Five years ago Milan-based electronic producer and writer Francesco Birsa Alessandri co-founded the Haunter Records label, and now this download-only EP ‘In My Escape I Look For A Weapon’ offers up his debut release under his Sense Fracture alias. Alessandri himself describes the five tracks collected here as being a political call to arms channelling the writings of Kathy Acker, Amy Ireland and the late Mark Fisher, as well as “bits of rave extremism, breakcore, grime and trap.”
While there’s no doubting the focussed intent of the ferocious and arrhythmic soundscapes being crafted by Alessandri, to be truthful it’s hard to make out anything here in the way of discernible political statements. ‘Abhor’ sees hyper-accelerated breakbeats fluttering against harsh industrial snare zaps and contorted background screams, its arrhythmic shuffle suggesting some huge mechanical beast rattling into life as bright chaotic synth stabs flash into focus against digitally treated samples.
There’s barely anything approaching a coherent groove in sight, the spasmodic explosion of layered elements offering a furious rush of sonic texture that’s also curiously stripped down and austere. ‘Antifaschistische Aktion’ offers much more of a hint as to where this EP’s politics lie as documentary samples discussing organised resistance and the use of violence echo against harsh drilling fusillades of breakbeats and glassy synth jitters, the rolling toms being contorted into growls and scrapes as harsh distorted noise bursts hang like phantoms in the foreground of the mix – the ending looped sample repeatedly intoning “stop fascism” being the most focused statement here.
Elsewhere, ‘In My Escape I Look For A Weapon’ sees sampled female vocal stabs and glitchy effects flitting like ghosts through the mix, before vast distorted industrial beats lock down, the monotonous mechanical slam suggesting malfunctioning factory machinery as the tempo constantly accelerates up and then lurches back down against digitally contorted MC vocals. While it’s often hard to fully engage with these tracks, perhaps that’s entirely the point, with this EP conjuring up an atmosphere of austere alienation more than anything else.