In the following you can find our 4 new releases for May “FORMS OF HANDS 14” “Monolith” “Hezzel” and “Cacophoneuses”. Please check also our still fresh April releases of “Heimstatt Yipotash” “Sylvgheist Maëlström” and “Hydrone”.
Pre-sale and shipment for May releases will start 25th April – so our new releases will be available at our stand at FORMS OF HANDS 14.
FORMS OF HANDS 14 – 25th and 26th April 2014
MONO NO AWARE
from SYNTECH to GREYHOUND
LAST DAYS OF S.E.X.
PHILIPP MÜNCH vs. SASCHA
info/ ticket: www.handsproductions.com
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Out on HANDS 5th May:
V.A. Forms of Hands 14 cd
HANDS D207 Hands Paper Pack, limited 1000 copies 13 euro
14 years of FORMS OF HANDS – for the festival crowd the event itself is always occasion enough to create two nights of musical enthusiasm and amicable celebration. With no less than half of the 14 acts being debutants on the FOH stage, this collection of all exclusive tracks is as essential as ever: From the rhythm’n’noise acts like MONO NO AWARE or CACOPHONEUSES to the more technoid approaches of MONOLITH or CERVELLO ELETTRONICO to the edges of the HANDS sound spectrum with TATLUM or HYDRONE, this is a choice selection of the most upscale quality.
FOH 14: Two nights of shaft tower shaking, which will leave many with ringing ears, happy memories – and bequeath the world this collection. Seven acts appear at FOH for the first time and represent the extraordinary musical range of HANDS with refills from their current (or recent) albums: From the grim crossbreed of TATLUM – from Russia with hate – over the archaic ambient sound of HYDRONE, from the physical rhythmic noise of the fetching CACOPHONEUSES to the crusty sound of HEZZEL, from the industrial-infused techno of CERVELLO ELETTRONICO to the ear-splitting digital hardcore mayhem of AMBASSADOR21 and the fuzzy dub techno of MONOLITH a wonderful combination of established acts and promising newcomers!
PROYECTO MIRAGE also contribute a second helping to their recent album, a nice piece of steam techno, while the sophomore attendees settle for novelty tracks: LIBIDO FORMANDI add some gritty rhythm punch to their electronica sound and LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. corsets stiff industrial beats into a house structure (rather than a technoid one) – even noise can groove! The SATURMZLIDE track is a tongue-in-cheek electro tune with a frivolous Kraftwerk reference, guaranteed to wake the dead, even. Last but not least, regard the veteran performers: MONO NO AWARE doesn’t stray from his intransigent harshness and NEEDLE SHARING pleases with a captivating mixture of drumstep beats and cinematic atmosphere.
In a time when various artist compilations have become a bit out of fashion, this showcase stands like one tower of strength for a musical vision, for a distinct and diverse label sound.
1.TATLUM – Number One Rule
2.HYDRONE – Q
3.SATURMZLIDE – Good Morning Mr. Corleone
4.LAST DAYS OF S.E.X. – Destroy Patriotism
5.from SYNTECH to GREYHOUND – New Horizons
6.NEEDLE SHARING – Angst
7.MONO NO AWARE – Ookami
8.CACOPHONEUSES – Paranoïa
9.HEZZEL – Blind Spot
10.LIBIDO FORMANDI – Be Brave
11.CERVELLO ELETTRONICO – Phantom
12.AMBASSADOR21 – Channel Zero (FOH)
13.MONOLITH – Back to the Source
14.PROYECTO MIRAGE – Automatic Audience
Out on HANDS 5th May:
MONOLITH Crashed cd
HANDS D205 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
With Monolith an acknowledged veteran joins the HANDS label roster. “From Belgium to Berlin” – that’s not only Eric’s personal biography in short, it’s also the route that the sound he had its stakes in creating has taken: Partially club-compatible, entirely rhythmic and absorbing, this is premier league entertainment for contemporary electronic aficionados across the scenes, from the electro industrial underground onto the Berghain dance floor.
It’s general knowledge that Eric van Wonterghem is a member of Absolute Body Control and Sonar, and that he has a notable past as Insekt, as well as under the Monolith moniker itself. On this behalf, “Crashed” is his 8th album already, and he can also look back at a string of live performances as well, forging his hypnotic and tribal rhythmic noise sound.
