12” vinyl from Consumer Electronics, following up their LP Estuary English from last year. The alias of Philip Best, and featuring Sarah Froelich and Russell Haswell, Repetition Reinforcement has driving brutal beats and a close, almost claustrophobic atmosphere. Cutting right to the bone with deadpan vocals and discordant tones. On Diagonal.
Vinyl 12" £8.49 DIAG019
12" on Diagonal.
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- Repetition Reinforcement by Consumer Electronics
Russell Haswell returns to Diagonal and this time he’s brought his pals -- the notorious Consumer Electronics - Ex- Whitehouse gob Philip Best’s long running project which since 1982 has featured the likes of Matthew Bower, Mattin and Ramleh’s Gary Mundy. The latest incarnation as many of you will know from recent live appearances and the ‘Estuary English’ album now includes Haswell and Sarah Froelich. This 12” for Powell’s label has the trio operating in a more laid back mode; the aggression and intensity replaced with something far more intimate and as a result, to these ears something far more powerful.
‘Murder The Masters’ sees Haswell lay down a foundation of rudimentary wooden kicks and unnerving icy synths while Best sounds like he’s psychologically torturing the listener merely an inch from their ears to the point you can almost feel his nose hairs tickle your face. It makes me imagine being blindfolded, gaffer taped to a chair in some grotty garage, a rave is going on next door and Eastender’s Phil Mitchell is the kidnapper muttering Best’s prose into my ears. If I’m honest I was somewhat disappointed with ‘Estuary English’ not really saying anything to me that Whitehouse hadn’t already covered over the years. But this new approach is revelatory. A large contrast here is Best’s sleazy delivery, this non maniacal method allows for the lyrics to be easily understood - in terms of hearing the actual words -- I’ll leave it to other writers to speculate about their content, but I’m sure you know the drill - Extreme electronic music - acquire with due caution and all that.
Over on the flipside ‘Alien Existence’ features both Best and Froelich on hushed, whispered vocal duties over some fizzing, rough as a badgers arse, distorted, industrialized techno from Haswell who keeps the beats to a bare minimum of functionality while slowly building the sizzling electronics.
8/10 MTM 28th April 2015
In John Carpenters “They live” the protagonist dons a pair of sunglasses which have the ability to reveal the subliminal content of advertising in the mass media. Consumer electronics “Murder the Masters” can best be described as the subliminal message of a John Lewis Christmas advert. The cute little penguin, with the voice of Philip Best, tells it straight. “Make a wish, make a million fucking wishes” he says sourly. “Put this wire around your throat” he whispers with a smirk. It's dark, but that's obvious, as obvious as the monotonous bass beat which rolls along under Best's schizophrenic declamation. But its not all solipsistic doom and gloom. On the positive side, and this is especially poignant at election time, the take home message is… get up off your arse, take to the streets and MURDER THE MASTERS. (Don't do that). This is one of a kind, beautiful art work and well worth a listen.
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