L.O.T.I.O.N. / Scumputer: Split 12" (new)

L.O.T.I.O.N. / Scumputer: Split 12" (new)


Tags: · 10s · industrial · new york · punk · recommended · UK
Vendor
540 Records
Regular price
$15.00
Sale price
$15.00

540 Records is proud to present a split offering and a rallying cry from L.O.T.I.O.N. and Scumputer called Campaign for Digital Destruction. The pair offer eleven abominations, calling upon distorted and manipulated samples, synths, drum machines and a perversion of traditional instrumentation to create a dystopian vision of a society in collapse. The cover art alone, a collaboration between Death Traitors and Gabba of Chaos UK, is a perfect distillation of the band’s overall approach: a peak behind the curtain at a cold and unforgiving future.

NYC’s L.O.T.I.O.N. could only exist in the now– the digital age ruled by a bloated capitalist tyrant consumed by a move toward totalitarianism. L.O.T.I.O.N. is hardcore in the digital age– bursting with nihilism, a sneering hatred for injustice and icy disdain for humanity at large in an era where an email or text is a sufficient substitute for a personal conversation. Citing the work of Scumputer as a key influence, more conventional ideas from Killing Joke, Pailhead, DAF, Skinny Puppy and Throbbing Gristle appear and vanish through the duration of Campaign. Yet L.O.T.I.O.N. is an entity onto itself– calculating, remorseless and seething with malcontent. The material on the split represents the final recordings with Emil Bognar-Nasdor, mastermind behind Dawn of Humans and former percussionist for Hank Wood & the Hammerheads.

Scumputer is the nom de guerre of Gabba from the legendary Chaos UK, who abandons much of the approach employed by that band while retaining the fury, cynicism and revolutionary ideas. Recorded by Rob Smith in Bristol and Kyoto between 2014 and 2016, Scumputer ropes in appearances from Japanese hardcore legends like Jun Kato of Warhead and Mune from Clown as Gabba explores the far reaches of punk, hip hop, experimental, edm, industrial and all grey areas therein. The result is an eclectic yet totally cohesive trip through pop culture, media saturation, politics and more through the eyes of a skeptical, educated renegade.


Our take: Split 12” between New York industrial punks L.O.T.I.O.N. and Scumputer, which is Gabba from Chaos UK’s noise project. First up: L.O.T.I.O.N. I think the public would describe 90% of the music I listen to as “ugly,” but these new tracks from L.O.T.I.O.N. bring new meaning to the word. Their particular strain of punk /industrial (which you might compare to anything from SPK to Ministry) is aggressive music, but in practice a lot of that music can have a semi-glossy, cyberpunk sheen. Not so with L.O.T.I.O.N. Their music is dingy, dirty, and claustrophobic. L.O.T.I.O.N.’s tracks here are so singular that I don’t want to compare them to other music acts at all, but instead to threads of dystopian science fiction. Like dystopian literature, L.O.T.I.O.N.’s music doesn’t venerate technology, but instead emphasizes how it alienates us from one another and the world. The drum machines here sound broken, more like aging Victorian steam technology than the precise snap of a software drum machine. The production is also as nasty as it gets, the aural equivalent of a decaying urban hellscape drenched in thick, yellow fog. This isn’t cool music for dancing at a club; it’s music for sitting alone at home fretting over what kind of world your grandchildren will live in. As for Scumputer, they build their music out of similar raw materials, but the vibe is very different. Where L.O.T.I.O.N. is singular and uniform, Scumputer is whimsically diverse. If L.O.T.I.O.N. are wandering around a post-apocalyptic landscape looking for shelter, Scumputer is salvaging beers from the rubble and trying to have as much fun as possible. Not falling into any niche of punk or industrial music I know of, Scumputer have a free associative quality that finds them sampling Run DMC, bringing in guest vocals by Jun Kato from Warhead, and combining Tangerine Dream-esque soundscapes with brutal industrial hardcore in the space of about half a minute. The only real through line is that loud and punchy electronic drums are the anchor point for much of the music. If you’re ultra-serious you probably won’t play their side much, but I’ve spun it a lot and I really enjoy it. Often split records either pair two bands that sound too much alike or they try to avoid that and end up with bands that have nothing to do with one another, but the two sides of this record compliment one another well, even if most listeners will have a clear favorite.