Review: Container – LP (Spectrum Spools, Jun 29)

From the overarching direction Container (aka Ren Schofield) seemed to be taking on his last three records – which, including this fourth one as well, are all identically titled LP – it was my prediction that his next release would be his noisiest and heaviest yet. It was a really exciting possibility, because I absolutely loved LP (3) and its power noise-bordering techno beatdowns; but when I finally got to hear the new one, it wasn’t at all what I expected. LP (4) is certainly noisy and heavy, but better words to describe it might be “janky,” “metallic,” “twisted.” Schofield’s approach to these songs seems to be more directed toward texture and nuance rather than all-out assault, and while much of the album is loud and abrasive, it’s never the main focus. Mangled tape fragments, damaged synth loops, and grating industrial samples are stretched and glued over the beats, the soundtrack to a deranged dance party at an abandoned junkyard. Every song here is fantastic; the run from “Vacancy” to “Juicer” alone is some of Schofield’s best material, from a sustained freakout to infectious distorted motorik to stuttering, interlocking rhythms. Sure, I would have loved an album full of noise-techno bangers, but I’m much happier that Schofield defied my expectations yet delivered an LP that’s still a confident and brash step forward.