Research is the brand new label offshoot of London-based experimental music publishing company Split Music, who’ve previously built a reputation for placing music in advertising and film trailers, including the recent ‘Bladerunner 2049’ sequel. For this debut vinyl only compilation ‘Spheres’ (which comes across more like a mini-album, running in at just 29 minutes in length), Split have gathered together six tracks from a cast of artists focused on the fusion between experimental rhythms and atmospheric psychoacoustics.
There’s certainly a dark, industrial-tinged feel to much of this collection. These Hidden Hands’ ‘Radon’ opens proceedings with a wander out into scrap-metal armoured bass music as vast distorted bass synths arc and growl against a lumbering backbone of industrial hiphop beats, the metallic snares cutting through the sorts of epic coldwave synths you’d associate with the likes of Front Line Assembly as the churning layers of noise build to a ferocious peak.
If the aforementioned track calls to mind echoes of Techno Animal’s relentless industrial stomp, French electronic producer Mondkopf takes things out into more ambient expansive territory that’s no less ominous with ‘The Runaway’ as clicking rhythms gradually build into a serrated rush against trailing synths and murmuring pads, the swells of distorted textures merging into a meditative pulse before squealing modulated electronics peak in the foreground, disrupting any stray sense of serenity.
Elsewhere, SNTS’ ‘Dunkelheit’ sounds like it could have easily been lifted straight out of a chase scene in one of the recent ‘Alien’ or ‘Terminator’ sequels as cavernously huge tribal drums build into a thundering roar against eerie detuned orchestration and cold ambient pads, before Berlin duo OAKE take things out into mutated bass music with ‘Blemmyae’ as dark powerline-esque buzzes arc and swells against sparse snares and punching kickdrums, in what’s easily this collection’s most stripped back and austere moment. An impressive intro gambit – on the basis of ‘Spheres’, Research looks to be a dark-hued label worth keeping an eye on.