This album shows the timeless facets of the “Belgian” sound that Eric van Wonterghem and his various fellow musicians have created over the last three decades, and that’s still newsworthy today: The icy, repetitive electro industrial sound, dominated by incisive rhythms with crashing cymbals and slight distortion, clinical and yet strangely warm and analogue has intrigued generations of underground music fans since its inception in the early 80s, and now it has arrived in the scene of Berlin, today’s minimal techno capital of the world, where it’s namechecked (and sometimes ripped off) by a new generation of producers.
“Crashed” stands as good proof that Monolith is still capable of cutting-edge productions himself: A short, forbidding intro of static fuzz and swelling atmosphere (“No Escape”) and then 10 tight and rhythmic tracks. Some stand out as downright recommendations for the dance floor – following in the line of his recent vinyl 12” on Sonic Groove – like the rhythm noise/dub techno hybrid “Rotated”, the slightly EBM-ish “Crashed” and the hard-hitting “The Source”, while others draw from various other aspects: “Roadblock” is a raw, stomping boulder of sound, “The Victim” operates in rather purebred dub techno territory, “I Control Evolution” sounds rather klinik-al with its distorted 808 pattern and mock vocals. “10 Minutes before Blackout” finishes off an album that offers braindance and physical moments, done with expertise and a unique handwriting.
1. No Escape
4. Dope Traps
5. The Victim
6. I Control Evolution
9. The Source
10. Man Without Shadow
11. 10 Minutes Before Blackout
Out on HANDS 5th May:
HEZZEL Exposure cd
HANDS D204 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
News from the east – with Latvian artist Hezzel HANDS presents another very promising newcomer. “Exposure” is a worthwhile and surprisingly mature debut CD, firmly rooted in the rhythmic noise industrial sound, but with some peculiar ideas – a grimy, eclectic take at the genre, an offering for the dance floor and for the armchair even-handedly.
Hezzel joins HANDS with a reference of several net releases, including a split album with Tatlum, having developed an original approach at rhythm’n’noise during this formative period. When listening to the 15 tracks of “Exposure”, you can never quite pin down the tradition Hezzel draws from: “Brink Of War” is reminiscent of the 1990s acid-infused hardcore sound of early Aphex Twin, “Fuckstep” is driven by classically convoluted, distorted beats, “Test Negative” adds an unexpected mechanical groove, “Collateral” is a nauseating kind of almost-hardcore and “Wither” adds such a captivating melody one is tempted to call it “IDM”. But whatever you say, in the end, it boils down to a convincing, contemporary form of rhythm’n’noise.
Hezzel never forgets the little twists and turns that keep his tracks dynamic and compelling: Melodic backdrops, effective breaks and the occasional sample. A good part of the album is obviously centred around the subject of war, nuclear warfare specifically, including the beatless “Second Chance”; the overall impression of “Exposure” though is not so much of relentless aggression, but of a rather distinguished album, with moments of contemplation, intensely atmospheric tracks like “Lay Low” and an almost psychedelic undertone (“Rasho”) as a counterpoint to potential floor fillers like “Cannot See”, a track in which all the aspects of “Exposure” seem to amalgamate.
2. I will Hang
5. Brink of War
7. Second Chance
8. No Matter What
9. Lay Low
10. Leider Nicht
11. Test Negative
14. Cannot See
15. Happy Faces
Out on HANDS 5th May:
CACOPHONEUSES The Myth Of Lorelei cd
HANDS D206 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
Sandra and Joséphine aka Cacophoneuses have enchanted crowds since their spectacular appearance at the respected techno industrial festival Fondation Sonore in 2013, followed by nothing less than a Maschinenfest gig.
Now it is time for their proper debut album via HANDS, which follows their self-proclaimed goal to move you inside (and) out. Hearty technoid beats and arcane soundscapes that set the myth of Lorelei to music, an album alluring the listener into the world of this fresh female duo, in the no-man’s-land between rhythm’n’noise and techno.
