Sunday 23 September 2018

Review: Non-Bio – 'The Future Is Written'

'The Future Is Written'

South-London based experimental industrial act Non-Bio return with their latest full-length studio album 'The Future Is Written'. Known for blending electronic, powernoise, ambient and industrial elements the band have crafted an intriguing and sometimes confrontational back catalogue.

'The Future Is Written' sees Non-Bio continue to refine their sound and push the boundaries of experimental electronics by making their disjointed and unfriendly sound manipulations strangely appealing.

The album opens up with the slow rhythmic noise of 'The Servility Device', a minimal a disorientating track centred around a pulsing rhythm that throws you off balance from the start. However the dirty, glitchy old school sounds of 'You Reborn' harks back to the chaotic but defined appeal of early industrial sounds of acts like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Skinny Puppy, and this is built on nicely by the unfriendly mechanical break-down of tracks like 'Facial Recognition', 'Distraction', 'Revenge Makes You Stronger', 'Overcome Anxiety', 'Dreamstate', 'We Own Your Memories' and End User Agreement' which despite their often noisy elements maintain a sense of rhythm and melody.

Though tracks such as 'Quit Smoking', 'Loose Weight', 'Believe', and 'Nourish' push these noise and experimental ideas into harsher and less user-friendly areas, and would definitely perhaps tip a casual listener over the edge there is still method in their madness and remain compelling listening.

The production is gritty and low-fi throughout. Distorted vocals, rhythms, samples and synth sometimes teeter on becoming a pure all of noise. But it doesn't. There is a minimalist feel to the band's compensations that doesn't overwhelm the tracks. It's chaotic yes, but Non-Bio are in full control at all times.

This is another solid album that blurs the lines between appeal and revulsion, the cerebral and the bestial. There are some solid rhythms and the odd hint of melody that shine out amongst the harsh din of noise, but it is in no way a commercial endeavour. Non-Bio are less “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” and more “Do Terminators Have Nightmares About Their Victims?”. Hopefully there will be another full-length album to get stuck into before too long.

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