Violetshaped ‘Violetshaped’ (Violet Poison)

Mystery outfit produces vintage Italian horror film-inspired noise fest

Off into the underground corridors of noise music we go, with more metal ducts and rusty piping than you could hit a spanner with. ‘Violetshaped’ is the first album for the Violet Poison label, with both album and label brought to us by Shapednoise and the titular Mr Poison himself. The latter is a mysterious “well-known techno producer” in disguise. I’m plumping for Pete Swanson sporting fake glasses and a moustache.

It’s vintage electronics that power ‘Violetshaped’. The dogged throbs of ‘Delisory Parasitosis’ are so retro, you could be at a sweaty trance night back at The Orbit 20 years ago. The whole album is inspired by Italian horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s – and terrifying it is too. It starts with a dirty arpeggiator rising from vinegar-sharp scraping ambience, before landing the first breathing, then wheezing sub-bass whump that defines the tone right up to the closing ambient track.

Chugging 4/4 beats are steamed up with filtered mechanical pistons throughout. It’s at its most satisfying when, as in ‘Spectral Nightdrive’, more rhythm is let into the pulsating bass or structure is added with fourth-bar dropouts, as in the highlight of the LP, ‘The Lord Won’t Forget’. At the higher end of the aural spectrum, on tracks like ‘Out Of Any Symmetry’ and ‘Down Regulation’, the steady thud meets pitched-up static buzzes with less success; like playing tennis with wasps. 

It’s perhaps more fun when it’s less stinging, when we’re down in the mulch and the darkness, down in the ‘Suspiria’ nightmare, but all in all this is a pretty promising debut.

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