Browse a splurge of Bad Sekta-related press clippings from the years 2011-2016.

‘Various – ‘The Cavity Church’ review’

Mike Darkfloor, Darkfloor, ????

Highlighted to the Darkfloor hive by the very man responsible for the compilations opening track: The Cavity Church is a multi-artist release celebrating seven years of the Bad Sekta label. Collectively the tracks present a dark electro infested glitch tweaked heavy bass overload of sorts. The aforementioned opener Bust It from Blackmass Plastics setting the scene with a jacking piece of squelch edged thud.

Next man up is another favourite producer of ours at Darkfloor, FZV with Srxvi-cdp. Insect like before the wide and downcast synth drone washes over. Dark near future doom soundtracks piece this that lurks forward in the night time shadows of some forgotten district of a mega city. Also worth mentioning that FZV has a retrospective album forthcoming on Bad Sekta in late December.

“Featuring tracks dating from 2002-2010, a period during which Richard released some excellent records for well-respected labels such as his own Anathematica, Ai (now defunct?) and Rag and Bone (as well as contributing to Bad Sekta since our first release).”

Lastboss presents more of a dubfunk thing, in the style of Broken Bubble. Lots of swagger, choice samples and a general twisted funk to it. Murdering a Brown Snake is a track with edits and style switches which make it feel sporadic and even maybe erratic but at the same time, well done. I’m hooked. It morphs and evolves over its four short minutes with that rasping bass. Great track.
Junglismonk picks up the tempo with more choice samples and a thundering drive on a mutant frantic techno hardcore track, amens at the ready. weyheyhey !! goes one further with a rinsing amen glitch breakcore thing which brings the rave to 500 and stuffs it right up your nose. It’s also damn hard not to funk the fuck out in my chair listening to it. Hard, stupid, fun.

Scrubber Fox brings to the comp what Scrubber Fox does best, gabba crushed abuse in the shape of Can’t Make Tunes Anymore Eh. Hekula’s Plasm is more of a song than a track, in that it does feel like it could be performed on stage rather than constructed from loops and bleeps in a DAW. The opening sample expressing the unknown voice’s owner stumbling on the Philosopher’s Stone leads into a goth friendly synth shuffle this could technically be classed as witch house if you were so inclined.

Inton’s interlude of looped mood continues the spook of Hekula leading into the Chemical Toilet Brothers work on Night of The Bum Gravy. A roller, of sorts that shifts gears into squelch technoid. Adverse Camber collective member Randomoidz drops a snappy stompy electro tech number Racking Up the Acid Smash, which as a track title explains better than I can what to expect.

Track 12 of the 14 on offer is from Phuq, the Essex based producer and man responsible for all things Bad Sekta. From the off, it’s a gabba kick fiesta. Dirty, stripped 6am warehouse fodder. Man, there is something so pleasing about a gabba kick, it’s so full and throb’y. Mmm. Throb. I do like that word…

Things continue in gabba flavoured land with Keep It Locked by Ronin, b-movie like samples expressing the devastation of earth spring up over the slab of straight pounding kicks and drums. It’s nothing particularly special but it does the job nicely and should work the dancefloor committed from the lightweight.

Penultimate track honours go to one of the best artist names in a while ‘The Grime-o-cologist’. They present what starts as a skanking little number in Grunch that builds up into yet more gabba kicks and a “who’s bad” vox lick before going up a notch on the spice weasel into a neo hardcore rave slammer. Again one for the 6am soundsystem rinse crew. Is that a Dizzie Rascal sample too? Probably. Then we’re back into those kicks. It feels not quite as fully realised as it could have been to me. Plenty of ideas, sure, just they could have been worked into a tighter sequence. A more honed and edited down piece perhaps.

Ascetic gives us Klangbruch, the final, and longest track on The Cavity Church. Like a lost radio transmission it’s an out there piece moved along with that regular straight beat, like a thing pursuing you in your nightmare. Over its 11+ minutes it builds into a crescendo of darkness with fluttering electronic blips. The beat continues, relentless in its direct purpose, marching you through, to the empty void that awaits when the track finishes. For what is up to this track in the compilation a collection of warehouse aimed club beasts, the inclusion of Klangbruch seems both a strange choice and the right one. It pushes and tests the listener and effectively ends the compilation in a way that a ‘club track’ wouldn’t have done, it would just have ended.

”The Pigeon Machine’ by Intonamori (from new Bad Sekta compilation ‘Against All Odd’ OUT NOW)’

Steve Boniface, Risk and Consequence, November 2011

Meditative electronica that seeps into your consciousness and takes you on a journey all its own. The ticking clock motif and the spare instrumentation, mixing eastern influences and electronic sounds, will not be to everyone’s tastes – there’s not a catchy chorus to be had here – but it’s a lovely piece of music.

‘Voltergeist – ‘Burnt and Buried’ (MP3 album) review’

Chris Kelso, Trisickle, October 2011

Let’s make no bones about it, Voltergeist’s debut album Burnt and Buried is a triumph for Scottish dance music. Glaswegian maestro Shaun Dowse (a.k.a – Emotiquon) has been producing dub-step and techno albums up and down the country for close to a decade. Now in late 2011 we get to finally behold his own labour of love and it was worth the wait.

