100% SILK (SILK005, 12” + digital)
Nobody knows who’s behind Gillette, apart from the people at 100% Silk, the sub-label for danceable, psychedelic and misty stuff of the Californian Not Not Fun imprint. With the rate of releases they have, Gillette could be anyone, a newbie (they pump up names from the underground like the Saudis churning out oil) or another artist with a different alias. It doesn’t matter, anyway: the music itself is already enigmatic enough to break your head with all the thinking, so it’s not worth it to create even more problems. Just enjoy the music. “Gillette” isn’t as sharp as the title implies – it’s rather rusty and blunt, with uneven edges that can make you bleed. But it’s catchy, even though it’s slow. How to describe the three tracks pressed in tight grooves, which makes for ten to fifteen minutes worth of pseudo-industrial explorations? There would be two starting points, two forgotten areas (which is what they like at Not Not Fun), like Belgian new beat and primitive industrial music with a pop touch, in the vein of “Hot In The Heels Of Love” (Throbbing Gristle) and “October (Love Song)” (Chris & Cosey), but without lyrics.
To get into these three song is, therefore, to let oneself get trapped in a black hole that takes one to a reversible dimension where the dark side of music and the machines have extended their influence all over the world, like a Nazi uchronia: on “I”, Gillette extends a slow but constant beat that suffers accelerations and pauses, but which never ceases to spread a kind of pre-EBM and even pre-minimal wave, bubonic disease, splashed with cold tones, spectral synths, noises like from a steam machine. Because of its slowness, it’s reminiscent of Belgian new beat, but also because it’s a slowing down of those European electronic pop bands (from DAF to Klein & MBO, Liaisons Dangereuses and the infinite amount of cold wave that came after them) that worked the rhythmic frequencies like the beat of a heart paralysed by morphine. Adding to the anxiety, “II” and “III” throw more wood on the fire (plus a welcome flash of pre-acid synths, like Patrick Cowley on crack) on a 12” that is like tooth ache, but insanely pleasant if there’s darkness in you.