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Atlantikwall Vinyl, CD & tapes by Atlantikwall at Norman Records

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Debut by Onus presenting six tunes honed from baritone guitar, bass and drums, each hosting intricate, chorus-sung narratives from vague and seemingly remote space-time locations. The music is dark-toned and downbeat; with descending arpeggios and sparse cyclical riffs a-plenty, interlocking with skeletal drums to provide lean bones for nebulous melodies and scuffed harmonies to take hold. Lyrically, the album opens up snapshots of rewilded outskirts, ritual humiliation, generational rifts and dispossessions; mining deep veins of residual cultural memory vivid enough to feel like premonitions. Lighter relief is to be had with more abstract grapplings with mapping the unknowable and framing a response to divine silence. Limited to a measly 50 cassettes with lino-print sleeves, each including a download code.


Like the weird zoomorphic concrete bunkers crouched along the North European littoral from which the name is lifted, Atlantikwall tracks are looming, colossal structures, moulded out of guitar density overload, atavistic rhythms and cyclical chants. A tape of two halves: one side vocal the other instrumental, with songs constructed on a bedrock of overlapping loops and skeletal, primitivist drumming; the gradual heave of tectonic phase shifts opening up strange fissures of churning organic textures. On top of these foundations we find the stroboscopic buzzsawing guitars of ‘Constellation’, interlocking arpeggios subsumed into billowing tonal smears in ‘Passage Colours’, the unmoored feedback of ‘Downriver’ snaking through alien FX fauna and the psychedelic afrobeatesque noise of ‘Duneskin’ juggernauting into the sun.