The Lorelei is a feminine water spirit, who according to German popular culture by her murmuring bewitches men and in some versions of the myth even causes their death. In the musical adaption of the myth, Cacophoneuses stand in a tradition of the likes of Liszt or Shostakovich, so one could speak of an ambitious concept for a debut album, but they manage with ease:
After the coarsely atmospheric intro “The most beautiful nymphs” the album holds eleven rhythmic tracks: From the tribal “You have bewitched me” with its psychedelic otherworldly sounds over the distorted technoid “With eyes full of stones” to the doomed “Obession”, from strangely atmospheric tracks like “French Kiss” to safe bets for the industrial dance floor like “Dirty Girls like dirty beats” or the closing title “Die of Love”, this is one tight rhythmic ride, starting slowly and sucking you in along the way. Soundwise the trademark sound of Cacophoneuses is somehow dubby hollow (rather than in-your-face harsh), which adds greatly to the subtle, repetitive elegance of this album.
“The Myth of Lorelei” is a sincere recommendation to anyone into rhythm’n’noise with a strong techno flavour, a debut which convinces through its atmospheric impact coupled with the punch of the beats.
1. The Most Beautiful Nymph
2. You have Bewitched Me
3. With Eyes full of Stones
5. French Kiss
6. Convent of the Virgins
7. Haunt my Remembrance
8. Dirty Girls Like Dirty Beats
9. Eyes are Cursed
10. Wind Twisted her Hair
11. Because of her Beauty
12. Die of Love
Out on HANDS since 14th April:
HEIMSTATT YIPOTASH Mecanismos De Control cd
HANDS D202 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
Heimstatt Yipotash, notoriously headstrong hybrid project, surrender their fifth album for HANDS: Highly political and subversive, “Mecanismos De Control” is an accentuated criticism of the Orwellian times we live in. Musically their unique blend of electro and industrial elements comes all of a piece; the leitmotif of (mostly) Spanish language vocal samples makes for coherent listening, and the intense rhythms will let you shake the chains of control – for sure!
“Mecanismos De Control” follows Heimstatt Yipotash’s massive anniversary remix package, but actually picks up where the 2009 album “Urban Night Motifs” ended, in modern day metropolis. This time, the focus shifts from the urban structure itself to the people who live in it: Anonymous, working like the gearwheels of a globalized machine constantly mislead to work for accelerating economic growth. “Mecanismos De Control” denounces corruption in high finance and the politicians’ involvement in it (“Putsch”, “Banco Malo”), it brings up the lack of diversity in media (“Receptor Universal”), arbitrary police action and the various levels of state control in general (“Mecanismo De Control”).
Musically it somehow suggests itself to drop the Esplendor Geometrico reference, not only for the Spanish language samples, but also for the raw and repetitive rhythmic backbone of all tracks. But of course Heimstatt Yipotash acts in a much more ample scope, with lots of diversified, contemporary elements to be found throughout the album: Spotless electro sequences (“Diez Segundos”, “Pulsador”), almost organic percussion (“Banco Malo”), shuffling all-but-grooves (“Magnetar”, “Rescoldo”), an electric harp in “El Mal Menor” and a swelling acid sequence in “Fuerza Devastadora”. And the final say goes to The_Empath, who transforms “Rescoldo” into a solemn lullaby for man, bereft of his dignity in the Brave New World of today.
“Mecanismos De Control” works in the attractive contradiction of its dystopian theme and being at the same time thoroughly enjoyable, in larger parts actually dance floor compatible. A coherent, conceptually feasible and convincing album.
1. Diez Segundos
2. Que Se Vayan Todos
3. Mecanismo De Control
6. Banco Malo
9. Receptor Universal
10. Marcha Experimental
11. Rescoldo (Revisada)
12. El Mal Menor
13. Fuerza Devastadora
14. Rescoldo (The_Empath’s Lullaby)
Out on HANDS since 14th April:
SYLVGHEIST MAËLSTRÖM Pripyat cd
HANDS D203 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
Sylvgheist Maëlström hasn’t taken much of his time to produce the follow-up to his HANDS debut “Skaftafell”. On “Pripyat” he deals with transformation and extinction of nature, thus he discards the majestic minimalism of the predecessor and adopts a very different musical language, with chunky IDM rhythms and dense soundscapes to portrait the numerous disturbances man inflicts upon nature – and the way nature reacts to that, reinventing itself. A heavyweight, unsettling electronica album that is topped off with crackling remixes by [basementgrrr] and Yura Yura.