Voltergeist fall into that much abhorred musical category of Intelligent Dance Music (or “Brain-Dance” to quote Aphex Twin’s unofficial moniker), but the main difference between this outfit and its often redundant contemporaries, is that Burnt and Buried does display some undeniable moments of genuine intelligence.

Introductory track “Boogu Yagga” rises and swells with ghostly groans and the distant, hypnotic pulse of a compressed kick drum almost betrays the moody pathos to be found later on in the album. Voltergeist’s range of influence in evident, there’s even elements of Detroit techno thrown in for good measure. But it never sounds uneven or thrown together, there’s real mastery at work here. It’s only after luring the listener in with “Boogu Yagga”’s twinkly digital synth and punchy bass popping that Voltergeist reveal their true colours. Burnt and Buried slowly blossoms into a work of elegant contrast.

“Pork Chops” shows a much more antisocial facet of Dowse’s personality. Its startling snare claps and off-beat time signature couldn’t be more of a departure to its predecessor and owes much more to the shifting aesthetics of electro-pioneers Autechre than to ambient oldies Leftfield. Title track “Burnt and Buried” continues this new experimental complexion, plumbing the bleak, algorithmic depths of other electroacoustic genres. We just about verge on melodrama too with the unexpected orchestral inclusion of sweeping violins that carry the listener far off into the firmament. It’s ambitious stuff. Before you know it images soon begin to conjure in the mind’s eye. Dowse clearly seeks to have his music resonate on the similar level to a William Gibson or George Orwell novel.

So Voltergeist offer us two sides of the coin – One side portraying a technologically dominated, dystopian society, and the flip – of one lost in the mindless, drug saturation of dance culture. In doing so, Voltergeist present the listener with a unique paradox, one communicated through the medium of music, one that takes us from deep navel gazing to sparkling clarity – from eerie scepticism to tribal joviality. Amidst robotic croons of “Science has failed us, science betrayed me!” Burnt and Buried ends on the same cautionary note it carries for most of the album. This paradigm is at the very heart of Voltergeist’s life-force.

Other highlights include centrepiece “Inna Self Made Net” – an obscure portmanteau which hits us like some kind of introspective nightmare where the listener is transported to the shore of an Ibiza coastline, contemplating the pros and cons of walking out into the middle of the ocean. It’s five tracks later we see Voltergeist’s strange blend come together though. In “John Canoe”, the mystery protagonist’s story is brought to light through haunting voiceovers layered over some significantly more accessible beats.

Dowse’s roots lie in Deep House but his approach lies firmly in the anarcho-punk DIY attitude when it comes to writing and self-promotion. Voltergeist’s album was entirely written and produced on a MacBook Pro and Dowse exercises his own resourcefulness to fulfil the Voltergeist vision – saucepans were even used as a percussive device. It seems Intelligent Dance Music just found its first real justifiable member…

‘Voltergeist – ‘Burnt and Buried’ review’

Shallow Rave, 3 September 2011

Burnt and Buried finally drops, the second full-length release from Voltergeist since his excellent CDR Earthen Spirit Loops, and if anything, the boy’s got weirder – drafting in a heftier dose of acid-fried synths, a stronger influence from the dub (not dub techno), and an array of surreal samples, from Calypso, to Jamaican Hot Sauce adds, to the much-beloved Portland Bill.

“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter – there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind”, but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music” – Rob, Hi Fidelity, Nick Hornby.

Hornby’s utterly spot-on tale of musical obsession contains this absolute gem about how to craft a great mixtape, and it’s certainly relevant to Burnt and Buried, which creeps into life with delicate chimes and floaty synths, before a warpy bassline and rolling dub percussion kick off Boogu Yagga. In accordance with Hornby’s rules, Pork Chops ups the ante with breakbeats and saw-toothed synths, whilst taking out some of the punch by dropping a speech about Hot Sauce over the top. There’s the appropriate mid-album lull in the shape of the ethereal Inna Self-made Net, whilst Sing It To The Moon gathers the pace before the final big hitter of John Canoe. Closing the album is the cathartic coda of Guillemot Rock, which ends the album with a foreboding slur of “Science has failed us” trailing off into delay and reverb.

Voltergeist claims to have created a more personal piece of work than previously, throwing in both childhood fascinations Pirates and Caribbean music with a more adult appreciation of Jamaica’s significance as a cultural and musical melting pot. Despite this, there’s still a fair heft of influence from Scotland and Ayrshire, with closing track Guillemont rock using children’s show Portland Bill as an allegory for the sparseness and isolation of the Scottish coastline, as well as drawing on the melancholy of Scottish folk music. Braindance-meets-folk innovator Frog Pocket’s appearance on the title track further cements the Scottish influence, adding haunting fiddles to a sub-90bpm dub steppa and creating a unique fusion of rootsy African structures and Scottish folk melodies. It almost shouldn’t work, it ought to become cluttered and messy, but one of the most satisfying things about this album is the fusion of so many different styles, so many influences, all churning and struggling, creating an epically claustrophobic piece of dark dub.

