Albums in the classical genre of Rhythmic Noise are still being released, which pleases, however, they are no longer such a frequent guest even of such giant labels as Hands Productions and Ant-Zen. Unlike Rhythmic Noise, the Techno Industrial style prospers, slowly but surely integrating into this scene. IDM and its development have not changed over the past couple of years, although many projects are combining classical non-Industrial IDM with Ambient. Such combinations were present before, but not in such quantity, therefore such a trend may affect in the future the quantity and quality of projects that combine IDM with Industrial. In this regard there will be many projects that are difficult to describe with just one genre.
Covered genres: Rhythmic Noise, IDM, TBM, Techno Industrial, Tribal Industrial
10. Manufactura – ‘Dissociative Interlude’ (IDM, Electronic, Industrial, Rhythmic Noise | USA, Crunch Pod)
The American project MANUFACTURA was created at the beginning of the 00s by Karloz M. After the release of the first album he became one of the leaders on the American continent in this direction, especially after CONVERTER finished activities. The project released a lot of albums, but after 2011 and until 2017 there was a break. During this time, the author apparently rethought his vision of music a little and released an electronic-noisy album in 2017, which was not particularly different from similar experiments of his colleagues, but in 2018 his experiments began to differ markedly from what other Rhythmic Noise projects offer. Karloz recorded an album on which you can find the classic pulsating Rhythmic Noise, Rhythmic Techno Industrial, atmospheric IDM and melodic lyrical Synth Pop with vocals. Such metamorphoses with the sound can cause questions and even alienate old fans of the project, but musically the experiments turned out to be successful and the harmony between these genres has been achieved, although not fully. It is likely that if the American continues to combine those genres, then in the end he will make an album that will fall not just on the top 10 of the list, but also be first there. And even this work is quite worthy of its place in the top 10.
09. 李晴 – ‘那没有含义，却拥有三叶草的风景’ (Rhythmic Noise, Industrial | China, Self-Released)
The Chinese music scene, like the rest of Asia, has always stood separately, had its own genres, which differed from classical European and American. Chinese representatives on the dark scene are rare guests, but Rhythmic Noise project from China is something completely new. The project is in Latin letters called LIQ and its first release dates from February 2018. After that during the year the Chinese released two more albums. And if the first two albums sounded quite experimental and simple and straight-lined, meeting the requirements of homemade releases, so by the third release LIQ found a sound that fits quite well the general classic rhythmic noise. Several tracks are similar to the early works of XOTOX even with the use of Chinese music from time to time. Mechanical sounds imprinted in the hard dirty beats, sudden change of rhythm and rare hard Industrial thrillers alternate with fiery multi-layered tracks, in which you can find both classical industrial, IDM, and Techno elements. Very interesting work of extent exotic project. It’s got to the top 10 and not because of the fact that the project is from China, but because of music.
08. Solypsis – ‘Devisor’ (Rhythmic Noise, IDM, Electro Industrial | USA, Component Recordings)
The SOLYPSIS project of musician named James Miller from Denver has been functioning and has been releasing material since 1998. The American has already released a lot of releases starting with classic full-length albums and EPs and ending with splits with colleagues of experimental electronics and remix compilations. Such a motely history also affected the music. During his musical career James played Rhythmic Noise, Techno Industrial, and IDM, flirted with various types of mainstream electronic music such as Dubstep, Drum’n’Bass, Breakcore and many more. Of course the music of the project is mostly instrumental, so structurally it may seem cyclical and “square”. That kind of music could cause total drowning into the music atmosphere, so when the track suddenly ends, the listener leaves the trance and seems to return to the real world from a long journey into space. The new work included essentially the best half of the compositions of the experiments of the musician recorded during his studio sessions. In fact, the full album consists of 36 tracks. Everything described above is reflected in the new album, which marks the 20th anniversary of its activities on the Industrial Electronics scene. Great atmospheric work.
