REVIEW: Doomsdaykult - "Fun With Drugs"

By J. 'Hirez' H-R

Chain Border

Fun With DrugsDJs take control. (Which is a fine old hardcore-techno tune from SL2.)

There seems to be two conflicting views on this DJs-making-music business, rather than just playing other people's records. Maybe three if we count the 'I don't care. I ordered a cheeseburger.' responses too.

One set of people is fine with the idea of them cooking up a filthy facket of their own. And, given the standout works of Andrew Weatherall/Sabres of Paradise, DJ Shadow and Norman 'Fatboy Slim' Cook, it's easy to go along with them. The other lot remain firmly convinced that they should stick to standing behind their Technics decks and playing one record after another in as pleasing manner as possible. Musicians are, well, musicians, while the DJs are technicians who are admittedly damn fine at keeping a dancefloor grooving, but couldn't/shouldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

The unfortunate thing with Fun With Drugs is that if the tunes were carried in a bucket, it seems to have been somewhat carelessly handled so they've slopped out and trickled down the nearest drain with a tinkly gurgle. Which means that I've a CD's worth of reasonable backing tracks wandering around in search of a melody or three. (Blasted things got as far as the shop at the end of the road when I wasn't looking the other day. I wouldn't have minded, but a pair of them had ganged up and were attempting to buy a copy of Asian Babes.)

Now, those unfamiliar with the wonderful world of techno music will be going 'But there's no bloody tune anyway, it's just a bunch of thumping drums and bleeping and the singers all look like girls...' (And thus will have become their own parents, but that's not my problem.)

Indeed, Born Slippy (nuxx mix) by Underworld and Positive Education by Slam are a pair of proven dancefloor killers that seem to be just the rhythm tracks. However, in the case of Born Slippy, the tune's in the hypnotic drum tracks and almost shamanic nonsense-chant, while Slam let the two-note bassline do all the hard work as the rest of the 'rhythm' track slowly mutates from one end of the song to the other. Both are firmly rooted with a 4/4 bass drum, but that seems to be the only constant.

Doomsdaykult, though, have (has, it appears from the sleevenotes) made the usual techno-unfamiliar mistake of finding a set of pleasing (in isolation) drum-loops, quantising them down to 16th notes and then leaving them to run for yea-long. The result is larded with odd dialogue from films and savage knob-twisting on various effects units. You can get away with that sort of thing if you funk up the beats a bit and/or drop in other drum-loops where you'd have a chorus in the standard form of the three-minute-pop-song. If.

Having said all that, it'll probably go down a storm on the more tune-antagonistic dancefloors. Though to a large extent Cabaret Voltaire and like-minded chums got there over twenty years ago.

All is not doom and hatchet-job though. The CD is largely saved by a track called Fun With Drugs (kiss my acid mix) which is a remarkable slab of Euro Cheese-Trance underpinned by great wedges of dialogue from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It's absolutely the sort of stuff which will never be played in Industrial (tm) clubs the world over because it's far too happy, uplifting and likely to make people jump on their Assemblage23 records with the sheer joy of not having to listen to awful moaning dirge music anymore.

If the rest of the CD was stuff like that, you'd be reading about this lot in Mixmag. The track named The 666 Mix and its close chum The Invincibles' are somewhat less euphoric, but still have a reasonable stab at the glammed-up dancefloor vibe which seems to be a million miles away from the clodhopping doom-merchants this CD is probably aimed at.

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