Concrete Fence – New Release (1) / PAN

For many, the teaming up of Karl O’Connor and Russell Haswell in the studio as Concrete Fence is anticipated with baited breath and 30 somethings screaming ‘”take my money”.

O’Connor you all know of course as Regis, the fabled Downwards label founder, core member of Sandwell District and half of British Murder Boys with Surgeon. Haswell has recorded with SKAM associates Gescom, as Haswell & Hecker, several albums on Editions Mego and Warp and is, it can be safely asserted, somewhat of an accomplished sound artist. Both musicians have a hefty amount of back catalogue that assures their place in the world of British music electronics.

I don’t think you could find a more textbook example of what industrial techno should sound like than on New Release (1). That underlying drive forward encased in dark grim sounds that fester around the percussion – abused as it is at points. Honestly the hookup of O’Connor with Haswell was a fantastic idea and the results are frankly better than expected following that initial announcement, whenever that was. Hypnotic and enveloping, rough and raw.

It’s a return to the more experimental and exploring sounds musicians were playing with in the early 80s burgeoning British industrial scene – something both O’Connor and Haswell have direct experience of. In many ways this is back to the roots.

Each of the three cuts the pairing present are great. The Unabridged Truth offers the straightest beat of tracks – though it’s no less dark or foreboding that the other two . EP opener Industrial Disease and mid point Caulk go a bit more out into the field – with beats that flutter in the dusk night as much grind through the thud. For my money though, it’s the superb Caulk – oscillating around that air raid like drone.

Doom doom. We’re all doomed.

Available now on PAN.

Nov 23, 2013