CD: Hive Records HIV.11 [2004]
Ltd x 1000 (First 200 with bonus CD, sticker, postcards)

Pneumatic Detach : Relentless [Fuck Mix]
Converter : Stand Beside Him [And Stab Him In The Neck Mix By Manufactura]
Larvae : Staesis
Censor : Freewill
Unter Null : The Clock Is Ticking [Terrorfakt Noise Remix]
Railgun : The Trouble With Progress
End : Can The Dialectic Break Bricks?
32nd Kalpa + Leaf : Paperdress
Concrete Cookie vs Incredibad : Everybody Dance!
Muted Logic : Abort
Vectorscope : 26 Century Medicene
Lapsed : Ice Cold
Iszoloscope : Suffocating Simoniacs [Remix]
HIV+ : Havoc 2027 [Flint Glass Remix]
Exclipsect : Gravitron
Mago : Hide

There have been some great releases on Hive since its inception last year, and this new compilation, sandwiched between a Japanese rope-bondage shot and some quite lovely macrophotographic images of bees collecting pollen, indicates that the trend is to continue. Hive's roster of album releases so far reflects a fairly small family of artists, but surprisingly, not that many of them are represented here. Pneumatic Detach kick things off with an exclusive rhythmic-noise stomper, Exclipsect lend us one of the more laid-back tracks from their recent split CD with Kaebin Yield, Censor present a new tune and Manufactura have remixed Converter's 'Stand Beside Him'. These aside, none of the remaining 12 tracks feature bands from the Hive stable proper, despite recent releases from Kaebin Yield/Duncan Avoid, C2, and Tekniq, and several others in the pipeline.

Perhaps it would be more accurate then to see this anthology as a plea for diversity and energy in the dark electronics 'scene', rather than a label sampler as such, and the mini-manifesto on the front cover would seem to support this. Appropriately then the tunes on offer are diverse and, by and large, energetic. Leading the field on both fronts is 'Everybody Dance!' by Concrete Cookie vs. Incredibad - where these loons came from is anybody's guess - an inspirationally sardonic fusion of noisebeat, hip-hop and disco. I kid you not. Back in more conventional territory, there's plenty of other dancefloor-friendly material here. Unter Null for example contribute a slice of nouveau-EBM noised-up by Terrorfakt, Railgun sleaze into action with a grimy, dubbed-out groove that would sit well next to Techno Animal or 2nd Gen, and Iszoloscope, who have been getting everywhere recently, are reliably banging as fuck.

While there is plenty of material here for industrial club circuit, there's a nice selection of tunes for those hazy mornings after too. The lovely 'Paperdress' by 32nd Kalpa & Leaf would have been called triphop a few years ago, before that term fell out of the limelight; instead let's call it a melancholy instrumental, with enormous drums reverberating around lo-fi guitars and violins. Muted Logic will give a warm fuzzy feeling to those of us who find the likes of Pan Sonic relaxing, and there's even a touch of jazz at the end from Mago. Honourable mentions must go to the surprisingly downbeat remix of 'Havoc 2027' by HIV+, and to VectorScope's brief dark-ambient interlude. Spanning a wide continuum of styles from cold hard electronic purism to warm strings and simulated record noise, FUCK does a grand job of mixing familiar names with new faces, and is full of pleasant surprises. Stick it on at your next party and impress your scene-and-herd mates with your erudite eclecticism.


[Hive Records]

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