5th January 2018 – Self-released
Rabitrup take a clear influence from electronic music that informs their busy take on noise; they list their influences as Author and Punisher and Skinny Puppy but there’s a lot of modern influence too, particularly Death Grips‘ harsher noise flirtations.
New EP SWVMPS II is aggressive: layers of anarchic white noise and electronic stabs whirl in conflict. There’s a clear architecture to the tracks for the most part, with an exception of concluding track “Walls” which is a wash of abrasive noise textures. Elsewhere, tracks spark with frantic new ideas a build swiftly to bold crescendos.
Having listened to previous EP SWVMPS, there’s a significant shift to sounding more immediately aggressive. Rabitrup have shed some elements that felt a little tacked-on; the sample elements that were present before often took over the music, and though they were uncomfortable I felt they considerably outstayed their welcome. Here the music speaks for itself; tracks cascade over one another, veiling harsh, distorted screams. It’s pleasing to hear the drum programming and production has dramatically improved; now drums shift and occupy a space much lower down in the mix, whereas before they were fairly straightforward and uncomfortably loud.
Overall this may not paint a picture of the edgiest noise band you’ve ever heard. In real terms this doesn’t push the envelope massively; noise fans looking for something they haven’t heard before might not be overwhelmed here, and considering noise’s attitude towards challenging perceptions this sticks out a little. However, returning to an earlier point they do sound modern; the production feels brighter than the grimy, DIY noise that established the genre. This works well with the focus on busy electronic influences that they’ve focussed on here, developing on their earlier work. This would sit nicely on a playlist with Steriods, the super-aggro Death Grips EP from last year.
An improvement in almost every way over previous material; much busier and more punishing, active and compelling. This is certainly a career high, and such a marked improvement in the space of a year is surely a sign of good things yet to come.