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CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - Airless Space

Format: do-LP
Label & Cat.Number: Harbinger Sounds HARBINGER 200
Release Year: 2019
Note: third C.E. album with the line up: SARAH FROEHLICH, PHILIP BEST (the legendary UK industrial noise musician who was in RAMLEH, WHITEHOUSE and SKULLFLOWER), and RUSSELL HASWELL and their first since they moved to San Francisco... "a state-of-the-union address that does for our American cousins what the band's earlier "Estuary English" album did for a British audience poised upon the coming madness of Brexit"
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €25.00


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"Consumer Electronics return with a double album of all new studio recordings produced by Russell Haswell. Some wondered how the songwriting team of Philip Best and Sarah Froelich would fare after the leaving their London home to take up residency in the United States. Well, here's the answer. Recorded in San Francisco, CE deliver "Airless Space", a state-of-the-union address that does for our American cousins what the band's earlier "Estuary English" album did for a British audience poised upon the coming madness of Brexit. Unusually for CE, "Airless Space" clocks in at 60 minutes, a hexed induction for a country labouring under a presidency, that like Brexit itself, few saw coming or contemplated having to endure. Soundwise, CE have maybe mellowed the tone a touch, allowing their electronics to stretch out and breathe, whereas the frenzied and anxious vocals of Best and Froelich remain as snatched and breathless as ever. Stunningly produced by Russell Haswell and gorgeously mastered by award-winning cutting engineer Matt Colton, "Airless Space" by Consumer Electronics is their most complete and rounded statement yet." [label info]


"Russell Haswell serves vacuum-tight production for Sarah Froelich and Philip Bests alternately piercing/soberly observant vocals in their 3rd album together as Consumer Electronics, and their first since relocating from London to San Francisco

In Airless Space the grizzly trio recalibrate their shrewd gaze from the pre-Brexitlands of 2014s Estuary English to the thick of an unprecedented time in USA, which is currently in the process of fulfilling the dystopian, apocalyptic America of 2020 prophesised in countless films, books and artworks.

Trust CE to grasp the zeitgeist with bare hands in their particular style, with Best and Froelich trading the mic to mete out nearly 60 minutes of wryly sardonic side-eyes at the state of it all, while Haswell variously punctuates the negative space with a palette of bolshy bass drums and noise, or turns the vocals into gargling gurns of bestial wretchedness.

If were playing favourites, the increasingly throttled 13 minutes of vitriol and pranging n0!ze jabs in Muder of JJ is substantial, while Best is at his most unsettling with the unflinching cool delivery of Carnage Mechanics, and they come together most fiercely when the vocalists trade the mic over pelting rhythm and bone-twanging twitches in Play Therapy, with Best uttering the truest lines: Stay indoors all day, thats what i do these days / Never leave the house if I can help it/ why would i fucking want to? [Boomkat]