Drumcorps – Grist
Drumcorps is Aaron Spectre, an artist in Berlin who makes what could loosely be called breakcore. Now, I’m generally not a fan of breakcore. To me, it seems like the worst result of letting white people near black music. Breakbeats lose their funk, grooves lose their soul, and sounds bunch up at unpleasant frequencies.
But Drumcorps appeals to me, and not just because he samples metal; DHR and gabber have done that already. Rather, Drumcorps fuses metal and drum & bass without trying to be either. When metal bands use electronics, the result is often a mess. Take, for example, Lacuna Coil’s keyboard-choked last album, or The Berzerker’s perpetual fight between distorted kicks and guitars. D&b;, too, doesn’t mix well with metal. Dancefloors want deep bass and crisp highs, not earfuls of midrange. Sure, distorted synths are common in d&b;, but they’ve got nothing on, say, cranked 5150 amps.
However, on Grist (Ad Noiseam/Cock Rock Disco) Drumcrops finds a good middle between metal and d&b.; He doesn’t fill up songs with bass, instead layering guitars over drums naturally. But the drums are anything but natural. Hyper-chopped breakbeats explode and mutate through shuddering edits. Drums and guitars pitch up and down through timestretching that wallows in gritty digital artifacts. Songs veer through various speeds and time signatures, with ambient bits in between. Bands sampled include Botch, Converge, and other sources I couldn’t place. Unlike your average over-produced d&b; 12″, Drumcorps lets the grit and edges hang out.