‘Voltergeist – ‘Burnt and Buried’ review’

?, Synth Glasgow, 23 August 2011

Having just finished listening to Glasgow-based producer Voltergeist’s latest album ‘Burnt and Buried’, we are left mesmerised and a little stunned. Electronic music is certainly most poignant when it is completely organic – from everyday sounds, objects and experiences to the wildest reaches of your own imagination, it is when you recognise endless possibilities that you start to create them. If inspiration hits you right, you can create the type of music which is instantly recognisable as yours and it is here on ‘Burnt and Buried’ that these boundless influences have come together so perfectly.

You may know Voltergeist as Shaun Dowse, head of Microrave Records here in Glasgow. His tireless efforts to source new and exciting artists have unearthed some incredible music recently, always shooting far beyond any recognised conformity. ‘Burnt and Buried’, released via Bandcamp this week is a product of raw emotion and a sense of complete musical freedom. Spending a lot of time in the studio after his grandfather sadly passed away, his music started to meander towards the sounds of Dub, Folklore and Acid and this is apparent on the seven featured tracks.

Although the album as a whole is more engaging then placid you can identify the lighter elements which give ‘Burnt and Buried’ an extra layer. For example, there are Jamaican flavours running throughout, no more so then on the track ‘Pork Chops’ where Shaun has sampled a Jerk Sauce specialist. There is also at times an intriguing maritime atmosphere or ‘piratey’ tone as Shaun so casually describes it. Listen to the beautiful yet mysterious ‘Inna Self Made Net’ and find yourself drifting through sonic bliss on an eerily calm ocean, the stir of squawking gulls and fishermen’s knots creating a quite vivid scene. It might sound ridiculous, but it’s this extra depth which makes listening to ‘Burnt and Buried’ so interesting.

Featuring guest performances by Frog Pocket, Mike from Trembling Bells and the fantastic vocal textures of GNAW’s Alan Dubin this is an accomplished, if involved listen which when given full attention can truly soar. We suggest you let it.

‘The Fez! and weyheyhey !! @ Harlot’

Lalita Augustine, Is This Music?, June 2011

“East met west in what was billed as ‘Scotland’s biggest Breakcore night ever.”

After a three year hiatus, Glasgow electronica club night Digital Harlot teamed up for one night only with Edinburgh collective Terror last month in alternative Glasgow music venue Soundhaus, to host a night of breakcore, hip hop, hardcore, drumstep, live electronica and general all round madness.

DJ sets also included Grime from Jinty Gutter Riddim and Dubstep from Dusthead and Hanlo. Scottish rapper Mr Jinx also made an appearance, as well as hip hop from Gasp and Depths and graffiti artist Rowdy.

Digital Harlot is the longest running breakcore night in the UK outside of London and has been hosting club nights in Glasgow for six years. It’s featured some of the biggest rave producers around both old and new, including Ultraviolence, Ladyscraper and Duran Duran Duran, as well as showcasing fresh new acts from home and abroad. Digital Harlot founder, Dawn Hunter, said: “It’s a completely unique night with something for everybody – whether you crave hardcore, glamourama, urban beats or utter madness … It takes all the best elements of an old school rave and gives it a new school twist … Whether you like your beats banging or hardcore euphoric, Harlot is the type of night where everybody can be themselves.”

Gareth from Terror, said: “We chose to team up with Harlot because they share our dream of a day glow neo-rave Utopia. We have been putting on parties in Edinburgh for about a year and a half, combining big names in the hardcore techno/breakcore scene, with most of the top live Scottish hip hop crews.”

Breakcore man Babyshaker, aka Gavin Hislop, thinks that the night was an interesting mix of the two club nights: “It’s about trying to expose the audience to experimental and alternative music … Harlot has a harder edge to it with electronica, while Terror is more about hip hop and breakdance.” Gavin originally hails from Stirlingshire and has been a DJ and producer for the past five years. He feels that it is important that club nights like this take place as the alternative dance music scene in Scotland is small compared to cities south of the border.

“These nights have always been a hit and are fun, it’s an exciting atmosphere.” says Gavin. “The term (Breakcore) encompasses a myriad of styles, including hardened drum and bass, and bending them into something else.” “The music is quite abrasive, compared to your usual drum and bass and encompasses a much more abstract and fractured beat at 190-230 bmp compared to techno and house at 135 bpm … It pushes the boundaries and people are always chopping it up.”

As well as the live performances, entertainment came in the form of pole dancing with Edinburgh based neo burlesque troupe The Kamikaze Girls. The night also kicked off with a breakdancing battle with BBoys and BGirls from the UK and abroad taking place, organised by Glaswegian breakdancing crew the Flyin’ Jalapenos, who organise events across Scotland, including last month’s Skill Masters UK qualifier in Edinburgh.head, Zeropointenergy used his own twitchy movements to manipulate the squishy, tech output from whatever software it was he had running. Never falling into the trap of actually starting to dance, and thus potentially ruining everything, he instead took advantage of being able to appear to be transported / taken over by the technology itself. Quite successful and very entertaining; the effect was also compounded by the unfamiliar nature of his sounds.