Ali Wells, AKA Perc, has been at the forefront of this shift, and Feral Grind, a compilation he put together with journalist and RA contributor Justin Farrar, is a remarkable introduction to some of the arthouse noiseniks infiltrating techno. Some of the names, such as Peter Swanson, may be familiar; many aren't. Nor is the sound they make. Noise implies confrontation and violence, but for all its distortion and metal-on-metal reverberations, Feral Grind is often beautiful. The great undulating waves of bass-hum on Hive Mind's "UX I" sound as sad as ships signalling to one another in a foggy harbour. Likewise, the chest-compressing density, splintered percussion and spectral loops of Housefire's "Electric Bathwater" produce something truly haunting.
This exchange of ideas between noise and techno isn't all one-way, of course—many noise artists are taking inspiration from club music, too. None of these 11 tracks are bangers, but it isn't too hard to imagine Swanson's "Pleasure Averse" filling a particularly demented, pogo-ing dance floor—its jackhammer beat is steady, and its squawking synths cling onto something resembling melody. Prostitutes' "Braces On My Fangs" is how a far more serious and cerebral Miss Kittin & the Hacker might have sounded.
Will we look back in a few years and see Feral Grind as the harbinger of a significant new movement? Who knows. In any case, one thing is certainly true: there is something very exciting happening at the fringes of the dance floor.
Mon / 16 Dec 2013
01. Housefire - Electric Bathwater/ Beachboyswhenyoudie
02. Prostitutes - Braces On My Fangs
03. Bleaching Agent - Yellow Corduroy Wall
04. Pete Swanson - Pleasure Averse
05. Trogpite - Trogdog (TV)
06. Profligate - Swarm
07. Henry & Hazel Slaughter - Breather Fat: Take Four
08. Burial Hex - Final Love (Feral Love Dub)
09. Mincemeat Or Tenspeed - Drooman
10. The David Russell Snake - Face It Fast
11. Hive Mind - UX I