April 22, 2011

XANDER HARRIS - "Urban Gothic" LP (Not Not Fun)

  Another notch in NNF's bed post, and one of our favorites for 2011, thus far.Xander Harris aka: Justin Sweatt, conjures up thirteen unlucky tracks of nightmarish industrial doom and gloom, with his debut full length, Urban Gothic.Not unlike label mate Umberto's Italo-horror club scores, Urban Gothic further explores the dark corners of goth and industrial music.Plenty of nods to John Carpenter's dramatic sound-scapes, and Claudio Simonetti's creepy synth manipulations, laid atop minimalist, Moroder style street beats.A bit heavier on the late 80's Euro club tip than the aforementioned, but remember, this is not a film score.This is dance music for the spirit world.Creeper anthems and paranoid campfire tales put to tape.Urban Gothic is far from any painfully sequenced laptop jam, the songs are quite good and terribly addictive.The stiff, robotic elements of typical machine drumming and motorik programming bores have been removed, as Harris has apparently played all of the percussion himself, with the use of electronic drum pads.It makes for a looser, more organic approach to the grave rave.Deep synth chords fill the air, like a thick black smoke rising from a smoldering ash.Those icy arpeggios and haunting melodies just seem to slither down through the cracks of throbbing bass lines perfectly.Visions of a giant axe swinging overhead in slow motion, a ghoulish hand creeping over someones shoulder, and a smoke-filled torture chamber flood your mind's eye with each listen.Things are pitch black and neon pink all at once, a shady old house in a familiar part of town.Given the midnight horror marathon vibe of this record, it remains a totally danceable and fun listen.With song titles like "Hatchet In Your Teeth", "Fucking Eat Your Face", and "I Want More Than Just Blood", you can't go wrong.Or, you've gone terribly wrong, in all of the right ways.Killer B-horror flick stills on the cover to boot.Highly recommended cemetery jams for after-after parties and introvert bedroom clubbing.

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