Format: Double 12”/Digital
Release Date: 18/11/2013
Berlin-based Samuel Kerridge’s vision of music aimed at the club environment is quite simply, unlike anything else. His oddly seductive post-apocalyptic sound meshes influences from techno, drone and ambient whilst managing to avoid settling into any one compartment with ease.
Given how immersive, and vivid Kerridge’s EPs have been, it was only a matter of time before the British-born artist should turn his attention to a full-length offering as he does here with A Fallen Empire. The LP comes via Regis’ Downwards imprint, with which Kerridge has found a fitting home for his sound, slotting neatly into the label’s diverse roster and post-punk aesthetic.
The fact he has chosen to rest his hat here seems even less surprising given his sound seems to draw on the sonic tendencies Regis and the rest of Sandwell District have employed in the past. Monotonous, grinding low-end for example, is a feature present throughout _A Fallen Empire, _right from stoic opening track ‘Chant’ to the shuddering closer, ‘Disgust’, and is a feature similar to that frequented by Rrose through tracks like ‘Secretion’.
In a recent interview with Electronic Beats, Kerridge stated how the record had been constructed during an uncomfortably long, dark Berlin winter. This image is definitely easy to evoke listening through. The abrasive, brittle low-end of ‘Black Sun’ for example feeling particularly frostbitten as it mercilessly overshadows the distant, gregorian wailings which open the track.
This track is perhaps the closest thing I’ve heard to an outright drone track from Kerridge, and from here the LP seems to slowly build up its rhythmic components reaching it’s peak with the ferocious ‘Scare Tactics’. Snarling mid-range grates between frantic claps and pounding kicks and cymbals in an offering that feels significantly more energetic than his lumbering, waterlogged offerings such as stone-faced following track ‘Heavy Metal’.
Very early on in the album it becomes easy to fall into a trance-like state thanks to its brooding, hypnotic appeal. This is perhaps unsurprising given how richly textured a record this is, _A Fallen Empire _making a fitting title for an album that so readily conjures images of crumbling ruins and barren-wastelands.