266sx, “Rave of Redemption”

Good luck trying to pin this one down. Holy fuck, I don’t know why I even thought I could adequately review it because I have no real idea what it is. There’s a little DJ /rupture in its skittish willingness to smash genres, a pinch of c / a in the abstruseness of its jagged angles, perhaps a snippet of Prolaps in its warp-speed embrace of harmonic insanity and an equally rich prior release for Ascetic House for comparison, but aside from that… well, it’s pretty phenomenal, actually, so let’s just give this a go. 

An unrelenting blend of fractal noise, defective bass, sludgy Middle Eastern vox and whatever samples were kicking around in the dust on the studio floor at the time of creation, Rave of Redemption is half-an-hour of jolting, virtuosic joy. If Lázaro Común chose his artistic moniker in homage to Roberto Bolaño’s legendarily perplexing final book, the fragmentary pulp of styles, threads and themes presented here is a fine sonic equivalent. “[P]aranoia as to what is the true nature of events” is the way Común describes the record’s influence – a sentiment that could just as easily characterise the experience of reading the great Chilean novelist or, indeed, the psychology of any number of his uniquely frangible protagonists. 

There are no beats here that aren’t of the shatteringly explosive kind, repeatedly splitting surface layers of queasy ambience and plaintive invocation into stuttering, squealing shards. Coiling strains of IDM, glitch and Footwork compete violently for prominence, often tangling themselves into tight, heaving knots from which immolation offers the only escape.  Constituent titles such as “redentor” and “mass for public violence” seem to gnash and tear at the very fabric of their existence, and “dundarave” sprints breathlessly from a dark and violent foe. Respite is frequent but chillingly brief; cold, Pendereckian breaks in tracks like “lázaro ven hacia tu” are too unnerving to soothe, simply building tension as yet another contorted onslaught readies its arrival. As things come to an end, Común delivers a ghostly sermon, his vocals whispered and wavering as tribal drums and whiplash electronics clash beneath and the spirit of Alan Vega is felt all around.