hymnic choral, repetitive glacial synths, incomprehensible speeches and rants are used to great effect and generate a hypnotic atmosphere. The build-up of a track like “Smokehead” will linger in your earbuds for hours – earworm trigger warning! We recommend repeated exposure to figure out the favourite dance floor weapon of your choice. Are you brave enough to lose yourself amid the mysterious haze?
HANDS welcomes Shrouds, the brainchild of Amsterdam native Thomas Bruning who stirred quite some attention with a couple of EPs and remixes locates himself in the no-man's-land between industrial and techno, spiced with some rather sinister leanings. This self titled first full time album is a heavily atmospheric crossbreed of dark and dreamy worlds (albeit full of anxiety) with outbursts of commanding rhythms taking over and pushing the album’s storyline into unexpected territories. Shrouds draws inspiration from the occult, the means of the individual to deal with the inhumanity of corruption, political and religious oppression and warmongering. The 45 minutes of “Shrouds” start with the escapist lingering of “I am Sitting in the Room”, slow rhythms and quirky, surreal sounds painting a picture of incoherent, weird thought. Determination grows with the increasingly lucid structures of “Listen to me” and “Morphed Being” before we reach more dance floor friendly bpms – although the experimental attitude of “Torn apart” or “Female Entities” is possibly not the first pick for the main stage. Less braindance attitude is sure to come though, with the trilogy of “Chaos Theory”, “I hope you find me” and the closing title “Who are they?” sweeping through with repetitive rhythms counteracted by a cacophonous collage of metallic sounds and otherworldly samples. One can tell there has been a lot of diligence and attention going into the production, resulting in an album sounding mature and experienced, especially for a debut, but most importantly this is authentic and heartfelt, really carving a niche of its own. Take a peek beneath the shrouds!
SANS-FIN establishes himself as a HANDS regular with this, his third album for the label, and continues his foray into the bleaker departments of dance music: Expect a good hour of visceral industrial techno with a definite emphasis on the industrial side of things, nine all-new energetic tracks and a remix by label mates Greyhound. Feuilles Fanées, withered leaves, an image of an ending, preparing the origin of something new. An appropriate reference for this album, which shrugs off the IDM-ish subtleties of earlier SANS-FIN works and goes straight from A to B, with carving beats, harrowing sounds and trembling bass lines. And yet there is emotional ra(n)ge you will encounter within this claustrophobic experience: A heavy industrial track like “Être Seul” at least offers a short moment of – albeit bleak - atmosphere, “Inciser” carries a nod-along-melody, and “Faire Le Deuil” features both. The rest is all rhythm and noise, with a special focus on the bass drum, from piercingly firm kicks (“Mademoiselle”) to distorted thumps (“Sans Nuages”) and the result is a lot of underground dance floor material, like the album’s arguably most representative track “Survol”. And the last word goes to HANDS veterans GREYHOUND, who (not surprisingly) render “Être Seul” even more intransigent and massive. Time to pick up the withered leaves!
Hedonism and awareness, simplicity and intellect: The new 4-track EP „Einweg Ausweg Ende“ by techno activist MONYA brings together the realms of party and politics. Her diligent and devoted work is well known, not least by her 2019 HANDS album “Straight Ahead”, and a string of spectacular live performances. And that’s the playground for these tracks: The warehouses and clubs. And Monya has brought with her two prolific artists who surely don’t shy away from positioning themselves clearly either: Belgian noise veteran Hypnoskull and French modular techno wizard Crystal Geometry. Let’s kick it: “Ich Will Schwitzen”, a stop-and-go techno banger does its duty proper, before “Ein Zustand” rolls out the grittiest bass line and garnishes its wave of energy with EBM-style shouts. For the title track ”Einweg Ausweg Ende with Hypnoskull“ Hypnoskull enters the stage: And he does not only bring a sack load of noise to the title track, but also a remarkable and utterly rare vocal performance. Final act Crystal Geometry, who unleashes an analogue melody that cuts through “Ein Zustand (Crystal Geometry Remix)” and spills the dopamine all over. Available in classic vinyl and contemporary digital formats to serve DJs, and the good cause. The 12” comes in a limited numbered edition of 300 copies in turquoise vinyl with art print, and a standard edition in black.
Hedonism and awareness, simplicity and intellect: The new 4-track EP „Einweg Ausweg Ende“ by techno activist MONYA brings together the realms of party and politics. Her diligent and devoted work is well known, not least by her 2019 HANDS album “Straight Ahead”, and a string of spectacular live performances. And that’s the playground for these tracks: The warehouses and clubs. And Monya has brought with her two prolific artists who surely don’t shy away from positioning themselves clearly either: Belgian noise veteran Hypnoskull and French modular techno wizard Crystal Geometry. Let’s kick it: “Ich Will Schwitzen”, a stop-and-go techno banger does its duty proper, before “Ein Zustand” rolls out the grittiest bass line and garnishes its wave of energy with EBM-style shouts. For the title track ”Einweg Ausweg Ende with Hypnoskull“ Hypnoskull enters the stage: And he does not only bring a sack load of noise to the title track, but also a remarkable and utterly rare vocal performance. Final act Crystal Geometry, who unleashes an analogue melody that cuts through “Ein Zustand (Crystal Geometry Remix)” and spills the dopamine all over. Available in classic vinyl and contemporary digital formats to serve DJs, and the good cause. The 12” comes in a limited numbered edition of 300 copies in turquoise vinyl with art print, and a standard edition in black.
cheers - here's the half a liter HANDS beer mug black and white printed logo fits 500ml, comes in heavy quality 800 grams glass
good morning - here's the half a liter HANDS thermos bottle black stainless steel thermos bottle /w silver etched logo
Black HANDS Gym bag in new heavy quality with classical logo print in white.
Black HANDS Gym bag in new heavy quality with logo print in white.
HANDS Courier Backpack. Black matt tarpaulin rolltop backpack /w white HANDS logo print. Padded back with hidden zipper to the main compartment. Added shoulder strap. Zipper front pocket. Waist and breast strap. 34x48x15cm (13.4x18.9x5.9“)
Limited to 100 copies, high quality DIN A2 poster to celebrate 30 Years of WINTERKÄLTE. Released at the 30 Years Anniversary Performance at WGT 2022.Rolled delivery
Hoodie to celebrate the 30 years anniversary of WINTERKÄLTE. Printed on a black, fashionable premium hoodie with adjustable hood and kangaroo pocket. The material is a heavy and durable 300g/m2 blend of 65% cotton and 35% polyester.
Women's t-shirt to celebrate the 30 years anniversary of WINTERKÄLTE.
Men's / unisex t-shirt to celebrate the 30 years anniversary of WINTERKÄLTE.
Women's / men's sleeveless t-shirt to celebrate the 30 years anniversary of WINTERKÄLTE.
New S.K.E.T. women's t-shirt with grey logo print on black high quality t-shirt.
New S.K.E.T. men's / unisex t-shirt with grey logo print on black high quality t-shirt.
We are excited to announce today the new label compilation "FORMS OF HANDS 21“ for 22nd April '22 - the first day of the FORMS OF HANDS festival! Pre-sale has started! The compilation features 14 exclusive tracks by all performing artists: WINTERKÄLTE, MONOLITH, S.K.E.T., PROYECTO MIRAGE, LAST DAYS OF S.E.X., HYSTERESIS, 13TH MONKEY, SUPERSIMMETRIA, SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM, TEMPLER, TALVEKOIDIK, PHASENMENSCH, TRACKOLOGISTS and SANS-FIN.
I can’t get no sleep – a guaranteed effect on those exposed to the onslaught of Greyhound. HANDS album no. 9 shows the outfit more confident about their art than ever, 75 minutes of timeless high-end rhythm’n’noise like almost no one else does. “Insomnia” focuses on the impact of the repetitive force of rhythm: And yet, what is so familiar turns out so excitingly! Greyhound seem to search for (a bit of) light after the permeating darkness of the preceding album, 2019’s “A Storm is coming”, and in turn revisit some of their faster, more loaded albums of the past. As a result, “Insomnia” is first of all an all-embracing sonic cloak of kicks, distortion and all those things going on in the background that keep the energy level at a constant high, no release, no peace; but what really sets this apart is the groove of all grooves, arcane and strange alright, and oh-so-strong and irresistible. Greyhound don’t do hit tracks, they aim to induce fundamental movement all the way through, never tiring over the entire length of the album. Impossible to point out single tracks, it’s their entirety, their ceaseless attack doing the trick, and doing it proper. “Insomnia” is a big step in Greyhound’s evolution, carefully tempering the rhythm’n’noise genre in their very own way, by simply leaving out everything ornamental, achieving innovation through purification. One album you will gladly stay awake to, and a new genre standard!
2022 sees the return of the artist LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. who really put the noise into HANDS with his previous four albums. But “Overstimulation“ is somewhat a turning point for Manos Chrisovergis' art, for two reasons: The focal topic of the album is not obviously politics, at least not on a general scale, but the account of a neurodivergent mind; and the explicit assault of his previous albums makes way for more structured, and in large parts actually club compatible industrial techno and rhythm’n’noise bangers.To console the fans – of course there are plenty of noisy outbursts, distortion, feedback and metallic screeches of destruction to be found on “Overstimulation”, constantly shifting and changing, an invitation for the neurotypical to experience the rush of perception and turbulence of the neurodifferent mind. On a few tracks, these elements meander in a drowsy pace, like on “Neurodivergent” or “Bad Symptoms” with the rhythmic structure remaining in the background, but for most parts we experience the regiment of the kick, bold and commanding, spawning energetic and overpowering tracks like “Hate Work”, “Max Pressure” or “Exist”. But there’s even more to discover – the sleek, almost minimal “Escape“ and remixes by the legendary HYPNOSKULL and Greek industrial techno powerhouse ANFS. Sensory overload and overstimulation are an omnipresent danger in these days of mass media, technological advance and the never-ending stream of information rushing into our brains. Thus, the emotions created by LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. will be rather familiar to each of us. In the same fashion, the music will be highly recognized - and enjoyed! - by the industrial faithful.
SUPERSIMMETRIA returns to praise the glory of life: Literally taking up the thread of its predecessor “Abiogenesis”, his 2022 album “Double Helix” explores the structure formed by double-stranded nucleic acid molecules, DNA, the core of our very existence. Considerate and gentle, yet profound and demanding electronica of the highest order take the listener on a 66-minute journey into the structure of life itself. Although the idea of genes had been around for many years, it was not until the 1950s that the chemical nature and structure of DNA and its function as hereditary material were identified. This was a foray into understanding life itself: Each strand of DNA can act as a template for the creation of exact copies of itself, resulting in the persistence of genetic information across generations. Supersimmetria explores the subject matter of genetics in depth and touches upon its fascinating phenomena. Armando Alibrandi aka SUPERSIMMETRIA is known for his perfectionist approach at sound design, resulting in a distinguished style that sits comfortably in the grey area between dark ambient, techno and atmospheric industrial. “Double Helix” is a totally coherent piece of art; dense textures of sound and a rhythmic pulse weave into a dark, but never hostile sonic environment. The expedition starts with deep, mysterious tracks like “ATGC”, “DNA Repair” or the sombre “Memento 2.0” before we progress towards the rhythmic mid-section of the album with the electro-heavy “Supercoiling” and techno-flavoured digital tribalism like “Transcription” or “Translation”. With “Helix Geometries” we enter the closing trilogy of the album, more complex layers and contorted structures of sound become prominent. American scientific author Sam Kean has said that genes are like the story, and DNA is the language that the story is written in. It is Armando Alibrandi’s merit to have translated that story into the language of electronic music and created an intense, immersive album of great sophistication.
“If the first meaning of domination consists in the necessity for an agent to pass through another to access his object of desire, then obviously the wage relationship is a relationship of domination.” With his 2022 HANDS album, a fruit of four years, SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM, tackles the core subject of his artistic endeavours - the cyclical nature of catastrophic phenomena as well as the inevitability of destruction, the inexorable nature of death and disintegration. These are processed in his creations as an architect, a painter, and a music producer who has garnered considerable praise for his progressive approach at electronic music, bringing together the profound and the enjoyable. “Gandrange” is nothing less than a valuable dual purpose weapon, offering high class electronica, coupled with the possibility of immersion into existential questions of political nature. Destruction of the environment is the magnification of the destruction of the intimate: The musical portrayal is a form of idleness experienced in the face of what cannot be mastered. The same is true for the destruction of dignity by the leeches of neo-liberal rule, as represented in the scandal surrounding the Gandrange steel site, where workers believed in a common goal, but were laid off for the most base of reasons – money. For SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM, this represents said image of the destruction of intimate, in the reflection of his own personal history. “Gandrange” starts with Suffocation, recorded in 2020 at the Audiotrauma festival in Prague, one of the last big things to happen before the Covid-19 pandemic. The album oscillates between raw and harrowing industrial flavours, like the title track which brings together scraping distortion, a simple rhythm and floating organ sounds, the contorted “Attrition” or the minimal “Verena” on the on hand side, and more beat-heavy material like the acidic “Gloria Victis”, electro banger “Florange” or the stacked amens of “SARS-CoV-2”. Actually some of these might qualify for club use by more adventurous DJs indeed, but the main quality of “Gandrange” is the exquisite sound design coupled with the diversity and dynamics of the music presented. Each track is a little world to discover, a moment of elation, a statement against the immoral and the destructive.
The juxtaposition of beauty and despair, the revelation of vulnerability, honesty and mindfulness, the music of Phasenmensch always evokes a melancholic depth. “A Prenatural Silence” takes that passion to a new level: A musical rendition of Jeff VanderMeer’s bestselling novel “Annihilation”, of which Wolfram Bange has been very fond of for years: A difficult story, a devoted musician. Support in writing and production comes from ANTOINE SAINT-MARTIN (who has already contributed to a track on the “Perpetual Transmutation” collection). Four unnamed women with a blurry agenda examine a deserted patch of nature with a rich wildlife. That’s the setting of “Annihilation”, which meanders between dream, nightmare and hallucination and wallows in its seeming contradictions and defiance of the world we take for granted: Haunting, distracting – and considered simply stunning by many. Of course PHASENMENSCH possesses the sonic arsenal to tackle such vivid and dark themes: His 2019 album “Haunted” had impressively portrayed a painful process of introspection, and all his albums so far have had a conceptual background and a soundtrack feel to them. Here again, everything is in its place, every sound on spot, and the ups and downs and uncertainties of the story are captured with an uncanny ability. From the opener “A Path” there’s a constant battle of beauty and horror, with almost detached vocals by Nina Kiel. Indulge in the struggle of silence and noise, ambience and rhythm, from gentle like in “Decades of Journals” to industrial technoid like in “The Structure” which features the input of long-term companion ICD-10. Calmer sounds dominate towards the end and culminate in a celestial – albeit deceiving - tranquillity. We feel, this musical portrayal is much closer to the original story than the 2018 movie with Natalie Portman, but then, it’s everyone’s very own world. All lines and song titles from “Annihilation” are used with kind permission of Jeff VanderMeer and 15% of all profits will go the Friends of the St.Marks National Wildlife Refuge – the place of inspiration for “Annihilation”.
After three years in the pipeline, it’s about time for the KATRAN full-time debut album: Darko Kolar of ONTAL dishes out an instant industrial techno classic, eleven tracks of no-nonsense hard-hitting assaults with four prolific guests bringing their very own sound to extend the musical range of “Above the Concrete“ in a most intriguing way. Expect no moments of rest, surrender to the force of banging repetitive power branded with a brave scrape-and-burn musical edge. With a new version of his 2019 FORMS OF HANDS compilation track “Mirror Reflection” Darko Kolar dives straight into the driving dance floor material that he has been cutting his teeth on the half dozen KATRAN tracks released so far and takes it from there: Pristine sound design, various flavours of the almighty kick drum and traces of melodic ambience, floating above the industrial shrieks and screeches that litter the album. The four tracks that have been produced in collaboration promise stimulating diversion: “Isolation” with Spanish DJ/producer SURIT evolves around a slow, pronounced bass line and suggests some deceptive calm, former Ad Noiseam act FAUSTEN tear up the rhythmic structure of “Envenomation” and conjure up chaos, French veterans ELEKTROPLASMA contribute some hardcore flavour to “Disruption” and “Sudden Closure” features noise legend KK NULL with uncontrollable outbursts of industrial debris. Loop-based, repetitive industrial techno with an edge is a time-honoured and accustomed tradition that HANDS has been fostering since ORPHX’s 1999 classic “Vita Mediativa”, and “Above the Concrete” follows in those footsteps. Strong rhythmic energy to work up a sweat meet nuanced and layered sounds that elevate this album above the functional, above the concrete.
We’re happy to announce a new HANDS hoodie! The HANDS logo is printed in white on a black, fashionable premium hoodie with adjustable hood and kangaroo pocket. The material is a heavy and durable 300g/m2 blend of 65% cotton and 35% polyester. It's available in XS – 5XL men's / unisex.
The HANDS SAYS NOISE ZIP Hoodies is back in stock on a new, fashionable , high quality premium zip hoodie. The material is again heavy and durable 300g/m2 blend of 65% cotton and 35% polyester. It's available in S – 5XL men's / unisex.
2021 sees the celebration of the proud 20th edition of FORMS OF HANDS, the annual HANDS label festival since 2000. The oldest running annual industrial compilation series continues again with the impressive catalogue number HANDS D300, which stands for the 300th CD on HANDS. Two decades are certainly a milestone for every festival, especially as due to the pandemic the 20th edition of FORMS OF HANDS was the most difficult to carry out. But let’s just be happy for this year’s event to bring back together people at the shaft tower, and re-unite these 14 artists for another outstanding edition of this unique compilation series – long live FORMS OF HANDS! The FORMS OF HANDS festival edition compilation for 2021 comprises 14 all-exclusive tracks by the performing artists – nine of which could be re-booked from the cancelled last year’s festival edition, with five alternatives stepping in for this year. The main themes are rhythm’n’noise in various configurations by WINTERKÄLTE, MONO NO AWARE, GREYHOUND, MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52, HYSTERESIS, <1979> and STROBO.LOLITA and industrial techno tunes by MONOLITH, NULLVEKTOR, CERVELLO ELETTRONICO and ICD-10. Diversity is guaranteed through a quirky remix by HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH, a glorious noise anthem by MS GENTUR and a total disregard for genres by 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST. This album is valid proof that creativity is alive and blooming, and beyond the uncertainty and gloom of the pandemic life will continue and labels and festivals are able to survive with the support of their fans. Let's celebrate together, let’s cherish the 20th edition of FORMS OF HANDS, cheers!
To say we at HANDS are euphoric is definitely underrated – it’s not every day that you can announce a release by the legend that is Madrid-based act ESPLENDOR GEOMÉTRICO “Eurasia” contains four all new EG tracks for 2021 and comes in 200 blue and yellow vinyl copies each, and in the digital format respectively. And for the historians: This gem comes a full 25 years after the EG contribution to our long sold-out 2/3 compilation. The Esplendor Geométrico sound aesthetic has been a major influence on the HANDS label sound obviously, and the good 20 minutes of “Eurasia” feel like applying a magnifying glass to that: “A Largo Plazo” gets the trademark hypnotic percussion loops rolling, static hiss and undefined noises are woven into a dense backdrop for hoarse vocals. “El Despertar Del Gigante Asiático” features more upfront rhythms set off with a bleeping sound hook and what appears a mess of field-recorded voices – thus said, one can’t help but get captivated by the grinding groove. “La Ruta De La Seda” adds a substantial bass rumble and low-end dynamics, before “Eurasia” embraces sonic ethnology: Almost painfully slow, with a sinister ritual feel, the dense atmosphere working in a delicate contrast to the disruptive vocal outbursts. Esplendor Geométrico prove once again they inhabit a territory of their own, and 40 years after their inception they still fascinate listeners with their unique twist of infusing a strictly repetitive sound with unmatched vibrant dynamics. Esplendor Geométrico don’t follow trends, Esplendor Geométrico set trends. We invite you to get lost in the intriguing soundscape of “Eurasia”!
Max Durante, a true DJ and producer pioneer presents his dazzling, all new album “Der Graue Geruch Nach Metall“ that brings together the physical exhilaration of techno and the experimental industrial edge that makes a HANDS release, delivered in the most confident way. Expect undisputed quality material that works perfectly for the club as well as in any setup you prefer for home listening, thus available in CD, double vinyl in gatefold sleeve (limited 200 copies orange vinyl / black vinyl) and digital formats. “A world in collapse where machines take over, a world overpopulated, that suffocates, that suffers where humans take refuge in abandoned factories and where the only memory is the grey smell of metal!“ Max Durante started his endeavours in the Italy of the late 1980s, his DJ sets inspired by New Beat, EBM and acid, and went on to create a string of underground techno tunes. His music has never denied his industrial and electro roots, from his first releases on Hot Trax to the more recent ones on Sonic Groove or aufnahme + wiedergabe that you will find in all kinds of industrial techno playlists frequently. Having relocated to Berlin in 2014, he is still forging the evolution of his sound, and “Der graue Geruch nach Metall“ makes no exception. Muscle is nothing without the mind, so the framework of techno kicks comes on firmly, but remains unobtrusive, leaving room for rumbling sub-bass and atmospheric layers of sounds and samples. The track titles suggest critical thinking and philosophical ambition; the album follows a storyline, but leaves enough room for interpretation. What sounds like compromise is really the most determined pursuit of a producer getting it just right!
Max Durante, a true DJ and producer pioneer presents his dazzling, all new album “Der Graue Geruch Nach Metall“ that brings together the physical exhilaration of techno and the experimental industrial edge that makes a HANDS release, delivered in the most confident way. Expect undisputed quality material that works perfectly for the club as well as in any setup you prefer for home listening, thus available in CD, double vinyl in gatefold sleeve (limited 200 copies orange vinyl / black vinyl) and digital formats. “A world in collapse where machines take over, a world overpopulated, that suffocates, that suffers where humans take refuge in abandoned factories and where the only memory is the grey smell of metal!“ Max Durante started his endeavours in the Italy of the late 1980s, his DJ sets inspired by New Beat, EBM and acid, and went on to create a string of underground techno tunes. His music has never denied his industrial and electro roots, from his first releases on Hot Trax to the more recent ones on Sonic Groove or aufnahme + wiedergabe that you will find in all kinds of industrial techno playlists frequently. Having relocated to Berlin in 2014, he is still forging the evolution of his sound, and “Der graue Geruch nach Metall“ makes no exception. Muscle is nothing without the mind, so the framework of techno kicks comes on firmly, but remains unobtrusive, leaving room for rumbling sub-bass and atmospheric layers of sounds and samples. The track titles suggest critical thinking and philosophical ambition; the album follows a storyline, but leaves enough room for interpretation. What sounds like compromise is really the most determined pursuit of a producer getting it just right!
Max Durante, a true DJ and producer pioneer presents his dazzling, all new album “Der Graue Geruch Nach Metall“ that brings together the physical exhilaration of techno and the experimental industrial edge that makes a HANDS release, delivered in the most confident way. Expect undisputed quality material that works perfectly for the club as well as in any setup you prefer for home listening, thus available in CD, double vinyl in gatefold sleeve (limited 200 copies orange vinyl / black vinyl) and digital formats. “A world in collapse where machines take over, a world overpopulated, that suffocates, that suffers where humans take refuge in abandoned factories and where the only memory is the grey smell of metal!“ Max Durante started his endeavours in the Italy of the late 1980s, his DJ sets inspired by New Beat, EBM and acid, and went on to create a string of underground techno tunes. His music has never denied his industrial and electro roots, from his first releases on Hot Trax to the more recent ones on Sonic Groove or aufnahme + wiedergabe that you will find in all kinds of industrial techno playlists frequently. Having relocated to Berlin in 2014, he is still forging the evolution of his sound, and “Der graue Geruch nach Metall“ makes no exception. Muscle is nothing without the mind, so the framework of techno kicks comes on firmly, but remains unobtrusive, leaving room for rumbling sub-bass and atmospheric layers of sounds and samples. The track titles suggest critical thinking and philosophical ambition; the album follows a storyline, but leaves enough room for interpretation. What sounds like compromise is really the most determined pursuit of a producer getting it just right!
HANDS . pin - /w black and white print - butterfly clip - 2cm x 2cm (0.8" x 0.8")
HANDS proudly welcomes Templer, the solo project by Thomas Chalandon of Imperial Black Unit, with a very special album release. "Myths And Consequences“ is a 14-track masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind album, inspired by industrial, techno and rhythm’n’noise, and yet truly genre-defying. Full value is provided by nine massive tracks and five ingenious remixes by Esplendor Geométrico, Test Dept, Orphx, Geistform and Harsh Mentor. Berlin-based Frenchman Chalandon is a known face in the industrial techno underground, being one half of the EBM-heavy Imperial Black Unit as well as the founder of the AreaZ label. As Templer, he has a couple of EPs under his belt (one with now HANDS label mate Monya), a handful of remixes and a string of remarkable DJ sets. Given the range of influences that figure in the Templer sound, the dominant feature is an almost classic slow and grinding industrial sludge that sways.between driving dance floor rhythms and the ominous abyss. The nine original tracks on “Myths and Consequences” deal with sinister subject matters like Isolation and dystopian repression and the overall mood is a permeating atmosphere of anxiousness that sucks you in. There is a juxtaposition of flickering, layered sounds with simple, addictive hook lines, so while this is highly suited to be listened to as a story-telling album, each track also stands strongly for itself. On two tracks, Templer has also enlisted collaborators: aufnahme+wiedergabe artist Lapse Of Reason contributes a highly treated rant to the title track, and Incendie (also Chalandon’s partner in the improvisational project ATT Corp) features on the guitar-heavy “A True Terror Corporation” – a track that instantly takes you back to the heydays of industrial music. So, as the icing on the cake, it is this tune that gets remixed by no less than five undisputed heavyweight champions who add their distinct stamp: The repetitive primitivism of Esplendor Geométrico, the grandeur of Test Dept, the rhythmic ingenuity of Orphx, the hypnotic resonance of Geistform and the melodic, tribal finale by Harsh Mentor. “Myths and Consequences” is a tribute to the old school industrial sound without being old school at all: A highly diverse and innovative piece of art.
