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russell haswell-as sure as night follows day 2lp (diagonal)

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russell haswell: as sure as night follows day

As Sure as Night Follows Day is Russell Haswell's landmark second album for the London-based Diagonal label. Consolidating a quarter-century at the forefront of extreme computer music, techno, and death metal in 19 tracks and 49 minutes, it's Haswell's most coherent yet varied burst of activity to date, zigzagging from improvised n0!se outbursts and asphyxiated R&B to a brace of thundering acid bullets that positively froth for the 'floor. The album was extracted over a fast-working period in late 2014, and is best perceived as a sort of fractured regression to his formative influences; one can hear the picnoleptic recollections of grindcore shows in the Black Country, the refracted shades of mega-raves at Coventry's Eclipse, the conflating toxic texture-memories of early Japanese noise, and the incandescent stomp of Mills and Hood in that early-'90s phase. Fortunately for the ravers, this album includes some of Haswell's most direct dancefloor attacks to date. "HARDWAX FLASHBACK," for instance, finds him in pure tekno panik mode -- a four-to-the-floor wrecking-ball groove that someone, somewhere, may even be able to mix. "GAS ATTACK" distils his penchant for all things Belgium into a vicious strain of new beat lactic acid. Haswell then doffs his cap to Detroit electro legends Drexciya on "Underwater Electronic Struggle" -- a story goes that he once thrashed a jet-ski all over the Mediterranean while listening to 'Wavejumper" in his 'phones -- before he does the salty freestyle electro flex ting on "Extended Industry Knowledge (for OSCAR)" while reminding his trusty apprentice Powell that he still has a lot to learn. Between these 'floor-flexers, one finds more freakish disturbances and intrusive drum-box improvisations: the modular mind-floss of "RAVE SPLURGE NOISE FM" or "Noise Rave," for instance, or the self-explanatory "Improvisation #1." "In the Air Today" investigates warehouse-ready electroacoustic percussion, while the chaotic clusters of "INTERLUDE" swarm and invade the senses with psychoacoustic incision. This is Diagonal and Russell at their most fucked up and fizzy, and an important reminder of the artist's stream-of-consciousness genius -- and the pressing need for more chaos and unpredictability in electronic music today. Mastered and cut by Matt "The Alchemist" Colton at Alchemy. Soft-touch laminate sleeve design by Guy Featherstone.

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