Post-Rocktoberfest # 5: Techno Animal - Re-entry
I recently used this here blog to praise the absurd persistence of Butterfly Child. That band's willingness to just keep going is truly heroic, simply because their time will almost certainly never come. For other UK post-rock movers and shakers, though, persistence has actually paid off, either in terms of finding an audience in a niche market (goth rock, electronic dance music, indie...) or simply by having the rest of the world catch up.
In these terms Kevin Martin of God, Ice, The Sidewinder, EAR and Techno Animal has pretty much hit the jackpot. Over the years, his various projects have found favour with a whole range of demographics - from goths to ravers to indie rockers. Moreover, his aesthetic - as epitomized in Martin-compiled compilations like Isolationism and Macro Dub Infection - has just recently started to seem very contemporary. Everything from hipster metal to dubstep contains distinctly Kevin Martin-esque overtones.
To my mind though, he's never topped the work he did in the original UK post-rock era. Re-entry, the second album by Techno Animal (a duo with Godflesh's Justin Broadrick) was released in 1995 on - get this - Virgin Records (who also put out Hex by Bark Psychosis!) It's a mammoth 2CD set of deliberately monotonous beats and narcotized dub textures.
Again, persistence is the key word here. Just making it through the entirety of Re-entry is something of an endurance test but it's worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. In particular, the 19-minute "Demodex Invasion" has to be one of the most brutally, intensely hypnotic pieces of music ever recorded.
Hell, everything Kevin Martin does is intense one way or another and it's usually pretty great too. Fans of his (excellent) recent work are strongly urged to investigate this album (along with God's The Anatomy of Addicition) to witness K Mart at his greatest and his most intense.