A reconciliation of chaos and structure, a musical approach fuelled by the cast shadows that let the loops and patterns resonate: In these dark days ICD-10 are back with their sophomore HANDS album, a re-focused, edgier sound and a sharpened profile - Thorsten Felix already contributed his boom and hum to the 2019 “Differential Diagnosis”, now he’s a full-patch band member alongside Henning Hinck and Daniel Himmelreich. Pervasive basslines, continuous rhythm power and a tingling bulkiness remain the trademark of the ICD-10 industrial techno sound, the trio resolutely looking down on any mainstream ambition. “Irregular Cerebral Device” is a good hour, ten tracks of no-nonsense material, deranged sounds and grating hooks, geared at the stroboscopic, fogged frenzy of the underground dance floors. The album is based on an eclectic assortment of inspirations: Artificial intelligence and cyberspace, globalization, neuroscience and philosophy – all these associations held together by a red thread of malaise and aggression, of futurism and dehumanized dystopian despair. On your quest for that new thrill you will certainly encounter an unexpected anomaly triggering the turmoil. It is that irregularity that is needed for the formation of synapses, for cerebral recalibration, for enabling new ways of thinking. Whether you seek out “Irregular Cerebral Device” for its physical impact and high-function value or like to dig deeper into the philosophical implications, you will have a hard time getting past this massive. Submit yourself for some audio re-programming!
“He had been living for the weekend, living the dream. He was a libertine, a maverick who wouldn’t be shackled by society’s preconceptions. But now he had to realize his habitat had been destroyed – it was the end of the night.” Sans-fin returns for his sophomore HANDS album, and what started with “Etat De L'Art” in 2019 is now boldly continued: DJ Hells puts his emphasis on the dance floor, albeit preserving the IDM-ish delicacy of his earlier works. Ten stirring industrial techno tracks that convince with a generous versatility, plus a tight remix by (fellow Leipzig resident) Blac Kolor. With the opener “Conduire”, Sans-fin sets the mood for the album: On-spot beats, an EBM-tinged bass grind and a genuine emotion. From there he takes us through a fantasy of urban night life, with hypnotic tracks like “Courant Continu” or “Salle Vide”, the EBM-flavoured stomp of “Destruction” and “Évanouissement”, or the no-nonsense sonic assault of “Fermé” and “Se Ruiner”. And yet, there’s also the freeform tunes Sans-fin has made himself a name for, like the extended remix of the Elektroanschlag 2020 compilation track “Le Survol”, the storytelling “Yeux Fermés“ and the slow and moody “Supériorité”. Black Kolor then puts the icing on the cake with his remix of the opener, working like a summary of Sans-fin’s account of the end of the night. “La Fin De La Nuit” is an invitation to get lost and reminisce, and yet to look forward to what can, and will be.
We're thrilled to announce the new HANDS Rainbow Logo t-shirt for summer 2021. Available in women's t-shirt XS-XL. Rainbow colour print on black high quality shirt.
We're thrilled to announce the new HANDS Rainbow Logo t-shirt for summer 2021. Available in men's / unisex S-3XL. Rainbow colour print on black high quality shirt.
We're thrilled to announce the new HANDS Black Logo t-shirt for summer 2021. Available in female's XS-XL. Black soft flock print on black high quality shirt.
We're thrilled to announce the new HANDS Black Logo t-shirt for summer 2021. Available in men's / unisex S-3XL. Black soft flock print on black high quality shirt.
A new MONO NO AWARE album just a year after the celebrated “Mujoo”? Don’t waste too much time rubbing your eyes in amazement over Leif Künzel’s accelerated creativity, but embrace this special treat: A concise 38 minute album, available in a limited run of handnumbered 100 cassette tapes /w digital download. Eight new tracks of pure rhythm’n’noise enjoyment for the dance floor! The thump of the bass drum, the erratic wash of noises: Of course Mono No Aware will not stray from the core elements of his sound. But for “Shinshoo” he renounces his preference for the extreme, just slightly suggests his newfound interest in more technoid structures and does entirely without other artists’ remix efforts. “Shinshoo” is nothing less than classic, timeless rhythm’n’noise, repetitive and hypnotic, an acquired taste of grating grooves that will have you sway and shake in no time. A captivating flow of hard and high-pitched sounds (“Tonal Noise”), old-school flavours (“Backfall”), pronounced bass drums (“Kyouran”) and electronic sounds (“Freak Out”) - and the truly industrial finale “Why do you look at me”, a mechanical soundscape par excellence. Press play, enjoy, rewind!
This is the fifth MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52 album on HANDS, and the first without the alliance of Disraptor, who stopped his musically activities. So Maschinenkrieger KR52 goes solo and continues to provide the crowd with relentless rhythm’n’noise terror for the clubs, as in his live performances in recent years. Medical emergencies, deadly sins, optical delusions, viruses – such are the clues from which Rico Weber has drawn inspiration for his first solo endeavour. Of course there ‘s the purist approach we have come to expect, but the Maschinenkrieger KR52 sound also got a mindful update – the result being a strong contender, a contemporary blueprint for the genre. Clocking in under an hour, “Stroke Unit” is – again – an album that goes full steam, and while unswervingly pursuing his path of rhythm’n’noise purity, the Maschinenkrieger KR 52 has added considerable elements of the present-day musical language: The impact of the kicks, the depth of the bass growl, the resonating sounds render these 12 tracks painfully concrete and physical. While tracks like “Gluttony” or “Ocean” will surely please the old school crowd, others like “Halo” or the sharp-edged title track sport a more distinguishable structure, reaching out to the curious. All in all, this is best savoured in its entirety, a glorious rush of mechanized brutality. “Stroke Unit” offers a surprising diversity to the genre adherent, and while most of the material is primarily bound for the dance floor, it will enhance all kinds of everyday activities. Keep moving, stay healthy, it will save you from the stroke unit!
HANDS welcomes Marc Fischer, who under his SIAMGDA guise has built a considerable following with his releases on Mind Plug, ant-zen and aufnahme + wiedergabe, and now for his 10th album joins the HANDS artist roster. Siamgda stands for a highly percussive, intensely rhythmic sound that culls from Eastern and Western musical traditions to create a unique and fresh approach of industrial techno and dark tribal electro. Siamgda’s art is about identity, about authenticity, born from experience, music for the here and now. The use of tribal beats and ethnic sounds has a huge tradition in industrial music, and HANDS artists have repeatedly explored that territory. Siamgda relates, and at the same time doesn’t relate to that tradition, as his sound appears more homogenous than anything else: A hypnotic blend of primordial techno primitivism, mysterious vocals and chants, distortion and harsh electronics. Sometimes broken and psychedelic (“We are now”, “Sensory Salvation”), always intensely physical (“Tribal Blood”, “Resistance”), even outright dance floor bound (“Bimbara Bambara”, “Now!”) with a booming bass drum. “Here and Now” is a good hour of bottom-heavy rhythmic greatness; and since he likes to revisit his own work from time to time, complemented with two adventurous remakes of tracks from 2014 and 2017 respectively. Lao Tzu said “There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.” - live in the here and now!
The substance noire, or substantia nigra, a ganglia structure in the midbrain that is essential to both movement and reward: What could be a more appropriate title for YURA YURA’s third full length HANDS album? After the dense and atmospheric “Rumu Namba” of 2016 he has again taken due time to enhance his production and put together just under 80 minutes of top-notch industrial rhythm’n’noise, covering a considerable range of emotions - and incidentally yielding a number of serious club tracks as well. From the outset, Yura Yura wastes no time with subtleties, tracks like “Hypnasch” or “Lakrimal” epitomize his trademark sound: Hard and ruthless it is, with the rhythmic patterns constantly shifting and evolving and a second layer of sounds and sparsely used samples underneath that add atmosphere and depth. Some tracks are faster (“Kalor”), some slow and grinding (“Shadow”, “Voodoo”), some tracks are unabashedly rocking (“The Eyes”), some purely atmospheric (“Yungle”, “Innen“). To throw in even more diversity, we get “Contakt”, an old school style hit track, and the electro tune “Flesh”. The bracket holding this album together as an entity is a sense of darkness, a substantially black mood. With “Substance Noire” Yura Yura truly delivers an industrial and rhythm’n’noise masterpiece! 
HANDS . memo book - black matt cover /w white print - 17,5cm x 17,5 cm (6.9" x 6.9") - 96 lined pages, recycling paper
HANDS . pen set - ballpoint pen, refillable - lead pencil - eraser protection cap
HANDS DJ Bag. Black glossy tarpaulin shoulder bag /w white HANDS logo print. Spacious main compartment with organizer features and flat inside pocket. Large flap with velcro closer. Adjustable shoulder strap. 37x29x13 cm (14.6“x11.4“x5,1“)
HANDS WEEKENDER BAG (2015). Black matt tarpaulin shoulder bag /w white HANDS logo print. Conforms to the airlines’ standard cabin baggage requirements. Spacious main compartment and flat inside pocket. Large flap with velcro closer. Adjustable shoulder strap. 44x33x16cm (17.3”x13x6.3”)
FORMS OF HANDS 20 – a proud 20th festival anniversary, a sad reality, as theoriginal event has been taken down by the global Covid-19 pandemic. But: The oldest ongoing annual industrial compilation series continues and is unstoppable - especially not in 2020, which is the HANDS no-less-than-30 years anniversary! And: The festival and party itself is only postponed to April 2021, not cancelled, life will go on, and you have this CD as a testament of creativity and friendship – in line with the zeitgeist we stay apart to stand together. Press play and get ready for some horizontal festival dancing in isolation. Number 20 in the encyclopedia of all things HANDS is very obviously a recollection of our core skill – presenting tracks from rhythm’n’noise to industrial techno in all its artistic forms. Analogue and old school flavor is spread by MS GENTUR and <1979>, upfront noise comes from LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. and STROBO.LOLITA, and surely there are ruthlessly assaulting club tracks by MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52, MONO NO AWARE and GREYHOUND. Of course there’s distraction right and left: Gritty, complex dance floor tracks by ORPHX and MDD, industrial techno stompers by WINTERKÄLTE and MONOLITH, PROYECTO MIRAGE with a vocal driven futuristic retro techno clash track, AH CAMA-SOTZ doing his tribal techno wizardry and NULLVEKTOR pushing the genre-bending game. As always, all tracks are exclusive to this release, a fine means to celebrate the 30th anniversary of HANDS.
An album every two years – Eric van Wontherghem continues his creative streak since joining HANDS in 2014. And surely the audience is well up for the refill: In just under an hour, “Unnatural Bodies” demonstrates Monolith’s mastery of his signature sound, a seamless merger of rhythmic electronic styles, a vibrant and energetic rush affecting body and soul, provoking, but never assaulting. Avantgarde artist Jim Whiting brought his mechanical theatre “Unnatural Bodies” to public acclaim in the 1980s and continues to exhibit constantly updated versions of it. By all means comparable is the art of Eric van Wontherghem: Industrial and EBM pioneer in the 1980s, tribal rhythm noise innovator in the 1990s, embracing the techno groove ever since: The result being an irresistible fusion, made for the stage – tested positively on many performances throughout the years. “Unnatural Bodies” carries the peculiar Monolith style, an album as a tight entity, with the individual tracks epitomizing its root sources: Consider the techno drive of “Stop the World”, the earworm hook line of “Unnatural Bodies”, the EBM-ish DNA of “God is your Shield”, the heavy industrial atmosphere of “Already there”, the distorted belligerence of “Redemtion” or the nimble melodic relief of “The Flood is coming” – diversity in unity, an album the way it has to be!
Proyecto Mirage have surely kept us waiting – seven years since their well-received “Steam Tech” album, with only a handful of festival appearances since. But you bet the waiting was worth its while: “Reptilians Are Watching Us” is a tongue-in-cheek titled, exciting update of their trademark heavy electro sound with compelling details, easily the most vocal-heavy album in the HANDS back catalogue - and arguably the catchiest, albeit remaining true to the raw sound aesthetic of Proyecto Mirage. Reptilian humanoids are a staple of mythology, fiction, and conspiracy theories, in modern times some spine-tingling entertainment feature. And Proyecto Mirage are bound to entertain from track 1: “The Envoy” is no less than a full-blown electro hit song, with Alicia’s vocal performance having matured from agitatory shouts into earworm-inducing singing. This feature remains the centrepiece on most of the album, with nice details added throughout: A disco-ish bass line in “You, Reptile”, EBM sequences in “The Comet (Doomsday Mix) ”, the hymnic depth of “Shine”, the upfront rocking attitude of “Plastic Legs”. “Evil Eyes” or “War for Dreams” draw new wave references, “Walk in the Light” reveals an industrial heritage. More to discover? On “Digitos - 2020” Alicia sings in Spanish, on “Prediger” in German. If that wasn’t enough, “Annunaki”, “Baalbeck” and “Nibiru” not only reference mythology, but provide some downbeat instrumental diversion. “Reptilians are Watching Us” is an electronic album of great maturity and gets the balance between the harsher and the more accessible moments perfectly right.
Heimstatt Yipotash return in 2020, as genre-bending as always, conveying profound messages on the go, not intentionally focused on the dance floor but surely yielding enough tunes for the clubs. This time around, they take it easier on the samples and increasingly use actual vocals. “Brinkmanship” is a serious political issue, and accordingly the general mood is rather bleak: Soundtrack-like sections and disquieting melody lines are dissipated by broken and/or distorted rhythms; some tracks are interwoven musically and thematically, creating a coherent flow - despite of the stylistic range presented. Heimstatt Yipotash pick up the thread for their sixth album, and the 6-year-gap since “Mecanismos De Control” seems like just a flash. And yet, one sees why they took some run-up to this endeavour, as it is a most complex and eclectic one: Rhythm and noise, industrial and techno, synth melodies and guitar riffs, dubstep, hip hop and EBM quotes, shuffle beats, straight beats, breakbeats – an ambiguous affair for the adventurous traveller. The storyline is men’s tendency of self-destruction, a dystopian outlook at civilization as a whole. In the downbeat opener “Artificial Ego” and it’s breakbeat-driven twin track “Confirmation Bias” the subjects are obvious, in the distorted “Fix, find, finish” and the technoid “Recoil” it’s the scourge of humanity – war. Specific subjects like factory farming (“Belt to blender”) are addressed, as well as high politics – the rise of the macho politician (“Jingo”) and of course the title track – with its vocal samples of Kim-Jong-Un and Donald Trump placed right in the furious rhythmic build-up. “Progress” is a raw take at hip hop, screaming with anger and disappointment, and just as pessimistic as “At the edge of words” with its pithy vocal performance. “Step into the void“ , “Separation“ and “Trigger“ make the grand finale, a sci-fi style fantasy of leaving earth on board of a spaceship - and three surprisingly catchy tunes. An artistic account of the state of the world as it is, a bold statement with nothing more to add – for now.
An album as an act of liberation, and at the same time pure unadulterated fun for the rhythm’n’noise crowd – HANDS welcome Strobo.Lolita with her fresh and furious debut album. At first, “Hysteria” seems to have fallen out of time, as it defies the genre affiliations of today. These 14 tracks come along unpolished and raw, charmingly imperfect, stubborn - and simply adorable. Rhythmic and distorted from start to end, this album works on two levels: As a confrontation with extreme emotions, with euphoria and depression, fear and paranoia, pressure and tension - and at the same time as a most satisfying means of relief for the noise head thus inclined. Hysteria is the archetypal form of attributing women’s emotionality as a flawed psychological condition, a means of exercising heteronomy. But very consciously Strobo.Lolita resents being seen as a victim, she rather taps into the energy of liberating herself from those conditions. Sporting a smart, ironic tongue-in-cheek attitude, the structures of oppression are shattered. “Hysteria” kicks it like it’s 1995 – and yet it sounds like 2020 and fits perfectly with our time and age. Staying clear of current club sounds, all tracks are still very danceable; loaded with noise, they are still more captivating than oppressive. A good hour of liberating joy -“Keine Einordnung möglich” – file under special, just special!
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Impermanence, the need for change: A fundamental philosophical issue is the main theme for MONO NO AWARE’s 7th album. Thus, “Mujoo” adds new aspects to the established Mono sound: His archetypal raw and relentless rhythm’n’noise sound at times makes way for a variety of sonic textures, a genre-bending effort embracing more technoid and more experimental and atmospheric realms at the same time. And the choice of remixers couldn’t be more appropriate with HYPNOSKULL and CUBIC NOMAD both being spearheads of just that sound that combines the rough and noisy foundations of industrial with highly energetic and addictive rhythm work. Confronted with the imperative to let go, where words fail, sound works as a transmission for Leif Künzel: Coming to terms with the necessity of change to maintain a balance in life, he breaks with some of his own traditions. The first is, he took “just” two years to produce the follow-up to the much-praised “OTO”. And then, he maintains the noisy bedrock that the Mono sound is built upon (and which was boiled down to its essence on OTO), but plays with it freely. Don’t be fooled by the hell-raising openers “Isx 27” and “In Endless Change” – classic agitating MONO NO AWARE bangers for sure, keep calm and work up a sweat. More of that sound is to be found in the 80 minutes of “Mujoo” (“Is it Legal?”) but there’s also that: The bumping, head-nodding rhythms of “Sato” or “Don’t Crash” – which will definitely make their way into industrial techno sets, the resonating, almost silently detached “In a large room”, “Not my Party” or “In a Loop”, the vigorously pounding hardcore thumps of “A Good Decision”, “Oh Boy” and, well, “Pounding”. Fellow rhythm noise veteran HYPNOSKULL gives “It’s over” the abrasive techno treatment; and Dark.Descent. label boss and industrial hardcore ringleader Maurice Pinkster aka CUBIC NOMAD infuses “Impulse Response” with vicious snares and acid throbs. Nothing lasts forever, but Mono No Aware has secured a newfound balance and an artistic outlook to go places!
“A Storm Is Coming” – isn’t that true every time HANDS releases a Greyhound album? Surely you can trust the project’s many years of experience in the sector of hard-hitting rhythm’n’noise, whereas their two preceding success albums have also revealed a knack for enhancing their characteristically unforgiving sound to cover new grounds. On this album, it’s a deep breath of darkness that comes with the 15-track-storm, a menacing account of failed relationships. Greyhound start off with “Burning Bridges” – and surely they have never ventured that far into using an (almost) melody. And besides, the opener sets a pattern for the entire album: Rather than creating an impermeable, monolithic wall of sound, it works in a duality of versatile, diligently programmed kicks and rhythms set against clearly discernible dark and noisy backgrounds. As a result, the focus shifts from mechanized brutality to emotional distress. Of course, there’s food for clubs on the way, like the instantly addictive title track, as well as said rhythmic diversity, from straight impact (“Escape”, “Like a Kick in the face”) over shuffled beats (“Mask”) to tribal flavours (“Principle”). Electro flavour and vocal fragments are to be found in “All is Complicated“, “Your Eyes Say Otherwise“, “Like A Kick“ and a swelling dark ambience coming to the fore as the album progresses. And that’s where the circle is closing: Greyhound have convincingly combined their brand rhythm’n’noise with a storyline of deceit and inner struggle, of ways to escape deep disappointment. Take shelter – a storm is coming!
HANDS is over the moon to announce a club-shattering, EBM flavoured industrial techno 4-track 12“ and digital EP by French pioneer Maxime Fabre. With his Crystal Geometry alter ego, he has caused quite a stir, churning out gritty tech tracks on labels such as SONIC GROOVE or TRIPALIUM, inspired by various dark music genres, produced with a modular system and thus resounding with hands-on analogue impact. This release truly reflects the state of play concerning industrial-flavoured warehouse techno, historically aware and yet totally up-to-date. The musical DNA of Crystal Geometry is a perfect match with that of HANDS: Resounding with a post-punk darkness, driven by irresistible kicks and commanding vocals and propelled by sturdy EBM sequences, all wrapped up in state-of-the-art production. “State of Play” contains four hit tracks that never lose their riot-rousing, raving momentum – but let’s not forget this is not only about hedonistic enjoyment, but also conveys a clear political message. “State of Play” accordingly comes in a limited numbered edition of 200 copies in red vinyl with art print, with an unlimited run in black also available, as well as the digital version.
An album title that competes for the most concise description of the state this world is in, 70 minutes of rhythmic and noisy techno industrial to accentuate man’s life on the verge of destruction: Manos Chrisovergis returns in 2019 with an album that is highly topical on both levels, politically and sonically. And lest we forget, this, the fourth Last Days of S.E.X. album, yields the highest output of possibly club compatible tunes among his trademark noise bursts - not least because of the remixes by TOMOHIKO SAGAE, KATRAN and MORAH and but also because underneath the ear-splitting onslaught there’s a slow and captivating groove waiting to be found. The track titles speak a clear language; alienation, obsession and anxiety are the subject matter, as well as the Last Days trademark references to anti-authoritarian politics. Manos’ sound arsenal is all lined up, cold and harrowing blasts numbing body and mind. And yet: There’s an overall structure always diverting the stream of seemingly freeform noise into a rhythmic riverbed. Naturally, there are untamed beasts to be found on this album (“Vilnius”); Tracks like the vicious opener “OCD” , “Inevitable Pain” or “Daily Routine” will work perfectly work in a DJ’s rhythm’n’noise flow, while the likes of “Trash” or “Insult” even bring in a discernible kick drum and pace, making them appear like the grubby (and especially noisy i.e.) relatives of industrial techno. Speaking of, the choice of remixes underline that intention: Greek countryman MORAH (who has released in Helena Hauff’s “Return to Disorder” label among others) plays it with hypnotic understatement; label mates TOMOHIKO SAGAE and KATRAN deliver it hard-hitting and bass-heavy respectively. All in all, “Close To Destruction And Still Beautiful” is (still) worlds apart from “standard fare” industrial techno; Manos has created quite something else (and unique): Noise presented with a hypnotic techno vibe and a classic rhythm’n’noise appeal.
An 87 minute album addressing the subject matter of human interaction – that calls for a remix party, doesn’t it? The assorted sounds of 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST’s much regarded “Eunioa” prove a perfect template for an eclectic array of makeovers, with the participating artists fathoming the extremes of the dance floor-friendly and the atmospheric, the ingeniously simple and the outright experimental, alternatively sporting broken, straight or no beats at all. 87 minutes of big name diversity. And for the first time in no less than a quarter of a century HANDS will also release this mix tape as such, i.e. in the cassette format! Remix albums tend to be mined territory for the genre purist, and this makes no exception: Techno/industrial bangers by TOMOHIKO SAGAE and KATRAN alternate with more freeform rhythmic pieces by XOTOX, HOTTEK or ECSTASPHERE and straight rhythm’n’noise, courtesy of YURA YURA; broken beats (listed from slow to very fast) feature in the remixes by 16PNT, NOISEPAD MONKEY, MONOLOG, END.USER and UNHUMAN, while SIGNALSTOERUNG, TALVEKOIDIK and THE_EMPATH play with dark melodic leads and tentative sonic tapestries are painted by HUREN (gritty and somber) and XABEC (fragile and haunting). Thus, every artist has done what a good remix should be about: Appropriating other people’s sounds to your own style. The result is a mind-blowing journey – press play, enjoy, rewind!
“There are times when we are surrounded by great encouragement, and we are reinvigorated to face whatever comes our way. At other times, we may find ourselves enclosed by nothing but shadows and darkness, at their business of robbing us of our cheer, our craft, and our purpose. Relentlessly, the darkness becomes greater.” What have SYNTECH been up to in the five years since the magnificent “Only Ruins Remain” package? Here’s the result: Their fifth album, a passionate journey that is centred on the bold contrast of cinematic beauty and harsh-edged rhythms. And of course, the duo pulls of this juxtaposition with ease and craftsmanship. An emotional plunge for sure, providing moments of contemplation and allure, yet always flirting closer to abrasion. Light-years apart from standard-fare IDM, Syntech have successfully continued to carve their very own niche of genre-defying rhythmic electronica! “The Signs are Everywhere”, and with the album opener Syntech push haunting, whimsical melodies to the fore, never to look back during the 80 minutes to follow. Moments of consideration and “Uncertainty” eventually make way for more propelling tunes like the bellicose “In the Distance” or “Internal Scream” with its weird repetitive bleeps. At the heart of it all remains what has always been the cornerstone of Syntech productions: Keen rhythm programming, assorted tribal beats that stand as the sturdy frame of all tracks, sometimes understated, sometimes full-on (“Inside my Brain”, “Timeless”). Dark and grimy territories are explored (“Disinformation”, “Bestir”), but in the end, “What Remains” is the fading hum of glacial drones. Syntech have never sounded so focused, and “Shadows Above Me” is arguably their most close-knit effort to date.
<1979> celebrate 2019, obviously, with an all new album at last, and what a blast: Expect an hour of pure, classic analogue power, repetitive loop-based rhythm’n’noise the way you don’t find it often anymore. The meter of machines and the grating hum of electricity make for a timeless sound that permeates body and mind. For generic dance floor tracks look elsewhere, this sets active effort before its enjoyment. Seven years in the long grass – what is technically the sophomore HANDS album by <1979> is in fact a complete reinvention of the duo’s sound. Just like before the predecessor “FM Interface” Frequen-C and DrMOllE took their time to let their ideas mature and develop through live gigs, DJ-sets and scarce underneath-the-radar releases. Most importantly, in 2014 they changed their setup to all analogue gear, with the visual aspect of the live performance in mind, but the decision surely has affected their production techniques immensely. Devoid of electro references or dance floor kicks this is uncompromised noise overload in the cherished tradition of Esplendor Geométrico and Sonar. That said, tracks like “Panic” or “Flash” surely kick like a mule and will certainly be heard from DJs thus inclined. Nevertheless, this is an hour of specialist entertainment that is best savoured in one piece: From the warm bass throbs of “Mindtorture” or “Strength” to the shuffle of “Spirit”, from the cheeky retro attitude of “April” to the hypnotic finale “December”, “Overload” is an album that’s meant to grow, and it should develop best at high volume levels. <1979> intriguingly demonstrate why this sound is still to be reckoned with in 2019!
