Channelling dance-punk like LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture never happened, trio The Empire Line return after a couple of years out with a fabulously titled four-track EP, The Nature Of Your Oppression Is The Aesthetic Of Our Anger, a thrilling fusion of different underground traditions. The Empire line is Jonas Rönnberg (Varg), Christian Stadsgaard (Damien Dubrovnik, co-founder of Posh Isolation) and Isak Hansen.
Vinyl 12" £13.99 BAS009
4-track 12" EP on Bassiani.
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Two of the three members of the Empire Line are Scandinavian power electronics luminaries - one of them is Damien Dubrovnik’s Christian Stadsgaard while vocalist Isaac Funder Hansen has released caustic noise under pseudonyms including Iron Sight and A.F.D.S..
Given the pedigree of those artists you might expect the group’s latest EP 'The Nature Of Your Oppression Is The Aesthetic Of Our Anger' to be comprised of unresting sloughs of harsh feedback and abysses of distortion. You would be right, to an extent. The unshackled fury of the Posh Isolation sound writhes beneath the surface of these four tracks, often finding itself channeled through Hansen’s agonised shouts but also informing ‘Spraypaint’s ten-tonne techno beat and the unnerving atonal synths that swell and ebb in the low-end of ‘Daddy Issues’.
However, there is a discipline to 'The Nature Of Your Oppression Is The Aesthetic Of Our Anger' which speaks of a desire to create music that is club-ready first and foremost. One suspects that this is the influence of Varg, the Empire Line’s third member and an artist who, while operating adjacently to the Scandinavian noise scene, tends towards more rhythmic and tonal electronics. The stern, precise beat-programming of ‘Uniforms’, for instance, speaks as much of Jam City as it does Regis or Surgeon, and the trance-indebted synths of ‘Uniforms’ and ‘No Prayers Will Help You Here’ also dovetail with Varg’s work away from the group. Sometimes this adherence to rhythm can shackle the record - ‘No Prayers Will Help You Here’ and ‘Spraypaint’ both suffer slightly for lack of variation – but by and large The Empire Line’s commitment to visceral beats as well as as atmospherics makes for a powerful listen.
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