Label: Darkfloor Sound
Format: Limited 12”/Digital
Release Date: 18/04/13
Having been picked up by electronic music connoisseur Rob Booth, Serbian duo Boris Noiz & Darko Kolar (better known as Ontal) first appeared on our radar via the the Electronic Explorations podcasts early last year. Since then the pair’s following has moved on so much so that their debut 12” is now out in the open, via Darkfloor Sound. The Output EP sits somewhere between the ice-cold electronic precision of Alva Noto, and the merciless industrial battering of Perc or Tommy Four Seven.
The aforementioned comparisons are most relevant through opener and title track ‘Output’, which sees waves of static surging over noise-laden kicks. The charm and intensity of the track comes from the sheer mass of the sound, and the bold monotony of the loops. Indeed, this is a style that features prominently throughout their work, and has a distinctly modernised feel to the classic Throbbing Gristle-style industrial music of the UK.
‘Disorientation’ lives up to its title, mixing piercing dial-up tones with a rock solid kick snare stomp. Despite the harshness of its textures, the track packs a lot of punch, with dynamic shifts that would be perfectly suited to the more extreme end of a Techno DJ set.
Without shunning their penchant for abrasive noise, ‘Centrifugal Force’ is probably the most texturally rich cut of the four, introducing hissing atmospheres to an otherwise familiar Ontal formula. It also gives the duo an opportunity to showcase their skills as experimental musicians, as the grooves in this track are far from conventional. Typewriter taps shuffle above what sounds like an almost random set of kicks, making it difficult to place the pulse of each bar. Nevertheless, that is the point, and once again Ontal manage to confound the listener into a sonically induced stupor.
‘Darkfloor’ closes the EP nicely with a refreshingly minimal and subtle take on their sound. The sombre horns that run throughout wouldn’t sound out of place on an early DMZ record, and would fit equally well within tracks from the likes of Demdike Stare and the Blackest Ever Black crew, and what this track shows us is that Ontal are capable of creating plenty of atmosphere, too.
Overall this EP has got a lot of diversity both in dynamic and character, and I would be surprised if there wasn’t at least one track that didn’t appeal to the reader. Personally, I think there’s an awful lot of content packed into this EP that I’m not going to get bored of for a long while, and I’m immensely excited about experimenting with the 12” when it comes.