A producer working tirelessly for Bristol's Young Echo group, Vessel is following up his first solo record of dark electronica with 'Punish, Honey'. Not interested in repeating himself, Vessel has turned to industrial and acoustic sounds for his second record, deigning to create something heavier and rawer and equally confrontational.
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I kinda knew this was going to arse me off a bit. I'm just in the mood for some more languid stoner folk but instead I've got Vessel's new album. It's not even the Vessel who put records out on Expanding when I started working here. It's a new Vessel instead. One without a port or starboard. One not full of stagnant water or rotting fish. One that hasn't sunk; is still buoyant. One full of weird, dark electronic sounds and unsettling aural chaos.
I went into this with an open mind and just as well because 'Red Sex' is such a mind-munching freak of a tune that I don't really know how to comprehend it, never mind write about the thing. Sort of a retarded, inebriated slice of industrial tribalism infested with an evil yet comical zig-zagging midrange and this bloody drowsy aimless piss-take of a synthline, it sounds like nothing else at least. Quite enjoyable in fact, if not faintly ridiculous.
I think the problem with this album is that you've just got to be in the mood for dark brain-raping "experimentronica". Today I really am not. Three tracks in and I feel like I'm listening to a poor man's version of The Haxan Cloak. Believe me, it's a turgid piece of music although some of the textures he conjures up are bordering on the impressive. Shame the actual "tune" is aural bum gravy. Another Raime meets astro-gimp synth workshop piece and I feel a bit sick. 'Euoi' really reminds me of someone. Kind of a twatted Matt Elliot in places? Well, it is from Bristol this ominous musical ship. I feel like I should really be enjoying Vessel's sophomore album just for the sheer obstinate fuckery of it all but it's too oppressive, jarring, clunky and disjointed. He should have called this project Killing Sound rather than the other one.
'Anima' is easily the best tune so far, nice tribal percussive tumbles, and disorientating melodic flourishes but I'd state If you want things to sound archaic, sinister and a little awkward go and buy a Hacker Farm CD instead? Oh sorry, they're not on a trendy label are they? Having moaned about a large proportion of this album I must also defend Sebastian Gainsborough's outré vision here. He really isn't making easily digestible music and at its best (and it does gradually improve) there's some really entertaining concepts and alarming juxtapositions. Initially it sounds like a slightly drunken clanking, rumbling mess. The "melodies" often sound like dying wasps in a jam jar and there's a somehow jocular aspect to the doomy countenance which definitely earns him kudos for originality and bravery in the face of a hungry music devouring audience. If this is techno, it's made by fucking aliens who have no concerns about such Earthly worries as horribly mangled and disjointed timbres or severely ruptured cochlears
Listen to loudly when you feel like being really confused for no reason. Or if you want earache. I genuinely have a throbbing right ear now. Thanks mate.
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- Punish, Honey by Vessel
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