The new 2022 label compilation FORMS OF HANDS 21 and 6 new full-time albums by Greyhound, Last Days Of S.E.X., Supersimmetria, Sylvgheist Maëlström, Phasenmensch + Antoine Saint-Martin and Katran are available via our Mailorder now! Furthermore our new HANDS Hoodie and a few copies of the FORMS OF HANDS festival T-Shirt and tickets for the HANDS LABEL NIGHT BERLIN and BEATS AND NOISE in Oberhausen are available in our mailorder and via bandcamp.
All prices in euro + postage.
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V.A. FORMS OF HANDS 21 cd 13€
These days people long for good news – so we have some for you: FORMS OF HANDS returns, in April 2022 the shaft tower is ready to host the pilgrimage of the HANDS faithful, and the contributing artists have made their best effort yet again to create the next chapter of the encyclopedic compilation series to spread the gospel around the world. You know the score: 14 artists, 14 tracks, all exclusive.
FOH 21 stands as a testament of diversity and artistic expression: PHASENMENSCH, SUPERSIMMETRIA, SYLVGHEIST MAELSTROM and LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. contribute seconds to their simultaneously released new albums, and while covering entirely different musical grounds, all appear with rather immediate, in their special ways catchy tracks. The same is true for HYSTERESIS (who combine club appeal with the schooling of political awareness), PROYECTO MIRAGE with an agitating vocal track, SANS-FIN with a determined move to the dance floor, a frantic electro track by S.K.E.T, the sturdy industrial techno of TEMPLER and MONOLITH, and the TRACKOLOGISTS’ sped-up re-edit from their 2016 album. HANDS also takes a stance, HANDS says peace, so there are no less than three war-themed entries to be found: A sullen, downbeat lament by TALVEKOIDIK, a direct incrimination by 13th MONKEY and a portrayal of turmoil by WINTERKÄLTE. FORMS OF HANDS – promoting freedom, equality and peace since 2001!
Greyhound Insomnia cd 13€
I can’t get no sleep – a guaranteed effect on those exposed to the onslaught of Greyhound. HANDS album no. 9 shows the outfit more confident about their art than ever, 75 minutes of timeless high-end rhythm’n’noise like almost no one else does. “Insomnia” focuses on the impact of the repetitive force of rhythm: And yet, what is so familiar turns out so excitingly!
Greyhound seem to search for (a bit of) light after the permeating darkness of the preceding album, 2019’s “A Storm is coming”, and in turn revisit some of their faster, more loaded albums of the past. As a result, “Insomnia” is first of all an all-embracing sonic cloak of kicks, distortion and all those things going on in the background that keep the energy level at a constant high, no release, no peace; but what really sets this apart is the groove of all grooves, arcane and strange alright, and oh-so-strong and irresistible. Greyhound don’t do hit tracks, they aim to induce fundamental movement all the way through, never tiring over the entire length of the album. Impossible to point out single tracks, it’s their entirety, their ceaseless attack doing the trick, and doing it proper. “Insomnia” is a big step in Greyhound’s evolution, carefully tempering the rhythm’n’noise genre in their very own way, by simply leaving out everything ornamental, achieving innovation through purification. One album you will gladly stay awake to, and a new genre standard!
Last Days Of S.E.X.Overstimulation cd 13€
2022 sees the return of the artist LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. who really put the noise into HANDS with his previous four albums. But “Overstimulation“ is somewhat a turning point for Manos Chrisovergis’ art, for two reasons: The focal topic of the album is not obviously politics, at least not on a general scale, but the account of a neurodivergent mind; and the explicit assault of his previous albums makes way for more structured, and in large parts actually club compatible industrial techno and rhythm’n’noise bangers.
