Danish electronic producers Lasse Bjørck Volkmann & Nicolai Vesterkær Krog have previously released tracks under the aliases Metalized Man and Misantrop respectively, and this debut album ‘Present Tense’ (available as a limited run of 100 cassette copies, or as a download) offers up the first taste of their collaborative efforts as Glass Knot. Functionally titled ‘Present Tense 1’ through to ‘Present Tense 7’, the tracks collected here see the duo utilising a completely hardware-based approach to fuse elements of drone and industrial noise with visceral, hard-edged techno.
As debut releases go, this album manages to offer up a fairly uncompromising listen. ‘Present Tense 1’ opens proceedings with the whistling tone of what sounds like a boiling kettle or perhaps radio interference, its high-pitched drone gradually being overtaken by murmuring analogue electronics and dense layers of clattering mechanical rhythms, before a more elastic pulse shifts into the foreground, powering the track forward through a forest of icy coldwave synths.
While there’s plenty of jack to the rhythms, the overriding atmosphere is one of cold isolation even as the snares build into a furious distorted crescendo before suddenly dying out amidst siren-like analogue tones. ‘Present Tense 3’ meanwhile opts for a dark downbeat electro wander that sees chattering processed vocal samples and jittery electronics tracing a path against harsh metallic snares and clicking toms, before ‘Present Tense 4’ sees a furiously roiling backbone of hyper-jittery footwork beats being accelerated up to ferociously packed breakcore levels as distorted industrial drones howl and vast bass drops growl through the mix.
Elsewhere, ‘Present Tense 5’ unleashes this album’s most chilling and dramatic moment as ominous drones and pounding techno kickdrums navigate a churning backdrop of murmuring analogue bass that suddenly rises up into icy synth flourishes and staccato volleys of handclaps, in what’s easily the most dark and hammering dancefloor excursion here. An impressive debut album from Glass Knot that’s definitely not for the fainthearted.