|Broken English Club||The English Beach|
Broken English Club — The English Beach (June 21st, 2017) ≈≠↓ Oliver Ho se v případě projektu “The English Beach” neomezil jen na obal alba, ale hned na celou tištěnou publikaci, chcete~li knížku, nazvanou “The English Beach Limited Edition Book” vztahující se k tomuto albu. Výtisk obsahuje fotografie z pouště jihovýchodního pobřeží od města Dungeness, plné starých kovových zřícenin a rozpadajících se budov. Jak popisuje sám autor: “to místo je téměř fyzickým projevem zničeného anglického klubového zvuku”. Album a fotografie doplněné texty vznikly v době strávené ve staré budově, nacházející se přímo na pobřeží této neplodné krajiny. (daho)
Location: London, United Kingdom
Style: Techno, Experimental, EBM, Industrial
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Album release: June 21st, 2017
Record Label: L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems)
01 Stray Dogs 3:17
02 Breaking the Flesh 5:35
03 The Sun Rising 3:55
04 Plague Song 5:27
05 Pylon 5:53
06 Rust Ballad 1:46
07 Wreck 5:12
08 Carrion 5:29
09 Concrete Desert 3:47
10 Wire Fence 5:24
11 The English Beach 4:11
12 Last Signal 3:19
Copyright © 2017, L.I.E.S. Records.Review
Words / Holly Dicker / Score: 4/5
≈≠↓ Dungeness, a headland on the Kentish coast of England, is a strange place. It’s home to two nuclear power stations, one of which remains operational. The site is also a protected nature reserve and a residential area, complete with a couple of pubs and a “mystical” gift shop. Most of the houses are wooden and ramshackle, home to fishermen. Rusted railway tracks stretch into the distance. Broken~down boats and debris are strewn across the shingle and scrub. You’ll also find the “listening ears” of Denge here, a set of alien concrete structures, or “acoustic mirrors,” erected in the 1930s as aircraft detection systems. (They failed miserably.) Walking around it all feels terribly remote and deserted, like some apocalyptic scene straight out of a JG Ballard novel. It’s easy to see why Oliver Ho was drawn to the place.
≈≠↓ The English Beach is an abstract portrait of Dungeness, written by Ho during time spent living there. The album, Ho’s second as Broken English Club after Suburban Hunting, is a response to the psychogeography of the place — the narrative, both real and imaginary, hidden beneath its geology. The eerie ambience and the contradictions of Dungeness, along with the conflicting metaphor of the British seaside itself — a place at once filthy, ruinous and comforting — are all in play across the record.
≈≠↓ Ho once said he liked the “dark friction” between man and machine, and Broken English Club is where that happens. The metal music, the bands of his youth, Ho’s art school origins and conceptual tendencies — they jut out at angles here, unified by a signature Broken English Club sound. It’s weathered and industrial, harsh but oddly endearing — the sonic equivalent of Dungeness itself. There’s a grinding presence throughout, too, which takes a notably physical form in “Plague Song”’s dings, scrapes and metallic cries.
≈≠↓ As with Suburban Hunting, Ho dips into three core music styles — techno, industrial and droning dirges. The English Beach peaks when traces of all three (or more) inform a single track, as on “The Sun Rising” or “Pylon.” There’s a clear divide between club and experimental tracks, the latter of which are really out there. Take the stinging spoken word of “Stray Dogs” or the folky “Rust Ballad,” where the melancholic voice of Blood Powers billows over snarling riffs and ominous slams. These, along with the booming “Concrete Desert,” are Ho at his most theatrical. The English Beach, a penetrating portrait of Dungeness, is one of his finest Broken English Club records yet.
By Bryon Hayes, Published Jun 14, 2017; Score: 8
≈≠↑ The desert~like headland of Dungeness acts as the muse for producer Oliver Ho’s latest LP, fittingly titled The English Beach. Recorded while Ho was holed up in an old fog signal building, the 12 tracks on offer here mirror the detritus~ridden shingle beach that covers the area.
≈≠↑ Steeped in EBM and industrial noise, Ho’s songs pair throbbing synths with pounding bass drums to penetrate the listener’s consciousness in a manner akin to aural trepanation; enigmatic vocals and uncanny samples make the baleful atmosphere even more sinister. “Rust Ballad” is a primeval assault of vibrating springs and metallic clanging, a bleak affair that’s paired with female vocals, to stunning effect. Opening track “Stray Dogs” plays a droning synth against a disembodied voice that phases out of existence as dogs bark in the direction of a lonely saxophone, while the noisy soundscape of “Concrete Desert” smacks of Emptyset with its abusive bass salvos. The proceedings close out with “Last Signal,” in which a stray electrical wire arcs wildly against a voice that echoes to infinity.
≈≠↑ The English Beach spends half of its time throwing down dance floor~ready EBM rhythms, but it’s the more experimental half of the album that propels the mood into frightening and malignant orbit, while still evoking the barren landscape in which this music took shape. • http://exclaim.ca/
|Broken English Club||The English Beach|
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