DW | Named after a pseudonym of the Sufi writer and scholar Idries Shah and hinting at the European avant-garde and the libertarian left with song titles like ‘Dérive’ and ‘Lotta Continua’, this shady bunch have me suckered straight away. On ‘AD’, we get standard clanking, droning industrial dankness with nothing as tedious as singing, just the occasional mysterious spoken word sample. Bass synth notes grind and decay, the drum machine pounds and echoes and someone gets RSI from repeatedly twisting an FX knob. Though it’s nowt I‘ve not heard before (or made myself with friends in bedrooms), I quite like it. There is occasional respite, but noise is never far away. What sounds very much like a vacuum cleaner is frequently layered over the top of everything, building up to a shitload of distortion on one track that gdddrrrs, woums and judders on for a full five minutes. I half-wonder if it’s meant to symbolise the escalation in tactics of those members of Lotta Continua who ended up joining the Red Brigades. I then find myself reflecting on whether you could booby trap a vacuum cleaner with a bomb. It all appeals, and there’s a reason why this kind of stuff has endured on the fringes since its early 70s beginnings and post-punk heyday. It’s to do with innovators like Cabaret Voltaire having hit on a grimly but efficiently functioning marriage of sound palette and themes, whereby the latter are perfectly evoked by the former, once you know what it’s all about. Still, something niggles, most likely due to the fact that this style was first coded ‘forward’ or avant-garde decades ago, yet is still being presented as such.
The Silver EP, meanwhile, perks me up with the gnarled Herzog-peasant ditty of ‘Verka’, a moment of violent, smelly absurdity mesmerically repeating over and over. From here it gets less interesting – industrial with guitars instead of synths – until the repetition repetition repetition of last track ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’, which makes its point fairly well.