12" / DL
Rubik is clearly either a madman or a genius. Combining his love for all things electronic and all things evil, this offering is some mind-mangling dance/black metal hybrid. According to the “Sympathy” card that this release came with and the press blurb inside, this marks a departure from his usual sound. Listening to his MySpace will reveal that even the “usual” is by no means mundane. The techno beats and ethereal sweep of opener ‘Carrion’ gives this a distinctly ominous sound that sets you on edge even before any of the darker arts come in. It opens with the sound of a train passing in the night and leads into a recorded sample of a determined female voice. At 3:30, he appears… a rabid zombie announces his arrival with a bass-tweaked snarl and a series of incomprehensible ramblings; perhaps his mouth is full of rotting human flesh. ‘Substance’ is a mere one minute homage to Bach (apparently) through the medium of acoustic guitar, but after the harrowing opening track my head is full of otherwordly imaginings - I imagine the thing is plucking itself all of its own accord! It leads to the masterpiece, ‘The Shadow’. Dripping sewage pipes, mashed-up beats effected from double-kick drums, gruelling guitar fuzz that burns it’s way across your hypothalamus. An atmospheric dirge begins to wind itself round and round, tighter, tighter, restricting the flow of the track, heightening the senses to the possibilities. And then… silence. It’s all over.
With so little to go on, there is clearly a need for Rubik to keep plugging away with this mayhem. First time round, it’s probably one of the most exhilarating things I’ve listened to this year. Subsequent plays don’t quite do it justice with the initial excitement waring thin disappointingly rapidly. However, it’s no coincidence that this… gothic rave, for want of a better description, works so well. It’s a couple of notches down from the dance macabre, a few sideways from industrial metal, and a couple up from bands like Techno Necro or Combichrist. Please, sir, can I have some more?
As fusions go, metal and dance have traditionally been unhappy bedfellows. Luckily Rubik seems to have a deep understanding and respect for both genres and his Carrion EP is a teeth rattling success. Over its three tracks it sets it template, combining the clipped production of futuristic dance and the more gloomy elements of modern black metal to genuinely thrilling effect. Lead track Carrion has already been picking up plays on Radio 1, XFM and Resonant and anyone looking for something defiantly different will find plenty to admire here.
Arcane baffle-beats from London's Rubik, releasing two tracks of style and fashion defying Black Metal and techno on his own Domestic imprint. 'Carrion' is the 140bpm+ techno meets atmospheric metal (con)fusion on the A-side, which we think sounds far better at 33rpm, while 'Substance/The Shadow' on the flip mutates from a Bach homage played on acoustic guitar to a double-kickdrum driven metal noise assault.
The thing I hate about records like this, is that you would have to be on some kind of drugs to be able to describe them in any real detail. Or worse, a Wire magazine reviewer. To these ears the first track on this EP from Rubik - 'Carrion' is an excellent danceable crunchy techno-paced tune with dark overtones with some scary samples that progresses into an "Amen Break". 'Substance' is a nice plucky acoustic guitar piece that goes straight into `The Shadow' - a full assault on the ears. Some might describe it as a "bag of noise". I won't. Tech-metal? Whatever, Rubik sounds like he knows what he's doing. Something for everyone, I would say. Domestic is a London-based label who up until now have only released digitally, the 'Carrion' EP is Domestic's first "physical" release. The good thing about this label is that it doesn't stick to one style. which is a good thing for us, but a nightmare for records shops. What section do they put it in? Good thing there aren't many record shops left or we would have mass panic on our hands.
So this Rubik character, there seems to be a bit of fuss over his debut 12" EP on Domestic. 'Carrion' is the lead track and i'm sat here waiting for something crazy to happen that's gonna shit my face off. Well it starts off with like a dark itchy electroid beat and a hollow, brooding bass line before some more industrial techy vibes start to gang up on you, the whole thing pacing along rapidly, malevolently, with plenty of tight programming, spooked tinkly keys and dirty sinister samples. It's the first time in a VERY long while where i've heard techy junglist beats (they come in later on) merged with a caustic, yearning guitar line and thought it totally works. Quite something after all that! The flip starts off with a sombre acoustic guitar ('Substance' - a tribute to Bach apparently) before splintered lo-fi glitch beats and a creeping aura of doom creeps all over your head like a big fat spider of sheared metal oblivion. We cannot suss quite what speed this side should be as it sounds wrong on both. Wrong in lots of ways but the skittering cyber beats & evil shifting bass grind of 'The Shadow' are quite delightful in their sinister intent. I can see this appealing to a lot of different pools of people - the gabber head, industrial fiend & extreme metal "Krews" as well as curious "IDM" consumers that err towards the Hymen end of things. Can't pigeon hole this fucker thank god so if yr curious go for it.... 8/10