Sometimes I get very bored with modern Techno. The last couple of years have seen an explosion in the sort of slightly industrial, slightly dark clanking sounds that have often felt closer to Heavy Metal than any form of dance music should.
Part of the problem is that for all the alleged darkness, very few of these records genuinely seem to play on that part of the brain where we store all the stuff that unsettles us. That’s a failing that’s not just to be found in music, of course. The last couple of decades of horror movies have shown an adolescent contempt for anything even remotely scary, preferring to rely on the second-rate and obvious shocks to which the desensitized crowds will respond in a pleasingly Pavlovian style. Just stick some good-looking kid up there, his face buried under a hockey mask, with a bloody knife in his hand and its job done. The sad thing is, as a species, we are now so jaded and intellectually lazy that something along those lines is the most terrifying thing we can think off. When something truly horrific happens, we can now no longer process it.
That might not actually be all that strange I suppose, considering the things we should really be scared off are so far out of our control we might as well put our faith in whatever God you wish to follow and call it a day. A couple of years ago, we all watched the footage of a huge meteor burning up over central Russia, causing millions of dollars worth of damage to what was a relatively empty piece of the world. 100 years before, something – a comet maybe – slapped into the ground above far eastern Russia in the Tunguska region flattening trees across hundreds of square miles. Had it reached the earth even 30 minutes later, a huge part of western Europe – its people, it’s culture, it history and all else – would have simply stopped existing. You see, maybe the one good thing about the kids in hockey mask stabbing up cheerleaders is this: It distracts us from remembering that, at any time it feels like it, the endless, godless expanse of the universe can simply reach out and stop everything we know. Forever. Now, that’s terrifying.
Which leads me to tonights tune, Nature Of the Beast (Black Noise Mix) by Black Noise. If anyone is in any doubt exactly how much of the darkness in modern Techno is little more than posturing all they have to do is stick this track on. This is one of the most brutal tracks ever released. Its fast but the velocity almost vanishes under those thick, dark, swirling synths that build and build upon each other, like weather fronts colliding on a distant gas giant until a perfect storm is born. By the time, nearly three minutes in, the percussion arrive, we are already lost in the cyclone without a hope of finding our way back to safety. And for all that it remains one of the funkiest, most deadly tracks to ever be released on Juan Atkins label, Metroplex.
Much of darkwave, industrialized Techno will continue to ham up the hockey mask killer angle much as it has done for a while now; pretentious ‘post-punk’-ish electronica outfits will continue to equate droning synthy boredom with intellectual advancement and examinations of the darker part of the human pysche, which will no doubt thrill the subset of Techno heads who think wearing black eyeliner is dangerous and original. None of that matters to Nature Of The Beast, because Nature Of The Beast is something rather beyond all that: It’s the full stop at the end of the sentence; it’s godless divinity made frequency; it’s a Mass Extinction Event.
And that, I think, really is the Nature Of The Beast.