Unknown Pleasures #99 ft. F.Y.D. Star, Empathy Test, Phono Ghosts

Phono Ghosts

Phono Ghosts

New music is on the horizon and it is the job of one man to persuade you to check it all out, that man is Getintothis’ Mike Stanton and he comes bearing gifts, wondrous gifts.

A nice mix for you this week as we travel through the catacombs of alternative electronica by way of texture and glitch mechanic Phono Ghosts and his form of inter-dimensional production skills. Also on offer is Sci-Fi inspired electronic soundscapers Empathy Test and their latest release that sparkles and F.Y.D. Star‘s dystopian vision through brutalist guitar riffs and pounding rhythms.

F.Y.D. Star (Fuck Your Dying Star, in case you were wondering) is Gareth Symons and Bite The Rope is his explosive post-grunge cosmic thunder-pop vision for discerning lovers of sweet ‘n’ heavy. It is a growling, stalking beast of a tune. Right from the opening throbs of Symons‘ dense and loaded bass string that thrums over a possessed and dissonant choir of the damned, we know exactly where we are going with this; into the scolding trenches of super-heavy industrial grind.

Delta Sly Honey’s Simon Potter provides drums and promptly smashes the skins off as he blasts his way through the track punctuating each chord, each riff and each pulse of the bludgeoning assault with rhythmic poise and skill.

Symons‘ voice is strong, committed and perfectly complimentary to the surrounding industrial pugilism. Opaque production and subtle electronics add to the atmosphere of the track lifting it beyond mere sludge-punk or grindcore. This is an instantly memorable experience that hammers into your psyche and doesn’t let go. Channeling bands ranging from Torche, Korn, Godflesh, to Abba, Rufus Wainwright and Dead Can Dance, it is apparent that F.Y.D. Star possesses many layers and outer dimensions, just how these will manifest themselves in the future we will have to wait and wonder.

Bite The Rope has been unleashed into the wild and is available to buy now.

Want some more sounds from the other side? Get on our Unknown Pleasures archive, here

Brooding cinematic electro-pop duo Empathy Test are back with a new track Demons. Isaac Howlett and Adam Relf formed Empathy Test after discovering a mutual love of eighties Sci-Fi soundtracks, nineties guitar bands and underground dance music. With echoes of CHVRCHES and Purity Ring, their sound could be described as Future Pop, Dark Wave or Emo-Wave.

Demons is a hugely emotive mix of analogue synth sounds, uplifting melodies and euphoric choruses. Creative rhythms and eighties keyboards infuse the track with a wide-eyed nostalgia, a glitter-streaked whirr of dizzying melodies and warm and nuanced production. Howlett‘s voice is powerful and emotion-wracked soaring along with the sweeping melodies adding a depth and personal truth to the song. Turmoil and writ large is the name of the game and it is incredibly infectious. Angst never sounded so harmonious.

Demons is out now.

Blackpool’s Phono Ghosts is producer and sound collagist Neil Scrivin. Showcasing his intricate cut-and-sample techniques, it is a triumph of glitch-edged production and inventiveness evoking experimental artists such as VHS Head, Jacob 2-2 and 80’s sample legends The Art of Noise.

With Tsunami at White Hotel, analogue distortion, tape warp and ragged phasing are evident and drive the track into strange and exciting vistas. Record label Skam has persistently put itself at the forefront of experimental electronic composition and Phono Ghosts is a fine purveyor of this.

Glitchy, propulsive with an electro-funk quality, Tsunami at White Hotel stabs and judders its way forward sounding, at times, like a trapped cassette wrapping itself around stuttering tape heads.

Just-released album Solar Dream Reel is a brilliant collection of sweeping melodies sharply punctuated by Scrivin‘s arresting percussion, gleaned from what must be, at times, a chaotic creative process and auditory birth.

This is a skilled fusing of ideas and sounds that realises Scrivin’s stunning vision.

Tsunami at White Hotel and Solar Dream Reel are out now.





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