Pripyat is the “nuclear city” where the Chernobyl power plant is located. Abandoned after the infamous 1986 disaster, it stands a rude reminder of man’s ruinous effect on nature – and the inimitable way nature achieves a weird comeback after the seemingly worst blow.
Such forbidding thoughts are the main preoccupation Sylvgheist Maëlström used as an inspiration for this album, and it shows soundwise: Heavy rhythms throughout, sinister melodies, throbbing bass sounds, all tracks saturated with sharp-edged fuzz. “Pripyat” flows in a multi-layered sound design, which creates a constant atmosphere of unease, quite appropriate for tracks dealing with the world’s worst industrial disaster in “Bhopal”, where thousands died due to exposure to toxic substances in 1984, or “Agbog Bloshie”, the infamous e-waste dump in Ghana.
Even the most seasoned connoisseur of electronic music will be challenged to discern on first listen all the details to be found within every single track as even the comparably calmer tracks like “Prion” (a fatally infectious protein composition) or “Mountain Pass” overflow with sounds, not to speak of the massive noise-flavoured tracks like “Ajka” (a town in Hungary where an industrial accident caused a flood of toxic mud in 2010). The contributed remixes by [basementgrrr] and Yura Yura remain within the sonic framework of “Pripyat”, but add dynamic bass sequences and a noise rhythm respectively.
As an album, “Pripyat” serves a dual function: Each of the tracks is strong enough to stand alone, as a whole they merge into an utterly disturbing, yet absorbing 78 minute trip, a reminder that man is dying in his own changed substance.
6. Mountain Pass
8. Deepwater Horizon
12. Agbog Bloshie
13. Kessler Syndrome
15. Inlandsis (basementgrrr) Remix
16. Kvanefjeld Yura Yura Remix
Out on HANDS since 14th April:
hyDrone Chronos cd
HANDS D201 Hands Paper Pack 13 euro
HANDS welcomes hyDrone, an act with a remarkable pedigree already, now ready for a proper debut CD release. “Chronos“ is a captivating, deeply atmospheric conceptual release about time and its perception, revealing influences from various eras of electronic music, pouring into a very individual musical language. Nine tracks plus remixes by Gjöll, Libido Formandi and Proyecto Mirage let you take a 57 minute lapse from the regular course of time!
Preface: hyDrone is the alias of Panos Kouretas from Greece, who has got CD-R releases on Fich-Art and Le Petit Machiniste and a fancy vinyl on Sealt under his belt, as well as a performance at Maschinenfest – the accolade of the industrial scene. Now it’s time for Χρόνος, an album which truly deserves a distinguished presentation.
Takeoff: The opener “Carefully and patiently [we are counting time]” draws the listener in with vocal snippets, atmospheric parts and insidious bleeps, while “Always late” moves along accordingly slow in eerie halfstep mode. “Whenever” is a grainy drone piece, “Backwards” fuses bass heavy drones with a cinematic melody and the title track draws heavily from 70s Kosmische Musik in an ambient mode. “Passing time” is a masterpiece, the perception of time during a human being’s lifespan in a nutshell, seemingly accelerating, while the actual pattern never changes. With “Chronotaraxis” we have finally left the time continuum for good and are prepared to plunge into the psychedelic ambience of “Time is running out of time” and “To maintain the balance”.
Overtime: Jóhann Eiriksson aka Gjöll contributes a fuzzy, Raster-Noton style drone piece, Libido Formandi turns out a nicely accessible electronica track and also label mates Proyecto Mirage get the final say with archaic, analogue distorted beats.
Epilogue: Far from easy listening, sometimes demanding, this album is a treat for anyone into atmospheric electronic music. Panos displays a knack for sound design and composition, the result being well-defined and yet complex, abrasive and beautiful at the same time. Worth your time!
1. Carefully and Patiently [We are Counting Time]
2. Always Late
5. Chronos [Cronos/Chronos]
6. Passing Time
8. Time is Running out of Time
9. To Maintain the Balance
10. Always Late [Remix by Gjöll]
11. Carefully and Patiently [Remix by Libido Formandi]
12. Whenever [Remix by Proyecto Mirage]