The Netherlands does electronics well. In spite of its size Holland is a heartland of machine music. Clone. Bunker. Crème Organization. Viewlexx. Bordello A Parigi. And the list goes on. From this fecund ground comes a new imprint, TH ± Tar Hallow.
The Rotterdam label, founded by Thano Papadopoulos, notes the above labels as having “definitely been influential.” And it’s understandable. The largest port in Europe is a music hub. “Buying records from Triple Vision and Clone is a routine” adds Papadopoulos as I quiz him on his hometown.
And The Netherlands is the fount for the opening pair of releases. Dimitris Damaskos, hails from Greece but calls Holland home. His name might perk an ear amongst some, with recent remixes on Lower Part for Andreas Gehm, as Damcase, and DJ Stingray in his partnership as Ton. For TH ± Damaskos is debuting a new moniker, Super Unknown, and cute and cuddly it ain’t. Beats are boiled, drowned in distortion before being thrown in your face. Raw and unrefined the four tracker courses with a primitive energy. Gurgling analogue squawk is a bitter side dish to the thump. “Super Unknown Pt. 1” is the flip of the EP, a menacing lowly piece of strained ambience. “Transistor Line” stalks the shadows in similar fashion. The other end of the 12” are warped audio tortures. Spite poured atop scorn. Bruising techno bludgeons hammering from a height.
The follow up comes from Den Haag denizen Maarten Epskamp. Better known as Bunker Records malcontent Klankman TH02 marks his second excursion on wax. The aggression that inaugurated his first outing hasn’t subsided. This fetid stuff. Punishing percussion, barbed claps and acid lines scorched into skin. Tracks like “Rashond” will do permanent speaker damage, basslines battering all. “Draaikolk” is a little less fierce but no less profane. Toxic twists of 303 blur rhythms, you can almost hear dancefloors buckle. This is techno that should be caged, techno that abuses and assaults before ripping to shreds.”Spookhuis” is the final blow to the back of the head. Rumbling chords ghost as tensions build for an intense end.
TH ± Tar Hallow is continuing down the path laid by the likes of Unit Moebius and Guy Travers. It’s treading the boards laid by Jamal Moss and industrial acts like Esplendor Geometrico. This is a label exploring bold new talent and giving a platform to sinister sounds. That trail is being further paved with a new 12″ about to be dropped by Charlton with label boss Thano serving up a devilish remix. Definitely a label to keep an ear on, though be careful of tinnitus.