Attrition: The Unraveller Of Angels – album review
Attrition ‘The Unraveller Of Angels’
If anyone hasn’t heard Attrition before you really have been living through another timeline. I’m not talking Twitter timeline either as its creator first embarked on a lifetime of Attrition long before social networking via computer became a Global pastime. Martin Bowes rose from the red sands of post-Industrial days and has spawned three decades of output with a CV of more than 20 albums. But, that’s past tense so let’s talk of the complexity of The Unraveller Of Angels in the present. Around four years in the making at his commercial studios The Cage in Coventry whilst at the same time working on a film score and other production work. The result is a widescreen collision of driven electronics, seething strings and pictorial soundscapes. All highly fused with the deep gutteral utterings of Martin’s vox and the outer-body voice of female collaborant Tylean. One entwining massed soul errupts.
This is a rich, dark, brooding journey through circuitry, the beauty of sparse orchestral elements and human emotion. It defies category as does the majority of Attrition’s vast catalogue of sound, though those with a penchant for Alan Wilder’s Recoil project would readily find a home for The Unraveller.., especially with Martin’s varied use of vocals inside its mix. Many a track; ‘Karma Mechanic’, ‘Histrionic!’, ‘Suicide Engineer’ can surely be heard as we tweet on the unlit dancefloors of forgiving alt.cultural clubs of Europe and these beaty slabs rise supremely amid slower, frankly disturbing movements ‘The Causal Agent’ and ‘Snakepit’. Somehow the single bowing of strings evokes memories of Test Depts’ ‘Sweet Sedation’ from their metal and flesh debut Beating The Retreat and its filmic companion circa 1984. ‘Hollow Latitudes’ and ‘The Internal Narrator’ complete the Angels cycle of movement, both visually stark and threatening, slowing the heart-rate yet menacing a nightmarish conclusion… A void, but no sleep here.
The only other comparison I would propose is the fusion of man/electrodes of Die Form. Or perhaps it’s the bold photography of Holger Karas which is leading a false path there? That doesn’t really matter, what does is this complete work deserves a full commercial airing and its necessary purchase must be made. I should mention a plethora of names also contribute; Mona Mur, Matt Howden, Annie Hogan and more. Plus there is a bonus 10-track remix album available with the likes of Lagowski, Void Prototype, Fear Passage et al unveiling their own electrical cables. But in the end, a return must be made to the seamless third mind of Martin Bowes and his Attrition.
Attrition have announced a number of European/World dates:
April 20th Death Disco, Ogigou 16, Psirri Athens Greece with Inscissors
May 4th Reproduktion 13 Fest The Roundhouse, Camden London; with Naked Lunch, Cult With No Name, John Costello, Mild Peril and more
May 16th The Spill Cafe Peterborough Canada with Scene Noir
May 17th STAIN @ Nocturne Toronto Canada with Scene Noir
May 18th Swizzles Ottawa Canada with Scene Noir
May 19th Cabaret Playhouse Montreal Canada with scene Noir
June tbc New Zealand
September tbc West coast USA
September 28th Tower Transmissions festival Dresden Germany performing the ‘Invocation’ score live in its entirety for the first time
October 12th tba Santiago Chile
November tbc Poland