Published by Alessandro Violante on August 11, 2017
When French label Audiotrauma, after some years having been releasing music since the early works of Chrysalide and Sonic Area, began releasing albums in collaboration with German Ant-Zen (let’s think about the first Hologram_ album or the collaborative album We are the alchemists), French HORSKH became one of the most well known projects of this label. In 2014 they composed their first EP, and since then almost three years have passed; Bastien, together with Briou (this one only playing live) made their first full length titled Gate, published on the 10th of April.
Gate is an album made of very modern sounds, which HORSKH like to define as hardelectro, influenced by nineties electronica, in particular by big beat. It works without sounding outdated, while keeping an eye on current tendencies: almost every song goes straight to the point, and it’s catchy. The tracks develop not more than two ideas at time, this that they sound easy to remember.
That’s why Gate is an album far from the idea of “making noize great again” and far from post-industrial music, but surely it’s not something that will bother you. Rather, it is an electronic album having a vaguely punk attitude, highlighted by the vocals here used, a sort of reaction to their more technical and experimental colleagues.
The opener Victim is a very good example of what said above. It’s a song starting with a shrilling, hard-hitting and engaging beat, strong electronics, and it even shows a well developed slowed section. No unuseful embellishments are to be found. Engaged and confused is linked to modern EBM sounds, having an engaging and dancefloor-oriented rhythm, but it doesn’t sound ordinary, while Intruder recalls late ’90s The Prodigy with its beat. Sleeps breaks the storm, being a slow instrumental song with a dystopic electro-gothic mood.
Then, the album continues with uncommon and convincing songs. Stay ready – To feel the storm has breakbeat influences with a modern approach, breaking the four-on-the-floor rhythm of the other tracks. Also Trigger looks back with interest to the English sound of nineties, showing a good groove, while the ending song, Through the …, let early industrial rhythms and sounds clearly emerge, closing the album in a good fashion.
In the context of industrial music, most of the times many projects seem to live on the emulation of older sounds, (although our contemporary scenario in different from that of its early bands), continously copying them. Audiotrauma and specifically HORSKH give us, with Gate, a very modern and interesting album, and it means nothing if it’s strictly “industrial” or not.
Rating: 7, 5