AAAK Review By Rob Haynes

AAAK 

Buildingscapebeat XXV

Eromeda Records

Here’s one for connoisseurs of the electro-industrial scene – back in the late 1980s, in a pre-gentrified Manchester a good few years away from Madchester dancebeats and scally ubiquity, industrial duo AAAK gestated amid a collection of drum machines, whacked scrap metal, primitive samplers and barked lyrics courtesy of programmer / metal hitter Ding Archer and vocalist Paul Rawlinson. Amid the city’s red brick and urban dereliction, their sound was self-christened Buildingscapebeat – the word coining the genre the duo had decided they represented, and also giving their first album its title. They never made too much of an impression in their home shores, being more appreciated on the continent, but they split in 1991.

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A 2009 reformation saw Archer and Rawlinson joined by Mr Heart frontwoman Tamsin on backing vocals and keyboards, guitarist Neil and drummer Dan, giving the live sound a steroid injection. Now their debut has been given a 21st century reworking and release (kudos to diligent Mancunian label Eromeda for the quality double CD package). Back in 1988 of course technology was at a state which now seems Dickensianly quaint, and so rather than re-release a now-dated set of songs they decided to utilize the current line-up to reconfigure the songs and add a few new ones while they were at it.

 

From the pulsing Nitzer Ebb beat and skittering industrial hip-hop beats which open the first (new songs) disc on the appropriately named Never Stop Me, it’s clear the band have married their harsh, primitive origins to new technology and live playing to great effect. The punky new single Tough Luck wouldn’t be out of place on a Prodigy set-list and sits quite comfortably alongside the revamped twenty five year old Sharpshooter. On the second disc of old songs metal clanks and beats are retained, but souped up with female backing vocals, drums and guitars, and the distinction between older and new work is all but impossible to discern.

A twentieth century skeleton fleshed out with new millennium muscle and bulk , you’d be forgiven for not being in on this at the start, but AAAK is a project worth catching up on.

 

Review By Rob Haynes

  • Ding
    Comment from: Ding
    20/09/13 @ 10:17:07 pm

    Cheers Rob. Am so glad that you feel the old stuff stands up in it’s new guise, it’s always risky to muck around with your old songs… thanks for such a positive review

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