Different State - Enormous Components of Motor Unit Vol. 1 [Zoharum - 2019]Different State were formed in Ciechanůw, Poland back in 1992 by founder member Marek Marchoff. Enormous Components of Motor Unit Vol1 is the bandís 10th full length studio release and their third for current label and experimental pioneers Zoharum. As previously mentioned, the band are the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Marek Marchoff, formerly of Eviscerate who is joined on this release by guitarist Jarek Szcyzglak, the mysterious Keith Rudolf and vocalist Laura Marchoff. The band take in a variety of styles along the way including drone, electronica, post-industrialism and kosmische blending them in their own unique way.
The first thing you notice is the rather unusual packaging that the CD comes in. It is housed in a six-sided digipak that immediately sets it apart from other similar releases, this very much mirrors the bandís musical output that takes in so many different styles and genres that is impossible to hang a label on just what they do.
Opening track Motor Unit is a short post-industrial drone piece that kicks the album under way. At under two minutes in length it is nothing more than an intro piece that doesnít really get an opportunity to go anywhere. Electricus is the first song proper. A combination of motorik beats, weird electronic noodlings and some lovely avant garde female vocals bring the song to life. As the song grows and develops various effects are layered up to help evolve the trackís sound. A quite pleasant listen and probably my favourite of the tracks on the first half of the album. Knar/Rank has much more of a post-industrial feel to it. Machine like rhythms provide the songs basis and anything else feels almost like backing material for a track that never happens, it feels like a wasted opportunity to do something more. Within is more interesting, hinting at the work of 80s industrial electronic pioneers like Coil and Psychic TV but with hip-hop style beats laid behind giving it a new spin.
The second half of the album picks up where Within left off. Mental picks up the baton and immediately improves upon it, whilst the track is underpinned by some post-industrial sounding machinery trundling away in the background it has a cleaner production. The song itself takes on a slight kosmische vibe, with the vocals punctuated by some lovely liquid guitar work. The PTV comparisons remain but I would suggest it has more in common with that bandís 90s work than previous songs. This is most definitely a step up from what the album has offered thus far, Additional Components follows in a very similar vein, perhaps adding a less harsh version of early Swans to their list of influences. In any way you look at it the track is great, and the band have really hit their stride. This continues on An Absolute Necessity, the albumís penultimate track and the third in this trio of songs peppered with classic 80s industrial influences ranging from Coil and PTV to early Swans. The final track Effector (Zenial) is a slow burn and after a couple of minutes of nothing but ambient drone electronic percussion is added to the mix, hinting at something more machine like such as SPK before finally fading back down again at the albumís close.
Overall, Enormous Components of Motor Unit is a patchy release, but saying that when itís on, itís absolutely on. Half of the album feels like it doesnít really go anywhere, however when they hit their stride, they recall the golden days of the 1980s industrial scene without ever resorting to pastiche. There is enough of their own sound in there to suggest this isnít a fluke and that perhaps their talents just need to be honed, however you look at it the material that I like, I love and if they can keep that coming Iíll be a happy man.Darren Charles