Many purists of most once analog or organic genres will tend to be of the belief that digitising something once forged by wood, metal and rhythmic human endurance somehow automatically detracts from it’s legitimacy as an art form or especially a valid form of music worthy of their over inflated sense of authority.
Divtech hails from Orange County, California (although currently in Cincinnati) and bursts forward with a densely eclectic and chaotic collage of abrasive stylistic violence. I gotta say this is some of the truly toughest punk-oriented sonic material I’ve stumbled upon in a while, despite that it is most likely entirely electronic in origin.
A lot of the material on the brand new release—Stasis Confines, Action Conditions—if arranged differently could make incredible traditional crust/dbeat/anarcho punk rock. But it just as easily fits over a haze of blended electronics and does so in a much more interesting fashion that really projects the aggression and ferocity of the diseased cybernetic beast that is this record.
When you first jump into this album, the music hits you like a thick torrential rainstorm of serrated static—like you are sitting in-between two radio stations with the volume turned all the way up. After you make it down the rabbit hole a ways, the lyrics, rhythmic passages, riffs and other noise really starts to tear away from each other like fresh pieces of meat.
Things become more distinct and audible and then comes the violent, head banging delight that didn’t necessarily make itself known in the past introductory moments. Every texture and transient becomes something alive despite their synthetic nature. The first half of the album inarguably brings the lion’s share of the punk and breakcore-oriented fury, but I think where the album turns in its second half is where things get really interesting and more stylistically unpredictable in contrast to the songs before it.
With a sound so unique in the first place, you would expect the album to remain pretty consistent after brutal nihilistic bangers like Beyond Rejection (probably my favourite track on the record) and hardcore head splitter Hate By Default. But this is where Stasis Confines, Action Conditions starts to migrate and start throwing some delightful curveballs that really expand the boundaries of what you’ll ultimately think this album is.
Hydrocarbon Wings brings the energy down to a heartbeat closer to death. It is almost like a droning funeral dirge with synthesised bagpipes lining the march to certain doom. The sixth track, Machines of Decay PT. 2, is where the hip-hop influence really rears its head. Then it just continues to get more interesting from there (headbanging intensifies).
Exit Wounds bring about the amazing mid-tempo back-alley texture banger that doesn’t even need words to keep you thoroughly engaged. One of the things I love about abrasive noisy projects with a very minimal, restrained or obscured sense of melody is when they actually lower the veil of thick textured sound and give you something sugary to your ears; you devour it like a starving wolf and revel in every morsel of it. Learning To Swim really exemplifies this concept for the album in its tail end. I was heavily impressed by this release and will continue to delve into the works of Divtech for many years to come.
Strange Fires is an eclectic, visually-oriented music blog. Written and curated by Colorado-based musician, writer and artist Doran Robischon for the past six years, this source draws from a mix of contrasting genres in the name of fluid exploration.