If the text-based computer games you played as a kid suddenly turned blood red and instructed you to kill your parents (with an axe, ideally), the accompanying music would sound like Club Sound Witches. Consisting Matt Earle of various Breakdance the Dawn affiliates (X Wave and Girls Girls Girls among them) and one Nicola Morton, this is the sound of old hardware rising from its obsolete dormancy to suck your stupid brain dry.
As legend has it, the synths used on this record survived a thorough washing during the 2010-11 Queensland floods. I’m not sure what specific effect this had on the instruments, but the results here definitely sound broken or breaking. Unfathomably deep bass tones calmly ooze battery acid while distant echoed murmurs roleplay the monochrome soul of the machine. Each drawn out note modulates rhythmically beneath a surface of hiss, thus creating a kind of sub-sub-basement techno for people who can only dance while on horse tranquilizer, lying down.
In some ways Club Sound Witches is reminiscent of some of Basic Channel’s more stubbornly ugly material in its relentless non-humanness. But here, technology isn’t so much the threat as it is the last thing standing. This is the sound of everything – whether powered or breathing – grinding to a halt.
Please note the CD-R edition reviewed here featured two fifteen-minute long tracks, which are tracks 3 and 4 in the playlist below.
Label: Breakdance the Dawn
Release date: June 2012