Nov 2011 15

Various Artists - Surge & Subside: Queensland Flood AppealVarious Artists
Category: Compilations / Industrial / Electro / IDM
Album: Surge & Subside: Queensland Flood Appeal
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: A mélange of different underground electro/industrial styles, making for a powerful if disjointed listen in support of the victims of the Queensland floods.


There is a certain nobility in the concept of any tribute compilation intended to raise awareness or funding in support of some (hopefully) beneficial cause. In the case of Aphotic Audio’s Surge & Subside, the cause in question is to aide the victims of the 2010 floods in Queensland, Australia. Occurring in March and December of 2010, the floods were considered the worst to hit the area in 120 years, with 35 deaths and over 30 billion Australian dollars worth of damage as of January of 2011. Originally founded as an independent label for eminent Aussie electro duo Empty, Aphotic Audio has become perhaps the most valuable resource for the island nation in the promotion and distribution of some of the world’s more understated genre acts. With Surge & Subside, listeners are given two CDs worth of hard-hitting electro/industrial music sure to cause storms of even higher magnitude than those that necessitated this release.

Across the two discs, listeners can expect a veritable cornucopia of various styles presented in the scene. From the pulse-pounding EBM/electro of the likes of Psyche, Dismantled, and Assemblage 23 to the slower, more distorted grooves of Android Lust and Bound in Oblivion, and then to the speaker-crushing rage of Maximum Sexy Pigeon, Diverje, and Viral Millennium, virtually all corners of industrialized electronic music are covered. Of course, Australia is well represented as ANGELTHEORY make an appearance with the danceable ambience and somber melodies of “The Wind,” as well as lending a remix of Dark Territory’s “Trista Me” for a more ethereal, though no less energetic outing. Renowned act Angelspit lend their caustic brand of harsh electro with “Cold Hard Cash,” while M(i)lkrun allures with a mélange of otherworldly atmosphere and bouncy rhythms that sound like a cross between Haujobb and Jan Hammer’s soundtracks for Miami Vice in the ‘80s. Other tracks like Streak with “Groovy Booty” and Skrew with “Universal Immolation” go for a much more aggressive approach with the former possessing a despairing mood of skittering synthesis and crunchy guitars while the latter is pure guttural force with vocals befitting a death metal anthem. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum with the lush, cold, piano-driven ambience of Autoclav1.1, P45K, and Flood of Rain all featuring sullen melodies and emotional progressions that serve as compositional complements to the devastating aftermath of the floods.

A special bonus MP3 album adds a third disc’s worth of music, guaranteeing that consumers receive the most bang for their buck, and ensuring that their contributions to such a constructive cause are repaid more than adequately. As well, Surge & Subside acts as an effective taster for some of the electro/industrial scene’s more underground acts, both from and outside of Australia. There is an understandable lack of flow from track to track as there is such a diverse range of artists and styles at play, though this can make for a jarring listening experience and enticing the listener to simply select those tracks best suited to personal preference. That said, there is a pleasant menu of tastes here, and for that as well as the cause the album supports, Surge & Subside is well worth the purchase.

Track list:
Disc 1

  1. Sensory Gate – Ianus
  2. Angelspit – Cold Hard Cash
  3. Empty – Drift (Ginger Snap5 Remix)
  4. Bound in Oblivion – Pain & Suffering
  5. Psyche – The Beyond (Live, Flood Relief Edition)
  6. Streak – Groovy Booty
  7. Diverje – v2
  8. Dismantled – Dead on Impact
  9. Lucidstatic – Operative Directive
  10. Mangadrive – 67 Gemini Starglider
  11. NVEiN – All So Wired
  12. Skrew – Universal Immolation
  13. Tempest & the Diaspora – IO
  14. Viral Millennium – Vomitosis
  15. in-FUSED – Misplaced (Iammynewt e-RAGE Mix)
  16. Maximum Sexy Pigeon – Tunguska! (Water Retentive Mix)

Disc 2

  1. P45K – Adrift
  2. Assemblage 23 – Raw
  3. I, Parasite – A Violence at Rest
  4. Android Lust – God in the Hole
  5. Soulchasm – My Façade (Empty Remix)
  6. Autoclav1.1 – Waxing
  7. Anhedonia – Rain
  8. Motion Fused – Reflection of Madness (Extended)
  9. ANGELTHEORY – The Wind
  10. Headdreamer – Colder
  11. Collide – Ocean
  12. M(i)lkrun – Lard Ram
  13. Dark Territory – Trista Me (ANGELTHEORY Mantra Mix)
  14. Iammynewt – itHURTS
  15. Flood of Rain – Grey Sky
  16. Blast Radius – To Find Them Frozen

Bonus Disc

  1. Sensory Gate – Purgatory (Marzo Zanza Devoted Mix)
  2. Empty – This Regret (REDUX)
  3. P45K – Before Dawn
  4. Blast Radius – Sight Unseen
  5. P45K – What Have I Done
  6. Tempest & the Diaspora – Jasmine
  7. Iammynewt – Egor (Version 2.0) (Skullduggery Remix)
  8. Disharmony – Evolution
  9. Betty X – Shoot ‘em Up (Fury Road Mix)

Surge & Subside Website
Aphotic Audio Website
Aphotic Audio MySpace
Aphotic Audio Facebook
Aphotic Audio Twitter

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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