HANDS welcomes Monya, and we think it is a match made in heaven: Berlin-based producer, remixer, Djane, live act and Corresponding Positions label boss Monya is an inimitably diligent and authentic artist, and she’s not afraid to call her style what it is: Industrial techno. “Straight Ahead“ is her second full length album, the first to be released physically, and it makes best use of the format, a milestone for the genre in its seemingly effortless combination of rhythmic force and sweeping sounds. Within the global techno scene, Monya is surely known all over, with her career now stretching over a decade and a list of supporters, remixers and collaborators including the likes of Perc, Steve Stoll or Ethan Fawkes (to name just a few). And it is especially through her label Corresponding Positions that she pursues her passion for the innovative, the fresh and the outcasts. That said, “Straight Ahead” sports an abiding techno aesthetic with a continuous rough edge: What makes you “Listen” more effectively than a bold mixture of wailing feedback noise and rhythm? Add some sturdy bass, and get a succession of raw and ready bangers: The highly political “Widerstand ist Pflicht”, the paradoxically titled “Nachdenken”, the self-explanatory title track, the earworm “Schachmatt” and the extra distortion of “Benjamin”. From there, diversion is granted: Now label mate S.K.E.T. remixes the opener in his recent 90s-flavoured fashion (one may say “rave” here), and “Gegen die Wand” features the vocals of David Foster aka Huren, some punk attitude for you! “Excursion with Sergej” and “Search of a compromise” appear comparably minimal and more experimental, before the “Outro” closes the circle, returning to the album’s noisy beginning. The sound of “Straight Ahead” is as timeless as it is cutting-edge, and not trying sound immodest: Straight ahead brilliant.
A cryptic title, a well-established producer, a significant evolution in sound: LA-based David Christian returns with his third studio album for HANDS - 14 tracks in the grey area of raw electronic underground. TOP DED CTR manages to hover elegantly between subtle textures and banging beats, at the same time straightforward and calculated. This dynamic is essential for a great hard electronic album. David Christian has taken three years to further develop his sound after the upfront audio assault of “Logical Fears”. While remaining true to the sonic outline of head-on beats, crisp bass lines, and carefully measured noise, the tracks on TOP DED CTR allow space to breathe and unfold it's unique atmosphere. Metallic techno bangers like “Drive” or “Resist” scream out, unleashed to the dance floor crowd, just like “Center” or “Weaponize” (which sit on the industrial side of the spectrum with it's undeniable rhythm’n’noise roots.) For good measure there are also mid tempo tracks (“The Report”, Mind Mechanism”), beatless interludes (“30 Year Decay”), as well as the distorted electro tech darkness of “Nowhere Fast” - and infectious psycho melodic hook of “We Know Exactly What Will Kill Us”, possibly the main theme of this album. A fine example of how industrial and techno are a perfect match - or rather branches of the same tree, one that is experiencing strong growth for sure: TOP DED CTR draws from 18 years experience as a producer and older influences to achieve a sound that is totally state-of-the-art.
To celebrate 10 years of his musical brainchild Phasenmensch, Wolfram Bange graces us with his arguably darkest, and definitely most coherent album yet. „Haunted“ deals with personal demons, anxieties and hopes that determine the individual’s state of being. Musically, this album travels from trademark fragile electronica over different expressions of harshness into an eerie void. Support comes from Phasenmensch associates Ein Profil and Ine-San, who have contributed sounds to one/two tracks respectively. Prepare for a good hour walk alongside the abyss! Since the 2017 release „Divinity/Unity/Nothingness“ with frequent collaborators ICD-10, Phasenmensch has been busy in his studio to produce his anniversary album. The process was inspired by nihilism and Buddhist philosophy, accompanied by a debilitating process of honest introspection. We can read it in Wolfram’s own words, the considerate thoughts of a full-bred intellectual: “As the walls inside and around us get thicker, the vibrating echoes of our past become louder and louder, forming a Gordian knot. Being haunted by ourselves we lose track of here and now. We are bound by our fears and confronted with the choice to give in or finally face ourselves. The latter, while being dangerous, leading us to a better self that is driven by an open mind and most of all (self-) acceptance.” That said, it’s clear that “Haunted” is a true concept album with a clear-cut storyline: The opener “First Flame” sets the melancholic mood; tracks like “Transzendenz” or “The Day before” with their downbeat rhythms and sonic depth make recourse to his fragile 2014 masterpiece “Entschleunigungsprozesse”. Quite soon, things take a more upfront direction, with the techno-flavoured “The process of becoming” or the rhythm’n’noise-structure of “Erase the accumulated past. “A State beyond time” surprises with prominent guitar lines, before “Unscheduled Wandering” pushes open the door into doomed territory. “Discipline and trust” throbs with dark ambience just like the closing title “Assimilation of the devil in ourselves”, and even the quirky rhythms of “A black sky” surely can’t chase away the clouds anymore. Delivered with confidence, every sound and every sample on-spot, “Haunted” shows Phasenmensch in excellent shape, a producer with his own handwriting and vision!
2019, the year FORMS OF HANDS stands out an even more unique event than before, and its perseverance more important than ever. Unswervingly, let’s keep up, and do the 19th annual drill: For those in attention, and the unlucky ones who can’t make it, HANDS provides the festival CD with all 14 stage acts in chronological order, presenting exclusive tracks only. A top-notch addition to this compilation series of encyclopaedic quality and proportions! The manifold that is the HANDS label roster surely appreciates the opportunity to contribute and prove in best shape: Those who simultaneously release an album (or a 12”) have supplied an extra serving of their individual sound - ICD-10, SUPERSIMMETRIA, GEISTFORM, festival and label newcomer SANS-FIN, TALVEKOIDIK and TOMOHIKO SAGAE provide their respective brand of rhythmic electronica, from harsh to gentle, from raw to immaculate. GATTO NERO goes techno all the way (with a cheeky tribal house flavour even), S.K.E.T. surprise with an experimental soundscape, a sonic report of human cruelty, and ONTAL side-project KATRAN debuts with a slow and doomed track. Due diversion is provided by 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST, with a darkstep banger, and HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH with a canny homage to the spirit of early EBM. And lest we forget, the rhythm’n’noise tradition is preserved by MONO NO AWARE (eardrum assault!), YURA YURA (hit alert!) and WINTERKÄLTE, who have an all new tune up their sleeve, which starts in a kind of turmoil, before all elements fall into an energetic terminus. Allegorical one may say, or simply the end of another essential FORMS OF HANDS compilation.
Geistform drops “United Radiations”, a bold statement in 2019, two CDs packed to the brim with his inimitably rhythmic tracks, making use of about every element he has previously worked with in order to deliver what is arguably his most comprehensive album to date. A technoid pulse, an electro swagger, washes of distortion and analogue noise and sparsely used samples are the main ingredients of this homogenous artistic effort. And let’s not forget, a radioactivity-themed album surely means following in some of the largest footsteps in electronic music, but Rafael Espinosa tackles the challenge with confidence and success. From the buzzling, crackling industrial foundations to the immediate dance floor appeal (and hit potential!) of recent vinyl releases, from the abstraction of Espinosas’s adventures in sound design to futuristic semi-melodic tunes, the “United Radiations” show Geistform refining all of those aspects of his discography and feeding them through crisp, up-to-date production techniques. In the true spirit of the album’s theme, Geistform has the amalgamation of styles down to a science, moving effortlessly among them with a seamless fluidity that keeps thing exciting all the way through. So choose your element, make use of it in whichever way you may prefer, “United Radiations” are in the air for you and me, for cerebral impulse and somatic impact alike. A true cornucopia of greatness!
Within and Beyond: Prepare for a manifesto of expressionist ideas, with Talvekoidik taking his agenda even further than on his previous albums, which already embraced a much-regarded eclectic approach. Electronic-based tracks originating from unconventional sound design are used to paint soundscapes oscillating between plausible and unreal, tangible and abstract. A work of beauty, a picture of the “Within”, extended over two discs with the second presenting re-recordings and remixes by Talvekoidik himself and prolific guests providing some unexpected diversion, the peek “Beyond”. Since the release of “Spitzbergen” in 2015, Kai Hahnewald aka Talvekoidik has surely not rested, with a steady string of live performances, taking him as far as China, and intense recording sessions ensuing from 2016 to 2018. During these, he experimented and refined his techniques, a.o. the processing of field recordings. As a result, “Within” perfectly fathoms the extremes of his art: Opening with “A Glimpse Of Tranquility”, a dreamy half-melodic texture (worthy of the mighty Coil) the listener is invited to immersion: Neo-classical grandeur (“Set Sail To Gotland”, “The Storm Paints With Waves And Clouds”) alternates with radically intimate pieces like “On A Rainy Day You'll Understand”, lavish string sounds tower above cinematic pieces like “Jasmund” or “Out of Place”, key melodies and immediate sounds of nature (“The Forest Behind The Cliff Line”) are found throughout, and sometimes the rhythm takes command in full force, like in the culminating second half of “In November”. “Within” is a tribute to grace, a radically subjective outlook, an account of emotional experience – perfectly contrasted with “Beyond”, the addendum: For this, Talvekoidik revisits his own history, with four tracks culled from his 2007 debut and one from 2012’s “Negotiate the Distance” having been remixed or re-recorded to fit within his updated musical framework. A host of diverse guests then represents the byond: Canadian electronica artist SubtractiveLAD, obscure Etched Traumas activist Ein Profil and Leitmotiv Rainbow loosely remain within Talvekoidik’s sonic territory, while label mate Edgey cranks up rhythmic aggression – and lighten up the mood. Pay attention: Look within. Look beyond.
13TH MONKEY . Abyssal Disruption . cd/digital cd in Hands paper pack . HANDS D269 It’s a matter of honour for 13th Monkey to return with their 3rd regular HANDS album to celebrate the 13th anniversary. Andreas Thedens and Harm Bremer promise to cause some abyssal disruption, and you better buckle up for its impact - still intensely rhythmic, with more bass, more noise, more of everything to shake the foundations and shatter genre boundaries once again. One might realize elements of industrial and noise, of techno and hardcore, but the result is the singular and unmistakeable 13th Monkey sound at any time. “Abyssal Disruption” follows no certain concept, it’s all about the ten tracks that the duo came up with during their good year of recording sessions; one can relate to the hands-on artistic approach, with their arsenal of with their arsenal of drum machines, synthesizers and sound devices 13th Monkey have created a sound that could cause tsunamis and lay bare the creatures of the deep sea for sure. The central element of all tracks is the kick, the paradigmatic bang, accompanied by the time-keeping metrum of the hihats seething like a mad sidewinder. The tracks have a highly dynamic build and never seem to lose momentum, propelled forward by prominent signature sounds: Drum rolls (“Manic”), constant tonal variation (“Kraken”), a red alert (“Red Alert”), acid bleeps (“Exhibition”) or highly distorted and treated 808/909 sounds, especially in “Grainz”, “Tyrok” and “Paradigm” that add a wall of noise unheard in the Monkey’s work so far. Yes, there’s even room for the tongue-in-cheek submarine humour of “Squidlife”. Disruptive, physical and fun, “Abyssal Disruption” is a one-of-a-kind album and a display of state-of-the-art in handcrafted hard dance music.
It’s a sure thing, when Supersimmetria releases an album, there’s a whole universe to discover. This time (the third time on HANDS) Armando Alibrandi takes us back to the core of life, the atoms of which everything is composed – the stardust we’re made of. And what would be more appropriate than setting to music that concept with glistening atmospheric techno tracks? The result is pure mood music for intellectual dwelling - or striking up the tone for a dimly lit, densely packed dance floor. Be prepared for a sublime 67-minute trip through rhythm and sound, the sound of our existence. “Abiogenesis” is the natural process of life forming out of non-living matter, and telling the tale of chemical components across space-time is a subject of various scientific disciplines. With this album, Supersimmetria explores the timespan from the forge of the atoms in the nuclear fusion of the stars until their becoming part of sentient beings capable of driving their own evolution. Musically this is a deep, engaging ride, a profound flow of 13 tracks teeming with hypnotic pulses and expertly programmed kicks. Ranging from the dark atmosphere of “Primordial Broth” over the (misleadingly) dreamy melodic sweeps of “Oxygen Catastrophe” or “Symbionts” to the somewhat harsher pace of “Accretion Disk”, it is definitely an album of remarkable coherence, with the overall mood being much more important than the signatures of single tracks. Just like stars turning into strains of DNA, like the invisible structure of life. We are the universe becoming aware of itself!
HANDS welcomes Leipzig-based DJ Hells: After three well-received albums on the Raumklang label he joins the HANDS roster with his most upfront release yet. Positioned right between modular, techno and ebm inspired dance floor appeal and armchair listeningcompatibility, this is truly state-of-the-art electronic entertainment. “Etat de L'Art” brings on nine rhythmic tracks with an engaging flow of melodic backdrops and subtly nuanced sound design, plus remixes by _Hottek and now-labelmate 16pad Noise Terrorist. The track titles of “Etat de L'Art” all refer to parts of machinery, and truly everything works like a well-maintained factory. Clocking in between 6 and 10 minutes, all tracks get the space to breathe, to unfold a signature identity. The overall theme is a juxtaposition of the mechanic (the beat) and the organic, melodies and atmospheres. Defying genre classifications, Sans-Fin presents warm, analogue sounding electronica with a variety of references: The fluttering melodies of the opener “Connexion Équipotentielle “ meander into a steady proto techno dance pulse, unexpectedly there pops up a New Beat-style hook in “Course de Piston”, “La Bague-Joint” even cites electro pop, and “Étre en Panne” closes the album on a beautiful introvert note. Overtime: _Hottek splashes out a grinding bass for “Tuyau de Guidage”, and 16pad Noise Terrorist gives “Cadencer Son Pas” from San-Fin’s previous album a grainy breaks makeover. Historically aware, yet fresh and unique, “Etat de L'Art” promises 80 minutes of quality time!
In 2019 it’s high time for a differential diagnosis of the ICD-10 sound: Following the 2017 collaboration album with label mate Phasenmensch, the duo now goes all solo, and full-on floor appeal with a healthy dose of hard rhythmic bangers. A relentless techno drive and noisy edges in a flawless production, a complex backbone and yet simple and catchy signature hooks per track make sure that this works over the entire 75 minutes playing time, as well as yielding plenty club smashs. ICD-10 state their agenda boldly: Infectious patterns, sound as decay, the rhythm of decline, music for disease. Henning Hinck and Daniel Himmelreich have proven their quality in front of techno and industrial audiences since 2011, even more since they started their live support of Phasenmensch a couple of years later, and “Differential Diagnosis” is the product of these long years shaping and sharpening their bold and cold, exciting and sometimes experimental sound. Kicking it off with “Congestion”, featuring the wailing chants of Buddhist monks, ICD-10 keep up the tension with earworm hooks (“White Surface”), avalanches of bass (“Rolling Thunder”), vocal hooks (“Wrong way Driving”) and sometimes almost “-core” kicks (“Centerline”). All along they don’t forget to throw in the occasional calmer moment (“Broken Rhythm”), plus a change of tone in the collaborative tracks with Toneflex and (of course) Phasenmensch respectively. The outro then allows for the only non-rhythmic track, the seriously disturbing soundscape called “Sleepwalker”. “Differential Diagnosis” acknowledges the context of industrial techno and gets the amount of sonic refinement just right, thus leaving an individual mark while appealing instantly to any fan of the genre. Mission accomplished: “Some make music to open hearts – we aim to perforate other organs!”
Entrainment is on, all embark the vessel that will take you on a four-stage trip through the sea of industrial bliss: Following his victorious 2017 HANDS full length "Sensory Deprivation“ TOMOHIKO SAGAE has been unusually low-key, but here it is, a 4-track vinyl slab to put his unique sound firmly back on the map. Track titles that thoroughly speak for themselves, shattering techno rhythms programmed with expertise, and industrial sounds that may actually cause corrosion on your speakers is what to expect. Working its way from the pounding kicks of "Black Mist“ through a truly "Tense Atmosphere“ and a simple hook line that may cause a "Side Effect“, "Entrainment” works straight towards the grand finale of "Defensive Pessimism“, the culmination oft he overall build-up of a great EP, with more impact, more bass, more noise. Truly: The amalgamation of sounds TOMOHIKO SAGAE cooks up is so perfect one wonders why you should NOT consider industrial and Techno the most natural association in electronic music? Beside the standard edition on black vinyl there’s a limited Edition of 200 copies on gold vinyl including a hand-numbered art print on heavy carton and download code.
Time for New Frames, time for their latest 12”: Mathis Mootz and David Frisch come up with four tracks that, again, defy categorization and chronological classification. From the rave nostalgia of their Continuum Series project to the neo-industrial sound of The Panacea Official, New Frames tackle a broader scope: “Mumiae” opens the EP with a bang, a functional track with a metallic drive, followed by the strongly EBM-tinged “The Last Ones” with its meaty sequence and vocal sample hook. “Grond” is a cutting edge industrial techno masterpiece with evil washes of noise and a menacing sequence of bleeps, and label mates Ontal contribute a hard-hitting remix from the duos 2017 “Resistance through Rituals” debut album. Variation and steady onset, the requirements of an EP met in full! Beside the standard edition on black vinyl there’s a limited Edition of 200 copies on yellow vinyl including a hand-numbered art print on heavy carton and download code.
HANDS proudly welcomes one of the hottest acts on the current industrial techno circuit. The Toronto based duo MDD is the alliance of techno producers Measure Divide and Dolgener, who pursue a distinct passion together: The dark and dirty and intensely rhythmic “Reverse The Contrast” is a collection of tracks that defines their diversity and ability to express their aggressive, distorted, and edgy sound reflecting on today's maddening world. Discover old and new school industrial influences in a very unique combination, laid out with highly skilled pro- duction in ten tracks around the 6-minute mark, food for thought and pure physical stimulus at the same time, contemporary club grub galore. What started with intense recording sessions in 2015 became a live act in 2017, which has led MDD to perform alongside the likes of Orphx, Ancient Methods and Perc already; and in 2018 they have released two 12” vinyls to great acclaim. While industrial and techno have crossed over massively in recent years, from both camps, the question may arise, how does one add something new to the style? MDD succeed in nailing that objective, with an album that oozes euphoria and authenticity – with an innovative combination of sounds: From their techno heritage they take the rhythmic clue, a relentless, capturing backbone laced with substantial groove. And at the same time, they pay due respect to industrial traditions that by far precede the crossover wave of recent years: Tracks like “Crushed”, “Underlight” or “Valium” focus on unadulterated rhythms and noise chops with big washes of distortion; “Breath”, “Dives” and “Submission (featuring AADJA)” feature actual, albeit heavily treated vocals, and addictive melody hooks, thus even hinting at the times when tracks were actual songs. But there’s reconciliation at hand - “Grind” or “Second Injection” reveal their techno heritage through the whipping snare sounds and thumpy kick drums. And then it’s all in the same way head-nodding, stomping goodness. Contrast and reversal, past and present, MDD play with seeming antipodes and achieve something ultimately enjoyable!
After kickstarting his Gatto Nero techno unit, Herman Klapholz returns to his main occupation – the legend that is Ah Cama-Sotz. Just a little short of his 20th album, “I Believe” is arguably the most upfront, dance floor friendly among the lot. While not (by any means) neglecting the tribal, ethnic and dark elements of the ACS sound, this album also caters a variety of incendiary straight rhythmic tracks. And it’s that mélange – and the mastery of production that (again) convinces in full swing! Proclaiming the creed, the simple statement of faith – of course ACS does it in the most morbid and perverted way. “Somebody give the lord a handclap” and shake it to the tribal drum beats, heretic samples and monastic choirs of the album opener “Lords of Evil”. And the majority of tracks to follow shall pin you to the dance floor: “I:Travel”, “Collision Wall”, “The Beast Within” and “LiftOff” all provide a four-to-the-floor backbone that relates to the technophile sound of Gatto Nero – and “The underground” even has some fierce washes of acid lines. But it wouldn’t be ACS if he didn’t provide some diversion: Deep drones (“Signal/Noise/Resistance”), a voluptuous ethnic fantasy (“El Cuerpo, Mild as a Teardrop on a Grave”), sacred dark ambience (“Semper Immota” + “Moriendi Desolatum”), and the industrial benchmark, a flamboyant cover version of “Warm Leatherette”. Belief is at the core of determination, and this is a statement – Ah Cama-Sotz is going places, going strong, still innovative and hungry, and always idiosyncratic!
Ah Cama-Sotz’ 2018 opus “I Believe” will also be released in a limited edition HANDS double pack with a limited bonus CD – thus following the 1999 classic “Terra Infernalis” 19 years down the road! The companion for this intensely rhythmic album is the lavishly sinister “Allerheiligenvloed - Het Verdronken Land Van Saeftinghe”, 60 minutes in the best, most unique ACS tradition of dark ambient electronica. The All Saints' Flood of 1570 was one oft he most fatal incidents in Dutch history, with an estimated body count of over 20.000 people and unaccountable misery as a consequence due tot he loss of livestock and winter provisions. It also created the drowned country, „Het Verdronken Land Van Saeftinghe”. Legend has it that the fatal flood was caused by the capture of a mermaid. Saeftinghe stands as a monument of nature’s destructive power to the day. Ah Cama-Sotz provides a bleak soundtrack to the subject matter, following in the vein of his much-remarked 2016 album “Exorcise”, transcending the notions of dark ambient industrial with a strong reference to earlier music traditions of avant-garde. The results are eight long and highly immersive tracks for the dark-minded connoisseur!
Drum’n’bass stronghold End.user resurfaces with two years after he joined HANDS with the much-praised “Enter to Exit” album. This 7 track EP further refines said albums agenda of putting amens and breaks into a context of atmosphere and emotion - mood music, but also upfront tunes peering at the dance floors. Immersive and melancholic is the backdrop of “Resurface”, with the stabs kicking off the good half hour release proper, and “A Bell in Hell” manages to increase the suspense by using a simple hook. “A Familiar Face” makes a distant ethno reference, before the 2methyl-collaboration “Rotation” cranks it up with somersault kicks. “Red Line” combines an eerie slasher hook with firm crossbreed kick drums, before “State of Process” and “Cracked Mirror” – a collab with newcomer TrashEater – explore the more “core” aspects of break. One cannot fail to notice that End.User brings a remarkable dexterity and passion to his music, so let’s just be thankful for his resurfacing!
It is with joy that we can announce the return of Xabec, one of the most idiosyncratic artists on the HANDS roster. “From the Archives 1999-2009” is much more than a mere collection of tracks; it features unreleased live recordings and rare material that has never been available on CD before. All recordings have been carefully remastered, partially restored on the basis of live versions, as some original files were lost during a hard drive crash in 2004. The result is a journey through the arguably most experimental facets of Xabec’s art and its development over a decade. Ten years, ten tracks – one each culled from the 4 vinyl singles Xabec released over the years, two unreleased versions, three live cuts and one compilation tracks. The album covers the evolution from the first, very minimal compositions to the more flamboyant arrangements from the late 2000s on, when Manuel G. Richter’s sound became more melodic. The result is a very coherent revelation of a thoroughly unique musical handwriting, a hands-on approach of sound design and exploration, with results ranging from simply beautiful to sophisticated. It is obvious that Xabec has always been a very personal artistic project, deeply related to the person behind it. Also the decisions to call it quits in 2013 with the “Closing The Circle” album and to reappear in 2018 were carefully pondered. “From The Archives 1999-2009” takes a look back, but also serves as a hint for future possibilities.
Four years in the making, Frank Moros returns with his Totakeke moniker – and you know it’s not going to be easy, but surely rewarding for the discerning electronic aficionado. Totakeke’s brand of IDM extends the usual notions of the genre: It has the atmosphere, the occasional melodies, the inquiring mind and joy of pure sound – but successfully feeds industrial rhythms into his collages. “Telematic” feels perfectly comfortable in that remote area of braindance, with the opening and closing titles of the album providing a truly sophisticated, experimental frame. Thus, the buildup of “Telematic” is a comprehensible guideline for a fascinating exploration. Telematics is the relatively new field combining aspects of telecommunication and informatics. Most commonly known are its achievements in navigation and tracking, both of which are technologies that weren’t available to consumers until most recently, and are very widespread nowadays. Noisy bits grating like sandpaper, arcane sounds creeping in, the most simple rhythm imaginable, and then – melodic grandeur: “Phase Tilt” takes its time to prepare the listener for things to come. And that is nothing less than seven more action-packed XXL tracks: From the sleazy dance pulse of the title track to the electro swagger of “Asphalt” and “Sideband” you can never quite make out why music with such fierce bits of abstraction seems so inviting for daring some dance moves (don’t tell anyone: It’s the pounding impact of the kicks). “Z_FDB” brings on the most un-digital-sounding moments of the album, just to be contrasted with the glitches and cuts of “Operator” and the noisy contortions of “Con-tu-sion”. The grand finale is “Moth to a Flame”, all mechanized rhythms – and a testament to the album’s tumultuous severity. One will surely agree that navigating Totakeke territory is a challenge not easily met. So enjoy your exercise in auditory path finding!
