Fausten is a collaboration between Julian Caraz aka Monster-X (Opal Tapes, Murder Channel) and Derek Szeto aka Stormfield (Combat Recordings), and is an exploration into the darker, gorier realms of their collective psyche. Prolific with their solo projects, Fausten is a rare collaborative treat and "Mercenary" is their first joint-release in years; their first appearance on Acroplane where their sound is very much at home. Joining the fray on remix duties is the formidable Fret aka Mick Harris (Scorn//ex-Napalm Death).
The EP opens with a disturbed, pulsating slow march in the guise of "Phosphorus", where pensive, cut-up hip hop vocals punctuate the prowling rhythm and menacing bass. This is followed by "Cathedral", a dark ambient interlude that lingers for a couple of minutes, delivering us to the powerful "Jour de Gloire". Industrial scenes manifest here, culminating around a malevolent bass snarl that is somewhat of a signature for Fausten.
The title track "Mercenary" lurks on the B-side, armed with what seems like a Jan Svankmeier scene in the far future - granular wails of tortured AI beings, gritty textures, and rocked by deep, plunging sub bass, likely to please fans of Scorn and Autechre.
To beef up an already-powerful package, Fausten called upon their longtime hero and musical inspiration Mick Harris for remix duties. Instead of reworking one track, the grindcore maestro asked for the project stems and turned his hand to a surgical reconstruction of the whole EP, condensed into one remix. This is relentless broken techno as you would expect from the Mongoose, alive with clattering percussion and rock-solid elephant-track style kickdrums, building a strong, lively narrative purely from rhythmic architecture, in which breathe his seething, venomous atmospheres.
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