S S S S – Walls, Corridors, Baffles (Präsens Editionen)


Swiss electronic producer Samuel Savenberg first emerged under his S S S S alias back in 2014 with his debut cassette-only album on Haunter Records ‘Administration Of Fear’, and since then he’s developed a reputation for ferocious industrial / noise-oriented tracks that bear only fractured remaining traces of techno influences. On the heels of appearances alongside the likes of HEALTH and The Soft Moon, this latest fourth album ‘Walls, Corridors, Baffles’ sees Savenberg crafting eight new tracks that fuse harsh and visceral noise textures with with a curious sense of enveloping grace.

‘Deserter’ opens things with a single doomy piano chord crashing in and then slowly reverberating into the distance before harsh hammering rhythms lock down against a wash of distorted background noise, and sinister atonal howls and bursts of noise begin to prowl between sudden stabbing kickdrums. There’s a sense of tension building into ever claustrophobic layers without ever being released as the clashing broken rhythms begin to merge into a tribal wall of sound, the contorted horn samples that blare in the background beginning to take on the feel of a battle fanfare.

‘A Tunnel Of Dense Fog’ meanwhile reaches out into the sorts of ominous cinematic atmospheres you’d associate with an ‘Alien’ film score as vast atonal arrangements drone and swell against clouds of gaseous-sounding digital noise and severely treated harmonics, before ‘Walls, Corridors, Baffles’ sees rapid-fire kickdrums taking on the feel of whirling helicopter blades as they propel the listener off on a breakneck ride through oppressive sub-bass judders and what sound like digitally processed screams, in what’s easily this album’s most gabber-tinged moment.

Elsewhere, ‘Anywhere Is Better Than Here’ finds a tentatively uncertain sense of serenity amongst the chaos as a mass of roaring background drones builds into a strangely lulling wall of sound and icy melancholic synths trail like vapour against flickering percussive tones. An excellent album that’s certainly intense – just not in the ways that you might expect at first.


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