Jun 2018 27

CONFORMCO - Controlled.altered.deletedCONFORMCO
Category: Industrial / Coldwave
Album: Controlled.altered.deleted
Blurb: Every bit as abrasive and as funky as the classic sounds of early industrial and electronic punk, but with a modern production sheen to make CONFORMCO the sound of Chicago personified.


The Eighty-Sixed single in late 2017 offered the first taste of CONFORMCO, a collaborative project spearheaded by Cyanotic’s Sean Payne and Project .44’s Chris Harris. The result of this new merger can best be described as the sound of Chicago industrial and underground music personified, presenting an abrasive, danceable, and downright groovy style that hearkens back to the WaxTrax! era as many have attempted but few have achieved. It was perhaps only a matter of time before we would hear a full-length outing from CONFORMCO, now here in the form of Controlled.altered.deleted.

After the introductory “Standard Consumption” intro, the kind so expertly cultivated and created by Payne in his Cyanotic releases, we hear a calm yet stroppy voice telling us to “Turn that 1980s shit down.” An infectious beat with a thrumming bass line gives way to scratchy synths and obscured vocals declaring proudly “We Are CONFORMCO,” and we are immediately in full swing of the band’s signature snark and sardonic industrial style. Through complex layers of percussion and bluesy samples, the track is every bit as funky as one would expect, with the rest of the album following suit. This is particularly so in “Pound on the Table” as its slow tempo providing a perfect backdrop for the ominous bass lines and stabs of guitar samples, the horn samples and rhythmic assault of the vocals giving it a subtly urban flavor, while the manic onslaught of overdriven electronics and rapid fire beats on “Time to Conform” practically beats the listener into audio submission. “Eighty-Sixed” returns in both its original and Funk-O-Tron remix form as “Into the Cut,” and this writer must reiterate his opinion of the song to be a modern classic, the clashing orchestra hit samples recalling P.T.P.’s “Show Me Your Spine,” while the samples and lyrics of “I mock your value system” from The Simpsons are simply a delight. And then there is the acerbic electro/industrial barrage of “Supply+Demand,” its repeating samples of “I like it spooky” and “You think this is a fucking costume? This is a way of life” perfectly encapsulating CONFORMCO’s manifesto. The “Demand Supply” remix is also notable for its coarser instrumental atmosphere coupled with diminished distortion on the vocals, allowing the audience a better opportunity to join in the chant (pun only partially intended).

It would be a disservice to call CONFORMCO a throwback act; the elements of older modes of industrial and electronic punk are certainly on full display, but Harris and Payne have taken great care to bring these sounds into today, giving the band’s music an almost timeless quality that supersedes notions of era or genre. With the legendary Charles Levi providing live bass for some added Chicago funk, Controlled.altered.deleted is an auspicious and venomous outing from CONFORMCO – a band with the tools and experience to put a freshly modern sheen on a classic and celebrated sound.
Track list:

  1. Standard Consumption
  3. Supply+Demand
  4. Eighty-Sixed
  5. Pound on the Table
  6. Time to Conform
  7. Into the Cut [Funk-O-Tron]
  8. Demand Supply

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Glitch Mode Recordings
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Purchase at:
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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