Transverse begins like a heartbeat sped up. Through the next 40 minutes, that heartbeat rarely changes and never dies. Everything flows from it and is sustained by it. A solid pulse that soon beats its way into your unconscious. It's the mechanical process at the centre of the human experience. All the noise of life echoes over the top of this infinite beat, obscuring it and pushing it to the back of your mind. There it remains, rising to attention only after particularly intense rushes of sound. Once the running stops, your lungs fill up and the pulse pounds in your ears as you catch your breath. Your blood is up.
The mechanics of Transverse are simple. There is the pulse. There is the noise. There is the guitar, skewered and damaged as it is, and there is a voice. Together, these distinct elements are enough to awe and overwhelm, enough to get lost in or enough to run from. These forces are wielded by two of British electronic music's most enduring stalwarts, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, and one of the idiom's new pioneers, Nik Void of Factory Floor. The result is more industrial and harsher than anything that has yet come from Factory Floor and as viscerally engaging as anything Carter and Tutti have ever done.
Carter controls the beat and some electronics, keeping it disturbingly minimal throughout. The relentless kick is offset with scattered hi-hats and periodically swallowed up by pulsing bass. Void uses her guitar as a means to an end, removing any semblance of familiar tone and transforming it into a flailing whip of metallic timbre. Tutti adds some noises of her own and interjects with effected vocal abstractions, the recognizable presence of distorted humanity only serving to further deepen the unsettling sense of aural dystopia.
Transverse is rarely overtly aggressive, presenting rather an almost static body of sound that the listener has to move towards and eventually into. In the centre is always the pulse, the one tangible element, the anchor and the platform for all that is happening around it. From this base, it feels like any combination of textures is possible and there are endless numbers of shadowy crevices left to explore. In the hands of artists as confident and unflinching as these three, the scope for discovery and growth becomes infinite. The darkest of gems.
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Tracklist: Carter Tutti Void - Transverse 01. V1
05. V4 Studio (Slap 1)