To console the fans – of course there are plenty of noisy outbursts, distortion, feedback and metallic screeches of destruction to be found on “Overstimulation”, constantly shifting and changing, an invitation for the neurotypical to experience the rush of perception and turbulence of the neurodifferent mind. On a few tracks, these elements meander in a drowsy pace, like on “Neurodivergent” or “Bad Symptoms” with the rhythmic structure remaining in the background, but for most parts we experience the regiment of the kick, bold and commanding, spawning energetic and overpowering tracks like “Hate Work”, “Max Pressure” or “Exist”. But there’s even more to discover – the sleek, almost minimal “Escape“ and remixes by the legendary HYPNOSKULL and Greek industrial techno powerhouse ANFS. Sensory overload and overstimulation are an omnipresent danger in these days of mass media, technological advance and the never-ending stream of information rushing into our brains. Thus, the emotions created by LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. will be rather familiar to each of us. In the same fashion, the music will be highly recognized – and enjoyed! – by the industrial faithful.
Supersimmetria Double Helix cd 13€
SUPERSIMMETRIA returns to praise the glory of life: Literally taking up the thread of its predecessor “Abiogenesis”, his 2022 album “Double Helix” explores the structure formed by double-stranded nucleic acid molecules, DNA, the core of our very existence. Considerate and gentle, yet profound and demanding electronica of the highest order take the listener on a 66-minute journey into the structure of life itself.
Although the idea of genes had been around for many years, it was not until the 1950s that the chemical nature and structure of DNA and its function as hereditary material were identified. This was a foray into understanding life itself: Each strand of DNA can act as a template for the creation of exact copies of itself, resulting in the persistence of genetic information across generations. Supersimmetria explores the subject matter of genetics in depth and touches upon its fascinating phenomena. Armando Alibrandi aka SUPERSIMMETRIA is known for his perfectionist approach at sound design, resulting in a distinguished style that sits comfortably in the grey area between dark ambient, techno and atmospheric industrial. “Double Helix” is a totally coherent piece of art; dense textures of sound and a rhythmic pulse weave into a dark, but never hostile sonic environment. The expedition starts with deep, mysterious tracks like “ATGC”, “DNA Repair” or the sombre “Memento 2.0” before we progress towards the rhythmic mid-section of the albumwith the electro-heavy “Supercoiling” and techno-flavoured digital tribalism like “Transcription” or “Translation”. With “Helix Geometries” we enter the closing trilogy of the album, more complex layers and contorted structures of sound become prominent. American scientific author Sam Kean has said that genes are like the story, and DNA is the language that the story is written in. It is Armando Alibrandi’s merit to have translated that story into the language of electronic music and created an intense, immersive album of great sophistication.
Sylvgheist Maëlström Gandrange cd 13€
“If the first meaning of domination consists in the necessity for an agent to pass through another to access his object of desire, then obviously the wage relationship is a relationship of domination.”
With his 2022 HANDS album, a fruit of four years, SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM, tackles the core subject of his artistic endeavours – the cyclical nature of catastrophic phenomena as well as the inevitability of destruction, the inexorable nature of death and disintegration. These are processed in his creations as an architect, a painter, and a music producer who has garnered considerable praise for his progressive approach at electronic music, bringing together the profound and the enjoyable. “Gandrange” is nothing less than a valuable dual purpose weapon, offering high class electronica, coupled with the possibility of immersion into existential questions of political nature.
Destruction of the environment is the magnification of the destruction of the intimate: The musical portrayal is a form of idleness experienced in the face of what cannot be mastered. The same is true for the destruction of dignity by the leeches of neo-liberal rule, as represented in the scandal surrounding the Gandrange steel site, where workers believed in a common goal, but were laid off for the most base of reasons – money. For SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM, this represents said image of the destruction of intimate, in the reflection of his own personal history. “Gandrange” starts with Suffocation, recorded in 2020 at the Audiotrauma festival in Prague, one of the last big things to happen before the Covid-19 pandemic. The album oscillates between raw and harrowing industrial flavours, like the title track which brings together scraping distortion, a simple rhythm and floating organ sounds, the contorted “Attrition” or the minimal “Verena” on the on hand side, and more beat-heavy material like the acidic “Gloria Victis”, electro banger “Florange” or the stacked amens of “SARS-CoV-2”. Actually some of these might qualify for club use by more adventurous DJs indeed, but the main quality of “Gandrange” is the exquisite sound design coupled with the diversity and dynamics of the music presented. Each track is a little world to discover, a moment of elation, a statement against the immoral and the destructive.
