Digital Deformation: Self Titled EP

As great and impressive as previous album No Signal was, Digital Deformation has left it in the dust of evolution with its new self-titled EP. The new release sees Matt Powell, the creator and sole member of Digital Deformation, returning with a mightier presence, more intense invention, and simply greater titanic sounds. It is a furious onslaught of thunderous industrial energy, skilfully crafted ebm, and electronic passion, all thrust into songs which ignite the passions and moves the body into action like an insatiable puppeteer.

Since forming the project at the beginning of 2010, Powell has continually grabbed attention and greatly positive reactions. His early releases System Failure and Powertrips were harsh and gritty, their striking and confronting presences sparking good acclaim which No Signal built upon and elevated with ease. The clear control and craft which evolved across those releases has found another depth and sphere of creativity with the new EP, as well as deeper rampant energy to the still merciless antagonistic intensity.

Released through Static Distortion Records, Powell ensures capitulation to his magnetic malice from the first two tracks alone, both mighty oppressive intrusive assaults which ignite the imagination and enslave the heart. Homecoming begins first, its flesh tingling initial rub and sonic drilling soon in league with roving rhythms and muscular beats wrapped in potent melodic persuasion and electro hooks which snare the senses without resistance. Female spoken vocals splinter the track at times to temper the gruff spite of Powell but also to add an extra chill to the metallic charge. By midway the track is a prowling antagonist, searing the ear and beyond whilst chewing on the debris with an intensity as rampaging as the golden sonic taunts are seductive.

Forget Me takes no time in adding its abrasive splendour to the wounds inspired by its predecessor, its acidic squalls of corrosive energy and coarse sonic brew simply hypnotic. The track then steps back its erosion to free tight explosions of pulsating melodic spots, the electro flirting a mix of Kraftwerk and Rammstein, before merging it all into a bruising maelstrom of splendour which needs and gets a repeating. It is like a recipe, a layering of textures and flavours which bewitch individually and fuse for a heightened delicious satisfaction. Stomping with vehemence flying from every word and bone resonating beats, it is a glorious storm of fiery harmonics and intent violence.

Strong finds a fiercer furnace to its dance. It is less forceful but crawls within the ear to tease and test the senses with sirenesque female harmonies, vibrant melodic swagger, and a rabid snarl to leave its surface warm yet challenging. It is another diverse aspect to the varied and intriguing release which the following Occupy repeats in its own distinct manner. It plays like a hungry mix of electro hardcore and industrial, its hybrid gait thrilling the ear like a riot of Axis Mundi, Ghost In The Static, and Conformist.

The release is closed by firstly User Defined and then a remix of the same track by Axial Point. The original is an ever shifting tempest of ideas and energies driven by ear slapping invention and compulsive sounds. Featuring Lewis Collins of Ghost In The Static on lead guitar, the track unveils a soundscape which provokes imagery and emotion which varies from listen to listen but always leaves a residue of provocation to contemplate and be invigorated by. The remix offers a less intense take of the track, its more relaxed and drifting whispers opening up a meditative and tranquil grace to its heart. It is a strong and pleasing version but pales right up close to the inventive original.

Digital Deformation has returned with a mighty and irresistibly compelling release which leaves the imagination and passions fully quenched. Nothing else need be said.

RingMaster 06/11/2012

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Ghost In The Static: The Infection Vols 1 & 2

With an album due for later in the year UK electro industrial metal band Ghost In The Static have as a teaser a double volume release called The Infection. As an indicator of what is ahead the EP which came out at the end of last year and beginning of this, is a deeply pleasing and exhilarating inducement that marks their forthcoming album as one of the more important ones in an ever fluctuating industrial scene.

Ghost In The Static first grabbed attention and acclaim with their debut album Open Eyed Dreamer Part I: Revelation in February of last year, the release a vibrant and dramatic voice to an agitated genre. The Bracknell quintet forge irresistible hooks and melodies into striking and aggressive energy offering it with a direct intensity to create music that hits hard but expands into ever increasing and exhilarating intrusive pleasures. The new release is no different except for being even more controlled and deliberate in its assimilation of emotions and heart. It is a very promising statement of what is ahead and makes the anticipation for the album impatient.

Consisting of Steve Fearon, Lewis Collins, Gareth Stapleton, Mike Fearon, and Martin Rogers, Ghost In The Static explode in the ear on Volume 1 of The Infection with Not Enough. The song rushes in from distance with a pulsating beat and eager hypnotic enchantments. It is reasonably restrained initially, the track grazing on the ear with lit up melodies and acidic pinches of rhythms and energy. It then gradually expands and before long one is infected by its blood pumping power and pulse racing energy, the contagion in full swing before you know it and the only disappointment is when it ends. The band brings an impactful blend from the likes of Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, and Cynical Existence to help forge their own instinctive metal veined sounds. It is powerful and impossible to resist, a heavy blackened siren which consumes fully.

