Russell Haswell recently came down to earth to shatter teeth and ruin lives with his new noisy record 'Conceptual nO!se', which was not only gleefully abrasive, but also kinda infuriating to type. Ever prolific, he returns now with 'Double A', a squelchy, more contentedly dance-oriented record consisting of two ten minute workouts. It's still intense, but a little less gruesome.
8/10 Jim Staff review, 09 October 2014
Russell Haswell is at it again. Hot on the heels of his excellent LP, 'CONCEPTUAL n0!se' comes this lean, mean 12" on Diagonal. The tracks on each side are unedited improvisations, apparently inspired by extended beat edits of 'Latin Freestyle' and 'Industrial Dance Music'. I don't know how much that really prepares you for the sounds on the record, but I think it is fair to say that both tracks here are beat oriented, even if they judder and stumble according to Haswell's apparent rejection of any structural logic.
Side A's ''Foxy' gets going with a spokey hi-hat that abruptly drops out like there's some fault with the wiring, only to come back joined by some almost random sounding distorted gobs of bass after a wounded metallic snare roll. There is a build up of sorts of these elements as they are layered and seem to interact in a volatile fashion, while jagged shards and mangled expanses of violent noise break through, overwhelming the beats and bringing everything to a crackling temporary standstill every so often. It's a bracing, viscerally exhilerating track; like having a nightmare about riding a bike through a landfill site where you keep getting thrown off and loose chunks of flesh on portruding bits of metal and glass.
On side B we have 'One Take Dub No Edit’- which is even more stripped down than the A Side and focuses on the constantly evolving permutations of Haswell's decidedly skew whiff percussion sounds. These mainly consist of a thunderous bass drum playing off a harder, more compressed kick drum with staccato cracks of an electronic snare that fizzle and jitter on fast delay trails overhead. As the track builds momentum, these initially quite jarring sounds become more otherworldly and hypnotic sounding in a way that reminds me of Ilpo Väisänen of Pan Sonic's (equally dub informed) solo stuff. Mould breaking stuff yet again from Mr Haswell.
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- Double A by Russell Haswell
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