Phasenmensch + Antoine Saint-Martin A Prenatural Silence cd 13€
“The juxtaposition of beauty and despair, the revelation of vulnerability, honesty and mindfulness, the music of PHASENMENSCH always evokes a melancholic depth. “A Prenatural Silence” takes that passion to a new level: A musical rendition of Jeff VanderMeer’s bestselling novel “Annihilation”, of which Wolfram Bange has been very fond of for years: A difficult story, a devoted musician. Support in writing and production comes from ANTOINE SAINT-MARTIN (who has already contributed to a track on the “Perpetual Transmutation” collection).
Four unnamed women with a blurry agenda examine a deserted patch of nature with a rich wildlife. That’s the setting of “Annihilation”, which meanders between dream, nightmare and hallucination and wallows in its seeming contradictions and defiance of the world we take for granted: Haunting, distracting – and considered simply stunning by many. Of course PHASENMENSCH possesses the sonic arsenal to tackle such vivid and dark themes: His 2019 album “Haunted” had impressively portrayed a painful process of introspection, and all his albums so far have had a conceptual background and a soundtrack feel to them. Here again, everything is in its place, every sound on spot, and the ups and downs and uncertainties of the story are captured with an uncanny ability. From the opener “A Path” there’s a constant battle of beauty and horror, with almost detached vocals by Nina Kiel. Indulge in the struggle of silence and noise, ambience and rhythm, from gentle like in “Decades of Journals” to industrial technoid like in “The Structure” which features the input of long-term companion ICD-10. Calmer sounds dominate towards the end and culminate in a celestial – albeit deceiving – tranquillity. We feel, this musical portrayal is much closer to the original story than the 2018 movie with Natalie Portman, but then, it’s everyone’s very own world. All lines and song titles from “Annihilation” are used with kind permission of Jeff VanderMeer and 15% of all profits will go the Friends of the St.Marks National Wildlife Refuge – the place of inspiration for “Annihilation”.
Katran Above The Concrete cd 13€
After three years in the pipeline, it’s about time for the KATRAN full-time debut album: Darko Kolar of ONTAL dishes out an instant industrial techno classic, eleven tracks of no-nonsense hard-hitting assaults with four prolific guests bringing their very own sound to extend the musical range of “Above the Concrete“ in a most intriguing way. Expect no moments of rest, surrender to the force of banging repetitive power branded with a brave scrape-and-burn musical edge.
With a new version of his 2019 FORMS OF HANDS compilation track “Mirror Reflection” Darko Kolar dives straight into the driving dance floor material that he has been cutting his teeth on the half dozen KATRAN tracks released so far and takes it from there: Pristine sound design, various flavours of the almighty kick drum and traces of melodic ambience, floating above the industrial shrieks and screeches that litter the album. The four tracks that have been produced in collaboration promise stimulating diversion: “Isolation” with Spanish DJ/producer SURIT evolves around a slow, pronounced bass line and suggests some deceptive calm, former Ad Noiseam act FAUSTEN tear up the rhythmic structure of “Envenomation” and conjure up chaos, French veterans ELEKTROPLASMA contribute some hardcore flavour to “Disruption” and “Sudden Closure” features noise legend KK NULL with uncontrollable outbursts of industrial debris. Loop-based, repetitive industrial techno with an edge is a time-honoured and accustomed tradition that HANDS has been fostering since ORPHX’s 1999 classic “Vita Mediativa”, and “Above the Concrete” follows in those footsteps. Strong rhythmic energy to work up a sweat meet nuanced and layered sounds that elevate this album above the functional, above the concrete.