Radical Rest | [ / ] no. 42

by Urbanfailure

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Slovakia's urbanfailure has pursued an abstracted, cybernetic electronica since the late '90s. Central to the work is the exploratory interlocution of synths and hardware in crafting a barrage of machined rhythm and terse eruptions of noise. Urbanfailure transmits mutating patterns and sequences from his electronics that are as nimble as they are brutal. Quick turns, jump scares and slights of hand run rampant amidst the crunchy drum programming and granular modulations. Radical Rest is a milestone album for urbanfailure, as these live skills have been honed within the controlled environment of the studio. Cybernetic tendrils of raw electricity erupt and collapse along these unstable spines of rhythm.

The plastic morphology of Radical Rest hinges upon urbanfailure's labyrinthine approach to rhythm. The album's steady pulse leaps through innovative tangents and detours that are intentionally spare on melody and devoid of anthemic hooks. "Spread Exploded" scatters an intricate dispersion of mechanoid samples before coalescing into a muscular techno groove, complete with throbbed basslines. The diptych of "Primitive Past" and "Dystopian Future" boils with a jackbooted, high-octane hard house excess and industrial bruitism.

Urbanfailure's origins date back to the time after the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the rush towards a globalized free market. With the opportunities for cultural exchange and economic prosperity made manifest, Slovak (like other post-Soviet countries) was open to a Pandora's Box of influences. Punk. Techno. Metal. Noise. All of these inspired the DIY underground, but at the same time, many of the agents and operatives in the Slovak music community were quick to take inspiration from the gritty immediacy of social turmoil and upheaval. Urbanfailure's process of construction and destruction of sound becomes a mirror to the changing Slovak society that he has witnessed for the two decades.

Bold in execution and dynamic in content, Radical Rest is a vibrant synthesis of error, emptiness, and raw energy, with parallels emergent in Chu Ishikawa's Testuo, The Iron Man soundtracks, the Lagowski productions for GPR, and the final fruits from Pan Sonic.


released September 29, 2018

All tracks created, performed and recorded by Urbanfailure during April and July 2018, Bratislava

Mixed by Urbanfailure and RBNX during June and July 2018, Bratislava

Mastered by Eric Van Wonterghem at Prodam, Berlin

Cover art and design by Vladimira




urbsounds Bratislavský kraj, Slovakia

We collaborate with artists who focus their attention on desolated parts of society and reflect it in a challenging way. There are scars all over this dystopian sprawl we are living in. Urbsounds is collecting the grime that oozes from the wounds, using this fluid to fuel the pressing of vinyl LPs and the coding of digital releases. ... more

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