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- Coercion by Beppu
8/10 Ant Staff review, 24 April 2014
Good lord a dark atmospheric industrial techno record from Andrew Hargreaves of The Boats. I think it’s fair to say that this brand of dark industrialised techno is reasonably in vogue at the moment and with this record Andrew is gonna be giving the scene’s main players a proper good run for their money.
‘Coercion’ was apparently recorded while reading Stanley Milgram’s ‘Obedience to Authority’ which I’m not familiar with but the “feelings of claustrophobia and brutality are slowly revealed across the album” says the label and I can only second that and add paranoia. It’s a creepy record with tracks that’ll do some damage in a techno DJ set/ club environment, ‘Antecedent Conditions’ being the moment the record really switches into being dancefloor compatible. I can just visualize the dancers at my old haunt The Orbit in Morley getting their groove on to ‘Thought Tapes’. ‘Situational Obligations’ changes gear and goes full on hard as nails proper bangin’ techno, with a brutal distorted kick drum. It’s up tempo and seriously intense, making me think of Jeff Mills ‘Waveform Transmission 3” had it come out of the grubby industrial North of England as opposed to Detroit. As it grows it gets noisy and wildly insane. ‘Remote Feedback’ is another stomping stormer, bleak yet uplifting and futuristic maximalist techno. ‘Touch Proximity’ again a total belter; hypnotic and groovy with a great sound palette.
I’ve gotta hand it to Andrew, he’s made tracks here that are better than some producers that have been creating the style for many years. Shit hot darkside techno - I didn’t know he had it in him! Ace.
7/10 Tweek Customer review, 21st April 2015
This is the first offering from Andrew Hargreaves, he of The Boats fame, under the Beppu moniker. Most familiar with the artists's previous output will undoubtably be surprised by this release. It has little, to nothing, in common with his previous work. On Coercion Hargreaves dives headfirst into some darkly murky territory where the boundaries of techno, industrial and noise have become distinctively eroded. The outcome is a bleak oppressive thumping side of the currently much in vogue "industrial techno". Coercion is part of a recent trend of "techno" artists who have developed something of a taste for dark noise and techonid brutalism. I have in mind here people like Perc, Ancient Methods, Emptyset, Dual Action, Kerridge, Shifted and many, many more besides. A sound which is more commonly found on labels such as Blackest Ever Black, Hospital Productions, Opal Tapes, Downwards and so on.
This is a sound that in my opinion is done well by Hargreaves. Although a perfectly coherent piece of work in its own right, this album can be divided into two clearly distinct halves. Side A offers four oppressive and suffocating dark drone based meditations and noisier experiments while Side B retains the dark oppressiveness but ups the beat level and technoid rhythms considerably. To my ears this is old school rhythmic noise, the rhythmic noise Ant-Zen and Hands Productions have been offering for decades (not taken note by many), and now seems to be enjoying a certain level of popularity. At any rate, if you into the earlier incarnation of this sound or it's more recent reappropriation, you should give this a try.
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