Kontinent – Death Technologies LP Unrest Productions 2016
With Unrest Productions providing a platform for new and upcoming industrial/ power electronics projects, Kontinent is one such UK based act who have made a very strong impression with this, which is both their debut album and only release to date. Originally issued as a super limited cassette boxset (55 copies in early 2016), this has thankfully seen a quick repressing on heavy black wax in an edition of 150 copies.
The opening track ‘Angry Fix’ comes charging out the speakers with a cascading wall of layered distortion, queasy oscillating synth line and antagonistic vocals which is an excellent statement of intent. From here as the album progresses it articulates a single mindedness to its sonic approach, where many tracks play out as variations of fierce burrowing distortion (…which are layered and looped into loose repeating structures), and further coupled with wavering synth lines and slow militant pounding beats. Vocals also add to the blood boiling intensity with their gruff and agonized delivery and further processed with the perhaps obligatory distortion/ flange treatment (…but there are no qualms with this as they perfectly suit the music). But to speak specifically of the deviating ‘Rainbow Family’, it is more subdued and soundscape oriented than anything else featured on the album, which in turn allows a prominent Jim Jones/ Jonestown sample to feature prominently (…although the Jonestown ‘mass suicide speech’ has been sampled previously by numerous others, it never fails to create a psychological impact when contemplating the capacity of an individual’s megalomania and the unyielding willingness of others to follow such an individual to their own demise).
Across the album there are moments which draw on classic hallmarks power electronics approach which positively reminds of the antagonism of the Grey Wolves, and perhaps also of the bulldozing ‘wall of distortion’ qualities of Wertham. Yet even in making those comparisons, the sound here is perhaps louder and upfront (…as opposed to being murky and muffled like the others). As such the sound production is sharp and fiercely loud, with an amped up and overblown sonic aesthetic to achieving bulk, force and presence. Given ‘Death Technologies’ is unashamedly rooted in classic elements of industrial and power electronics, it has in the process delivered a focused and weighty debut album.