It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I often like my electronic music maximally synthetic and artificial-sounding.
When you can call to mind CPUs singing themselves to sleep, or alien entities communicating via scatters of dueling thoughbursts, why settle for tunes that sound made here on earth by human hands or throats?
But there’s a long tradition of doing just that; and Irish duo Lakker have my full attention with their latest release, Tundra. It mixes sung samples and metallic, distorted industrial noise into a powerful brew.
Up top, the pulsing “Mountain Divide”.
Strangely, its howling whirlwhind of buzzing and clanking, plus swirling wordless voices, call to mind for me the closing track of Ministry’s epochal The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste -- the forboding-yet-beautiful “Dream Song”.
As Ministry, Black Sabbath and AC/DC have taught us, the apocalyptic tolling of church bells calling us to our everlasting doom always sounds good.
Lakker make fine use of that fact on the towering “Pylon”:
The gorgeous “Three Songs” uses choral voices to great effect -- to mortar together a pounding, rumbling, squelching bottom bed of sculpted sound, and a playfully-cerebral IDM-ish melody:
“Halite” is lovely, dark and delicate, a journey through an entire clockwork universe of tinkles, hisses and clinks:
Another contemporary act covering some of this same ground is F*ck Buttons.
One of the FB guys has a solo project, Blanck Mass. It’s somewhat in the same ballpark:
I personally thought FB’s last one, Slow Focus, was a snooze, but this track from the prior album Tarot Sport is gorgeous: