Hold Nothing destroyed the dance floor at Star Theater in Portland back in February when they premiered it live. It immediately sounded familiar because my body knew exactly what to do.
Favorite track: Hold Nothing.
One can imagine, listening to Kontravoid’s latest release, an alternate reality in which the cold-war played out to the background of drum machines and spectrographs, sinister audio technology manipulating a hidden frequency of the world’s unfoldings. Cameron Findlay returns to his masked alias for the first Kontravoid release since his debut self-titled album, years in the studio reap their rewards as the production on ‘Undone’ effortlessly cuts its way through hypnotic dance floor compositions.
‘Hold Nothing’ implements perfect song structure, with precise breaks, ferocious snare builds and simple repeated vocal phrases enveloping the main groove in symbiosis. A playful criminality sets the mood of the record here, one for pouted lips and furrowed brows on bunker, basement dance-floors.
‘The Last Thing’ is a straight forward dance floor stomper, arpeggiated synths batter the listener like blunt instruments, locking the body in a rhythmic cell, dissonant, steam whistle drones contrast with gurgling, radio transmission synths to shift the balance of the parts from uplifting wooze to downcast dance automaton.
‘Not Your Dream’ opens with a moment of primitive, science-lab techno, echo laden vocal jabs open the door to new-beat territory while the synth lines swing between pure rhythm and hypnogogic, alley-chase sound track, clocking in at seven and a half minutes, this is another track destined for synth-wave, dance floor greatness.
‘Undone’, the self-titled track from the release focuses on softer-synths and pads, still motivated by driving drums and percussion, the vision of a lone, masked figure emerges, cutting a path through mud and snow, factories half submerged in some destroyed, industrial miasma. Muttered vocals set a strict grounding to the piece, keeping the track from escaping into sentimentality, layers of cold synth melodies artfully weave between percussive crescendos as radio static crackles distantly.
As a natural companion to the record Schwefelgelb close with a remix of ‘Hold Nothing’, where the percussion is stripped back to its bare necessities and the synth parts are sliced down into even more pointed arpeggiations.
With his concrete approach to song writing and bear-trap grasp of dance floor composition, Kontravoid cements his reputation as one of the stand out voices in the current new-beat, synth wave scene.
released April 16, 2018
Composed and produced by Cameron Findlay
Mastering by Eric Van Wonterghem, Prodam Berlin