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alberich-machine gun nest: cassette works vol. 0 lp (hospital productions)

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alberich: machine gun nest cassette works vol 0

Machine Gun Nest: Cassette Works Vol. 0 is a massively crucial vinyl dispatch from the no-man's-land between noise and techno, penned by Kris Lapke aka Alberich. Scoping rare and out-of-print highlights from his extensive cache for co-conspirators Hospital Productions over the last six years, it embodies a shell-shocked and embattled spirit in eight parts ranging from water-boarded ambience to remorseless industrial rhythms and night-goggled darkwave projections. Since the earliest days of Hospital Productions, Kris Lapke has been integral to the label's audacious aesthetic, whether applying signature ceramic finish to their releases as go-to mastering engineer, or as a shadow member of Prurient and in black metal assault unit Ash Pool, both with Dominick "Vatican Shadow" Fernow. However, it's arguably under the Alberich aegis which he's produced his most important work, a string of almost entirely cassette-only releases united by themes of military might, depraved distortion and cathartic despair. In a bloodied field where noise is worn like armor, Alberich has developed an almost impenetrable, aggressive defense mechanism to shield a bitter, bruised, and occasionally vulnerable soul. It's employed to invasive, visceral effect in his most brutal pieces such as the rollicking "Rumbala" and "Panerai," and tempered to make sure your wounds won't heal after the industrial battery of "Open Warfare" or the bone-splitting "Image of Progress," but it's most affective when combined with bilious, scowling darkwave synth atmospheres in the shocking vista of "Gold" or the crushing pathos of "Virgins." Yet, if there's any one track that sums up the feeling of desolation, attrition and decay most vividly, it's "No Mistake," where the abrasive exoskeleton is shed to reveal genuinely heart-in-mouth chords and glazed-eye pads which leave us an emotional mush every time.

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