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On this cassette Richard Riggs has constructed a series of bleak dystopian drones which, according to the press release at least, evoke "the ruins, tendrils, vines and flora of a possible future in which the triumph of vegetation is total", and considering that the tracks have names like 'Half Rusted, Half Collapsed', 'The Waterless Flood' and 'The Triumph of Vegetation is Total', I think that information can be trusted.
As is so often the case with drones, it's pretty languid and drawn-out stuff, with only two of these seven tracks clocking in below the five minute mark. Sonically they're dark and foggy compositions, with a base of gliding, peaceful, indistinct tones joined by computerised twitches and rustles and subtle melodic synths. It's dark, but in a velvety immersive way rather than a scary way, and some of the tracks like the aforementioned 'The Waterless Flood' are actually quite smooth and uplifting...in fact as I'm progressing through the album the harsh industrial-esque sounds seem to be decreasing and the smooth, concordant and pleasant sounds seem to be taking over.
It's a musical journey! 'Rain Horse' at the end takes things back into slightly more uneasy territory though...perhaps it's meant to be cyclical.
9/10 Alexander Tudor Customer review, 6th May 2014
Having followed Drone Warfare for a while now, Karoshi may not be a giant step from the previous (excellent) releases but it's my favourite and most played. Like the others it explores Ballardian apocalypse scenarios; dark futures in which only decaying radio signals and broken machines testify to what came before... as shadowy unnameable creatures begin to reclaim the world. Like the best of ambient and instrumental electronica (from Another Green World to By the Throat) there's a mixture of live and programmed instrumentation as well as processed sounds of organic origin to keep this surprising; alive, but not quite human. Great cover, too.
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- Karoshi by Richard Riggs
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