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22 February 2016
Black Tears - The Long Decline


    Didactically-named Black Tears are the Italy-based duo consisting of Francesco Baudazzi and Giorgio Gigli. As the ardent admirers of deep techno will tell you, it's not a new combination, we've all witnessed the ascension and sudden stop of their imprint Zooloft where they released a number of acclaimed EPs as Gigli & Obtane. The Long Decline is the first LP to appear on Baudazzi's new Veleno Viola label and it sees them take a somewhat different approach.

    A growling beast from another world gets us started on Adalbert In Chaos with a unique and quite disturbing vocal distortion, while electronic pulses, distant moaning and a harsh, low-end buzzing add to the feeling of unease; it's a bad trip gone wrong. On Dynasty Of Blood, sticky, muddied kicks and sandy hats conspire with a bassline buried deep in its hostile environment, causing a disconcerting feeling; the echoes of cold, distant voices instill a twitchy, nervous anxiety—it is the dread of being watched by malevolent forces concealed in the shadows. Trippy and hypnotic, Asymmetric Vocalizer comes off as an inner voice of a crushed soul, worn down by the bleak world that surrounds it: flattened kicks spar with more fractured chatter, creating a sense of genuine isolation. Magic Initiation projects a feeling of heightened paranoia, a thousand eyes are watching your every move, bassy, dubbed out and contemplative, it plays as a soundtrack to our 24-hours-surveillance society, where a melodic, motorized buzz of hundreds of cameras create that dark, street corner ambiance. Layers of textured drones and heavy-duty mechanisms set a fearsome tone on Bridge Of Sighing, before synchronized wooden hats and ferocious, bouncing bass drums drive at pace where together they leave a trail of ponderous, hard-hitting post-techno. Weighty, muffled kicks, revved-up, gruff electro and the sounds of crashing metal propel Trisomia 13 through the dank, dimly-lit streets at dusk—meanwhile, a growling bass hangs heavy in the air, redolent of a toxic cloud of smog caused by the countless vehicles passing by; despite this barrage of sonic pollution, it feels a lonely place.

    Mountain Of The Wanderer is a downright foray into an abusive, industrial sector: riotous, splayed kicks are savaged by hideous, caustic outbursts; it's an audio representation of a million screams harvested, the pain and suffering of a tormented populi forced to work in the detritus, doing jobs no man or women should ever have to do. The terror continues into the night on Catharsis Tempore, where a menacing ambiance floods the streets, piercing whines of jet engines and their droning downdraft will leave anyone frozen stiff as they hover above; this is what happens when you break curfew. Illusion Dada can bring into mind a vision of pursuit: jittery, militaristic percussion trips along as you flee, panicked and disorientated, while the hard-driven, bashing kick drums thump as the police bray at the door—a pointless act in a senseless world. In a truly dystopian style, Fears For Desires offers hope just before the end: grainy, ambient pads intersect with sharpened hats as incisive symbols get drenched in slippery, glitched electro—is this the world you've been dreaming of or a drug-induced fantasy? Melancholic but uplifting, your troubles will be washed away in as sea of deeply moving and the most heart-achingly beautiful melodies since late 90's Autechre/Gescom; if this doesn't bring a tear to your eye it will surely send shivers down your spine and make the hair stand on end. Hope soon turns to despair on The Long Decline: dry, monotone kicks and the whirring choir of machines is all but paralyzing, the sensation is that of being strapped to a chair, motionless and helpless, as the grinding of a surgical drill bores its way through your vertebrae—a new behavioral chip for this broken robot... Welcome to the 21st century, your life is no longer your own.

    The Long Decline is a unique journey through the post-industrial wastelands grazed with techno, electro and noise. It also has a strong singular focus belying the fact that it is a collaboration, a testament to how well Baudazzi and Gigli work together. Moral decline, destruction of the family unit, the criminalisation of humans and the destruction of our civil liberties—it's all here, a stark reminder of the times we live in, this soundtrack is of today, for today. But despite being dark, disturbing, and far from easy listening, it is incredibly rewarding. Those who prefer to live in blissful ignorance—avoid at all cost, this work is intended for thoughtful heads and perceptive minds, a 21st century classic.

Words by b.yond.


Release Type: Album

Release Date: 10 February 2016

Release Format: Vinyl

Record LabelCatalog: Veleno Viola • VVLP001

Purchase Links: Ready madeRedeyeCloneJunoHardwaxHHVDecksDeejay


Category: Reviews
| Added by: rhetor
| Tags: Veleno Viola, LP, Black Tears, industrial, Vinyl-only, EBM, Techno, 2016