[Precognitive Dissonance sleeve]"Precognitive Dissonance" (Album, 2003) !DSO Recommended!

Hive Records

I must be getting old, loosing my edge, or something. For ages I couldn't get past the disturbing first track Can't Rape the Willing. Disturbing partly due to the title conjuring up depressing expectations of more dabbling in controversy for controversy's sake, but partly due to what I actually heard. The track may be short, but the pulsating Eraserhead soundtrack overlaid with the moans and groans of a female voice are borderline audio porn; but don't do what I did and waste time wavering, instead jump straight into track two and prepare your ears and mind for a fascinating musical journey.

I was going to list some of the other track titles to provide an indication of how Manufactura (aka Karloz. M) at least presents its wares on this, their second outing, but I suspect that would actually be counterproductive to getting a wider audience interested in sampling the work. Though the focus seems to be firmly in the industrial noise field, the actual delivery is far broader than the some titles (largely implying potentially harrowing experiences!) would suggest. For anyone not familiar with the genre, it might be relatively hard going at first but if you work with the music and realise that there's a great deal more going on here than just the surface delivery, there's an awful lot more to unearth that sets the remainder of Precognitive Dissonance apart from a significant majority of its peers. Being on the stylishly positioned US label Hive helps.

Mostly instrumental, the times when vocals are deployed, like on Deep Waters, reflect the best elements of mid-era haujobb (whose mastermind, Daniel Myer, it turns out, handled the production for the entire album). As this develops we get to see the real range of Karloz. M's abilities. Tracks like Sweet Flesh begin blurring the boundaries between the light and dark sides. By the time we get to the beautifully sombre penultimate track, Die For Me with the noise percussion playing a supporting role to the sumptuous string and lush synth pads, casual listeners could be forgiven for thinking someone somehow switched albums on them midway through without them noticing.

I've heard a lot of dark stuff down the years and whilst a lot of it tries very hard to be intellectually rigorous and demanding, it rarely is. There's a great deal more to creating a palpable sense of unease than simply writing about serial killers and using film samples that include the word 'fuck' a lot. Manufactura's Precognitive Dissonance occupies an occasionally daunting stance in the experimental industrial noise landscape but that's a deliberate challenge. It also rewards with passages rich in empathy and in doing so stakes an impressive claim. 8/10

Rob Dyer (May 2009)

See also:
Broken Fabiola