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top 10 2023 01 beatsSummarizing the year is always an interesting activity. While listening to the best releases, a complete picture of how the year has passed is created and writing top notes in individual areas allows you to completely immerse yourself in the atmosphere, because each scene within the overall dark scene has its own distinctive features and uniqueness. 2023 did not become a revelation or some kind of breakthrough. In 2023, there were not a large number of albums that aroused delight and when listening to the sound in my head “yes, this is an album for centuries in the player”, however, the year cannot be called a failure. A common year with ups and downs.

I apologize in advance to the artists for possible inaccuracies in the chronology and drawing parallels with other projects, because the necessary information is not always quickly found from trusted sources and it is clear that every musician wants to be unique, but in our time of musical oversaturation and a large number of different bands and musical material in general, it is important for readers to know and understand what to expect from music, at least approximately, so comparisons cannot be avoided, although I tried to approach such moments as objectively as possible. In any case, I hardly covered 100% of the albums that were released in 2023, but the maximum was done and displayed in the reviews of each part of the dark scene.

Rhythmic Noise and related genre in 2023 did not feature many interesting and explosive albums. The label Hands Productions, as usual, maintained its brand and released high-quality albums of famous and not so famous musicians and the range of projects in the genres of Noise and Beats did not change much quantitatively. Almost no new projects appeared and the old ones created high-quality material, but it was similar to previous releases and pretty common. It seems that everything is fine, the old musicians of the scene continue to create, but there is still a feeling of some kind of degradation and decrease in intensity. This feeling already existed 2-3 years ago and then in the year after that many interesting and non-standard releases were out, so this time, apparently, the lower peak has been reached, so everything is ahead.

Covered genres: Rhythmic Noise, IDM, TBM, Techno-Industrial, Tribal Industrial

10. Die Frösche - ‘Sumpflärm 01’ (Rhythmic Noise, Techno-Industrial | Germany, Infacted Recordings)

The German project DIE FRÖSCHE was founded by Christian from <1979> and Andreas known for his work at XOTOX in the early 20s. ‘Sumpflärm 01’ is the debut work of the duo and is a mixture of Rhythmic Noise and Techno-Industrial. The press release says that the musicians were inspired by the croaking of a frog on a midsummer night, which is why all the tracks on the album are called ‘Quak’. Musically it’s somewhat similar to the more Techno-inspired work of XOTOX from the ‘PSI’ album period. The album is not bad, but without aggression and rather experimental. The atmosphere of croaking on a midsummer night is present, but whether it is noticeable to the listener due to the material itself or due to the words in the press release, it is difficult to say. Facebook:

09. Blush Response - ‘Neuroscape’ (Techno-Industrial | USA, Megastructure_)

BLUSH RESPONSE was formed in New York at the end of the 2000s and throughout its activity it was published on various labels and self-relesed. Recently musicians have founded their own label Megastructure_, on which they publish their releases. In 2023, BLUSH RESPONSE released several releases, some of which passed by and even ended up in the top disappointments and the album ‘Neuroscape’ reached the 9th position in the top of the best Rhythmic Noise. A unique situation. The album features material in the genre of Techno-Industrial with a rhythmic component and distorted vocals. Good work with unexpected turns of musical component similar to the previous releases of the project. At the end of the album a collaboration with Bon Harris from NITZER EBB fits well into the overall concept and the album ends with industrial experiments with American composer RICHARD DEVINE. Facebook:

08. Sonar - ‘Future Cries’ (Rhythmic Noise | Belgium, Hands Productions)

Dirk Ivens known for his work in the cult Belgian project THE KLINIK as well as for his solo project DIVE created SONAR in the mid-90s. The project was focused on the scene of Rhythmic Noise and not classic Post-Industrial like THE KLINIK, DIVE and other projects of the Belgian. SONAR was initially released on Dirk’s label Daft Records and then switched to Ant-Zen. The new SONAR work became the first full-length album of the project on Hands Productions. ‘Future Cries’ is the first album after almost a ten-year hiatus from SONAR’s work and is made in the genre of standard rough not particularly aggressive Rhythmic Noise with looped compositions and multi-layered piles of sounds. The material is good, but the looping gets a little tiring towards the end of the album. Facebook:

07. Monolith - ‘Concrete Playground’ (Techno-Industrial, Rhythmic Noise | Belgium, Hands Productions)

The Belgian project MONOLITH was formed in 1997 by Eric Van Wonterghem, known for his work in THE KLINIK, SONAR and INSEKT. From the very beginning, the project created an explosive mixture of Techno-Industrial, IDM and Rhythmic Noise and was published on format Rhythmic Noise labels and on the more mainstream Alfa Matrix and Rustblade. The new album ‘Concrete Playground’ is made in the project’s classic combination of Techno-Industrial and Rhythmic Noise without IDM. High-quality competently created effects and noise layers confirm professionalism and understanding of the noise aesthetics of genre, but the album is not remembered for anything unique or supernatural. Just good solid work from the Belgian confirmed the expectations from the album. Facebook:

