While there has been quite a lot of talk this year on the coalescence between noise and techno and house, as far as we can see not that much emphasis has been put on appraising the differences between that breed of mainly American artists coming straight from the noise underground…and their predominantly British counterparts, whose access usually stems from more dancefloor-friendly subsets. Among the stateside proponents, be it Container, Thought Broadcast, and perhaps even Austin Cesear, what is striking is a certain reluctance to let their tracks be built in a straightforward manner.
This sonic disposition appears to be the result of a conscious decision to let noise textures that those artists have mastered command the outcome of a composition, with the principal 4/4 beat remaining in a rather unobtrusive position. “Kinetic Disruption”, taken from Charlatan’s new LP Isolatarium, is a perfect example of this approach. While Digitalis boss Brad Rose has been experimenting with beat structures under the Charlatan name for quite some time now, intricately constructed, deeply textured noise arrangements remain the artist’s familiar suuroundings. The track’s rhythmic backbone stays pronouncedly fragile, incapable of stabilizing or carrying the eight minute-long, noise-infused soundscapes. something you’d somehow expect from a piece of techno (compare “Kinetic Disruption, for example, to the hauntological beat explorations by Pye Corner Audio‘s “The Black Mill Video Tape” from his recent Sleep Games LP, a piece that clearly positions itself on dancefloor’s fringes as well, yet placed within a rhythmic framework that is much more dominant and straightforward). The result is considerably more abstract and reduced than your average techno banger, leaving its almost hypnagogic noise roots intact and in the foreground. A thrilling, challenging piece of music.