Double 12" £16.49 AVNLP001
2x12" on Avian.
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- STRGTHS by SHXCXCHCXSH
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'STRGTHS' is the debut album from Swedish duo SHXCXCHCXSH and also the first long player for the ever reliable Avian imprint. It follows up the 'Rjrjrffrjrj' 12" on the label as well as a 12" for HEM in 2012. A recent EP of class remixes from these tracks acted as a teaser preceding its release.
Across the seven tracks it's clear this is an absolute belter, opening with the ethereal angelic female choral vocals, crackle and the muffled sinister electronics of 'SLVRBBL' it sets the scene for the darkness that awaits in the slow throbbing industrial machine stomp of the Scorn style heavy slow beats and gloom-scapes. 'LTTLWLF brings some dancefloor energy with driving rhythms and blackened atmospherics yet retains floor friendly funk and mild euphoria. Wicked
'RSRRCTN' is all hypnotic repetition with clanking and cranking machine grooves and bubbling mutoid techno waste slime noises.'LVNGWTR' is a real floor shaker recalling the perfected skill of tension building Rrose has been perfecting recently. The kick absolutely smashes along and there are bursts of pure electric noise that will make your brain turn to jelly.
'PCTSTSS' is a no nonsense heads down lost in the groove, deep dark and trippy track but when the real nasty lead riff kicks in it elevates things and has pure control to make bodies move in strange and unexpected ways. 'WHTLGHT' as the title suggests has a light element, with some more ethereal atmospherics but the rhythms are absolutely skull crushingly devastating. This will positively slay a dancefloor and explode minds. 'LLDTMPS' has a Jeff Mills/ Terrence Dixon flavour with its manic rhythms but it's the manipulated vocal loop that really gets inside you head sending subliminal messages. Honestly I can't think of a stronger techno debut LP in a while. This one leaves the Function record in the dirt.
Designed for dark rooms in the wee hours with big sound systems, strobes and smoke. Proper quality techno how it should be done - With some classic touches but a real fresh clear identity and vision coupled with a nice production sound that’s not too polished and has a warm raw appeal.
Real good shit and highly recommended for fans of quality darker techno from the likes of Shifted, Samuel Kerridge, Perc Trax, Robert Görl, Sleeparchive, Function, Rrose, Sigha, Vatican Shadow, Mick Harris, Ancient Methods, Sandwell District etc.
9/10 Nevan Jio Customer review, 2nd August 2013
Another anonymous duo of hard, uncompromising techno producers. Nothing new, aye? That being said, the unpronounceable (and quite frankly worthwhile gimmick) pair SHXCXCHCXSH do bring a new breed of 4/4 industrialised mayhem to the table. In favour of going in 'hard' they conjure up the most toxic, queasy and suffocated atmosphere akin to a deeply disturbing horror flick. It's dance music, sure, but only for deeply disturbed.
After their earlier EP release on Shifted and Ventress' ever so reliable label Avian this year, SHXCXCH.. (you get the idea) presented us with their vision on the current industrial scene: squelching acid, hard hidding kick drums and nasty ambiance being the name of the game. When the announcement of an LP from these guys, I was wary that there is only so much distorted 4/4 one man can take in one sitting and was unsure as to what direction SHX.. would take . I was wrong though to ever doubt the duo's productions abilities and ability to rightly produce a wicked and cohesive LP that keeps in shape with the Avian aesthetic while bringing something completely new to the table.
As the first haunting vocal chords of SLVRBBL are struck you might be mistaken for putting on the wrong record. No 4/4 beat insight; instead a gorgeous vocal sample dances with an uplifting and euphoric (yes euphoric, you'd swear it's trance or something!) synth melody. Then the darkness reigns and an outro of drone and dark ambiance soon follows. LTTLWLF soon follows, and for me is the standout track on this LP. Pitched snare drums syncopate around an otherwordly horror synth part and almost flirts with, dare I say it, IDM or the sorts. It is experimental, not entirely danceable but ridiculously engrossing. You find there are many sides to SHX.. that we have yet to learn.
From then on it is mostly different but excellent variations on the 4/4 disturbing throb the Avian camp has captured intelligently and idiosyncratically throughout the past few years. Tipped!
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