Review: Ascorbite – Macrocosmic Framework

Ascorbite released his debut album, Macrocosmic Framework, this week via the Corseque Records imprint. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen to ten tracks of terrifying techno.

There has got to be a bit of a knack to producing industrial techno. It has got to be dark, fast, and at times it should make the listener feel – at the very least – on edge. Fortunately, Ascorbite knows exactly what he’s doing when hes putting together Satan’s music. His is dark, frantic, panic-inducing and frequently disturbing, which makes for an excellent album filled with nightmarish soundscapes and shadowy beings of a mystical nature. If Zdzisław Beksiński painted techno, this is what he’d be painting.

January 25th saw Ascorbite dropping his debut long-player via his own fledgling Swedish imprint, Corseque Records.  He uses the label not only to release his own music, but also to foist the wares of like-minded producers into the public conscious; if it is inky black and demonic then you can be pretty sure that Ascorbite is going to pick it up – take a listen to their back catalogue if you don’t believe us.

Ascorbite (Credit: Emelie Sjunnesson)

So, what of Macrocosmic Framework. Well, the album certainly delivers some genuinely pulverising techno, once the ambient textures present on Divination  are out of the way. The opener starts of as the album intends to continue, with a distorted, nihilistic monologue about the futility of existence playing out over atmospheric winds.

This leads us into eight tracks of non-stop industrial techno, expertly crafted by Ascorbite. The ringing bells of the Devour Affliction herald the thundering kicks and mechanical, piston-like top end percussion of Habitual LongingDisaffection is the first truly macabre track on the album. Mephistophelian screams wail out from the onset of the composition, huge infernal beasts trampling down upon screeching, chattering legions of demons that tear across the landscape beneath their feet.

Second Range of Vision reminded me of that scene from the sci-fi horror, Event Horizon. You may well know the segment in question, brief as it is, as it offers a fleeting glimpse into an alternate reality that is bereft of morals or light – only dark happenings occur on this side of the domain, and Second Range of Vision is the soundtrack.

That Event Horizon scene…

The second half of the album doesn’t let up, and continues to deliver wretched visions, accompanied by harrowingly Tartarean compositions. Virtuous Infelicity provides a sensation akin to what the title may suggest, a feeling of unhappiness or misfortune permeates through the mix. Perhaps these are the tormented souls we met in the preceding track.

More torture for our anima, as we are jettisoned into Burning Pendulum. The track encourages introspection thanks to the screeching, siren synth, inducing dread and forcing the listener inside their own psyche for protection. The frenzied, detuned siren sounds continue into Unbleachedalongside glitched-out  growls and the repeated ‘whoos’ of lunacy.

The penultimate track, Shading, seems to pick the mood up a little thanks to the airy pads and light female vocal. This is just the kind of convention that a horror film might use to lull you into a false sense of security, though, as we are plunged back into the nightmare world of Ascorbite for the closer, Unfolding (Serenity).

In general, the album works cohesively as a whole, generating a diagesis throughout that plays nicely on the themes of terror. There are tracks in here that would make excellent additions to any industrial techno set, and Ascorbite should be proud to have composed such an accomplished album at his first attempt.

If you would like to grab yourself a copy of the album, you can do so on wax or via digital, using this link. We urge you to do so.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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