Brussels-based electronic producer Yannick Franck has previously released music over the last few years as one half of the duo Orphan Swords as well as separately as Outlaw Compound, and now this latest album on Glasgow label Clan Destine ‘Wreck The Bloodline’ offers up his debut longplayer under his new alias RAUM. More than anything else, the six tracks collected here see Franck fusing his rhythmic and harsh noise-based tendencies into a cohesive sense of unsettling dystopia that calls to mind the more power noise-loaded side of Pan Sonic as much as it does the lurching crawl of Techno Animal or Coil.
‘I Was Dora Suarez’ surges with an almost dubby sense of menace as waves of buzzing noise swell against sparse and unpredictable downbeat rhythms, the dry clicking hi-hats that flicker in the background almost suggesting sonar pulses from some underwater craft exploring the silty depths. It’s the influence of industrial power noise that’s more apparent than anything else as feedback howls and builds into droning crescendoes, the arcing noise suddenly dying away, only to be replaced by a cloud of toxic bass.
If the aforementioned track certainly succeeds in opening this album on a none-more-black note, ‘Counter Initiates’ heightens the dread levels even further as clicking IDM rhythms flicker against an ominously repetiitive bass synth sequence and a background wash of eerie wordless choral atmospheres, the track’s pace slowly gathering during its second half before it descends into a fog of churning overdriven distortion and howling harmonics. More than anything, it highlights Franck’s emphasis on full sensory maximalism here, with seemingly everything last bit of space occupied with surging texture and pressure.
Elsewhere, ‘Come Home’ takes things off in an arty and surreal direction, as Franck’s spoken monologue about asking someone back to his place takes an increasingly dark turn (“I wonder how it would feel, eating each other in the basement?”) against an ominously pulsing backdrop of fuzzed out sub-bass and spidery rhythms that descends into a clattering wall of chaotic live drum textures and roaring background noise, machines bleeping desperately above the din.
‘Siv’ meanwhile offers up the closest thing here to a groovy moment, as vocal samples discussing Hindu mythology evoke an apocalyptic atmosphere and steely rhythms chatter against reverberating basslines and fuzzed-up echo trails, the end result calling to mind dark post-punk informed ambience. Dark, wracked and oppressive, ‘Wreck The Bloodline’ is heavy as a lump of molten lead in your hand.