Well this is certainly something a bit different and most welcome it is too. French artist Netra already proved to us that he was an eclectic listening experience with his 2012 album ‘Sørbyen.’ Mixing all sorts of different textures that ran between everything from black metal to film noir soundtracks and trip-hop, it was a release that was ever changing and kept us on our toes. How could he do things to add more elements to his already expansive sound was a question it left us with and now he is back with an answer; collaborate with a hip-hop act! The only bad news about this is that it is just three tracks and it really teased me and left me wanting a full album.
The ‘Boredom Ruins My Life’ message of ‘Sørbyen’ is very much at the heart here as first track ‘Definition Of Love’ broods in via a cold synthesized soundscape. It’s the lyrics that sum it up though as they are full of nihilistic despondency and it is quickly evident that We’rewolves (who are apparently veteran emcees Hockeymask and Concept) are great spinners of cold raps which match the music of Netra perfectly. “Life is orderless, I’m kinda bored of it, I wish my doctor was more like Kevorkian” is a perfect and poignant line and one of many here. I am reminded of the dark tunes of Necro but that is bound to be the case as he and affiliated acts are the first real poets in this style I have heard since being addicted to Wu-Tang offshoot Gravediggaz. ‘Whore’ sees the sound morphing into a futuristic keyboard refrain that is pure John Carpenter Escape From New York and naturally the dark lyrical tones accentuate it perfectly, chilling you to the bones along with the minimalist bleakness and a sample of what sounds like rape adding to the grim canvas of lyrics about drug taking and mindless sex. A cold-wave techno sound seeps in making this sound like a slide down the wall into a K hole tune in a dark club at 5AM, great if you want to be taken to a very grim place. Bleeps and beeps take us into trip-hop territory although the sound reminds me of Black Dog on last track ‘Enter The Void,’ which naturally also has me thinking of Gasper Noe’s future trip of the same name. The vocals draw you in again and there is something about their chilled un-urgent delivery that is hard to ignore. There is also another highly effective sample of a woman screaming which is used in much the same fantastic way that made Shining Sweden’ s Halmstad album so memorably effective. As the words ‘kill myself’ echo around the music continues with those Skinny Puppy sounding noises before a guitar solo unexpectedly comes into play and fluidly weaves around getting more urgent as the song goes into its metallic part and unleashes a blackened scream for good measure.
This is an incredibly thought provoking trio of songs that have completely engrossed me with their style and substance. I love the combination of what one may think are disparate genres and hearing them work so well together does really make me want to hear so much more. Just be warned this is not happy stuff in the slightest but forward thinking lovers of DSBM should give it a listen as they polish the knives up to a new form of depressiveness.
You can find this on YouTube or download for pay what you want (including free) at the link below.
(8/10 Pete Woods)