07. FabrikC – ‘Digital Riots’ (TBM, Rhythmic Noise | Germany, Stay Beat Productions)
The fifth album of the German electronic industrial thriller FABRIKC was released not on the usual ProNoize, specializing in this kind of music, but on the not very famous Stay Beat Productions. It was really one and only surprising fact about this album, because musically Thorsten remained devoted to his style. The powerful explosive TBM of modern sound at its best will be a prize for those who like to jump on the dancefloor and just go crazy at home. It is difficult to sit quietly during listening for this music. The only thing that is a little unbalanced is a vocal track with a guest C-LEKKTOR. Blasting melodies and tanzen-tanzen. Everybody to the dance floor! Each song is quite clearly and without loss fits into the industrial electronic playlists and in the morning is capable to wake up even the dead.
06. Noisuf-X – ‘Invader’ (TBM| Germany, ProNoize)
This is a new work of Jan Lehmkämper, the man behind his main project X-FUSION. It does not make sense to count all albums anymore, because since 2005 Jan released one full-length album almost every year. And every year he kept the brand. There were, of course, weaker albums, but they were weaker not musically, but rather in comparison with previous works. And of course if there are no or not much pumping tracks on the album, then it is difficult to put it on the top list of the year. There are not only bright hits and rocking tracks on the new album, but also the sound in general has stepped away from the modern TBM peculiar to the project on previous releases. On this album Jan created a more electronic version of TBM with a clearer use of the letter “T” from the abbreviation. And in fact if you add vocals to this music, you will get something similar to the first works of COMBICHRIST, which are considered pioneers and creators of TBM genre. Apparently we can already talk about the modern and old-school sound of TBM, since this album reminded the old COMBICHRIST, and the new FABRIKC album did not. In any case the new work of NOISUF-X should not be considered as a clone of COMBICHRIST, because COMBICHRIST is already playing alternative music and NOISUF-X still has its own recognizable sound. New album will take a worthy place in the collection of fans of the hard industrial beat music.
05. ESA – ‘That Beast’ (Rhythmic Noise | UK, Negative Gain Productions)
The new album of the British project ELECTRONIC SUBSTANCE ABUSE came out after the completed trilogy ‘Themes of Carnal Empowerment’, which was more experimental and did not always sound like the same ESA from the second half of 00s. The new album sounds in a typical modern Rhythmic Noise with almost no deflections to experimentation. Also on the album were invited several musicians for collaborations, from which we can detect female vocals performed by Jo Hysteria, who reminded the collaboration of EVA | 3 and Riotmiloo. The duo of Jo with ESA turned out to be at least as good as French-British duo mentioned earlier. In the second half of the release a slight influence of Techno Industrial and more orderly electronic components was added to modern Rhythmic Noise, but the music did not become less interesting. Even a short atmospheric ambient creation is not redundant, but became harmonious part of the conception. Good powerful work of the British.
04. Ah Cama-Sotz – ‘I Believe & Allerheiligenvloed - Het Verdronken Land Van Saeftinghe’ (Tribal Industrial, IDM | Belgium, Hands Productions)
The new album of the Belgian composer Herman Klapholz, known for his work in numerous projects, including the old ritual ambient HYBRYDS, was released according to the old tradition on the German label Hands Productions. The master of tribal industrial collected material and worked during the last two years. The result of this process is a new work that was released in two versions. The main CD is called ‘I Believe’ and is made in the traditional style of the Belgian with the Tribal Industrial as a base interspersed with IDM, Techno and various kinds of electronics. The powerful beginning from the first track makes it clear that the listener is expected to hear excellent work with a complex structure, non-fast-paced themes, on which different layers wind up. Here you can find both monotonous Techno Industrial opuses and classical Tribal compositions with oriental motifs and a powerful rhythmic IDM with a technoid pulsating sound. Periodic atmospheric ambient tracks give an idea of the bonus CD, which is made whole in this genre. The second CD performed in dark and ritual Ambient genres with rare female vocals of ethereal. Second CD turned out to be quite good even by the standards of the classical Industrial scene, but this year there were better releases in this genre, but the main material deserved a place in the top 10 of Beats’n’Noises for the year 2018.
