Review: Offworldcolonies – Iconoclast (Offworldcolonies Ltd., Dec 19)

The best industrial techno doesn’t just crush you with oppressive repetition and hard-hitting mechanical rhythms; it has teeth, bite, sharp edges that introduce tension and provide much-needed contrast. Iconoclast is oppressive and hard-hitting, sure, a fact apparent from the very first moments of opening track “Leviathan.” It’s the longest track on this newest LP from Swedish techno project Offworldcolonies, and evolves through its eight minute run time with rolling, kinetic percussion loops and some less confrontational elements that are gradually pulled out and developed. The title is perfect for the song; like most of the tracks on Iconoclast, “Leviathan” conceals a hulking energy beneath its minimal structure that is teased out through subtle escalation. It’s a format that’s expanded upon throughout the remaining tracks, albeit in more compact time frames. Higher-register elements like the checkout scanner-esque beeps of “Ravening” or the piercing pulses of “Execration” add more than just teeth; they also serve as a counterpoint for the dark, brooding rhythms, introducing a quite unexpected level of color to the mix. “Rend,” however, is a hypnotic, punishing closer, bringing the album to a close with the same sort of ultra-strength beat contortions that began it. An excellent release from Offworldcolonies on the label of the same name, and one not to be missed.

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