Now regular readers will know remixes and their point is lost on us here but The Infection it has to be said certainly left one almost as enthused from many of those that complete the EP as from the title track. Steve Fearon from the band and the owner of Static Distortion, their own label, said they would but we assumed he was just biased. The most impressive is the Anarchy Mix by Cyvergence, a track that yanks out the metallic spine of the song and layers it with the punk aggression and directness only suggested in the original. The melodic synth flows are still there but restrained by the primal and combative attack of the song. He makes the track different and unique, his use of the guitars and rhythms pointing at a Fear Factory toned heart. If all remixes were like this than there would never be a resistance to them.

The Not Enough Drums Mix by Witness The Apotheosis is a provocative piece that brings a neat alignment between a coarser tone and electro elements to concentrate on the disentangled beats and energies. A great track diminished by the excellence of the previous two versions. Completed by remixes by Ninja Spice and Kaziko White, both admittedly vibrant and intriguing pieces the EP is a striking release.

The Infection Volume 2 consists of four remixes of the track Saviour. The song is a belligerent track given an attentive makeover in a quartet of approaches that again bring and draw out something different each time. The Ghost Mix is antagonistic but off set by the dazzling electro beacons of sonic manipulations and bristling energy whilst the Machine Rox Mix takes an a sturdier eighties electro Ultravox come Visage pop sound but keeps the raw and militant vocals intact for a great contrast.

The mix by band stable mate Digital Deformation scuzzes everything up into a cloudy and undefined mix which works a treat though as with the remaining Flesh Eating Foundation Mix, it does not take the song into new areas as Cyvergence did on the other Volume.

Not Enough is the key track and alone makes the new album from Ghost In The Static an urgent addition to grab upon its release. Right now though you can grab copies of The Infection @ and, with Volume 2 being free and Volume 1 offering a free download of the title track.

RingMaster 16/04/2012 Registered & Protected

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Digital Deformation – No Signal

The new album from UK industrial electronic band Digital Deformation is no lightweight when it comes to creating sounds to not only touch the ear but to test and stretch thoughts and senses too. Challenging and dramatic the body and essence of No Signal does not seek to leave uplifted hearts and smiles once it has ravaged its listeners but rather take them on a dark, at times steely cold, and ultimately a very rewarding journey. This music is not for those who want an easy life of electronic pulses and hooks that come with ear candy ease, the experimental expansive industrial soundscapes offered are for those who want to submerge within sounds, to feel them in every pore and synapse.

Formed in January 2010 Essex based Digital Deformation is the one man project of Matt J. Powell. The two previous Digital Deformation releases, System Failure and Powertrips both received acclaim with the latter finding some good radio play and press coverage. No Signal should garner even more attention and enthusiasm as Powell has evolved his earlier sounds into an even more controlled and intensely focused affair. The diverse array of splintered song structures, exacting fusions of sonically testing sounds, and a randomness overall that is rigorous and ear catching, makes each track on the album an inventive and creative maelstrom of edgy and intriguing intrusions.

The eleven songs on No Signal carry views, statements, and warnings, some obvious and some to be interpreted individually adding that little extra to make the music even more rewarding. There is a prophetic coldness and singularity to the emotions brought forth throughout from themes spawned from a hard and bitter mechanical base and others seeping the inner sickness that permeates this world. Powell uses diverse and at times demanding and surprising sounds with skilled ingenuity to bring an atmospheric and emotive smothering that suffuses the release and those whose ears openly digest the offered sounds.  

The tracks attack and display their motives and aural visions consistently across the album, from the scathing and harsh ‘Digital Deformation’, the political and social battering of ‘Discipline Me’ , to the dark emotive ‘Divine’ veiled by distorted harmonies and throbbing pulses. The effect is formidable and demanding without ever leaving the recipient suffering needlessly.

Some tracks stand out more than most on No Signal like the senses slapping stomp of ‘’, summing up the general consensus right now it is a strikingly formidable and impressive burst of magnetized intensity. ‘Resistance Crushed’ a withering bombardment of incisive sounds and heavy beats, and the Nine Inch Nails/Global Citizen tinged commentary of ‘D.E.F.C.O.N’ show impressively strong creative songwriting and usage of layers and distinctly crafted at odds sounds. The closing majesty of ‘Salvation’ using a wonderful sampled female voiced melody to contrast the dark menacing truthful message raises the level most of all, with core felt warnings, false hope, and sparks of positivity for socially blind human moths, the track is verging on perfection and leaves the listener desperate to dive right back into the album upon its completion.

No Signal will not be for everyone though all should give it a moment of time as within its industrial corridors there is something for most waiting to be discovered. It is taxing at times, always challenging, and often aurally numbing, but these are also some of the reasons the album is so good. For those who do dip toes and more into the vast waters of industrial music, Digital Deformation should be high on their investigation list.

RingMaster 14/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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