PURE GROUND

Giftgarten

(Chondritic Sound - CH-133) LP $18.00

The ten dark electronics tracks here largely abandon the hard, one-two rhythms of Standard Of Living and instead explore murky, acrid wastes of toxic marshes and nervous nights. Altogether sinister and strange, Giftgarten ruminates on shadow worlds and shadow selves, on catastrophes of war and of earth and of the spirit, and, most of all, on sleeplessness and its gifts and thievery. Instead of drum machines, the duo opts on several tracks for grinding and transient sounds generated by synthesizers, while “Omission” and “Flood” are more traditional dance songs inspired by early EBM and electro. Experimental in its approach and palette, Giftgarten is still wholly a pop record, full of melody and steady rhythms.

PURE GROUND

Standard Of Living

(Chondritic Sound - CH-306) LP $18.00

Moving further into the whirring electrical storm suggested by their more minimalist previous recordings, Hive Mind’s Greh Holger and J. Short of Brotman & Short create a soundtrack to a crumbling culture, full of provisional one-two rhythms and syncopated bursts of white noise, complimented by grim arpeggiated melodies. Pure Ground straddle early EBM — owing inspiration to Klinik and Front 242 — and more melancholy, minimal synth downer. An undercurrent of experimentalism comes to surface (on “The Glory Of Absence,” for example, where the convoluted rhythms of In Phaze-era Portion Control merge with an industrial din and vocal delivery reminiscent of European power electronics groups like Genocide Organ). Lyrics focus on the disharmony between the human dystopia of the post-industrial wastes and the natural and spiritual worlds, and the contradictory sensations of bliss and desperation, ecstasy and fear. With download card. Edition of 300.