Saturday 1 November 2014

Review: Paula Temple - Deathvox

Format: Vinyl & Digital

Cat.No: R&S  RS1412

This is Paula Temple's second release on R&S, a sequel to her Colonized EP. Now based in Berlin and also running her own label, Noise Manifesto, Temple offers a distinctive blend of contemporary techno with acknowledged industrial influences (a brave step as there's a clumsy but vocal backlash against such influences in techno at present).

'Deathvox' fades up elegantly into distortion and a relentless, galloping beat, soon strafed by harsh, machinic screams. Underlying this are (slightly) more musical elements that provide contrast with the main sequence. After a more ambient interlude it seems to accelerate again, with crisper drums and blasts of what sounds improbably like a Tibetan horn (perhaps her own voice transformed, as the press release suggests). Given her statement that “I wanted to create a sonic movement completely transhuman, captivating, and capable of tingling every chakra in the body” this makes perfect sense, even when the beats drop away and the sound comes to the fore before the chase (which is what the faster sequences feel like) resumes, although it's still interrupted again before the end.

'Monstro' is initially marked by idealistic synth chords that are soon pulverised by massive industrial percussion in the vein of Ancient Methods. It's a slow, pounding track that takes its time and also cedes space to the spacey synths again before its end.

Shifting gear again, 'Ful' opens with very sparse, tribal percussion, plaintive chords and a more muffled beat than the other tracks. Its half-yearning, half-confrontational atmosphere is very 90s, but in the best sense, and when a massive bassline drops later in the track it establishes a direct and inspiring connection to the insurgent energy of classic R & S releases.

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