|B1||Death Is Upon Us||7:10|
|C1||Straight To Hell||5:59|
- Art Direction –
- Artwork – ,
- Mastered By, Lacquer Cut By –
- Written-By, Producer –
First 500 pressed on clear light blue vinyl, in printed sleeve with detachable postcard fixed to LP cover.
- Matrix / Runout (Side A): DNKLP 01 A1
- Matrix / Runout (Side B): DNKLP 01 B1 MATT @ ALCHEMY
- Matrix / Runout (Side C): DNKLP 01 C1
- Matrix / Runout (Side D): DNKLP 01 D1 MATT @ ALCHEMY
- Samuel Kerridge, a Manchester born and bred, now a Berlin resident, is one of the year's finest surprises. Having debuted on the tantalizing Horizontal Ground, he continued and found his spiritual home on Downwards. Two unsettling EPs, and running a Berlin club night called Contort later, he delivers a full length, a double pack presenting seven tracks of dystopian techno with heavy industrial overtones.
I've read somewhere a description of his music, and it was deemed blackened industrialised technoise. On its own, that makes little to no sense. Upon listening to "A Fallen Empire", I think I'll just stick to the tag. It's not for the sake of comfort, it's rather the fact that the emission of these industrial drones over troglodytic beat programming can hardly be named anything else. Imagine this album like a cross between Regis, Whitehouse, Emptyset and a three hundred ton wrecking ball knocking down the Golden Gate bridge, and you're getting close.
Due to a very autochtone sound, and a fairly unique approach to sound design, you could tell a Kerridge tune blindfolded with rubber earplugs shoved down you ear canal, even though he's officially released only about a dozen tracks. The music presented on this album lives, breathes and propels in a world entirely of its own. Tempo wise, it may be too slow for conventional club purposes, with heavy emphasis on the conventional part. This isn't your flat out four on the floor techno you'd beatmatch into the next record in twenty seconds. Hell, I don't know what could possibly go with this, but take that as the album's strongest point. By giving such an honest and accurate vision of himself through music, the album is devoid of all compromises, whether they are to be artistic or functional.
The music is visceral, tough and most of all, immediate. There's a factor of instant gratification, if you can go along with the music, or contempt, if you cannot. The sound is so raw it demands, and commands, instant reaction, something many modern records, in their endless search of clinical perfection, steer away from. Thus, Downwards is a perfect home for this newly arrived producer. Just like Karl O' Connor and company stuck to their ideals and musical prinicples at all costs back in the day, Samuel Kerridge brings a similar attitude on "A Fallen Empire". This is one of the year's most lethal albums, if you treat yourself to it right. It is techno, but you might get disappointed if you expect the genre with preconceived ideas. Likewise, it is industrial and noisy, yet take even that with a grain of salt. Just like the last Surgeon album, this one is breaking the frame. He is a producer walking in his onw pair of shoes, not following obvious footsteps, and the result is an outstanding, emotionally envigorating and captivating set of, at first glance, harsh and cold tracks.
Whether you will challenge yourself, and try these cuts out in a club, or get fully exposed to this sonic adrenaline on your own at home, that is completely up to you. "A Fallen Empire" was clearly conceived with two main aims - not filling any premise and being itself. Despite apllying an ungodly amount of sub bass pressure and grey malevolent sound architecture, this is an obsessive pursuit of an internal sound world. It's modest yet it sounds overwhelming. Whether you will percieve it in such a way is another matter. The album's sound is instantly recognizible, not because the artist is on a desperate hunt for estrangement and being different, but because Samuel Kerridge does not know how to be anyone else but himself, and he cannot do anybody else's thing because he's stubbornly stuck doing his own. The end result? "A Fallen Empire", a stentorian release that can rub shoulders with the best of them in 2013, and radiates so much sincere freshness, that even veterans could take some notes.
- Great album¡, I recommend 4 fans of vatican shadow, violetshaped, raime etc...