06. Sans-Fin - ‘Feuilles Fanés’ (Rhythmic Noise, Techno-Industrial, IDM | Germany, Hands Productions)

SANS-FIN is a project from Leipzig created by DJ Hells in the mid-10s. The new work is already the sixth in the German’s discography. The project plays a mixture of IDM, Rhythmic Noise and Techno-Industrial. So, the new work is done in this genre. Looping rhythms, rough dirty beats and occasional melody create a certain atmosphere. Not a bad job, but still mostly for a background playing, although certain tracks could be marked for playlists. Facebook:

05. Shrouds - ‘Shrouds’ (Techno-Industrial, Tribal Industrial, Industrial | The Netherlands, Hands Productions)

A new name on the famous German label Hands Productions. SHROUDS is a project from the Netherlands, created in the late 10s, but its debut work was released in 2023. The album of the same name is made in an ideal proportionally balanced combination of IDM, Rhythmic Noise and Techno-Industrial. Some compositions are more rhythmic with sudden changes in rhythm and rich sound, while some on the contrary are more monotonous with sudden silence in the middle. Very good for a debut work. Facebook:

04. Maelstrom & Louisahhh - ‘Sustained Resistance’ (Techno-Industrial, EBM, Experimental Industrial | France+France, RAAR)

This is not the first time that French musicians MAELSTROM and LOUISAHHH have collaborated. In the mid-10s they created the RAAR label, on which they publish their material. The projects released EP before. In 2023 Joan-Mael and Louisa released a full-length album ‘Sustained Resistance’. The music on the album was quite varied and interesting. Here you can hear industrial play with guitar sound and the use of various electronic genre with Drum’n’Bass and Dubstep elements and experiments with IDM, but the main component still lies in the area of Rhythmic Industrial at the intersection of Techno-Industrial and EBM. Somewhere the material reminds the collaboration between EVA|3 and RIOTMILOO at the end of the 2000s, but in a more Techno version. Interesting, varied work by French musicians, worthy of a place in the collection of rhythmic noise fans. Facebook: /

03. Mono No Aware - ‘Koritsu’ (Rhythmic Noise | Germany, Hands Productions)

The old German project MONO NO AWARE needs no introduction. His works have already become one of the many calling cards of Hands Productions and the Japanese theme on the covers and in the titles of the project’s compositions is familiar to all Rhythmic Noise listeners. The new album is called ‘Koritsu’ and after some experiments with Techno-Industrial in previous albums it is made in a more familiar genre for the project’s discography. Hard, powerful, complex Rhythmic Noise with a dirty beat and a dance rhythm. This, of course, won’t make it onto the mainstream dance floor of the dark stage, but for format clubs with Rhythmic Noise it’s very good. Good job. Facebook:

02. Templər - ‘H.A.C.E.’ (Rhythmic Noise | France, Hands Productions)

The TEMPLƏR project was formed in 2016, and is considered French, but based in Berlin and since the first album in 2021 has more than once been at least a contender for my top of the year in albums or non-album releases. New work ‘H.A.C.E.’ is the second full-length solo album in the discography and is made in the genre of cool rough Rhythmic Noise with periodic inclusions of oriental elements of Tribal Industrial. Good strong material, moderately aggressive, moderately atmospheric and moderately experimental. TEMPLƏR continues to delight ears and feet. Facebook:

01. Templər & Vajjra - ‘鬼面: 영​혼​의 곡’ (Rhythmic Noise, Tribal Industrial, Industrial | France+Germany, GWI Myeon Records)

The prolific French project TEMPLƏR is presented in the top 10 Rhythmic Noises in 2023 more than once. A collaboration between two French musicians. VAJJRA is a new project by Valentin Mitsch from the Dark Ambient and Noise scene. The album was released on the South Korean label GWI Myeon Records, so apparently that’s why the album title is written in Korean. The press release states that the music on the album will immerse the listener in the cultural heritage of Armenia and is generally dedicated to the history and struggle of the Armenian people, which is clearly noticeable in some compositions. The collaboration between TEMPLƏR and VAJJRA is made in the genre of Hard Rhythmic Noise interspersed with Tribal Industrial with occasional recitations by distorted vocals, creating some references to Power Electronics. Excellent work by the duo with a unique atmosphere and competently high-quality material, where pulsating mechanical and other noises are intertwined with a noisy beat. A must-have for lovers of Rhythmic Noise and other electronic music lovers. The album contains two long compositions that will appeal to fans of classic Industrial music with classic Noise. Facebook:,

Other honorable mentions: DISTORTION SIX

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