Published by Davide Pappalardo on May 21, 2017
Japanese techno industrial dj and producer Tomohiko Sagae is a force to be reckoned with in the world of heaviest and darkest electronic music. His style is unrelenting and obsessive, but at the same time built on keen skills in songwriting department and a deep understanding of both techno and rhythmic noise. After many EP’s and singles, he now presents his first full length called Sensory deprivation, published by German label HANDS. Udo Wiessmann‘s label once again shows us an interest which extends beyond the boundaries of pure rhythmic noise, even if at the same time it does not forget its roots and purpose: here, hypnotic industrial rhythms are fused with dark, eerie noise-laden sounds, and sometimes we found ourselves shaking our heads after an enthralling groove.
Be not mistaken, this is not a club-friendly album, every track is full of aggression, hard-hitting drum machines and distorted kicks, an hellbound ride which lasts for twelve insane techno industrial gems. But it manages to do something many works of this genre can’t pull-off: it doesn’t bore us, and any episode has its own identity, although it keeps a coherent inner structure where everything is connected by a common thread. If techno industrial is often a very misused term, applied to works with very little of one or the other in them, here’s not the case: the only apt definition is a dark juggernaut in which techno, rhythmic noise, industrial collide, generating a pounding and tumultuous attack played on abrasive noises and unforgiving earth-shattering beats.
Cold eyes could be seen as a manifesto for the album: after an eerie and shrilling introduction, shotgun-like rhythms and scorching loops destroy our sensations and mind, guiding us in a modern sabbath made of thunderous explosions. Scream in pain surprises us with a kind of techno boogie-driven groove, which is enriched by bombastic rhythmic patterns and roaring distorted effects: its energy gives us a memorable crescendo made of sonic madness.
Telephone is nothing short of an epic soundtrack for a futuristic factory, something which reminds us of the cinematic atmospheres of sci-fi dystopic movies like The Terminator with its unrelenting and slow mechanic movement. Unrecognizable distorted vocals are added into the equation, resulting in one of the best moments on the album. The first part of Perverse mind indulge in the rhythmic noise side of things, drilling our ears with sharp distortions and powerful beats, while the second one engages us with a steady techno ride bombastic in nature and execution.
Hyperarousal uses electro-industrial bass-lines upon which ferocious distortions are layered, giving us a hypnotic loop of Richter magnitude, and Keep the faith reminds us of the less compromising side of Regis and Birmingham sound, adding evocative horns in the background. Pollen disease (Orchardgrass) is a militant march which epitomizes rhythmic-techno with its broken rhythms and growing tension, and the closing number Dark deeds links dark ambient soundscapes and savage drum machines, resulting in another grandiose episode, rich in its sound and ability to engulf us with its riffing sounds.
Sensory deprivation surpasses all the anticipations and then some, a work shining of a dark light among its peers. It manages to be fully alined with the current techno industrial sound, but at the same time it is not out of place in the world of rhythmic noise, showing the many connecting dots between the two genres. Any rivethead and/or techno industrial aficionado should give it a listen. One of the best albums of the year for sure, and a perfect debut for a name we will keep an eye on for the time being.
Rating: 8, 5