Eunoia, a Greek term which can be translated as the goodwill established as a foundation of human interaction, also as mental health - which might be just the same? 16PNT’s 4th album again follows a conceptual outline, but showcases a total makeover sound as compared to its 2014 predecessor “Zeit”: Candy Schlueer-Otto has taken his time for meticulous sound design, combining an array of hard-hitting break beats with deep atmospheres, experimental soundscapes and a captivating storyline. Thus, “Eunioa” is designated as a demanding listening album yielding club-compatible moments along the way, with plenty additional diversion thrown in by means of remixes by prolific artists My_Initials, Hypnoskull and Swarm Intelligence. From the first bass throbs of “Kloudz”, “Eunioa” teems with curiosity, a forward-thinking attitude that complements the arsenal of amorphous bass lines and erratic rhythm outbursts with a haunting, exhilarating and cinematic atmosphere. In this truly adventurous array, calm moments and intensely demanding passages take turns. And hell, there’s a lot to discover: Tracks like “Moogred I + II” with reduced halfstep rhythms and a layer of gloom, DJ Hidden in his My_Initials guise bringing in the industrial hardcore flavour, the IDM quirkiness of “Meta”, Hypnoskull and Swarm Intelligence providing their respective brands of noise, or the drumstep wobble bass of “Killout”. All along, 16PNT always keeps a sense of cohesion and creates a constant suspense, making “Eunioa” truly absorbing all the way to the end.
A singular phenomenon in the electronic underground, a red-letter day (or rather two of them) for the family, time to take stock and peek into the future: FORMS OF HANDS goes into its 18th edition, and as it is tradition, accompanied by a festival CD with all 14 stage acts in chronological order, presenting exclusive tracks only. An astonishing diversity, and at the same time a manifesto of the shared mind set of 14 remarkable artists! The outline is obvious - electronic and sophisticated in production, unconventional and distinct in style: HANDS says noise, sometimes even screams it – and it’s up to Maschinenkrieger Kr52 Vs . Disraptor and DIRTY K to take that to extremes. CACOPHONEUSES operate in the no-mans-land of rhythm noise and techno, the latter featuring more prominently in the tracks of CERVELLO ELETTRONICO, MONOLITH and ONTAL. FORMS OF HANDS compilations are also an opportunity to present artist’s who haven’t released an album recently, like the uniquely atmospheric HYDRONE and label veteran SHORAI with their indescribable electro noise. Indulge in the atmospheric techno of Phasenmensch + ICD10 and the warm electro shuffle of BLAC KOLOR and NULLVEKTOR, twitch to the amens and breaks of END.USER and the brittle IDM of Sylvgheist Maëlström – and fade out with the exciting glow of AH CAMA SOTZ and his flamboyant ethnic, tribal piece. FORMS OF HANDS has a simple goal which is so hard to achieve: Generate excitement and bring people together - And this is perfectly mirrored in this selection.
Original industrialist Eric van Wonterghem celebrates the 10th album under his Monolith moniker, and “Falling Dreams” caters a wide range of preferences. Since its inception in the mid-90s, Monolith has gathered an avid crossover following of rhythm noise devotees and progressive techno heads alike, especially since his more recent involvement with the burgeoning scene of Berlin. On this offering, he (of course) provides rhythmic bangers to either tastes, but also makes best use of the album format in creating an intriguing, anxious mood through atmospheric tracks and cinematic interludes. A good hour of prime quality electronic music that speaks to body and mind! The average human will dream about falling to his death more than five times in their life, as a result of a perceived loss of control. Thus, the occurrence can be directly linked to a need for change.Change is surely something that Eric van Wonterghem has been pushing since getting involved with music some 35 years ago. Scores of musicians have been following suit with the sound he has created or helped create, and “Falling Dreams” has Monolith up in dare-devil position once again: Soundtrackish digression (“Soul Travel, “Outer Space”) is the framework for resonating techno bangers like “Driving Blind” or “Sleeping Sun”, a slight dose of EBM may be tasted in “Too Late” and of course there are moments geared at industrial tastes, like the raw and rough title track. But hey, that’s not all – Monolith also has some moody, almost hallucinatory downbeat tracks (“Suppression of Pain”, “Far Away”) that weave the red thread of this album, which is as listenable as it is palpable.
Hot on the heels of the “Amass” album, Ontal grace the crowd again with a special treat: A collection of ten tracks from their infamous vinyl only releases, selected club tunes (that actually appeared between 2014 and 2016), plus all-new remixes by label mates Geistform and New Frames, as well as greek producer Unhuman. By its very nature, this is a display of Ontal’s mastery of rhythmic force, immediate and undiluted industrial techno the way it’s done and why it rules supreme. “Afflux” is a trip through the rather recent history of a style that is more present-day than any. The “Afflux” is a notably rough collection of tracks with a mission: Physical arousal by means of bulging beats and an unsettling omnipresence of noise. In all its purity, we hear those elements in tracks like “Function”, “Penetration” or ”Critical Path Method”, with the 4/4 kick working its way (successfully) through a wall of feedback and hiss. But surely there are more details to keep the attention level – and perspiration - at maximum: The EBM-ish basslines of “Reverting” and “Mehanizam”, the double bass impact of “Combat Engineering”, the acid sounds in “Taphonomy” and “Lesion” or the punk attitude of “Shock”, a collaboration with genre pioneer 2nd Gen. After “Chaos Theory” closes the retrospective in an experimental fashion, we get the remix encore: Abrasive analogue trickery by Spanish producer Geistform, peak time perfection by New Frames aka Mathis Mootz/The Panacea and David Frisch, and an anarchic electro clash attitude by Unhuman. For the audience, “Afflux 2014-2018” may serve as a rougher twin to “Amass”, as well as a treasury of highly potential club tunes, with the diversion provided by the exclusive remixes putting the icing on the cake proper!
We predict a riot! Maschinenkrieger KR52 vs. Disraptor have taken almost five years since their last HANDS album, and they have used that time to distil their ruthless rhythm’n’noise sound to its purest essence. „Riot“ presents 12 repetitive sound structures around the 4-minute mark, instantly reaching full steam and keeping the pressure up throughout. Arguably their most radical output yet, the sound of “Riot” is produced for physical appeal, and demands high volumes. Maschinenkrieger KR52 vs. Disraptor have always been known for forging an orthodox approach at rhythm’n’noise, for kicking it without much embellishment, and this time they take it to a further extreme: No discernible kicks, snares or samples, no atmospheric sounds – this album is just noise as rhythm, raw and forceful. This degree of abstraction leaves it much to the listener how to appreciate what he hears, and feels, and yet there’s of course a distinct character to the single tracks: Slow and probing like the opener “Exploitation”, intoxicating rhythmic like the title track, bass heavy (“Recdrum”) – a most suitable collaboration with label mate Yura Yura - or upfront noisy like “Harsh Damp” and the grand finale “Commercial Break Down”. The rhythm’n’noise aficionado will appreciate how Maschinenkrieger KR52 vs. Disraptor have refined their art of reduction, the result being timeless in its purity, and highly enjoyable to those with the acquired taste.
BLAC KOLOR . Awakening 2lp in gatefold cover w/ download code . limited edition of 500 copies . HANDS B045 (HANDS V075 & HANDS V076) . Buckle up for an album that combines a wide range of IDM-style facets with the physical impact of EBM and the elegance of techno: “Awakening” is a 14-track exploration of this spectrum, an invitation to immerse yourself in that strangely warm electronic sound oscillating between just vaguely and intensely rhythmic, between spacious and dense, between black and colourful. And when the vocals of Jean-Luc De Meyer of Front 242 fame hover above the title track, you know you’re in for something timeless, don’t you? It’s been revealed with the appetizer EP “We are the darkness”: For his third album, Leipzig-based producer Hendrick Grothe joins HANDS after having made himself quite a name over the past five years already. Active as a producer and DJ, Blac Kolor culls from the rich history and tradition of post-industrial music from when it embraced a plethora of predominantly rhythmic styles. Far exceeding the dark techno which has been going strong for years now, this album is a whole bouquet of styles: Menacing industrial drones (“In Blac”, “Worlds Collapse”, “No Answers”), shuffling downbeats (“Tears”) and upfront club tunes (“Loneliness”, “Fire God”, “All of us”) meet the halfstep beats and atmospheric pads of the single track “We are the darkness” or “Fall into Oblivion”, EBM-ish sequences surface in the “Awakening” and “Nano Creator”. Awakening is a multifaceted experience: Uneasy memories, uncertainty, listlessness – but at the same time new hope and light, the blank canvas of another day waiting for you to apply the colours and shades of your choice. Blac Kolor lets you have that choice!
BLAC KOLOR . Awakening . cd . HANDS D255 . Buckle up for an album that combines a wide range of IDM-style facets with the physical impact of EBM and the elegance of techno: “Awakening” is a 14-track exploration of this spectrum, an invitation to immerse yourself in that strangely warm electronic sound oscillating between just vaguely and intensely rhythmic, between spacious and dense, between black and colourful. And when the vocals of Jean-Luc De Meyer of Front 242 fame hover above the title track, you know you’re in for something timeless, don’t you? It’s been revealed with the appetizer EP “We are the darkness”: For his third album, Leipzig-based producer Hendrick Grothe joins HANDS after having made himself quite a name over the past five years already. Active as a producer and DJ, Blac Kolor culls from the rich history and tradition of post-industrial music from when it embraced a plethora of predominantly rhythmic styles. Far exceeding the dark techno which has been going strong for years now, this album is a whole bouquet of styles: Menacing industrial drones (“In Blac”, “Worlds Collapse”, “No Answers”), shuffling downbeats (“Tears”) and upfront club tunes (“Loneliness”, “Fire God”, “All of us”) meet the halfstep beats and atmospheric pads of the single track “We are the darkness” or “Fall into Oblivion”, EBM-ish sequences surface in the “Awakening” and “Nano Creator”. Awakening is a multifaceted experience: Uneasy memories, uncertainty, listlessness – but at the same time new hope and light, the blank canvas of another day waiting for you to apply the colours and shades of your choice. Blac Kolor lets you have that choice!
For the third time, Sylvgheist Maëlström takes us on a tour of the world, way off the beaten tourist track, but to a location that bears witness to man’s propensity for self-destruction like no other: Norillag, a former Soviet gulag and nowadays the (arguably) most polluted city in the world, where people work in conditions that are inhumane beyond comprehension. Sylvgheist Maëlström orchestrates his exploration with his unique brand of electronica, oscillating between the deceptively catchy and beautiful on the one hand, the outright bulky and experimental on the other. The immersive flow of “Norillag” is topped off with two collaborations, featuring German producers Moogulator and Philipp Münch respectively. Acid rain and smog - by some estimates, one per cent of global sulphur dioxide emission comes from Norilsk's nickel mines. And yet, local authorities and the Norilsk Nickel complex directions attract people with large sums of money - to suffer the most horrendous work conditions. The workers accept the pollution and the severe health hazards as a condition for profit, effectively turning todays Norilsk into a revenant of the Soviet gulag and its dark history of forced labour – and death. How do you translate this evil mass-manipulation and force into a musical language? Off-beats, glitches and noise, in their most condensed form on the portrayal of a “Volcanic Storm”, in rapid succession with moments of celestial beauty and rhythmic catchiness, just like in the opener “Svalbard”. Generally, Sylvgheist Maëlström appears in an adventurous mood, defying categorization, creating a rather timeless sound with references to 90s IDM and bleep, albeit in a totally contemporary fashion and production value. Far from headstrong, he always has a spine-tingling element available, a mesmerizing bassline (“Transition 2”), a swelling build-up (“Sanchi”), a head-nodding shuffle rhythm, or an earworm almost-melody “Mariana”). “Alienation”, featuring Moogulator, brings in a heavy electro sound, and veteran producer Philipp Münch provides arcane, mysterious – and rather graphic - sounds for the closing track “Insanity”. “Norillag”: Alienation by labour, dehumanization by accepting the inacceptable, a bleak subject matter, an inspiring 70 minutes of music.
Interdisciplinary theory, what could be a better background for the sophomore Cacophoneuses release on HANDS? Sandra & Joséphine have taken some time to refine their techno vs. rhythm'n'noise, and the result is a heavy and dense, yet (still) ultimately club-friendly signature sound. “Chaos Theory” is ten focused and intense tracks that also provide listening enjoyment as an album as they have a delicate thread running through them, linking them to a common, very tangible mood. Of course the storm starts with the flapping of butterflies’ wings – the album opener establishing the rhythmic framework of “Chaos Theory” proper. With one eye on the floor, Cacophoneuses provide spinal stimulation through captivating bass lines (“Damage Control”), ripples of feedback noise and hiss (“No Boundaries”) and the dominating force of the mighty kick drum. What sets these tracks apart from the generic is the attention to detail that went into the production of “Chaos Theory”, the amount of little cracks, noises, melodies that are stacked upon the basic compositions, thus holding the tension easily. In addition, the Cacophoneuses allow for some moments of introspection among the rhythmic maelstrom: “Battle with myself”, “Blue Moon” and the closing title “X marks the spot” cloak the listener in a sonic veil of hazy sounds, urban dubscapes and brittle half step rhythms. Club sound and thoughtful depth, the physical and the cerebral, the Cacophoneuses manage to operate in seemingly different dimensions and present a very attractive synthesis, enjoyable and thought-provoking at the same time.
Five years after his ambitious Tatema/Honnae album, HANDS powerhouse Leif Künzel returns with his sixth album in 17 years. Expect a good hour of concise and on-spot rhythm noise cuts, relentlessly upfront and raw, just the way they have made Mono No Aware a much-revered live act and regular on the upper slots of the big festivals. But be aware that amid the maelstrom of tenacious rhythms and the trademark wall of noise, some canny production details lie hidden and wait to be discovered. OTO includes remixes by Project Erratic and industrial veteran Philipp Münch. OTO is noise, the essence of the Mono No Aware sound. Typically, it is created by layering and thus joining different noises, culled from various contexts. Sound has no meaning without a receptor who renders possible its transition into memory. The palindrome OTO directs the attention to what matters, the centre, the audible. Kicking off with a very short „Fade In“, Mono No aware makes no bones about where this is going: Vigorous and agitating rhythm noise, with the emphasis on the latter. Short lo-fi intros (“Where the deep Grass grows”, “Minikuininatta”, Kirschberg”) or just piercing noise pitches (“2nd Face”, “Transient Life”) create the tension before all hell breaks loose, and only for the shortest fragment of a second single elements become audible. And then there’s that: Only a bass riff leading “Red Devils with Blue Eyes”, a metallic rumble being the sole pursuit of “Kikai”, concrete sounds shaping the outro “Übergang”, and of course the remixes bringing in some entirely different sonic textures. That said, OTO truly succeeds in its goal to reveal the essence of noise, through a self-referential consolidation as well as by peeking out of the box. OTO demands your attention!
A couple of years after his first foray into the vinyl format, Barcelona based Rafael Espinosa aka Geistform delivers his second vinyl 12”/digital for HANDS: Four tracks, three new, one remix from the 2016 “Transmitter” album. Analogue, repetitive, saturated with hiss and feedback – and driven home by firm kicks, this bridges the gap between Geistform’s industrial home base and the techno community, which keeps devouring these darker, more radical sounds. Bound to cause a nuclear fission on the dance floor, this 4-track release complies with latest state of the art techno science! A limited Edition of 200 copies includes a hand-numbered art print on heavy carton and is exclusively available at HANDS.
Since 2011 Ontal have shaped their reputation as spearheads of the industrial techno faction, and with their sophomore album, they join HANDS in an intuitive liaison: Beats and filth, club appeal and noisy debris are the shared agenda. And yet, the sound of “Amass” is more than a combination, a hybrid of styles, but a coherent flow of dark rhythmic and experimental music that touches the conscience of the industrial aficionado. An album in its classic sense, these 11 tracks offer a lot of physical appeal and substantial bass riffs, as well as a thrilling storyline – an hour of sound that won’t let you go. With a string of 12” releases and remixes under their belt, Serbian duo Boris Brenecki and Darko Kolar aka ONTAL are surely one of the most requested acts in the industrial techno circuit – which currently only seems to gather more and more momentum. Perfect times for an album with a timeless sound, a culmination point of traditions: “Amass” doesn’t exclude, it gives equal room to the minimal elegance of “First Sign” and the heaviness of “Improvidence”, upfront techno bangers like “Defeated Obstacles” or “Solidification” stand next to the IDM-enriched abstraction of the two parts of “Pareidolia”. “For Industrial People” is like a wonderful welcome gift for the HANDS crowd – and the fastest tune among the lot. Sonic post punk references can be found throughout, like in the clanging metal sounds of “2416”, and the final cut “Pressure Rise Equation” successfully bridges the gap between dance floor and experiment. The amassed consciousness of a genre, conveyed in an album that will generate massive crossover appeal!
HANDS album no. seven, and Greyhound are bound to maintain their status as the rhythm noise preservation society – proving again that the style is alive and well and flourishing with their most club friendly album yet. In their best tradition they use the full length of the compact disc format to unfold their bellicose sound over 16 hard-hitting tracks with none of them giving the listener much of a rest. The “Ground” is scattered with metallic noises and rigid kicks, and lots of things going on the background that make the difference in this flawless, crisp production. The evolution of Greyhound exhibits a fundamental trend for progress – don’t miss it, or you’ll be sorted out. Just a year after the passionate and successful “Inner Noise Level” Greyhound notch up their performance: On “Ground”, they remain consistent with the way they have been developing their style; Repetitive and captivating on the surface, yet with an underwood of industrial sound bits growing rampant. These little details, like fragmented bass sequences or sketchy vocal fragments, tend to come to the fore increasingly now – perfectly complementing (but never suppressing) the rhythmic core sound. As a result, “Ground” is graced with the diversity to work as an album that demands repeated listening as well as providing a whole bunch of tracks around the 120bpm mark suited for club exposure – and it’s impossible to point out single tracks from the lot. If you want to enter the realms of true rhythm noise, you have to get past Greyhound- these guys are determined to stand their ground!
Gatto Nero, the black cat, promises no bad luck, but rather crowded dance floors: The man who is otherwise known as Ah Cama-Sotz „debuts“ with ten tracks of fierce, in-your-face techno. Indeed A_Drum is so essentially and unpretentiously four-to-the-floor that it will bring out the youthful spirit in anyone who has ever been able to relate to the genre. Charming and clever, produced with all the expertise you might expect from a veteran of electronic music who is well known for his mastery of analogue synths, this album is thoroughly rhythmic and while it stays well clear of industrial sounds it isn’t friendly either, for sure. Addictive ear candy for compulsive dancers! Those who have followed Herman Klapholz’ work since the 1990s know of course that he has had his forays into the techno genre before, with his main outlet Ah Cama-Sotz as well as with side-projects such as ¥π¥ and Pow[d]er Pussy, and just as well we know of his infatuation with cats (and bats), so know these passions come together with this project which is bound to grab your attention from the start: Manoeuvring through a number of formative elements, this will never fail its physical impact. Sturdy minimalism („Away“), maddening drops („A_Drum“), tribal beats („Dead End Core“), fierce bass lines („Woofer“), earworm electro riffs („24 Hours“) and a general sense of euphoria drive the album home well before you thought. All that carries a comfortable warmth reminiscent of early techno productions, the analogue trademark sound that will have subwoofers work out seriously. While the concert stage and the club seem the natural habitats of this album, it will also thrive on home listening. A_Drum is a sure shot for technophiles, as well as a must-explore facet of Ah Cama-Sotz for the devotees.
For a dazzling exploration of divinity, "Phasenmensch" Wolfram Bange teams up with his regular live collaborators Henning Hinck and Daniel Himmelreich aka ICD-10, who have already contributed to previous albums as well. While on “Divinity/Unity/Nothingness” there’s really a beat (almost) throughout, they make a point of maintaining the gentle and considerate nature that constitutes the Phasenmensch sound: Intimate and introspective, and yet with one foot on the dance floor, this is armchair techno in its best, timeless tradition. And of course, room is left for more experimental and dark sounds as well, so you may with confidence give in to the sombre moods and alluring beats delivered in an immaculate production. Divinity, the concept of things that are, and remain sacred, originating from a deity – truth, grace, salvation. These noble thoughts are a perfect backstory for the elegance that unfolds over the good hour of this album. Solemn and majestic, melodies unfold, midtempo 4/4 kicks and sturdy bass lines drive it home, and an underwood of experimental background sounds increases anxiety. Allured by the earworm quality of “Deep Within”, one plunges into the sheer beauty of “Shape of Dissolution”, one anthem of a poetic female vocal track. But your soul may not rest, as more downbeat moments become more common as “Divinity” proceeds – metallic sounds on “Unity”, an eerie soundscape called “Transition”, washes of distortion on “Dreamscape” or the cinematic (and deteriorating) closing title “Nothingness” - the diversity of the previous Phasenmensch output is still there, of course. It seems, the quest for divinity must remain futile as long as one tries to grasp it. And while you are aware of that, you may enjoy the soundtrack that Phasenmensch and ICD-10 have crafted for that quest!
A rapturous celebration of the rhythm, of the passion for music; the attitude of the underground and two days of kindred spirits bonding – FORMS OF HANDS is simply one-of-a-kind, standing singular in its concept as an exclusive label festival. This year, HANDS sets the bar a bit higher again, with a tried and tested line-up of a dozen repeat offenders and two label newcomers with a strong pedigree. Number 17 is a particularly fast-paced edition, so you better save your breath and grab the bull by the horns. DIRTY K have the first word, and after a short intro they unleash their stomping rhythm’n’noise sound; TOMOHIKO SAGAE presents his much-appreciated industrial and techno fusion style and HYSTERESIS fly the flag of the broken beat with a piece of anarcho-step. NEW FRAMES, the new techno outlet for Mathis “The Panacea” Mootz and David Frisch travel from rhythm’n’noise to acid in five and a half minutes. MS GENTUR plays bone-crushing analogue power like it’s 1995, and GEISTFORM contribute a track so cheekily groovy it’ll move rocks. Closing day one, WINTERKÄLTE declare “Planet Earth First” with coarse beats and carefully dosed electro sounds and noise. French duo KAIBUN give a fine example of the lofty IDM sound they sport on their sophomore album, and when SATURMZLIDE comes along you better watch your bass bins. LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. proclaims to make “Racists afraid again”, and this helter-skelter of a noise track probably will. From there, it’s a triplet of HANDS ever-populars: HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH, S.K.E.T. and GREYHOUND fathom the range of the rhythm’n’noise sound, from the playful to the raw and rigid extremes. Finally, ORPHX bring to an end this account of what’s hot with a tribal-flavoured industrial techno banger. No doubt this collection is as essential as ever.
After a hiatus of no less than eight years – during which S.K.E.T. were present nevertheless through continuing live performances and much recognized solo projects – one of HANDS’ cornerstone acts triumphantly returns with its fourth album. And “Capitalism - Continuing Crisis” is a frank homecoming to the S.K.E.T. roots – highly political, propelled by high-octane industrial beats, and revealing a good deal of electro influences. These 13 agitating floor fillers are a physical turn-on and food for thought at the same time, a feasible weapon in these bleak times of continuing crisis. Meant as a soundtrack for agitation, this shall get you in the mood to act: Supported by melodic layers, the “New Dawn” sheds first light on this album. Then the rhythm kicks in its full glory, it’s time to “Prepare for the inevitable Struggle”. The endearing mixture of pumping shuffle beats (“Dash National States”), atmospheric buildups and breaks (“Terrorized to Consume”) and a contrast of classic industrial noises with 90s crossover flavors continues throughout the breathtaking tour de force. And there are more details to be discovered: “Dump In Funny Money” displays a versatile use of vocal samples, “Recession Down” employs an EBM-ish backline, “Civil Disobedience” and “Generalstreik” rush the beats to a stumbling crescendo. And finally, “The End of Capitalism” is not only a promise; it is the essence of the mighty groove of this album. So S.K.E.T.’s message is clear: If anything bothers you in this time of economic meltdown and social tension, get your ass up, go on the streets, get together and be loud. Every single voice counts. Make a change, be part of the revolution! A society based on the economic principle of the exploitation of the less fortunate, needs to be conquered - now and always!
New Frames, but well-known names: Mathis Mootz aka The Panacea/Squaremeter teams up with fellow Berlin resident David Frisch for their debut album on HANDS that is obviously inspired by the thriving techno culture of the German metropolis. In contrast to their (so far undercover) endeavors with the „Continuum Series 1991-1998“, this is no historiographic account of rave culture, but very much a pro- duction of its time: Dark, industrial and techno in an absolutely flawless production (which is not much of a surprise considering the people behind the music) that bears enough ammunition for the dance floors as well as it works as a unit. “Resistance through Rituals” proclaims every youth culture’s inherent fascination with symbols and codes that distance their group from the mainstream. Thus, it’s a centerpiece of the desire to progress and discover – and may it just be your own boundaries during a sweaty night in clubland. “Resistance through Rituals” doesn’t come straight out with its physical force – it uses a few tracks to introduce basic facets of their sound and cleverly raise the tension: Pulsing electronica (“Cloud of Light”), the kick as an “Artefakt” (featuring Berlin techno warhorse Henning Baer), dub techno tightness (“Major and minor Offences”) and the rickety bass line of “Eternal Body”. But it’s from there that the full peak time appeal kicks in – now way out of the power and force of “Farewell Legacy” and “Earth Exit Statement” – the latter being a collaboration with Climaxim, who is probably better known as hardcore drum&bass producer Limewax. The rest of “Resistance through Rituals” summons the melting away of perception, with the acid-tinged tracks “Give us Guidance”, “Shorten The Days” and “O.O.B.E.”, before the timeless kick drum of “We go public by way of the Net” calls for the last uprising of the after hour. And it’s that last track that displays best that you have to know your history – and the sound of today has never been out of fashion.
