Black Faction

By Miles Hawthorn

Black Faction is Andrew Diey, who has previously had one track out on Skam under the moniker Foreign Terrain, and you can see from the pseudonyms chosen there may be a theme to his work. This feeling is enhanced by the track titles – Dissidents in Exile, Afghan Front Mix 3 and Kaftanistanabul for example. The music certainly fits these words – darkly gothic and intense electronica with found sounds and Eastern mystery creating a rich whorl of background ambience.

This is a collection of remixes though from a carefully selected group of artists, although there are a couple of autonomous tracks in there. Diey ultimately though has ordered and touched them all up to form a fully stylised body of work. It is an impressive result – the heavyweight remixers (Hrvatski, Sutekh and David Storey of Zoviet France) all turn in great pieces, the Sutekh mix in particular is grinding industrialism with chainsaw heavy rhythms.

Some of the lesser known artists also excel; Black Moses turn in a dirty, sci-fi hip hop beast with strafing vocal volleys and Nemezis turn Window Maker into a string-laden beauty with slow springing drums tempered by ghostly chants and a shadowy furtiveness. I still find it hard to get away from the stranger in a strange land analogy though: hearing this transports you to a Moroccan bazaar where strange faces are disappearing around every corner. It is the techniques Diey uses from musique concrète that achieve that highly organic feeling; this conveys a dark energy that many aspire to and few obtain. Gritty and guttural electronics that come thoroughly recommended.
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