Tuesday 13 June 2017

Review: Caustic – 'The Coital Staircase'

'The Coital Staircase'

With a subtly subversive to industrial legends Coil, Caustic, AKA Matt Fanale returns with a new single comprising of... minimalist techno. Yep, if you're expecting hard beats, growled vocals and infectiously catchy leads then 'The Coital Staircase' will certainly confound you.

Slightly ambient, slightly psychedelic, the track builds from a simple repeating lead to an old school techno base interspersed with vocal samples, which again morphs further into something that sounds like the KLF on some serious chill pills. At eight-minutes long it's a nice sizeable offering, but a real curve-ball. It could of course be a classic example of Fanale toying with people's expectations, but it really does raise serious questions about his direction for the next Caustic full-length album.

Axhan's remix of the title track brings it nicely back towards it's nod to Coil with a grittier, slightly more primal industrial feel to it's central techno framework. Null Device bring in ethnic rhythms and a hint of new age into the mix to almost give it an air of mid-90s Enigma. Finally, the radio edit brings the single to a tidy close with a concise presentation of the original.

As you'd come to expect from Fanale's recent output, it is a really well written, surprisingly catchy and very well produced release. While there are certainly some old school nods at work on the original as well as the remixes, the single still sounds fresh and modern throughout.

This is an interesting move from Caustic, one that will have people scratching their heads until the next full-length album is released. But in the present this is a surprising yet delightful new face from on of the industrial scene's most exciting artists.  

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