03. Maschinenkrieger KR52 & Disraptor – ‘Riot’ (Rhythmic Noise, Industrial | Germany, Hands Productions)
At the beginning/ middle of 00s German projects MASCHINENKRIEGER KR52 AND DISRAPTOR released several solo albums and in 2003 they released their debut release of co-production. Since then five more full-length albums have been released and the name has essentially become the name of one project and not of two different musicians. In 2018 the label Hands Productions, known for its Rhythmic Noise products, publishes the seventh album of the German duo. It is worth saying that in the last couple of years old classic Rhythmic Noise projects began to experiment with Techno Industrial features, IDM and at all more calm and not so noisy genres moving away from the classical sound of Rhythmic Noise. So this trend has not affected these Germans. ‘Riot’ is an example of the classic golden mean between the hard danceable Rhythmic Noise and its more experimental and slow old-school version. Dirty rough rhythm with numerous mechanical sounds combined with classical Industrial. This is not an ordinary attack on the ears with a scratchy bit, but a more structured and complete work. An excellent album with clear WINTERKÄLTE and CONVERTER influence, but with its own sound and atmosphere.
02. Ecstasphere – ‘Transgressions: Documenting Decay’ (Rhythmic Noise, Breakbeat | Germany, Audiotrauma)
Third full-length album of Ophelia from Hamburg with one of her experimental electronic projects called ECSTASPHERE. This work is the debut work in partnership with the French format label Audiotrauma. The girl makes experimental electronics consisting of Rhythmic Noise, Techno Industrial, IDM, Breakbeat and other electronic genres. And it sounds great. Also if you consider the fact that on the new album she added her atmospheric vocals, which sounds very good, and in a couple of songs she implemented metal and guitar sounds into Industrial beats, then this album can be called one of the most interesting shots not only on the Rhythmic Noise scene, but generally in electronic music. Discontinuous rhythm, violin samples and atmospheric opuses, mechanical noises, rough undertones, unexpected features and changes in the atmosphere and general direction and Ophelia’s cool vocals with echoes of the eastern elements of the ethereal... You can write many words about this album, but it’s better to listen to it. The album is able to take a prominent place not only among fans of this music genre.
01. Ancient Methods – ‘The Jericho Records’ (IDM, Industrial, Ambient | Germany, Self-Released)
The German project ANCIENT METHODS was created in the middle of 00s by Michael and Conrad. For a long time the duo released many vinyl EPs, collaborated with colleagues, but the debut full-length album was not out. At a certain point Conrad left the project and in 2018 Michael released his debut studio album full of interesting and unexpected collaborations, inherent only for this project features and a variety of genres. The basis of the sound is Techno Industrial periodically transformed into old-school Techno, which is flowing into IDM, Ambient, elements of Rhythmic Noise, Tribal Industrial and Electro Industrial elements. Few tracks are made in the genre of classical Dark Ambient. Lyrics of Kafka, experimental Techno co-amped with British DJ and composer Regis, gloomy ambience with Orphx, Electro Industrial experiments in collaboration with the dark folk musician KING DUDE on vocals, atmospheric ambient opus with the old Scottish Industrial band CINDYTALK and powerful rhythmic track with the American Power Electronics project PRURIENT… This album is attractive not only because of the names of the participants, but also because of the stylistic diversity. 11 years. It took 11 years to wait for the full-length album of ANCIENT METHODS. And the expectations were worth it by 100%. Excellent powerful debut.
Other honourable mentions: SYLVGHEIST MAELSTROM, SORTAJA, DISTORTION SIX, ISZOLOSCOPE, STURQEN, ZAVOLOKA, CIRCUITO CERRADO