Ugandan Methods comprise the unholy pairing of Regis and Ancient Methods. The music they make together is a fearsome take on industrial techno — bleak and full on, albeit imbued with enough tribal swing to fell a municipal block. On this EP they unite for their second outing, an apocalyptic howl of exuberantly uninhibited techno. And while much of Regis’ recent work — both with Sandwell District and solo on Blackest Ever Black — has been (for those well acquainted with Downwards, at least) tempered with a new-found restraint, those hankering after some of the visceral filth of old will be pleased to find this release is, by way of comparison, pleasingly deranged.
“Under The Black Arch” leads with a bruising full-frontal rhythmic assault — a seething ticking war chant of a track, submerged in thick encumbering folds of sub weight. If Mala engaged Surgeon in a soundclash and you found yourself standing between two vast stacks, it would sound something like this — a brooding skank-out, lashing across with vicious and gleeful intent. Turning over, “She Belongs To Eternity” is surely one of the most belligerent tracks of the past few years. Squalling feedback, a chaotic wall of caustic battle drums, a threatening voice intoning “step one, step one,” and various echo enriched screams build and build until, suddenly, clapping and whooping in the studio signals an abrupt close. If this track was a live jam — and it sounds like it may have been — we can be thankful such intense alchemy was captured. “Between A Sleep And A Sleep” is, by comparison, a more sober proposal. Buzzing synth noise, skittering percussion that giddily jitters about, and a concussive welter of kicks make up the bulk of the track. There is also a strange, almost subliminal melody, although it is difficult to work out where it is coming from.
This is music that’s as engaging as it is uncompromising, and by no means a simplistic exercise in aggression. It’s also as punk rock in spirit as electronic music gets. While an increasing number of techno producers have been referencing the more polite edges of industrial and post punk — more often than not the skewed pop angle — it is refreshing to hear a record that brings to mind more caustic source material. Ugandan Methods have conjured up something that could go up against the nightmarish specter of Throbbing Gristle or Whitehouse at their worst: a fetid and hallucinatory trip, deep into the spiraling inferno.