Broken English Club – Myths of Steel and Concrete

Oliver Ho’s Broken English Club plays in the dark dystopian corners of a concrete jungle, taking electronic music to the most extreme corners of the dance floor. When confronted with the stark forceful confrontations of the music of BEC it’s no surprise he cites JG Ballard as an influence. It’s the music made for the club of the future, driven underground once more and casting aside the shackles of conformity.  “There is certainly a lot of boring small-minded music and attitudes in dance music culture, and that has no interest to me”, says Oliver Ho in an Interview with the Formant and Myths of Steel and Concrete delivers on that sentiment in every regard.

The inaugural release from Ho’s newly established Death and Leisure label, it ventures into the type percussive phrasing that could be found on the dance floor on the title and opening track, but that’s where any semblance of current club music trends end for this track and this 7” record. The hollow drums pound more than they drive and create a harsh tonal sonic tapestry against a backdrop of fuzzy square waves, white noise and feedback. The clang of industry is dotted throughout and a robotic female voice appearing to deliver some instruction, possibly responsible for some of most of the inquietude of the track. The driving pulse of the machine music is exactly in the machines, which are purposeful and negate any expressive design other than pounding out their most melancholic and inhuman objective. There’s enough there to offer some fulcrum point in the more adventurous DJ’s set, but where Myths of Steel and Concrete still boasts some connection to a dance floor, the B-side Our History in Bones offers little to none.

Playing in the same oppressive textures than it’s inverted neighbour, Our History in Bones, is a short poetic ambient gesture, a closure of sorts, but also a cliff-hanger for the next release. It only goes to solidify the sound of the record and coincidentally marks a slight departure from BEC’s earlier works, begging the question: what’s next? Ho as BEC has ventured further into the abyss of industrial textures more than ever before in this release, and has completely left the functionalist form of a dance track behind. Oliver Ho extends his Techno roots further into the industrial / noise dimensions as Broken English Club this time and as a result Myths of Steel and Concrete is one of the more novel appearances in the Techno genre we’ve seen this year.