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COH – Iron

Label: Wavetrap Format: CD

COH - IronFrom the opening storm-warning of drones ahead, Iron fulfils all the promises its churning digital riffology and humorous dedication to “Heavy Metal fans all over the world” could possibly fulfil. Staccato loops click and swarm from one ear to the next, and possibly invite the application of a third. Deliciously dirty splutters and organic wafts of processed feedback or sample residue distract from the computer-based construction of this almost surprisingly visceral music, and keep the evil within the bounds of good humour throughout.

Intensity is a term easily applied, as is headfucking, brain-melting chaos under control; when a tendril of deep rumbling distortion folds over another pitched to make the harmonics waver with fuzzing noise, the effect is delirious. Tones gutter out, snippets of identifiable sound make bedfellows with lunch-regurgitating vibrato, and the emergent grooves are most definitely on the case. Iron shears itself across the face of laptop nerdism, taking the breath away at times, and sampling it too as it does so. One line of crisply-snipped glitch becomes several fractal arms of pilfered and reanimated throb’n’squeak morphed from sense into buoyant delirium. Gentler sounds take on masks of unheimlich drift, and the process remains invigorated and rarely the same from track to track – though also successfully avoiding clutter.

Not for the faint-hearted listener, but recommended for the unwary to prod them awake, especially as delay-riding bursts of noise open doors multi-layered cursive polyrhythms. Pretty much every sound seems to fit in its own place, no matter how off-kilter it might at first appear, and the dynamics are exemplary in their dissonance. Ivan Pavlov‘s drastic appropriation of the byways of the best tactics of lumbering metal and/or minimalist techno (visceral affect and immediate mind-body fusion for example) and the daunting freeform expanses proposed by the digital interface of music creation and reformation on this record is successful for precisely two reasons. Application of technology to the task of generating recombinant music, and a sense of discordant direction leavened with fun.

-Antron S. Meister-

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