After an eight-year-interim, Greek producer Manos Chrisovergis presents his third album on HANDS – and the good news is he follows through with his compelling score of affiliat- ing noisy bedlam and political agitation. Eleven original tracks, an officially approved Einstürzende Neubauten cover version and five remixes by guest artists make for 72 minutes of mayhem in different shapes. Constantly oscillating between freeform noise bursts and structuring elements, „Sabotage Normality“ promises some perfect diversion for the industrial connoisseur, and an appropriate setting for the anarchist agenda expressed through the track titles. There is no such thing in life as normal, so you better give up the pursuit of normality and enjoy the Last Days of S.E.X.! HANDS says noise, and Last Days of S.E.X. is one of the noisiest artist among the lot: Not even the album opener spares the listener from aggressive blasts. And then, there is an ongoing change of pace, with elements counteracting the cacophony: bass drops, 4/4 kicks, distorted sounds, a vocoder vocal – all in constant stream of changing and shifting dynamics - over eleven tracks, “Sabotage Normality” is one boisterous rush of commotion. Then there is a definite change of pace: Manos respectfully pays homage to the German godfathers of noise, Einstürzende Neubauten, with his appreciative version of the classic “Tanz Debil” from the infamous 1981 album “Kollaps”. The rest of the album belongs to some fine guests: Like-minded HANDS label mates Maschinenkrieger KR52 vs. Disraptor and Mono No Aware put their slightly more club-compatible stamp on a track each, rhythm noise at its most extreme; Greek underground artists Unhuman and Thorivos provide humming downbeat and sheer harsh noise respectively; and the last word goes to fellow countryman hyDrone (also a label mate and partner in HANDS act Libido Formandi), who finally sabotages normality for good with the truly dialectic concept of ambient noise.
HANDS welcomes Japanese producer TOMOHIKO SAGAE, who has earned himself a proper reputation with a string of well received cross-border techno and industrial 12“es and digital singles, as well as appearing at notable events throughout Europe. It seems almost a logical move to line up his debut album at HANDS, as his signature style of fusing bulky noise elements with the relentless groove of techno is simply a perfect fit with the core label sound. Expect an hour of intensely rhythmic assaults on your senses, a maelstrom of metallic noises and sturdy midtempo beats. It’s after a considerable number of EPs (on labels like Furanum or Rodz Konez) Tomohiko Sagae goes for the album format, and he sure makes good use of it: „Sensory Deprivation“ follows a clear arc of suspense, with the intro-like opener „Cold Eyes“ and a couple of noisy workouts („Sensory deprivation“ and „Scream in Pain“) making for a tense buildup, which being mirrored by the reverse concept of „Pollen Disease“, „Sucralose“ and „Dark Deeds“ granting some relief towards the end of the album. In between, it’s six tracks of the finest peak time material, just the way it gets every warehouse boiling, from the Berghain around the globe, with the industrial techno sound reigning supreme in recent years. And yet, it’s very much a unique thing, as Sagae draws from his rich inspirational background of various industrial and electronic subgenres as well as avant-garde music in general, so his tracks sound like no one else’s for sure: Driven by the mechanical kicks clocking in around the 130 bpm mark, there are dense layers of noisy debris, very authentically conjuring up images of hard factory work and the grit of machinery. “Telephone” and “Ace K” are more strongly on the electronic side, while the two parts of “Perverse Mind” and “Hyperarousal” indulge in an irresistible tribalism, and “Keep the Faith” relies more strongly on the rolling bass line. The antithesis of rhythmic monotony and the dazzling array of sound eventually foster sensory deprivation with the listener.
No concept, no storyline, no looking back at what once was: With „Human Art Engines“, SaturmZlide presents his third album on HANDS – which is nothing less than a radical reinvention of his sound. Skillfully handmade on hardware instruments, it pays homage to the electronic music of the 80s and 90s - but without being retro as such. In the best tradi- tion of the era of horizontal dancing “Human Art Engines“ operates on the fine line between entertainment and art, between armchair listening and dance floor appeal. So cut the midrange, drop the bass, and take the wild ride back and forth! After the space mission of the “laZercowboys” and the ensuing intense live per- formances, Alex aka SaturmZlide felt the need for some basic change in order to be able to continue his creative streak. The answer was (in parts involuntarily) found in the use of reduced, analogue equipment. In five months of intense work he handcrafted an album with a warm analogue sonorousness and a signature live feel, as good parts were recorded as one-take snapshots after the basic sounds had been constructed in long preliminaries. No drum loops were used; it was all done the old school way, albeit in a crispy up-to-date production. This specific sound was enhanced in the hands of German underground legend Matthias Schuster, in whose Geisterfahrer studios Alex had the pleasure to do parts of the mix down. With allusions to topics like arcade games, with a keen sense of humor and a knack for appropriate track titles, SaturmZlide takes us through a pleasant 50 minutes. That is eleven tracks with distinct hook lines, midtempo rhythms and surprising details. Whether you jack to the obvious “aZsid Tunnel”, get your ethno dose from “Cobras nas ruas”, enjoy the big beats of “Radio 2.0” or the melodic grandeur of the closing track “Pilldriver”: The main achievement of this album is the fact that it’s so extraordinarily tight-knit while all tracks are so very unique! “Human Art Engines“ wasn’t made with the club or the concert stage in mind, the intention was to create an album that Marco would love to listen to himself – but nevertheless time will prove these tracks more than strong enough for dual purpose.
An electronic musical tragedy, a tale of decline: It has taken Laurent “Le Moderniste” Delogne and Marie Hubart four years to produce their sophomore album for HANDS - and it’s quite a renunciation of the rhythmic industrial/techno hybrid of “Illogism”. Devoid of upfront aggression, there is an ongoing current of profound rhythmic pulse on “Gloomy Alice & Sinister Jack” which echoes the more sublime facets of dark techno. The experimental, noise-shaping sound design of Le Moderniste takes its toll on Kaibun as well, resulting in soundscapes on the psyched-out fringes of electronica, with the overall result being surprisingly harmonious, contemporary minimal IDM at its best. In subversive contrast to the rather accessible musical flow of “Gloomy Alice & Sinister Jack”, we are told a story of a tragic partnership in depression - for a good hour, we witness the gloomy and sinister protagonists’ downfall and final giving in to their shared death wish. We first encounter Alice and Jack in the opening theme, which is like the last look back to club land, the very ending of the after hour when all light-heartedness fades in a distant glow. Not later than we learn that “Prozac doesn't protect us anymore” it is that we realize that this story is going nowhere good: A scraping metronome and unsettling sounds take over altogether. Further down the spiral, the protagonists engage in self-mutila- tion and numbing introspection, at its utmost disturbing in the throbbing bass pulses of “Grim monotony in the hazy mind of Jack”. Deceptive upbeats sign the declaration that “We share the same wish” before “And all those silences remain” drowns and muffles all sound. “They decide to accept the invitation” stands out like a tower with its captivating melody, an earworm for the dark-minded, before the journey ends with ritual, spiritual undertones accompanying the final passage and redemption. An authentic product of artistic struggle and heartfelt creativity, the tale of “Gloomy Alice & Sinister Jack” is a sincere recommendation off the beaten path, and the creation of something very fresh, sounding like little else.
Enter to Exit, life as a passage in time, the need to reinvent yourself: Lynn Standafer aka End.user joins the HANDS roster with a discography of a good dozen albums on respected labels as his remarkable pedigree. Driven by the breakbeat – the cornerstone of the End.user sound – this album handles an uncanny range of emotions. Subtle and mature in composition, the tracks on “Enter to Exit” are built from samples expertly put into entirely new contexts, thus creating a moody and dark diversity. Over the years, End.user has touched on many different types of sounds, but always used a breakbeat based template as his starting point. This record is no different, yet with a decidedly slower & sometimes more distorted foundation. Of course there are still amens and breaks in there - it's just not all there is: Playful melodies (“In any Event”), rapid mood swings (“Ab Minus”), drumstep style bass sounds (“Enter to Exit”), soundtrack-ish beauty (“Projection”) or calm sonority (“Sleep”) are to be discovered. Breakbeat based music has a tendency to come across as somehow human, not entirely machine-made like genres based on the 4/4 rhythm, tapping into your conscience with altering and recontextualising things well known. It’s that emotional appeal that constitutes this album. Enter, take a peek into the man’s soul, enter to exit!
Pitch Black Mirror is the new full length album from industrial techno veterans Orphx, co-presented by Sonic Groove (2xLP + digital) and Hands (CD). Rich Oddie and Christina Sealey have created a diverse and distinctive body of work over the last 23 years and this album may be their most definitive statement yet. Pitch Black Mirror foregrounds the duo’s unique fusion of techno and industrial but also demonstrates their ability to continually push their sound in new and challenging directions by drawing on elements of electro, post-punk, and EBM. The human voice is a central element here, ranging from subtle layers of samples and location recordings to the more prominent vocals of Rich Oddie and guest vocalist Marie Davidson. The album is also notable for its detailed sound design, courtesy of Sealey’s modular synthesizer systems, Oddie’s percussion and synth work, and software mutations from founding Orphx member Aron West. With its sonic and lyrical imagery of watery depths, lost love, and transmutations, Pitch Black Mirror offers a sonic landscape that is clearly inspired by personal and social turmoil but points towards the possibility of creative transformation.
Geistform album number six follows the “Tension” vinyl EP – the combination of the producer’s trademark analogue, repetitive noise patterns with point-blank techno rhythms caused quite a stir, and brought recognition across the genre camps. Now “Transmitter” brings an entire full length, 13 tracks propelled by crisp beats, but with a load of hiss and static layered between the kick and the snare. Thus, “Transmitter” stays well true to Geistform’s industrial roots, yet embraces the highly topical club sound of today. Rafael Espinosa has been releasing albums since 2002 to much public acclaim, and “Transmitter” is a perfect example of his desire to further develop and refine his sound: While the preceding album “Data Transmission” fathomed the more academic, braindance aspects of the Geistform sound, “Transmitter” does not shy away from using upfront rhythms throughout. While it’s impossible to point out specific tracks, it’s safe to say that every single one has a strong potential for the dance floor, while the album as such works perfectly as an entity. With a sound as crisp as it gets, perfectly timed breaks and on-spot variation in sound, the electronic aficionado will surely cherish these nearly 70 minutes transmitted by Geistform.
LA-based act Cervello Elettronico puts out his second album for HANDS, and it is surely branded by fears – logical or not – pursuing a darker and more aggressive direction than ever before. What remains is the crisp production and remarkable variation in beats and sounds, and yet this appears direct and almost simple, dominated by a tidal wave of bass heavy industrial beats, coming on with the force of a freight train. The brain controls the motor function; the electronic brain dissects that anatomy of movement with “Logical Fears”. Whether for an underground techno or a rhythm-geared industrial set, Cervello Elettronico provides quite some tasty club food! David Christian’s 2013 HANDS album “Anima Meccanica” went down well with its coherent take at various influences from rhythmic noise to dub techno and IDM and spawned not only the DJ-friendly remix EP for HANDS, but also remixes by and collaborations with the likes of Swayzak and Blush Response followed. It’s not a far route from there to a more physical sound, and here you go: Big midtempo beats on “Logical Fears” and “Tone Deaf”, dry and repetitive force on “Black Matter”, “Choose Right” and “Retracted Statements”, evil distortion on “Divider” and “Memory Loss”, a tribal polyrhythm on “Stand your Ground”. All the time, there are melodic undercurrents buried deep within the tracks, but it’s only in “Spacial Differences” that they’re allowed to blossom in full, making this the most distinctly techno track of the album. Staying clear of the 50-minute mark, “Logical Fears” feels perfectly concise, focused on the essentials. Fears are elementary, and so is this album!
Hot on the heels of Supersimmetria’s „Kosmogonie“ (his first for HANDS) “Materia” emerges as the straight album sequel – on the conceptual and the musical level: After cosmogony comes matter, and „Materia“ exists only due to randomness and organization of its atoms and their sub particles. Musically, Armando Alibrandi boldly pushes into a point-blank technoid territory, albeit in the up-to-date dark and distorted fashion, with more experimental sounds taking over towards the end of the release, and especially on the remixes provided by Zaliva-D and Tomohiko Sagae. An adequate soundtrack for engaging in thoughts about space, as well as providing plenty of DJ-friendly cuts, “Materia” lets Supersimmetria shine brighter than ever on the starry sky! The album is inspired by cosmological history, meant to be a bit like opening some random pages of the 17th century atlas titled “Materia” containing the knowledge of nowadays. The atlas follows different steps and patterns that the matter took through space-time, and every track is an interpretation one of some of the chapters of this 13.2 billion years story. Taking off with the piercing riffs of “Protobiont”, the listener embarks on a trip of hypnotic pulses, space atmospheres and repeated calls to the dance floor with elegant bangers like the rougher “Vibrating Particles” or the tribal-flavoured “Abiogenesis” (which are still contained enough to secure consistent listening). “Materia” then inexorably gravitates towards darkness, with psychic, ominous tracks such as “Horror Vacui” or “Hadean”, while “Angular Momentum” emphasizes Armando’s industrial roots. It’s up to a couple of like-minded producers to have the last word on this: Chinese act Zaliva-D turns “Vibrating Particles” into a brain-warping fantasy, while Tomohiko Sagae from Japan replaces the straight kick drum of “Quantum Fluctuations” with distorted industrial beats. Resistance is futile, “Materia” is everything!
The primordial force of the rhythm, the physical appeal of repetition, the organic texture of noisy debris - over three years went into the production of Yura Yura’s sophomore album, and “Rumu Namba” shows Grégory Yura taking his unique rhythm’n’noise style to new frontiers: Tracks in a slow and grinding pace, rich with atmosphere and otherworldly samples, and yet yielding a number of tunes for the dance floor. Yura Yura stands for a timeless sound in a totally up-to-date production, addressing mystery, alchemy and angst, resulting in music that’s sensual, spiritual and modern at the same time. Following his HANDS acclaimed debut “Be Sexual” Grégory Yura appeared mainly as a remixer and live performer. But in the background he has been collecting ideas resulting in the roundabout 80 minutes of “Rumu Namba”: An enigmatic title, possibly culled from a rare tribal language, this album conjures up the contrast of civilization and the hidden knowledge of our ancestry. Kicking off with the numbing distortion of “Helm”, a track like “Cavale” is then propelled by commanding industrial rhythms, but flows on an undercurrent of chants and tense atmosphere. There’s always time for slower tracks like “Paoma”, “Following” or Eko, all shuffled beats distorted by hiss and static, sitting next to blunt bangers like “Shamdead”, which sports almost industrial hardcore-style kicks. Sheer darkness brands “La Mort”, “Vlad” and “Morder”, “Jager” carries a nice old school signature, while “Asil” sounds very contemporary, full of degraded digital remains. “Rumu Namba” turns out an intriguing journey, never to hurried, nicely organic-sounding and full of fresh, genre-bending ideas.
Two years after his HANDS debut “Crashed”, Belgian veteran Eric van Wonterghem pushes for “Domination” – his 9th album in total: With all the expertise of over three decades in underground music, the rhythm unit that is Monolith is bound to conquer the industrial techno dance floors of the present age, with a hypnotic and abrasive sound that is as timeless as it has a championship pedigree. Notably rougher than its predecessor, “Domination” is about no-nonsense, sub-130 bpm techno pulses and stumbling beats, with a healthy dose of darkness and some experimental ethnic soundscapes thrown in for the good measure of the full length album. Tested positive to exercise domination on the FORMS OF HANDS 16 audience, this is a good hour of physically palpable electronics at their best. Kicking off with the title track „Domination“, Monolith comes dashing with the tracks „Angel of Death“, „Bridges“, „Oppression“ and „Nerve Net“ - perfect bangers for a dark techno set, 2016 Berlin style! Enjoy the rush of prime dance floor material with bulging kicks and the unsettling omnipresence of background noise, before the beatless interlude “Countdown” pushes for more experimental territory: “Reconstructed” is heavy with distortion, “Dust of India” and “Baigari” are gritty ethnic fantasies and “Religion of Peace” is the noisy peak of this album. Nevertheless, more fine club tunes are scattered over the rest of the album - submit to the maddening hook of “The Bell Witch” or the sleek electro sounds of the Dmitry Distant remix. Truly this album feels absolutely flawless, with the brisk and the calmer moments in perfect balance – the time of domination has come!
In April 2016 the success story of FORMS OF HANDS is continued, a new chapter added. The family enjoys this globally unique label festival – and its accompanying compilation CD spreads the gospel beyond the confines of the Bönen shaft tower. Filled to the brim with 14 artists, 14 tracks, all exclusive, all HANDS: WIELORYB (crackling industrial rhythms), LE MODERNISTE (noisy and black) and MORBUS M. (dystopian downbeats) present the sound of their simultaneously released full length albums, as well as the newcomer project TRACKOLOGISTS with an electro style remix and breakcore veteran END.USER. Also featured is a vibrant technoid tune by PHASENMENSCH, the tender ambient of TALVEKOIDIK, the industrial dub tech of MONOLITH, the darkstep of 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST and rhythm’n’noise mayhem by CACOPHONEUSES, MS GENTUR and MONO NO AWARE. PROYECTO MIRAGE contribute a surprising odd track out, fuzzy and atmospheric with the beats tuned down, and NULLVEKTOR really takes the biscuit with his analogue electro industrial track and a stunning vocal performance. Again, this is an encyclopaedic account of what HANDS is currently up to, and as such a mirror of the post-industrial genre in general.
With their sixth album for HANDS, Greyhound manage to stay true to their purebred rhythm’n’noise approach, and yet take a surprisingly serene turn: The noise level is not only a set reality, it is perceived on the inside, instigated by 16 tracks that are stripped down to their essentials, stubbornly repetitive, and deadly efficient. Tapping deep into the consciousness of the genre, this album is adequately described as sounding old school, albeit in a contemporary, crushing production. Tune in and recalibrate your inner noise level! After 15 years on the scene, having shared the festival stages with all the big names of the rhythm’n’noise circuit, it’s fair enough to count Greyhound among them. Also it’s perfectly legitimate for Greyhound to stray from the trademark, unmistakeable wall-of-noise sound in its pure form and allow for some reminiscence: On “Inner Noise Level”, you may well discover suggestions of the galvanizing looped sound and analogue grit of Esplendor Geométrico (Inner Noise Level, Crash, Pulse State, Candle) or the exacerbated high frequencies of the early Rephlex Records style (Cold Floor). You may also indulge in gritty bass riffs (Pure Menace), klinik-al electro sounds (Free), and pure moshpit agitation (Moving Machines, Right Here). Although appearing decidedly more minimal than the noise-heavy predecessor “Prototype”, Greyhound’s new offering remains truly Greyhound, so there is no dabbling with artsy breaks or melodies as such: “Inner Noise Level” is nearly 80 minutes of pure, unadulterated, driving and energetic rhythm’n’noise, with all the experience and passion!
Back with their third album for HANDS and fifth total, Hysteresis have gathered all their eclectic endeavors of the past, whooped it up to the max and produced their most upfront – some may say outrageous – album yet. Encounter pumping techno tracks, braindance and breakbeats, ethnic samples and subversively misleading melodies. Political and critical, extreme and entertaining, accessible on the surface and yet demanding, “Hegemonia Cultural” is a perfect mirror of this capricious age. Hysteresis kick off their new album kind of where their last one, “Manifest” ended, with bass music and ethnic samples on “Coercion and Consent”, but the harsh guitar riffs are a new flavor, set nicely into contrast with the alluring melody line. “Gramsci in the Caribbean” not only reveals a knack for intellectual wit, but also pushes into crossbreed hardcore territory. From there all hell breaks loose with the industrial beats of “L'ouvrier méprisé et suspecté”, followed by a rush of diversity: Squarewave techno tracks like “A Slut Utopia”, “Ordine Nuovo”, “The Theory” or “Operation Northwoods” are interspersed with excursions into drumstep (“Der Fabrikrat”), sheer hard IDM weirdness (“Raven”, “Disparse”), Laibachian pompousness (“Dies Irae”) and the atheist advertising anthem “La Impiedad”. The icing is put on the cake with the percussive Ah Cama-Sotz remix of the album opener. Time to catch your breath now… Listening to “Hegemonia Cultural” surely demands an inclination to the extremes, but we promise it will pay!
With their fourth album in only five years Wieloryb is surely a quite productive artist. And like before, “Semantik” stays true to the act’s core quality (i.e. hard rhythmic crunch), yet providing a very unique sound with a new album. In this case it’s a considerably slower, hypnotic industrial groove, leaving room for a tense atmosphere. Skillfully combining listening and physical appeal, Wieloryb’s new album works semantically correct at home and in the club alike! “Semantic” makes perfect sense in the sequence of Wieloryb’s albums, taking up the evolution of its 2014 predecessor “Root” towards a more atmospheric and diverse interpretation of the rhythm noise genre. This time around they shun the industrial hardcore sound altogether and operate around and below the 130 bpm mark, while adding a tribal, sensual grit to their tracks. Flawless and homogenous, the 14 tracks, 74 minutes of “Semantik” remain tempting from start to end, pleasing the old school industrial ear (especially with the more experimental cuts like “Umbro” or “Symantik”) as well as the classic rhythm noise punters (“Syntetik”) or those who appreciate the new school of dub tech bassline (“Behi Jessir”, “Seretik”). The semantics of this album are easily deciphered – enjoy!
HANDS presents the debut album of Trackologists, the collaboration project by the_empath and Heimstatt Yipotash. Expect ambitious sound design and a galactic view with focus on detail. Musically, „No Surrender, No Retreat“ refuses to be pigeon-holed with its eclectic range of influences – space sound rooted in IDM, electronica and EBM with a distinct use of synthetic and human vocals. Trackologists draw their inspiration from science, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, human deficiency and our assigned cosmic position. Immerse yourself into an exceptionally entertaining 75 minutes trip with a fascinating tension between the sensual and the scientific. Comes with beautiful 8-page booklet. Highly anticipated (after just one compilation track, a couple of remixes and two live performances), Trackologists have put an enormous effort into the production of this album, and it clearly shows. Kicking off with the space soundscape “Sonic Barrier”, they take us right into the theory of “Modified Newtonian Dynamics” (antithetic to the more commonly known presumption of dark matter) while the title track is simply programmatic for the pugnacious dedication put into this album. Trackologists don’t shy away from abstract topics, like mathematics (“T=2P”), cybernetics (“Self Replication”), history of science and humanities (“Bayt Al-Hikma”) and epistemology (“Boötes Void”). For good measure, there are also some less headstrong concepts, like the most club-compatible “Suicide with plastic gun” or the denouncement of “Larmoyanz”, German for maudlin. And finally, the_empath and Heimstatt Yipotash provide a “solo” remix each, presenting “No Surrender, No Retreat” and “Sonic Barrier” respectively in a more accessible fashion. The uncompromising nature of this album will not fail to leave its impression – No Surrender, No Retreat!
“Stop fearing death” - Belgium producer Laurent Delogne will surprise many listeners with his radical reinvention of Le Moderniste’s style on the mysteriously titled “Desistere Mortem Timere”: The tough industrial rhythms are reduced to putrefied debris, instead this is almost classical death industrial, a marriage of pitch black ambience with the aggression of power electronics – albeit in a contemporary production, thus providing an intense listening experience, and real hellride through the evils that men do. Following the rhythmic impact of his 2013 HANDS release “Too Rough Is Never Enough“, Le Moderniste dives deep into the darkness with this follow-up. Starting with crackle and hiss, “Desistere Mortem Timere” fathoms the realms of death industrial, with throbbing bass structures, desolate ambience and walls of distortion. Some tracks feature a power electronics style vocal delivery (“Ritual I – Carnis”), samples are scarce and on-spot, and sometimes the album plunges into sheer noise (“Ritual II – Viscus”). If you’re looking for rhythm, you will strike it rich with tracks like “Filth Cleans The Blind” or “Liber Diaboli”. Nevertheless, it’s primarily the blackness of the bottomless pit impregnating the entire 74 minutes of “Desistere Mortem Timere”, an expression of tortured souls, and one of the most uncompromisingly sinister releases on HANDS for a while.
Six years after „Forget The Past“, this is the second step into the future for Morbus M., the dystopian downbeat division of René Klimaczewski (aka Klima, aka Exocet). Included in the 13 tracks of the sophomore album is a remix by the_empath, one half of HANDS label mates Trackologists, “Fight or Die” is a definite sequel to Morbus M.’s debut musically, with led-heavy beats set against intensely dark atmospheres, sounds of obscure origin and spoken word samples. Topically, it takes the agenda of Morbus M. even further: The pessimistic political statements and the emotionally aggravating implications take the listener on a ride along the fathomless abyss. Morbus M. presents a very homogenous album with enticing features: The cinematic gravity of “Inside Out” or “Sad About”, the industrial grit of “NBK” or “Fight Or Die” (which is also a sincere recommendation for the more adventurous clubs), the trip hop shuffle of “5000” or “Sad About”, or the warm electro lines of the remix by the_empath, all bound to keep the tension high! Morbus M. invokes a world where there’s only one choice left: Fight, or die!
Looking back on a history of 25 years, it’s more than appropriate to celebrate HANDS properly as a pioneering label for contemporary electronic music. For this occasion, (almost) all currently active artists of the worldwide label roster have contributed a new and exclusive track for this massive compilation. So rather than dabbling in retrospective, it’s a state-of-the-art, and a view into the future of HANDS, with 48 tracks on lavishly packaged four CDs, presenting a diversity of individual electronic styles, united in the desire for progress. When Udo Wießmann founded the HANDS label in 1990, it was in order to be able to develop his own music first the project Atrum followed up shortly by Winterkälte, with complete artistic freedom. At first, it was just about the Atrum debut tape, and who would have thought that in the ensuing 25 years over 300 releases in the shape of CDs, vinyls, tapes, VHS, DVD would follow, as well as no less than 15 annual FORMS OF HANDS festivals and three HANDS LABEL NIGHTS. Also, HANDS artists are regular and established appearances at club concerts, festival stages, sound installations and audio visual performances. Initially associated with pioneering the rhythm’n’noise style, HANDS is also respected for their releases in genres as diverse as techno, drum’n’bass, ambient, IDM , industrial hardcore and all of those styles can be found on “25 YEARS OF HANDS” of course. Appearing in alphabetical order, with no limit to track length, this is a strong statement of artistic value. From the HANDS stalwarts such as Winterkälte, Mono No Aware or Ah Cama-Sotz to more recently joined acts such as Monolith, Ambassador21 or Cervello Elettronico, from those with a larger HANDS backcatalogue like Greyhound, Proyecto Mirage, Heimstatt Yiptoash, Shorai or S.K.E.T. to more novel projects like Saturmzlide or Supersimmetria, this unites the entire tribe. Fans will be delighted to hear from acts who have been in the long grass for a while, like Edgey, Angina P or 5F-X, and to witness the direction that they’re currently taking. And it’s without hyperbole, that the musical content is of undisputed quality, and it is accordingly packaged: The limited first edition comes in an oversize art book style heavy carton CD cover with embossing designed by Nicola Bork. Grab your copy of this encyclopedic compendium of electronic music!
HANDS regular Geistform returns with a special release, a four-track EP tailor-made for the contemporary dance floor. The combination of keen rhythms around the 125 bpm mark and Geistform’s trademark analogue, repetitive noise patterns is as topical as can be in times when the likes of Orphx or Ancient Methods have successfully introduced darker, industrial-flavoured tracks to a wider techno/electro audience. The limited Edition of 200 copies includes a hand-numbered art print on heavy carton and is exclusively available at HANDS. Barcelona based Rafael Espinosa has made himself a name with a peculiar sound combining academic strictness with physical impact: Deeply resonating sound waves, clicks & cuts and loads of feedback – never overflowing, always following a pattern, an unmistakeable theme. For “Tension”, he has added the impact of the kick to each of the four tracks, making them equally suitable for dance floor use. Mastered at amp-cracking level, the vinyl cut extra-loud, this is explicitly geared at cutting-edge DJs and punters, who will definitely appreciate this! All tracks are exclusive to “Tension” and will not appear on the forthcoming album, so it’s time to move!
After over three years in the works, Talvekoidik has finished his sophomore release for HANDS. And, other than the well-received “Negotiate the Distance”, this is not an eclectic collection of ideas, but follows a strict musical formula: An expressive contrast of glossy, somber electronica and emotional piano lines and string melodies – with the occasional crisp beat thrown in for good measure. Ambitious sound design spawns sparse, yet effective details, and the trip to Spitzbergen turns out to be a beautiful and heartfelt journey! Talvekoidik is known to serve as the individual, emotional expression of Kai, aka one half of HANDS act S.K.E.T., now embarking to the arctic island of Spitzbergen: The album is constantly playing with a cinematic atmosphere; the single tracks develop strongly instead of dwelling in ambience, and there is always a tense antagonism of sheer beauty and sinister undertones. From the calm, clear tones of “Inner Peace” and the downbeats of “Rising the Tension” to the bass-heavy “That’s my Desire”, from the playful vibe of “Falcon Eyes” to the Burial-style crackle of “Nordlicht”, there’s not much time for digression. The title track is full-on big screen sound with a vaguely Celtic note, ethereal vocals deep in the mix and a drum’n’bass finale, while “Drift Ice Whisper” sports the ingenious idea to drown the middle part of the track under a heap of white noise, thus recreating the impression of actual drift ice. “Expedition Arctic” closes the journey on a somewhat upbeat note – and leaves the listener ultimately satisfied with these eight concisely laid out pieces of electronic vs. semi-acoustic beauty!
Totally bucking the trend, in April 2015, the highly regarded FORMS OF HANDS label festival went into its 15th annual edition – making it truly one-of-a-kind! On this accompanying compilation CD, 14 chosen acts from the HANDS label roster prove in a high spirit and deliver the (exclusive) goods: From chilling, atmospheric techno sounds by SUPERSIMMETRIA or SYYLVGHEIST MAELSTRÖM to crunchy rhythm noise by YURA YURA, MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52 VS. DISRAPTOR or WIELORYB, from the hardcore attitude of ILLEGAL TRADE or 13th MONKEY to the drum’n’noise of WINTERKÄLTE, from bulky beats by TOTAKEKE and SYNTH-ETIK to the noisy groove of S.K.E.T., from the challenging experimentalism of NORM or ANCIENT METHODS to the ethnic beats of AH CAMA-SOTZ, the 14 tracks cover a range of styles – and yet blend perfectly, as does the crowd in the shaft tower, the FORMS OF HANDS home! Same procedure – this album presents exclusive tracks by all artists appearing at FORMS OF HANDS 2015 in their actual running order: SUPERSIMMETRIA delivers a nice technoid encore to his recent space-themed album. NORM (the MONO NO AWARE side-project) has been in the long grass for a while, the comeback track “Banerje” mixes ethnic samples and grating loops. WIELORYB are in a particularly old school mood, and TOTAKEKE gives us more IDM with balls (like on his recent album “Me.Tem.Psy.Cho.Sis”). MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52 VS. DISRAPTOR get straight to the point with 140bpm rhythm noise and Berghain darling ANCIENT METHODS’ track is gloriously psyched out and impossible to describe. Winterkälte follow their recent development of infusing their drum’n’noise with a subtle groove, and YURA YURA’s „Jägerinnen“ is a sure shot fort he rhythm noise dance floor. SYYLVGHEIST MAELSTRÖM delivers one of his intensely rhythmic pieces and ILLEGAL TRADE give us a refill of their industrial hardcore crossbreed sound. 13th MONKEY drop bouncing beats and acid lines, while S.K.E.T. sound quite cheerful. SYNTH-ETIK’s track „Circuits“ is decidedly on the industrial side of things and AH CAMA-SOTZ closes the album with an irresistible downbeat ethnic track. An inspired and inspiring compilation album, diverse and valuable!
Two years after the extensive anniversary release „Obsession Diabolique“, Ah Cama-Sotz returns with a more concise, almost intimate album: While still considering the rhythmic aspects of the ACS sound, the 60 minutes of „State Of Mind“ are on a distinctly downbeat note, leaving room for the inimitable atmospheric pieces and a fair share of sensual fantasies, on some tracks accompanied by familiar female vocals. The ACS mélange of ethnic sounds and beats with dark electronica and morbid obsessions appears more refined than ever. State Of Mind The city . The city that never sleeps. millions of souls crawling daily through the streets, their thoughts and minds are infinite. They won't surrender to their state of mind. These living creatures exist through  the pace of modern society. Let us  not forget the belly, the underground of the city. The story i'm about to tell you is one of a dark era (yet to come). A lonely voice about solitude, despair and darkness. People will have to gaze into the underground, the endless tunnel and staircase relating to the infinite way of traveling towards one's state of mind. “State Of Mind” harks back to older ACS albums, as well as picking up where “Obsession Diabolique” ended. The two opening tracks “And it Makes me Susceptible to Pain ...” and a strong 2015 Version of “Isfahan” are dark sensual fantasies, carried by female vocals and downbeat rhythms; “Solitaire” combines retro synth patterns with a repetitive electro/techno vibe; “Surrender to Infinity” and the title track “State of Mind” are storytelling dark ambient pieces with a dynamic structure; the ethnic beat section of the album consists of the triplet “Desert Heat”, “Hotel Odessa” (complete with proto techno sounds) and “Transcendental Meditation” before “Room with a View” closes the album in that downbeat, almost trip-hop-style sound. With “State of Mind” veteran producer Herman Klapholz proves again he has no equal when it comes to providing authentically introspective and dark mood music!
After a six-year-hiatus, NY-based Frank Mokros delivers his fifth Synth-Etik album for HANDS. While in the long grass, he has sensibly updated his rhythm noise sound, making his new tracks appear more aerial, with lot of tracks now sporting a confident, technoid groove and a single-start structure – while retaining the vigorous, brooding industrial sound of previous works. “Function” provides hot goods for clubs as well as a storyline worth of a 67-minute album, moving towards two epic compositions at the end. From white noise over DJ food to bedlam – choose your function! After a well-received HANDS release as Totakeke, it is about time for a new full length under the Synth-Etik moniker, and the waiting proves worthwhile: The opener “Monsters among us” shows what this album is up to – out of swelling noise drones appears a repetitive beat, upped by the kind of sound trickery that makes DJs scream with excitement. From there it goes, with shuffling rhythm noise (“Function”, “Fallout”), tech-house quotes (“Rapid Succession”), noisy experimentalism “Anonymous”, “Electrotyp”) and sleazy downbeat (“Impact Parameter”). “My Design” travels far, from a dub-tech string sound into seething noise territory, before “Test Zero One” takes us on buzzing 13+ minutes tour – a grand finale! With “Function”, Synth-Etik has successfully reinvented himself and delivered an agreeably modern approach at the rhythm noise sound!
HANDS presents the new side-project of Ambassador21, lined up to pay homage to the unrestrained kind of industrial music that influenced Natasha and Alexey to start it all. The result is everything but retro though, a contemporary, yet extra hard approach at industrial hardcore crossbreed, nine tracks gripping you firmly with their rhythmic impact and a seamless stream of little elements of sound. Thus, over the nearly 50 minutes of the album’s duration, suspension is held high effortlessly, like witnessing a fast-motion time lapse caused by the speed of sound. What can be harder than Ambassador21? Illegal Trade!   Having established an international crossover audience for their digital hardcore main outfit Ambassador21, the couple from Belarus has also left its mark with the more rhythm noise-based side-project Suicide Inside. Now Illegal Trade seems a perfect addition, a contemporary take at what is hot on the underground dance floor: combining sweeping drum’n’bass elements and brutalist breakcore with agitating hardcore thumps. During its just under 50 minutes of playing time, “Acid for the Royal Family” never goes through a low, there’s a constant rush of breaks, build-ups and distortion, plus an undercurrent of chiptune/arcade game style melodies and sparsely used (mostly explicit) samples demanding your attention – and physical reaction. Truly impossible to point out single tracks, you should definitely not miss the wobble bass and majestic grandeur of the title track or the ravy allusions of “Zoom”, but then you’ll discover tiny special signatures in every track. So don’t believe the hype and immerse yourself in the teen-spirited rush of energy that the intake of “Acid for the Royal Family” will cause!
Supersimmetria, the project of Berlin-based German-Italian sound artist Armando Alibrandi, has already raised some eyebrows with his previous two releases operating in the realm of dark electronica and IDM. Now on HANDS, he presents a pleasantly homogenous album, revolving around the origin of the universe, and bringing together immersive, pulsating, soundtrack-like and dubby space atmospheres and downtempo technoid and club-friendly beats, concluded with a Geistform remix that emphasizes the grittier, distorted aspects of sound. “Kosmogonie” is highly enjoyable 78-minute mission that any serious electronic music lover should happily embark on. With his first for HANDS, Supersimmetria follows somewhat of a tradition of space-themed albums on the label, the most recent examples having been provided by SaturmZlide and Syntech. On “Kosmogonie”, one finds the most outright, almost-soundtrack-like interpretation of the topic, a combination of bleeps, spherical segments and otherworldly sounds. And then there’s of course the rhythm, steady and resolutely straight, yet never oppressive or superimposing, always remaining below the 130bpm mark. The dark and saturated, industrial-tinged and technoid result is most obviously influenced by the fact that Armando has been living in Berlin for a few years now – no sense denying its connection to the contemporary Berghain sound. Nevertheless, through its conceptual orientation, “Kosmogonie” has a very unique (and timeless) identity, right in between its physical appeal and a thorough recommendation for armchair listening as well. Where science meets its limits, man must resort to mythology to find answers!
Following a string of festival appearances and some impressive awards for both their music and visual art, incite/ present their third album for HANDS. Eleven out of the 12 tracks are taken from their recent and their upcoming live sets, with the included large 16 pages art booklet - based on their video works - giving you an impression of their awarded skill. Nevertheless, “light spin” convinces as a musical work on its own, with its arsenal of abrasive sounds and glitches composed into surprisingly catchy tunes in the grey area between IDM, electro and industrial. Hard to pigeonhole, easy to enjoy for the electronic connoisseur. Since the release of “dare to dance” in 2011, incite/ have performed on 41 international festivals all over the world, from Moscow to Madrid and from Sao Paulo to Casablanca, including the 2013 WGT in Leipzig. The duo has also won three considerable awards: The Qwartz Award, Paris (Dancefloor category) 2012 for the track “glass” on the album „dare to dance“; the Visual Music Award, Frankfurt (Visual Music Live Contest) 2012 for music and video of „fire“ and the Visual Music Award, Frankfurt (Visual Music Live Contest) 2014 for „up & down“ (music and video again). While incite/’s debut “mindpiercing” (2009) was rather abstract and strict, “dare to dance” introduced a stronger physical aspect; the musical agenda of “light spin” now is incite/’s very own approach to the tune. Of course you can draw comparisons, to glitch pop, chiptune, IDM or the academic noise sound of Raster-Noton, but incite/ make it something very much of their own. And while the inexperienced listener might find this inaccessibly abstract, the seasoned electronic aficionado while catch himself headnodding or humming along to tracks like “footprints” or “duality”. And while there’s of course a range of moods and sounds, from the quiet and subtle (“illusion of safety”) over the noisy and unsettling (“time skating”) to the arcane (“harbour of mystery”), “light spin” appears convincingly coherent.
A year after the well-received debut album for HANDS, the electronic brain gives us a five-track-remix encore in a limited and hand numbered edition of 300 pieces, third in the CD-EP series which is exclusively only available over the mailorder or at merchandise booth of HANDS or the artist itself. Whereas “Anima Meccanica” succeeded in the balancing act between dance floor and home listening appeal, this time around it’s all about physical response, and five tracks of the album have been given the according treatment. 31 minutes of music that dares to exceed the boundaries of nodding heads! Let’s see what has happened: “Last Words” is featured in significantly extended and tidied-up dub version, “Instant Trauma” has been allowed to keep the industrial artefacts but has been taught the groove, “Vertebrae” - with its epic bass riff – has been infused with massively kicking beats, “Down the Line” has also been considerably extended and its appearance has been changed from noisy fuzz to grating minimal techno, and finally “Bad Ground” has also been infused with rhythmic impact. “Dance Meccanica” – mission accomplished!
New York-based Frank Mokros has already had a number of releases on HANDS, as four well-received albums under his electro industrial guise SYNTH-ETIK, also with his technoid project ATIV, now he (re-)joins for his sixth TOTAKEKE album. Under this moniker he has made himself a name for diligent sound design and deep electronica. Instead of sonic dabbling, he produces tight and poignant tracks. With “Me.Tem.Psy.Cho.Sis” he has created a very topical electronica album, with plenty of atmospheric moments, also successfully integrating the rhythmic impact of his past projects, the result being quite upfront – IDM with balls. Totakeke is an acquired taste, but one that’s easy on your buds – if you’re a seasoned electronic music listener. Me.Tem.Psy.Cho.Sis follows in the tradition of blending ambient atmospheres as in “R.Ai.Th”, “In.An.I.Mate” or the title track with piercing rhythms and a plethora of influences: “Por.Tent” is raw experimentalism, “In.Vo.Ca.Tion” or “Sysrq-“ have a very cinematic sound, and tracks like “Re.Ten.Tion” or “Trig.Ger” hint at how EBM might sound if it had dared to progress. The entirety of Me.Tem.Psy.Cho.Sis has a strong arc of suspense, from the dark intro over the rhythmic alternating with more freeform parts to the apex of “Com.Pos Men.Tis”, an irresistible rhythmic dance floor weapon. The general sound of Me.Tem.Psy.Cho.Sis is very progressive and unique, blending all elements into a coherent flow with the album’s storyline – highly enjoyable 70 minutes for the electronic gourmet.
With its fourth album, SYNTECH (now working as a duo) follow the tradition of never sounding the same twice, yet always retaining the core element of the Syntech sound, the tribal rhythm. “Only Ruins Remain” is by comparison the most gentle and introvert release yet, offering atmospheric downbeat tracks next to the club-compatible ones that are of course still to be found. Musically refined and with a warm and organic sound, “Only Ruins Remain” echoes the rhythm of the ritual and adds another attractive progression to the Syntech discography. While “Rising From the Ashes” had been a rhythmic monolith, “P’som Sett” had fathomed the noisier extremes and “Trans-Neptunian Objects” had invited the listener on a space voyage, „Only Ruins Remain“ takes a more personal stance, leaving room for thought and contemplation before picking up the pace. Long-time live collaborator Björn Boysen has now also joined the studio production of Steffen Lehmann. “Spindrift” and “No Sunlight” open the album on an intimate note, soft tones and slow grooves with a darker, spiritual note, before the acceleration of “Drive Hunt” evokes a gut-level response. “Electric Hellfire” then surprises with distorted digital detritus and stumbling beats, before “Salvager” leads back onto the path of cleanliness with the most technoid moment of “Only Ruins Remain”. Now the tribal dance may commence, with “For how Long”, “Ignorance”, “Mutations”, “Panic”, the drumstep-savvy “Mirrors” and the industrial-tinged “Harvest Season”. “Prospector” finally winds up „Only Ruins Remain“ with piano lines and solemn comedown atmosphere. Having long emancipated Syntech from the Greyhound sound, this is a bold step into a territory of its own, music in the grey area between genres and styles, yet irresistibly emotive and appealing, music to find comfort in when only ruins remain.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of SYNTECH’s creation, HANDS releases a limited edition lavish oversize package containing the „Only Ruins Remain“ album plus the album “Decade” with 14 remixes by associates and friends. From well-known acts such as TOTAKEKE, DIRK GEIGER and PHILIPP MUENCH over favored newcomers like MORTAJA, DIRTY K and ECSTASPHERE to more obscure acts, this covers a wide range of styles from rough rhythm’n’noise over IDM, EBM and ritual ambient. A great tribute to diversity and friendship! Let’s take a look at what the fellow musicians have done with the intensely rhythmic, tribal-flavored tracks that are trademark Syntech: First up, new label mate TOTAKEKE has added a digital-sounding surface of glitches, while PHILIPP MUENCH turns his track into psychedelic, hypnotic industrial fantasy; MORTAL VOID surprise us with a classic dark electro tune, and RES-Q provide a bouncing bassline; DIRTY K are easily recognized through their filthy rhythmic noise beats, while DIRK GEIGER adds glossy electronica sounds; INDIVIDUALDISTANZ are a long-runnig dark electro project who have contributed not only a remix, but also close the album with a hot and smoking collaboration track with vocals; Ophelia aka ECSTASPHERE showcases her dark and brooding industrial sound, and MORTAJA and =MP45= let the listener plunge into percussive, ritual ambience; SIMON SCHALL stands for repetitive, abrasive old school rhythms, while Leipzig-based SANS FIN creates a lush rhythmic piece with a trumpet melody on top, and the wonderful TO TRAVEL WITHOUT ANY CERTAIN DESTINATION are about deepness and digital debris. A manifold display of talent, a dazzling array of electronic sounds and an appropriate birthday present to SYNTECH!
Time passes in moments – and Candy dedicates his 3rd album to the lapse of time, significantly boosting the harder aspects of the 16PAD NOISE TERRORIST sound, oscillating between harder drum’n’bass, drumstep and hard-hitting crossbreed style. Again mastered by DJ Hidden, featuring a remix for veteran performer Cristian Vogel and a collaboration track with Lynn aka Enduser, “Zeit” features the input of prolific guests. Presented in a remarkable 3D-print cover designed by Nicola Bork it musically stands out as cutting-edge modern, suited for inducing twitches in the dance floor crowd as well as splitting the listener’s brains proper in due time. The limited first edition includes a 3-D glass with hands-stamped 16pad logo. After the first two 16PNT albums dealt with the subject matter of utopia/dystopia, “Zeit” is inspired by the occupation with transience. Coherently, the sound appears more direct, grounded, and very much in the here and now. Starting with the drumstep beats of “Fright Night Overdrive”, then launching into the slasher intro of “Angst”, before the beats kick in hard and the stabs force physical motion. Only the slo-motion wobble of the 16PAD remix for Cristian Vogel’s “Deepwater” grants some relief, before “Boomchuck” and “Delynch” bang it up with thumping hardcore beats. From there, the album forges into more experimental territory, with metallic sounds and rhythmic overdrive (“Musik”) coupled with canyon-deep breaks and extended speech samples (“Zeit”, “I am a machine”), sick build-ups (“Moment”) – and the closing title “Endwerk”, featuring the trademark high pitches and anarchic structure of Enduser, along with an almost cinematic, melodic backdrop. It may be man’s destiny to perish, but every now and then it’s the pleasant surprises, the special moments that make it all worthwhile. With “Zeit”, Candy has created an authentic tribute to the lapse of time, an appeal to make the best of it – and a highly entertaining album of broken beats along with that.
Does the idea of passionate thinking leave you startled? PHASENMENSCH picks up the concept of his earlier work “Begegnungen” (=encounters) on his sophomore release for HANDS, a result of difficult, eventful changes in the social environment, yielding excitingly controversial situations. Musically, “Entschleunigungsprozesse” is an impressively mature, antithetic work: Full of emotional atmospheres, yet strict in composition, decidedly rhythmic, yet avoiding any harshness, highly melancholic, yet fuelled by positivity – a gentle and thoughtful piece of electronic music. On “Entschleunigungsprozesse”, Wolfram Bange aka Phasenmensch takes his clues from a philosophical concept (again): The central question is how to retain your originality and not deny your nature under society’s crushing pressure of conformance? How can you find time to actually think during the hastening of modern life? Important people come and go, alliances are formed and broken up, tears are shed and mistakes are made. Understand this as your chance to improve, and the potential is endless – just leave enough space to explore your true feelings, and the outlook is bright! “Entschleunigungsprozesse” may well be seen as a vehicle to escape the agitation of the outside world. For starters, “Vernunft und Leidenschaft” will set the mood with its gloomy intro, breaking into uplifting minimal rhythms. Everything appears integrally connected, from the quiet sophistication of “Alles verschwindet”, “Sommerregen” or “Vom Nein zum Ja” over the technoid leanings of the collaborative tracks with with Constructor and ICD-10 to the more industrial beats of “Heilige Momente” or “Funkenflug”. No less than three tracks feature Wolfram’s good friend Ophelia the Suffering, adding guitar and sounds to the brooding “Rost und Knochen”, as well as adding some rhythmic distortion to “Optimierte Gegenwart” as Ecstasphere and remixing “Vernunft und Leidenschaft” as Aphexia, adding aggrieved string sounds. The last word goes to HANDS label mate Hezzel, using gently distorted bass drones for his remix. The 73 minutes of “Entschleunigungsprozesse” are a meaningful timeout as well as a much recommended electronic music album – reason and passion in an unknown alliance!
Sound wizard Stefan aka Nullvektor delivers his 4th album for HANDS, further refining his betwixt-and-between trademark sound of industrial beats and dominating techno structures in a razor-sharp production, but this time around he also adds a new aspect to the Nullvektor sound: Introspection, conveyed through deeply atmospheric sounds and pensive lyrics on a couple of tracks. The scope of “Marathonmann” is as wide as from the noisy dance floor assault of “Grundeinstellung” to the Bpitch/Kompakt-style art techno of the title track. 58 minutes of excitement for the electronic initiate! Some of the tracks on “Marathonmann” have already been tested live to great success, and that are mainly the classically Nullvektor rhythm beasts, like the opener “Ohne Zweifel”, the upbeat noise smasher “Grundeinstellung”, the convoluted “Wiederholung”, or “Aufgewacht”, which combines scraping industrial sounds with a dubby depth. The title track features a haunting, sombre melody and sonorous vocals, somehow reminiscent of the WhoMadeWho style that took the techno world by storm. “Durch die Nacht” and “Ein letztes Mal” have strong industrial flavours again, while “Mörder” and “Wenn Du es tust” revolve around almost generic techno patterns and “Wenn Du es willst” is even more hymnic than the title track (are you shocked by the term “pop”?). The final track “Im Spiegel” is another surprise, all jarring downbeats and multi-layered sound effects. All in all, “Marathonmann” is a very adult album, with food for brain and body at the same time, with especially the more quiet tracks guaranteed to grow on you.
Polish veteran (and seasoned live act) Wieloryb delivers his third album for HANDS in a short time, and just what is the kind of metamorphosis to discover this time? „Root“ appears to be he most experimental and eclectic Wieloryb album so far – or should it be: The most mature and widely appealing? While this is of course still deadly efficient rhythm’n’noise, a lot of changes of pace make for a whole new structure, and subtle spaces between make the rhythmic impact appear even more crisp. In 2011, “Empty” showcased how versed Wieloryb is in creating rhythm, in 2012 “Namaste” proved mastery of the use of samples, in 2014 “Root” introduces Wieloryb’s proficiency of a wider range of sounds and emotions: Atmospheric backdrops and moody breaks increase the tension (“The Number of Fourth”), beats are slightly broken crossbreed style (“Orion”), and tracks like “Dead Robot” or “The Number of Second” could almost qualify as downbeat, in the Wieloryb universe at least. A number of tracks have a strong industrial hardcore flavour, like “Machine” or “Alphabet”, while “War” surprises with old school style noise textures. “Dead on TV” is a beast of edgy electronica and shredded beats, and at the end of a most diverse album we get two bonus mixes in yet more distinctly different styles: Eerie ambience (“The Number Three – Leed ambient version) and goa trance (“Spring –Noisetrance 44 second Remix Version”). You just have to love evolution – in general, and regarding Wieloryb in particular!
Meet the laZercowboys, a bunch of high-spirited astronauts who are hurtled into deep space after losing control over their technology… Concept meets catchiness on SaturmZlide’s second HANDS album, which soundwise features a gripping mixture of space atmospheres, vocoder voices, extraterrestrial grooves and, of course, tough industrial rhythms. “laZercowboys” is extremely club-compatible, but also a strong recommendation for home listening through its flawless production value - and its unique leitmotif. The intro “Earth Shine” sets the mood: Infinity, fear, unanswered questions – astronaut Raphael is the protagonist of this story who has to deal with exceptional circumstances. Helplessness threatens to drive him mad; a dark mood dominates his feeling of being “Lost in Space”. The trip is a fast-paced one, with the beats pushing and shoving along the “Cosmic Highway”. Raphael realizes he might already be aboard space cruiser 999, where in “Type 999 Boarding” rhythm’n’noise meets vaguely 90s style up tempo house sounds (speak of wormholes there!). Approaching “Canopus Flight” and the “Callisto Ghost” must be a true challenge, aggravated by heavy magnetic storms, or where those just nightmares? “Black, deep and vast” space lies before us, infinite blackness in sound and vision, but then “Super Type 999” propels the seeker onward (and just doesn’t it sound like an experimental cousin of an Underworld track?), and “Planet Home” is in sight – a two-faced 10-minute opus, where a banging rhythm submerges into lush ambience with the prog-reference that SaturmZlide wouldn’t do without. What matters in the end is the ultimate beauty of “Gaia”, and another genre hybrid, minimal electro pop with an industrial edge, a melody to die for, to protect its preciousness. “laZercowboys” stands as a testament of heartfelt musicianship, everything in place, intricate sound design. SaturmZlide can, but even more so he wants – thoroughly emotional and devoted electronic music!
14 years of FORMS OF HANDS - for the festival crowd the event itself is always occasion enough to create two nights of musical enthusiasm and amicable celebration. With no less than half of the 14 acts being debutants on the FOH stage, this collection of all exclusive tracks is as essential as ever: From the rhythm’n’noise acts like MONO NO AWARE or CACOPHONEUSES to the more technoid approaches of MONOLITH or CERVELLO ELETTRONICO to the edges of the HANDS sound spectrum with TATLUM or HYDRONE, this is a choice selection of the most upscale quality. FOH 14: Two nights of shaft tower shaking, which will leave many with ringing ears, happy memories – and bequeath the world this collection. Seven acts appear at FOH for the first time and represent the extraordinary musical range of HANDS with refills from their current (or recent) albums: From the grim crossbreed of TATLUM – from Russia with hate – over the archaic ambient sound of HYDRONE, from the physical rhythmic noise of the fetching CACOPHONEUSES to the crusty sound of HEZZEL, from the industrial-infused techno of CERVELLO ELETTRONICO to the ear-splitting digital hardcore mayhem of AMBASSADOR21 and the fuzzy dub techno of MONOLITH a wonderful combination of established acts and promising newcomers! PROYECTO MIRAGE also contribute a second helping to their recent album, a nice piece of steam techno, while the sophomore attendees settle for novelty tracks: LIBIDO FORMANDI add some gritty rhythm punch to their electronica sound and LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. corsets stiff industrial beats into a house structure (rather than a technoid one) – even noise can groove! The SATURMZLIDE track is a tongue-in-cheek electro tune with a frivolous Kraftwerk reference, guaranteed to wake the dead, even. Last but not least, regard the veteran performers: MONO NO AWARE doesn’t stray from his intransigent harshness and NEEDLE SHARING pleases with a captivating mixture of drumstep beats and cinematic atmosphere. In a time when various artist compilations have become a bit out of fashion, this showcase stands like one tower of strength for a musical vision, for a distinct and diverse label sound.
With Monolith an acknowledged veteran joins the HANDS label roster. “From Belgium to Berlin” – that’s not only Eric’s personal biography in short, it’s also the route that the sound he had its stakes in creating has taken: Partially club-compatible, entirely rhythmic and absorbing, this is premier league entertainment for contemporary electronic aficionados across the scenes, from the electro industrial underground onto the Berghain dance floor. It’s general knowledge that Eric van Wonterghem is a member of Absolute Body Control and Sonar, and that he has a notable past as Insekt, as well as under the Monolith moniker itself. On this behalf, “Crashed” is his 8th album already, and he can also look back at a string of live performances as well, forging his hypnotic and tribal rhythmic noise sound. This album shows the timeless facets of the “Belgian” sound that Eric van Wonterghem and his various fellow musicians have created over the last three decades, and that’s still newsworthy today: The icy, repetitive electro industrial sound, dominated by incisive rhythms with crashing cymbals and slight distortion, clinical and yet strangely warm and analogue has intrigued generations of underground music fans since its inception in the early 80s, and now it has arrived in the scene of Berlin, today’s minimal techno capital of the world, where it’s namechecked (and sometimes ripped off) by a new generation of producers. “Crashed” stands as good proof that Monolith is still capable of cutting-edge productions himself: A short, forbidding intro of static fuzz and swelling atmosphere (“No Escape”) and then 10 tight and rhythmic tracks. Some stand out as downright recommendations for the dance floor – following in the line of his recent vinyl 12” on Sonic Groove - like the rhythm noise/dub techno hybrid “Rotated”, the slightly EBM-ish “Crashed” and the hard-hitting “The Source”, while others draw from various other aspects: “Roadblock” is a raw, stomping boulder of sound, “The Victim” operates in rather purebred dub techno territory, “I Control Evolution” sounds rather klinik-al with its distorted 808 pattern and mock vocals. “10 Minutes before Blackout” finishes off an album that offers braindance and physical moments, done with expertise and a unique handwriting.
News from the east – with Latvian artist Hezzel HANDS presents another very promising newcomer. “Exposure” is a worthwhile and surprisingly mature debut CD, firmly rooted in the rhythmic noise industrial sound, but with some peculiar ideas - a grimy, eclectic take at the genre, an offering for the dance floor and for the armchair even-handedly. Hezzel joins HANDS with a reference of several net releases, including a split album with Tatlum, having developed an original approach at rhythm’n’noise during this formative period. When listening to the 15 tracks of “Exposure”, you can never quite pin down the tradition Hezzel draws from: “Brink Of War” is reminiscent of the 1990s acid-infused hardcore sound of early Aphex Twin, “Fuckstep” is driven by classically convoluted, distorted beats, “Test Negative” adds an unexpected mechanical groove, “Collateral” is a nauseating kind of almost-hardcore and “Wither” adds such a captivating melody one is tempted to call it “IDM”. But whatever you say, in the end, it boils down to a convincing, contemporary form of rhythm’n’noise. Hezzel never forgets the little twists and turns that keep his tracks dynamic and compelling: Melodic backdrops, effective breaks and the occasional sample. A good part of the album is obviously centred around the subject of war, nuclear warfare specifically, including the beatless “Second Chance”; the overall impression of “Exposure” though is not so much of relentless aggression, but of a rather distinguished album, with moments of contemplation, intensely atmospheric tracks like “Lay Low” and an almost psychedelic undertone (“Rasho”) as a counterpoint to potential floor fillers like “Cannot See”, a track in which all the aspects of “Exposure” seem to amalgamate.
Sandra and Joséphine aka Cacophoneuses have enchanted crowds since their spectacular appearance at the respected techno industrial festival Fondation Sonore in 2013, followed by nothing less than a Maschinenfest gig. Now it is time for their proper debut album via HANDS, which follows their self-proclaimed goal to move you inside (and) out. Hearty technoid beats and arcane soundscapes that set the myth of Lorelei to music, an album alluring the listener into the world of this fresh female duo, in the no-man’s-land between rhythm’n’noise and techno. The Lorelei is a feminine water spirit, who according to German popular culture by her murmuring bewitches men and in some versions of the myth even causes their death. In the musical adaption of the myth, Cacophoneuses stand in a tradition of the likes of Liszt or Shostakovich, so one could speak of an ambitious concept for a debut album, but they manage with ease: After the coarsely atmospheric intro “The most beautiful nymphs” the album holds eleven rhythmic tracks: From the tribal “You have bewitched me” with its psychedelic otherworldly sounds over the distorted technoid “With eyes full of stones” to the doomed “Obession”, from strangely atmospheric tracks like “French Kiss” to safe bets for the industrial dance floor like “Dirty Girls like dirty beats” or the closing title “Die of Love”, this is one tight rhythmic ride, starting slowly and sucking you in along the way. Soundwise the trademark sound of Cacophoneuses is somehow dubby hollow (rather than in-your-face harsh), which adds greatly to the subtle, repetitive elegance of this album. “The Myth of Lorelei” is a sincere recommendation to anyone into rhythm’n’noise with a strong techno flavour, a debut which convinces through its atmospheric impact coupled with the punch of the beats.
Heimstatt Yipotash, notoriously headstrong hybrid project, surrender their fifth album for HANDS: Highly political and subversive, “Mecanismos De Control” is an accentuated criticism of the Orwellian times we live in. Musically their unique blend of electro and industrial elements comes all of a piece; the leitmotif of (mostly) Spanish language vocal samples makes for coherent listening, and the intense rhythms will let you shake the chains of control - for sure! “Mecanismos De Control” follows Heimstatt Yipotash’s massive anniversary remix package, but actually picks up where the 2009 album “Urban Night Motifs” ended, in modern day metropolis. This time, the focus shifts from the urban structure itself to the people who live in it: Anonymous, working like the gearwheels of a globalized machine constantly mislead to work for accelerating economic growth. “Mecanismos De Control” denounces corruption in high finance and the politicians’ involvement in it (“Putsch”, “Banco Malo”), it brings up the lack of diversity in media (“Receptor Universal”), arbitrary police action and the various levels of state control in general (“Mecanismo De Control”). Musically it somehow suggests itself to drop the Esplendor Geometrico reference, not only for the Spanish language samples, but also for the raw and repetitive rhythmic backbone of all tracks. But of course Heimstatt Yipotash acts in a much more ample scope, with lots of diversified, contemporary elements to be found throughout the album: Spotless electro sequences (“Diez Segundos”, “Pulsador”), almost organic percussion (“Banco Malo”), shuffling all-but-grooves (“Magnetar”, “Rescoldo”), an electric harp in “El Mal Menor” and a swelling acid sequence in “Fuerza Devastadora”. And the final say goes to The_Empath, who transforms “Rescoldo” into a solemn lullaby for man, bereft of his dignity in the Brave New World of today. “Mecanismos De Control” works in the attractive contradiction of its dystopian theme and being at the same time thoroughly enjoyable, in larger parts actually dance floor compatible. A coherent, conceptually feasible and convincing album.
Sylvgheist Maëlström hasn’t taken much of his time to produce the follow-up to his HANDS debut “Skaftafell”. On “Pripyat” he deals with transformation and extinction of nature, thus he discards the majestic minimalism of the predecessor and adopts a very different musical language, with chunky IDM rhythms and dense soundscapes to portrait the numerous disturbances man inflicts upon nature – and the way nature reacts to that, reinventing itself. A heavyweight, unsettling electronica album that is topped off with crackling remixes by [basementgrrr] and Yura Yura. Pripyat is the “nuclear city” where the Chernobyl power plant is located. Abandoned after the infamous 1986 disaster, it stands a rude reminder of man’s ruinous effect on nature – and the inimitable way nature achieves a weird comeback after the seemingly worst blow. Such forbidding thoughts are the main preoccupation Sylvgheist Maëlström used as an inspiration for this album, and it shows soundwise: Heavy rhythms throughout, sinister melodies, throbbing bass sounds, all tracks saturated with sharp-edged fuzz. “Pripyat” flows in a multi-layered sound design, which creates a constant atmosphere of unease, quite appropriate for tracks dealing with the world’s worst industrial disaster in “Bhopal”, where thousands died due to exposure to toxic substances in 1984, or “Agbog Bloshie”, the infamous e-waste dump in Ghana. Even the most seasoned connoisseur of electronic music will be challenged to discern on first listen all the details to be found within every single track as even the comparably calmer tracks like “Prion” (a fatally infectious protein composition) or “Mountain Pass” overflow with sounds, not to speak of the massive noise-flavoured tracks like “Ajka” (a town in Hungary where an industrial accident caused a flood of toxic mud in 2010). The contributed remixes by [basementgrrr] and Yura Yura remain within the sonic framework of “Pripyat”, but add dynamic bass sequences and a noise rhythm respectively. As an album, “Pripyat” serves a dual function: Each of the tracks is strong enough to stand alone, as a whole they merge into an utterly disturbing, yet absorbing 78 minute trip, a reminder that man is dying in his own changed substance.
HANDS welcomes hyDrone, an act with a remarkable pedigree already, now ready for a proper debut CD release. “Chronos“ is a captivating, deeply atmospheric conceptual release about time and its perception, revealing influences from various eras of electronic music, pouring into a very individual musical language. Nine tracks plus remixes by Gjöll, Libido Formandi and Proyecto Mirage let you take a 57 minute lapse from the regular course of time! Preface: hyDrone is the alias of Panos Kouretas from Greece, who has got CD-R releases on Fich-Art and Le Petit Machiniste and a fancy vinyl on Sealt under his belt, as well as a performance at Maschinenfest - the accolade of the industrial scene. Now it’s time for Χρόνος, an album which truly deserves a distinguished presentation. Takeoff: The opener “Carefully and patiently [we are counting time]” draws the listener in with vocal snippets, atmospheric parts and insidious bleeps, while “Always late” moves along accordingly slow in eerie halfstep mode. “Whenever” is a grainy drone piece, “Backwards” fuses bass heavy drones with a cinematic melody and the title track draws heavily from 70s Kosmische Musik in an ambient mode. “Passing time” is a masterpiece, the perception of time during a human being’s lifespan in a nutshell, seemingly accelerating, while the actual pattern never changes. With “Chronotaraxis” we have finally left the time continuum for good and are prepared to plunge into the psychedelic ambience of “Time is running out of time” and “To maintain the balance”. Overtime: Jóhann Eiriksson aka Gjöll contributes a fuzzy, Raster-Noton style drone piece, Libido Formandi turns out a nicely accessible electronica track and also label mates Proyecto Mirage get the final say with archaic, analogue distorted beats. Epilogue: Far from easy listening, sometimes demanding, this album is a treat for anyone into atmospheric electronic music. Panos displays a knack for sound design and composition, the result being well-defined and yet complex, abrasive and beautiful at the same time. Worth your time!
Spanish veterans Proyecto Mirage present their 7th album – and their most mature and atmospherically diverse effort yet. Dedicated to the history of technology (which started with invention of the steam engine) the album title represents the elements that are unmistakeably Proyecto Mirage: Prompting rhythmic noise with tough beats, often blessed with Alicia’s trademark electro-clash style vocals. An established recording artist since 1999, Spanish duo Proyecto Mirage may be best known for their energetic live performances and their dance floor tracks. On “Steam Tech”, fans will find what they expect – and some surprises as well: The opener “Morlock Ritual” is dedicated to a sci-fi character, a steaming instrumental track with various layers of rhythm. The vocal tracks come in various speeds and moods, with Alicia’s deliverance ranging from clinical to sleazy: “Cold Fire” and “Rhythm Of Locomotive” are classic Proyecto, salacious industrial rave, “Pray In Binary” and “The Alchimist” appear in an old school sound, while other tracks are actually more songs, like the downbeat “Evil Machine”, the almost-electro-wave “Came To Know” or the beautiful, hymnic “Smoke And Noise”. Then there is “Tesla Coil”, dedicated to the high voltage generator, a moody industrial fantasy in which the feedback drones are assembled to what could nearly be called (beware!) a melody. And of course there are some fine pieces of steamtechno, pushing the tempo as you desire, like “Flying Biocopter”, “Rhythm Of Locomotive”, “Peg 100 Experiment” (strangely reminiscent of Richard D. James’ Caustic Window alter ego) and the hard-hitting closing title “Mecha’s Attack”. “Steam Tech” is assembled with a strong awareness for industrial and electro history, yet completely up-to-date in its production value, and especially the songs on the album provide an enormous crossover appeal. Proyecto Mirage stay true to – and develop - their very own, unmistakeable sound. So ride this steam-powered train and enjoy the raw energy of the industrial revolution!
HANDS welcomes a catchpenny addition to its band roster: Ambassador21, the Belarusian duo who have brought their digital hardcore sound to electronic and industrial festivals worldwide and look back at a plethora of releases since the turn of the century. “X” is meant to tie up loose ends, with nine unreleased and seven compilation tracks from the period of 2005-2012 showcasing their arsenal of sound: Hard electronics, samples, heavy guitars and Natasha’s sandpaper vocals are the ingredients of this sonic Molotov cocktail! Ambassador21 are surely active activists, and their efforts have put them in the upper tiers of the digital hardcore scene. Highly political, cultural renegades, they are quite a memorable display on stage, energetic and charged. Such is also their music, and the 16 tracks on “X” bear witness to that. Some tracks have previously had a wider public exposition on prolific festival compilations, like the abrasive electro punk opener “Dope Off” (Kinetik 2010), the ultra-noisy “Elvis vs. Batman” (Maschinenfest 2005) or the midtempo-rhythmic “Unhappy Day” (Elektroanschlag 2006). Others have been hidden in more obscurity so far – “Beat.By.Beat” for example is a thumping piece of electro thrash which has now found its way from Bandcamp onto a physical release. But it’s the exclusive tracks that put the icing on this cake of course, and there’s plenty to discover: “Zensyou66” is nightmarish and obsessed, “X-Rage” turns out a grinding hardcore/speedcore killer, “Operation Touch Gun” features Hypnoskull – and a well-known track in a so far unheard rework. The live edits of “Make It Loud” and “Power Rage Riot Death” up the ante noise-wise, while “Face Your Future Killers” (recorded live nowhere else but at HR Giger Museum!) shows the “band” sound of Ambassador21. Clocking in at well over 70 minutes, “X” is one for the fans as well as for those who wish to discover the force that is Ambassador21: A creative outlet for rage and aggression, and the desire for change, heartfelt, loud and proud! Fuck All Systems!
Shorai is back with 15 X 5 = 75 minutes worth of promiscuous electronica, clattering beats and (well) lots of interference. An adventurous trip through glossy, dehumanized sound design, staying well clear of any preconceptions. Shorai is an act with a distinct trademark sound and identity, and “Interference” is an album rich with details and noisy delight. Fernando Garcia is not known to rush it with his output as Shorai, this being only his 4th album for HANDS in 10 years. While defying all categorization, he has been termed “the missing link between Kraftwerk and Winterkälte”. If you stick to that comparison, while the preceding “It Was Listening With Mechanical Precision” was more on the accessibly atmospheric side, “Interference” marks a bold return to rough and edgy territory. The album starts right off with the bulky “Spectral Overlap”, teeming with punchy shuffle beats, piercing noises and grating loops, while the next track of the same name tones it down a bit. And with number three, “Modulated RNA” and its convoluted reverence to early EBM you’ll notice you’re hooked to the unique sonic universe of Shorai. All tracks on the album have something to do with interferences, for instance "Sn Meets Sqr" references the "marriage" between a sine wave and a square wave which results in an interference between them, while "Background Radiation Always Shines On TV" mirrors the harshness of the signal you can see as “snow” interference on a dead TV channel. The entire album follows a unique logic and works in a pattern that is determined by the fact that each track clocks in at exactly 5.00 minutes. It’s within that framework that Shorai unfolds his infinite plethora of ideas. Encounter the moody downbeat of “Looking In The Scrap For Spare Parts” (it really sounds the part), the upbeat stomper “Demasiadas Notas” (which might even find its way onto the dance floors) or the numbing glitchcore of “Harmonic Cross Ratio” and “Waveform Over Japan”. In all its diversity, “Interference” is strongly recommended to be listened to in its entirety to savour its full impact - let all those flavours of electronic music mix into this unique, timeless whole. Shorai is an acquired taste for sure, but one that will be acknowledged and highly rated by electronica aficionados!
Let’s celebrate ten years of Maschinenkrieger kr52 and Disraptor joining forces in their intention to stir up industrial dancefloors big time. On their third album for HANDS they provide lots of rough and rhythmic DJ food, but they also consider some experimentation. rhythm’n’noise the way it’s supposed to be: Dirty, hypnotic and thoroughly physical! “rotTEN years” also marks the 5th anniversary of the German duo joining HANDS, which has brought them to the attention of a wide audience and secured them some remarkable success. Their agenda is to make people move – which sure is a noble task when executed as skilfully as they have been doing it. Listening to “rotTEN years” is somehow like watching a kid grow up: Right from the start it reveals its descent from the rhythm noise genre’s gene pool – shuffling beats and washes of distortion (“Loading”), a heavy kick drum (“oh My Presents”, “Shuffle Dynamics”), inscrutable vocal samples (“Tone”) and insane compression levels (“Break Core”). The tempo mostly ranges from fast (“CHM05”) over very fast (“Helldone”) to insane overdrive (“Hit and Drum”). But as kids grow up, they will extend their range, try to chart new territories, and things get more complicated, too: “1,5 gray” slows down and turns up the impact of the rhythm, “Beltra” sports a substitute melody of highpitched noises resounding in your ears forever and the closing tracks of the album (“Kiitos”, “Post MorTEN”, “Gallery”) are fully drowned in noise mayhem. So for the more adventurous listeners, there are rough edges and digressions found throughout. Nevertheless “rotTEN years” is essentially a dance floor album, powered by a sense for a hypnotic almost-groove and lots of breaks that effectively lighten the mood - be sure to encounter several of these tracks in the clubs!
Cervello Elettronico, another well established act since 2001, joins HANDS and presents his own brand of industrial-tinged techno on the 13 tracks of “Anima Meccanica” - an idiosyncratic blend of atmospheric backdrops, occasional distortion, tempting beats and apt quotations from electronic music history. The album glistens with polished production value and will prove a gadget suited for all intents and purposes in an electronic household. The “electronic brain” is the brainchild of Los Angeles based producer David Christian, who has made himself a name with numerous live shows in North America and Europe at important festivals like Schlagstrom, Elektroanschlag. Prolific remixes have been produced for the likes of Lenny Dee, Leæther Strip or Terrorfakt, and of course there have been well-received album releases on Crunch Pod and Rustblade. His tracks have made it into the playlists of Techno DJs like Adam X. On the HANDS map, “Anima Meccanica” puts Cervello Elettronico in the uncharted territory between the industrial dub techno of label stalwart Orphx and the distinctly technoid side of Nullvektor – with some electronica experimentation thrown in for good measure. A number of tracks, for example “Last Words” , “Vertebrae”, “Too much too fast” or “Instant Trauma” are what could be called relaxed industrial techno - darker atmospheres and convoluted midtempo beats which regularly shift and change in tempo. “Vertebrae” adds a gritty bass riff which sounds as if it was lifted from a 1990 Sheffield track, while “Impact” is a rather experimental, soundtrack-like interlude. Some dance floor food is also to be found: “She’s got Damage” convinces with infectious beats and warm distortion, “Down the Line” is even more reduced and noisier and “Pulse” carries a strong dub techno/minimal vibe. “Animalism” takes off for space, “Source Code” surprises with Kraftwerkian vocoder quotes and bulky electro beats and “People are still People” plays with an EBM-ish bassline. After a good hour the album comes to its conclusion with the fuzzy beats of “Splinter”. “Anima Meccanica” is intelligent, it’s danceable, but the IDM tag would definitely not give consideration to the multitude of ideas and the skill with which Cervello Elettronico uses a number of influences to create something with a trademark sound. “Anima Meccanica” is a high quality, entertaining and coherent album with an absorbing atmosphere!
From Russia with hate comes Tatlum, a producer who has already made himself a name through net releases and performing live on upper slots of industrial festivals in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and
Latvia. His HANDS debut “Mechanical Rite” is a coherent brew of hardcore and breakcore beats, dark atmospheres and spur-on-samples in a glossy, crisp production of ear-splitting loudness. Producing music since 2003, and having performed alongside the likes of Igorrr, Hecate, Ambassador 21,  Synapscape or Wieloryb recently, it’s time for Moscow resident Tatlum to step into the spotlight as a recording artist, and “Mechanical Rite” is sure to popularize him in the industrial and breakcore scenes. Tatlum derives his moniker from a magic stone, told of in an ancient poem. The Gaelic term "tathlum" means a "concrete ball" which the ancient Irish warriors sometimes used to make out of the brains of dead enemies, hardened with lime. This martial-meets-mystic attitude can also be traced in the music of Tatlum. Even though the ten tracks of the album are quite beat-heavy (with quite some real moshpit floorfillers among them), it works almost like a soundtrack album, all chips off the same block, a crossbreed of syncopated breakcore, 180+bpm bass thumps, the odd wobble and chiptune-ish melody fragments, all shrouded in sample-heavy, dark (and sometimes almost D’Argento-style) atmospheres composed of buddhist chants and eerie overtones. Tatlum cleverly sustains the listener’s attention by constantly adding new sound layers and shifting the tempo: The opener “Calling” for example follows a steady build-up, from a reverberant downbeat over hard-hitting (and old-school) breakbeats to straight hardcore. “Akalaha” employs what sounds like a toasting cyborg, while “Answers” is very cinematic. “Kill” has a strong electro vibe, ”Lifeless” is perhaps the most noisy/ experimental track on “Mechanical Rite”, while “Darkness” is definitely the most relentless banger, and in the closing track “Rite” the beats sound almost organic. “Mechanical Rite” really lives up to its title, fusing shattered, mechanical, metallic sound bits with ritual bleakness and long melodies. Craftily produced to entertain those who like their beats hard and their attitude black, this is a very promising debut.
Number 13 in the HANDS encyclopaedia: The secret of a long-term success is to embrace evolution, yet remember your roots. This is what the 2013 label festival compilation accomplishes again, with a tasty mixture of established acts like WINTERKÄLTE, ORPHX, GEISTFORM, XABEC and NULLVEKTOR, promising newcomers like PHASENMENSCH, KAIBUN or YURA YURA and a popular repatriate: AH CAMA-SOTZ. And while rhythm’n’noise remains its backbone, the label’s sound appears more diverse than ever. Packed to the brim with 14 tracks by 14 acts, this is simply essential (again). 2013 sees the HANDS family return to the impressive shaft tower of Bönen. On stage, more acts than ever before: Seven concerts on each of the two festival days – and this compilation CD is the event’s legacy. As always, their contributed tracks appear in the lineup’s running order: The opening act in 2013 is KAIBUN, tuning in to “Radio Outcast”, a bouncy industrial techno track representative of their debut album, followed by also newcomer PHASENMENSCH with a clean and crisp 4/4 dance floor tune with an extended, ultra-atmospheric break used for some “Introspektion”. Then come the repeat offenders: WIELORYB with their crunchy rhythm’n’noise and HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH with a genre-defying, stumbling electro track with earworm string samples and shredded spoken words. XABEC has announced to call it a day as a live act, he says farewell with a mock ritual piece merged with an EBM-ish melody. Barcelona-based GEISTFORM hit it harder than on their recent album, “Fotonic” has a tough rhythmic foundation, almost hardcore style, on which they pile their trademark analogue fuzz. Then it’s welcome back AH CAMA-SOTZ, who gives us “The night is cold and the air is clear”, a cinematic, almost comforting electronic ambient piece. The first act for day 2 is YURA YURA, newcomer from France, with a strong contemporary rhythm’n’noise track with melodic undercurrents, whereas LE MODERNISTE sports a relentlessly rough and noisy attitude. The already established act TALVEKOIDIK also debuts at the FOH festival in 2013, he paints the acoustic portrait of a “Rainy Dawntown”, with fragile atmospheres and beautiful piano lines. HYSTERESIS keep inventing new micro genres: “Bitcrush” is “chiptune meets guitar riffs vs. rave stabs” in a rhythmic pace accelerating from halfstep to total overdrive. NULLVEKTOR delivers a bustling rhythmic piece with lots of little details hidden among the noise, while the Toronto based ORPHX’ “Exit Strategy” is much in their recent style of industrial-infused dub techno. In the end, it’s left to WINTERKÄLTE to put the icing on the cake: “Structure 13”, unmistakeably WINTERKÄLTE, just strangely different, foot-tapping, with an irresistible shuffle beat, pushing their drum’n’noise into new territory. If you’re into quality electronic music with an edge, there is only one thing left to say, (and that’s for both, festival and compilation): Enjoy!
“Covering the Orient, the Middle-East, Western culture, the Unknown and the Unspoken” – the perfect subtitle for Ah Cama-Sotz’ 2013 album, which covers all of these aspects, summarizing and enhancing all which has made this project a prime act in the Post Industrial scene in the past two decades. Ah Cama-Sotz is known as the brainchild of Belgian musician Herman Klapholz, well respected in both, the darker and the more rhythm-geared Industrial scenes. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, ACS can look back on a string of praised releases and a large number of acclaimed live performances. After three self-released albums, “Obsession Diabolique” also marks the return to the HANDS label, and it sure is an appropriate gift for the occasion. “Obsession Diabolique” covers the entire range of musical styles ACS has explored throughout its career, from noisy collages over dark drones to electronic beats and distorted rhythms. “The Orient and the Middle-East” have always been a fertile source of inspiration for ACS, and this album contains a number of pieces based on organic rhythm patterns and ethnic chanting, like the feverish opener “Rapture of the skin” or the carnal fantasies of “Roots of eternity” and “Interludium IV - un jardin sur le Nil”. “Children of the sun” and “Interludium VI - le peuple de l’éternel” are even compatible with the Bhangra dance floor - speaking of crossover appeal. “Western culture” is also represented on “Obsession Diabolique: The broken beat smasher “Bring the noizz” appears twice, in its fast-paced original version and a punchy raved-up remix by Hysteresis. “Wir Wollen Tanzen (freaks come out at night)” is a firm DJ weapon with technoid appeal and “Rain” presents a more minimal Electro style with upfront vocals. “The Unknown and the Unspoken” have always been the trademark of Ah Cama-Sotz’ work, and an ACS album wouldn’t go without eerie collages like “Interludium I - monde imaginaire” or “Interludium II - les terres sauvages”. “Interludium III - la malédiction de l'ombre” adds orchestral grandeur, “Interludium V - submergé par des flots d'images fantasmagoriques” plays with documentary samples and “Rayah-kum” seems to summon all the creatures from the underworld. The album is concluded with “Postludium - tristesses de la lune”, an ethereal organ piece with angelic choirs, also very typically Ah Cama-Sotz in its melodic, sinister way, conjuring up images of silent films, eras long gone. Herman Klapholz manages to cover the past and the present of the Ah Cama-Sotz sound and reach out to the future, integrating timeless atmospheres and contemporary rhythm patterns, all with a trademark sound. A multifaceted album suited for novices as well as seasoned ACS followers.
“Seeds” is the second Nullgrad album, and quite a step onward for them. Possibly the label’s boldest foray into techno territory yet, it charts new territories of deep, heartfelt electronic music, always on the verge of club-compatibility and superb home listening. Whereas the Nullgrad debut “The Shepherd’s Satellite” featured upfront rhythms and strong Industrial flavours, the follow-up is quite another cup of tea with the only obvious link being the trademark space atmospheres featured throughout the album. The leitmotifs of “Seeds” are Buddhist monks’ chants and the sounds of weather – not samples, but actual field recordings taken by Matthias on his extensive travels of Southeast Asia, giving the album an attractive uniqueness. The backbone of “Seeds” though is the rhythm, bouncy Techno beats in the 120 bpm range - and the groove of all grooves. Understated and distinguished, Nullgrad explores various styles of related origin: Consider the elastic Dub Techno of “Ascent” or “Departure”, reverb and kick in the right and tight combination, or the Minimal Techno of “Reveal” with its slightly grinding basslines and the sublime bleeps. “Realize” marks a recurrence of classic Electro influence, including the robotic vocoder voice. The moody “Once” and the more uptempo “Insight” draw from the mid-90s transitory genre of Intelligent Techno, a time and age when compository sophistication and physical effect were no contradiction in Techno music. “Detach” stands out as the fastest track of the album in which tribal beats meet urging chants, picked up and reworked in the following track “Reborn”. The title track perfectly sums the album up by exhibiting the previous elements again. “Seeds” works perfectly as a listening entity, nevertheless each track stands strong on its own as well; moreover, each track leaves you the choice – home listening or DJ use? – and isn’t that just the very best you can say about a techno album?
Le Moderniste, a well-established act in the Rhythm’n’Noise scene joins HANDS in 2013 and releases “Too Rough Is Never Enough” - the title implies the roughness that’s indeed a predominant feature of every Le Moderniste track, and of course you can expect a number of lean and mean weapons for Industrial dancefloors. But also the album has a lot of variation and complexity to offer, with atmospheric interludes, dismal undertones and changes of rhythmic pace. Misanthropic entertainment at its best! Laurent Delogne has been active under the Le Moderniste moniker for a while already, and the 2011 album “Tohuwabohu” (on Le Petit Machiniste) was very well-received. So now it’s time to move on to the HANDS roster – with “Too Rough Is Never Enough” as the pleasant result. The album provides roughness on the surface alright, and works in a conceptual structure: Taint / Infect - An eponymous headline for tracks 1-5, providing a steady buildup, luring the listener into Le Moderniste’s dark spirited world. “Controlling My Subconcious” opens the album bleak and beatless, before the rhythm kicks in moodily with “At The Edge Of The End”. Power, aggression – and speed – increase continually from here. Dismantle / Annihilate – Tracks 6-9 are dedicated to rhythm frenzy. If you’re looking for club food, you’ll find it here: “It Creeps Into My Mind” is bound to move the crowds with its commanding rhythm and the effective breaks and bleeps. „Anthropomorphism“ and “Paranoid Delirium” push it to the speed limit Industrial Hardcore style. Raise / Evoke – The thrilling centerpiece and outro of the album, tracks 11-17, which carry a stronger experimental note, an almost psychoactive aura. “Ischemic Accident” offers an eerily atmospheric relief after all that beat overdrive. The rest of the album sports a Power Electronics kind of sound, focussing more on texture than beat, but nevertheless appearing in a rhythmic shape, so that a track like “Vorerst” may also appeal to the daring DJ. “Thalamus Influx” deserves special mention for its spine-tingling bell sounds and hypnotic structure, before “The Rite – Salvation Paid In Blood” leaves you to live with your own demons again. “Too Rough Is Never Enough” is an album that surely doesn’t reveal all its facets upon first listen – repeated exposure is recommended to fully appreciate all the details that appear within the framework of the album concept. What’s most important, while a lot of it appears to be negative in attitude, you very clearly feel that this is album Laurent Delogne's own private monster, very much heartfelt and sincere. So, do you dare to let it grow on you?
PHASENMENSCH joins the HANDS roster with a deliberately genre-defying album that covers the entire range from ambience over downbeats, Industrial sounds and uptempo dancefloor smashers (both broken and straight) to noise. “Tagebuch eines Eremiten” features remixes and collaborations by NEEDLE SHARING, PHILIPP MÜNCH and many more. It is held together by a knack for atmosphere, providing a pleasant and coherent listening experience – so feel free to browse through the pages of the hermit’s diary! Phasenmensch was started in 2009 as a creative outlet by German-based musical autodidact Wolfram Bange. The intention was - and is - to provide a sonic vehicle for the conservation, reflection and communication of emotions and thoughts. Phasenmensch creates music intuitively, without a target audience in mind; it’s all about expression through sound. Clues are taken from Wolfram’s preoccupation with language and philosophy as sciences, especially with the individualist worldview of existentialism. So far Phasenmensch has produced four self-released CD-Rs. “Tagebuch eines Eremiten” is a big step forward, not only because of the attention it will receive as a HANDS release, but also because it features strongly refined recording techniques, a range of analogue sounds and a list of renowned collaborators. The album is conceptually based on a process of self-discovery, the quest for meaning in the face of freedom and almost unbearable individual responsibility. Musically it is far from headstrong though, a very enjoyable and physical experience: The opener „Rotoskopie“ starts with airy atmospheres before it gets more and more condensed, with pulses and compulsive beats closing in on you; “Rigorismus” and “Thesis” are equally sample-heavy on a lighter note, before “Friedlich. Freudlos. Endgültig neutral“ surprises with an almost generic techno beat which is twisted and distorted to perfection. DIRK GEIGER contributed sounds to the pompous, arcane “Nebel” while DECUNTSTRUCTIVISION added to Epoché what comes out as an atmospheric tech step. “Inferno aus Sand” and “Rastlos” provide some calmer, soothing moments, before “Anschlag bei Nacht“ [feat. ICD-10] crushes everything at high-velocity Industrial Hardcore pace and “Poesie der Verstörung” closes the regular part of the album with a purifying noise collage. Overtime: “Rotoskopie” is remixed by PHILIPP MÜNCH who adds some outerworldly uptempo metallic beats, “Thesis” is remixed no less than three times, the results being a playful tech step piece by NEEDLE SHARING, a glitch fantasy by ACCESS TO ARASAKA and ambiental bliss by DALOT. Very electronic in sound, very eclectic in nature, “Tagebuch eines Eremiten” is a debut which is convincingly determined, a real treat for those who have a heart for diversion and a taste for quality.
Illogism is the debut album of Belgian duo Kaibun, who are Laurent Delogne (who is also known as Le Moderniste) and Marie Hubart. Their objection is to create a project with an uninhibited approach at Industrial music, a musical hybridization influenced by several styles of electronic music such as Minimal and Dub Techno, Electro and Rhythm’n’Noise. Expect 16 intensely rhythmic tracks with a gritty tribal feel, all clocking in between 4 and 5 minutes, a guaranteed high-octane listening experience. “Kaibun” means “circle sentence” and is a Japanese equivalent of a palindrome, a sentence that reads the same from the beginning to the end or from the end to the beginning. Kaibun is a female/male-entity with a leitmotif of rejection and attraction, of positive/negative interlacement. They intend to travel at the border of bastard electronics, to deliver honest, punchy danceable tracks, efficient and straightforward. The album title "Illogism" is (a nonexistent word) deducted from French, owing to the idea that people like to categorize and label music by genre – Kaibun like to counteract that way of thinking and give people unclassifiable music: Incongruent, illogical. The joint creation was not easily conceived at first as the two band members come from different musical backgrounds: Marie draws inspiration from Techno, House and Electro, whereas Laurent feels at home in a sphere of noisy, minimal, cold and aggressive music. The wedding of all those styles - without opting for a rotten compromise – was a result of several months of hard work and quarrels. The album contains a number of well-bred musical hybrids, with an ongoing upbeat pace and that joyous little dirty sound always on top. Apart from that, varying percentages of sonic heritage may dominate: The opener “101 Reasons for Accepting the Binary Monster” marries distorted beats with an entrancing melody, epitomizing right away what Kaibun is all about, the beauty and the beast. Some tracks have rather self-explanatory names, such as the hypnotic “Brazen Loop” or the acidic Industrial hardcore track “Gotta Get Into Hard Clipping”. Not less than four tracks reference drug abuse and addiction, and all of them are very much on the verge of Techno and Industrial, interlaced by the joint aspect of repetitive strictness. “Lollipop” is a bit of a novelty track, with obvious samples and a hyper rave speed, which is also present in “Who killed the Taketoomuch Man”, there treated with atmospheric bleeps. And no, there’s no beatless respite from the enormous dynamic that presses “Illogism” from start to end, so you may consider using this whenever you wish to be propelled: While working out, driving in the car or twitching on the dancefloor – or simply for accelerating thoughts while sitting in the comfort of your armchair. Wherever you may roam, you will appreciate the one-of-a-kind positivity of Kaibun!
Yura Yura is a new discovery among the ambitious and promising acts operating in the field of Rhythm’n’Noise, now releasing its proper debut on HANDS. Having made itself a name for a live act that includes a spectacular dance performance -featuring the dancer-choreographer Macha Mélanie, the CD is essentially the sound of Frenchman Grégory Yura: Gripping, bouncy Rhythmic Industrial with abrasive atmospheres, a massive package of 15 tracks and over 70 intense minutes. “Yura Yura” name is actually a Japanese onomatopoeia meaning “swaying vibration”, swaying from side to side, swaying, swinging, meandering like smoke, shaking, waving. The album starts with track that also carries a Japanese name: “Unagi” with its growling noises, space bleeps and the moody distorted downbeat is a perfect opener for the album. As the title implies the album deals with sexuality – not as a carnal act, but as a cultural and psychological phenomenon. The tracks on “Be Sexual” achieve their powerful impact not by a “harder, louder, faster”-attitude, they are actually rather minimal and repetitive. Grégory Yura really stakes out some territory of its own, by combining the analogue hypnotic structures we may know from genre pioneers like Esplendor Geometrico or Sonar with effective breaks and a clean, modern sound design. The title track may stand as an example – a shuffling noise beat, stripped down to its bare essentials, and an intermission with a short collage of incomprehensible vocal snippets. Not every track may qualify as a DJ weapon, but some surely do: “Holokine” or “Wolf” feature uptempo beats with the right punch to get the crowds moving, while others explore a more experimental approach, like the gritty fantasy of “Shize” or the closing title “Moon” with its 80s style Electro beat. What is remarkable about this album is, that while the ingredients are classic Industrial – noise, distortion, samples, dark atmospheres, the result is strangely uplifting. The upshot of listening to “Be Sexual” is that Grégory Yura presents us with a very individual approach to rhythmic music, really working in the line of the onomatopoetic band name, Yura Yura is about music that will simply make you sway: „To >Be Sexual< is being you and I, it is to accept and recognize our constitution of human being, from puzzles and mysteries that make us unique, singular. In a certain way, the drives oscillate; sway, faster or slower, louder or softer, on the side of life or on the side of death.”
Mono No Aware are a truly veteran HANDS act, brought to the light of public with the first infusion of label artists around 2000, and with a steady history of releases and performances since. Mono No Aware stands for two things mainly: Unadulterated massively crowd-subjugating Rhythm’n’Noise power, and a subject matter relating to aspects of Japanese culture. For this album Leif Künzel has chosen the concept of Tatemae and Honne as a reference point: The term describes the dichotomy between a person’s conduct and publically uttered notions on one hand, and one’s true emotions and aspirations on the other. What is considered schizophrenic in a Western society permeated by a belief in psychoanalysis is considered necessary in Japan, in a society forced to live together on a crowded island. So can you then conclude that “Tatemae” is an album produced to match the public’s expectations? The first 13 of the 15 tracks are all rhythmic, so much is sure, but the outcome varies greatly: Some tracks are slower, shuffling Rhythm Noise (like the nearly groovy “KFF”), some have an oppressive Power Electronics taste (“Negum”, “Alive!”), some tracks kick it Industrial Hardcore style (“Bari X2”, “Twyster”), some move along below club-compatible tempo, like the build-up-structure intro “Freigaenger” or the moody “MMM”. And yes, some tracks are classic Mono No Aware, a rabble-rousing hyperactive intro followed by rhythmic onslaught. The most archetypal examples of this are “Jadoo” and “Blackbox”, and it’s those two that also get a bonus remix treatment: Wieloryb redo “Jadoo” in the style of their “Namaste” album, with oriental samples and stop-and-go kickdrum, while Dirty K keep “Blackbox”, well, dirty. After all that bustle there’s two more to go: “Datum des Verfalls” and “Augen auf und sieh!” are beatless, almost Dark Ambient pieces. “Tatemae” proves to be truly Mono No Aware, but it’s Mono No Aware in 2012, with an updated crisp production giving it a modern appearance, featuring quite a bit of variation and detail that renders it fit for use at home as well as in the club.
Feast your eyes on this double CD edition, packaged in an oversized CD cover with beautiful printing, released in a limited edition of 500 copies and including the fullength “Honne” exclusively besides the regular album “Tatemae”. If you consider Tatemae, the publically accepted face, you may also want to look beyond and find out what someone is really about: “Honne”, the true feelings, the real craving, personality unveiled. But what is this about? Musically, the bonus album “Honne” is truly a “more”: More beatless, experimental sound structures – six out of the 15 tracks fall into that category (and that’s a surprise for sure!). More rough, unpolished noise - consider “Wabi 11” or “Absiomed”. More tempo, just consider the insane beats per minute of A-B. More remixes, one being a shorter version of Dirty K’s “Tatemae” remix, the other being another version of “Jadooo”, a banging hardcore version with rave stabs, contributed by newcomer Detuned Destruction. And more surprises yet: “4 The People” has a very attractive crossover appeal, combining Rhythm’n’Noise with rockist riffing. And also among the lot, the definite DJ weapon – Oomxl, grooving and moving forever! As said, only 500 copies will be available of this double pack – and while the two discs are of course two sides of the same coin, they are two sides sporting a decidedly different sonic design!
Rafael Espinosa returns with his 5th album in 10 years – a kind of anniversary so to speak. “Data Transmission” is packed to the brim with 17 tracks and nearly 80 minutes of sound intending to abduct you into a retro-futuristic fiction. Ideas of an imagined futuristic industrial music crop up in your mind, of huge transatlantic copper wires, of old-fashioned fiercely humming microwaves, men in protective gear with Geiger counters, a world in sync with progress. As opposed to previous albums, Geistform mostly refrains from using upfront rhythms on “Data Transmission”, but instead creates an electrifying steady flow of sound. From the opener “M-Metric” with its low key beat patterns to the stipulating conclusion “Direction” this album works as an entrancing whole, sucking you into its world of minimal beat patterns and acutely buzzing analogue noise. Miraculously you find yourself nodding your head more and more steadily as it goes – “Data Transmission” is a classic piece of Geistform, working in a tradition of the likes of Kraftwerk, fellow countrymen Esplendor Geométrico, label mates Orphx, Pan Sonic, Sleeparchive and in certain moments the minimalism of Raster-Noton as influence but of course without sounding like any of them. Geistform have created an album out of time, not linked to a specific genre or era, totally devoted to its intention of data transmission - which is in essence communication. It will remain an eternal enigma how music that’s so abstract and contained on the surface can generate such a groove and stir the emotions of so many.
Hysteresis is back with their second album for HANDS – the return of the purists’ nightmare!? Surprise, surprise, “Manifest” emerges as the most consistent full-length the boys from Belgium have ever made, as all 12 tracks are cooked from the same basic ingredients (in varying percentage): Muscular midtempo beats, hyperactive breakbeat stabs, heavy bass riffs, cinematic melodies, political samples and lots of sounds lifted from the Rave/Hardcore gene pool. Of course Hysteresis will not leave you with an all uniform output, so they have added different flavor toppings to each track. The ingredient list reads: - Metal riffs (We do not forget) - Degressive modulations (Sektarism) - Agitated Ragga Jungle (What needs to be done) - A primitivist distorted bassline (Echt) - Dramatic changes of tempo (Glorious Food) - Whispered female vocals / cheesy 80s synths (Nothing) - A tabla tune (Springtime Phatty) - Ethno samples (Sleazy Trailers) - The Dubstep wobble and B-movie excerpts (Braindamage) - Revolutionary rants as an explanation for the album title (Manifest) - A full-blown anti-imperialistic piece of Dub (Regular Pattern) - Industrial beats, it’s on HANDS after all (No Focus) Please be aware that any track may contain traces of any of the above! Manifest proves to be a strong album and enjoyable listen, a fine example of modern bass music tapping into its various traditions. Imagine The Prodigy had further explored their experimental ideas on “Jilted Generation”, or the Big Beat genre had taken a turn into Avant-garde alley, the result could have been something like that. But for now, Hysteresis has done a proper job about that!
After two albums Steffen Lehmann further develops his Syntech alter ego with a limited edition EP, whose 300 copies will only be available directly via HANDS mailorder or at selected concert events. (It’s noteable that “EP” is also a matter of perspective, but as „Rising From The Ashes“ and “P’som Sett” used up the entire storage capacity of a CD, the eight tracks, 42 minutes of “Trans-Neptunian Objects” obviously qualify as such in the Syntech universe.) Speaking of universe, that’s where Syntech takes us, introducing to us eight objects in the Solar System that orbit the sun at a greater average distance than Neptune. Those are dwarf planets, cubewanos, plutinos, scattered disc objects and some which are hard to classify – just like Syntech’s musical style: With “Trans-Neptunian Objects” Lehmann moves even further apart from the Industrial grit and pounding noise terror of Greyhound and ventures into space soundwise. The prominent features on this release are very organic sounding tribal beats, complex rhythms that allude to the earlier days of IDM (when its Techno heritage was still clearly audible) and deeply atmospheric melody lines. The opener “Pluto” (surely the most well-known Trans-Neptunian object) is a tribal fantasy at dub speed, before “Haumea” summons the dancefloor crowd with its irresistible, sweeping beat work. From there on we explore the darker realms of the Solar System: In the uptempo “Orcus” you will encounter a hookline that sounds like a slaughtered jazz sample, “Sedna” sports the most upfront space/sci-fi style melodies, “Varuna” is a deep dark breakbeat track. “Eris” closes the journey back where it began, on a lighter, tribal note. Syntech presents a clear concept, a sound of its own and a surprising variance that demands your attention – again!
After the whale had kept below the waterline for almost two decades, it resurfaced in 2011 with its HANDS debut “Empty” to take the scene by storm – and now delivers the follow-up just a good year later. A lot has happened since, Wieloryb have played the stages of FORMS OF HANDS, Maschinenfest and other renowned festivals and received praise from critics and punters alike (which is rare enough). „Namaste“ is the phrase and gesture of salute used in India – which is where Wieloryb take us: Blending hard beats and Rhythm Noise with ethno samples, that has been done before (Wieloryb did it on “Empty” themselves), but mostly these efforts were one-off novelty tracks. Wieloryb have now picked up the idea and use it as a concept for the entire album. The 13 pieces on “Namaste” are all intensely rhythmic and sample-heavy, providing a diverting listening while the recurring Indian theme serves as an atmospheric hook. Throughout the album there is of course plenty of scraping, pounding Rhythm Noise, like the opener “Bangalore”, “Nagpur” or Punjab”. Other tracks stray somewhat off the path: “Haryana” marries pounding beats and ethnic chanting with a soothing ambient trance melody, “Walk In The Himalayas” is a polyrhythmic tribal fantasy and “Ramu-Ki” an Industrial Hardcore track with breaks that induce an instant rush of euphoria. Towards the end the album even accelerates its speed with the last three tracks “Chak Malook”, “Kalkuta” and “Zuo” - hypercharged stop-and-go kickdrum beasts! “Namaste” is not recommended for yoga lessons (unless the participants are very advanced I’d say), but a can’t-go-wrong for anyone who likes his beats hard. Nevertheless this goes way beyond the boundaries of simple Rhythm Noise, with complex and intelligent ideas that will definitely appeal to your third eye – Namaste!
Greyhound present their 5th album in eight years, and they have surely achieved to become a household name in the Rhythm’n’Noise scene. They stand for almost orthodox, as-hard-as-rocks tracks which they produce with remarkable consistency, and for their remorseless sound they are celebrated regulars at festivals like Forms Of Hands or Maschinenfest. “Prototype” is of course a self-reflective album title, as Greyhound are very specific about their concepts. It is an album about interpersonal communication and mental pressure up to the individual limits, thus it is the reflection of personal experiences, memories and emotions collected over of a year’s time. This information is enciphered in 15 intensely powerful, aggressive Rhythm’n’Noise tracks with commanding beats. Greyhound leave it to the listener to unscramble the emotional message that lies hidden among the noise. A full listening session of a Greyhound album may be as demanding as an intercity ride on a Greyhound bus, as they never tire, never falter from beginning to end, from the opener “Can you feel it?” with its catchy beats up to the claustrophobic last track “Fade Away”. Inbetween Greyhound denote “If Noise Would Be My Language” – which it obviously is… And be aware of the “Brain Stalker”, a track that will be haunting you forever with its sonorous undertones. The quiet things happening in the background (and there are lots of them) are what makes “Prototype” more than a collection of functional tracks but also an album suited for home listening. Of course Greyhound’s proclaimed creed of undiluted Industrial is an invented tradition, which is clearly proven by the crisp sound production, but one you will gladly embrace. “Prototype” works on two levels: On the surface it is a two-fisted rhythmic attack, underneath a multi-facetted introspection, a balancing act which seems impossible enough - but is accomplished with ease!