British Murder Boys

Learn Your Lesson
British Murder Boys
Learn Your Lesson

Three of British Murder Boys’ peerlessly bleak and baleful 12”s for Counterbalance are back in print for the first time ages. And thank god or whichever deity endorses music as dissolute as this: because although canonical to some, BMB 1.0 just isn't listened to or admired enough by the rest. So: rub your eyes and re-focus. This stuff is just beyond. With the benefit of hindsight, 'Learn Your Lesson’ (2003, fuck!) is now very obviously what happens when Whitehouse meets Basic Channel (a mad union to imagine in 2003, never mind execute). Regis’s malevolent babble might fall far short of Uncle William in full flight, but its combination with babylon-Berlin chord flutter and geysers of corrosive noise, was, and remains, inspired. ‘Rule By Law’ has aged even better, and - though it took a while for the rabble to catch up - its deadly swung rhythmic blueprint quietly revitalised 2000s techno from the margins, make no mistake.

Don’t Give Way To Fear (also 2003) is just as crucial, Part 1 offering perhaps the most vital iteration of the iron-first BMB breakbeat on record - and the closest that (ahem) INTELLIGENT techno has ever come to genuine rip-out-the-seats delirium/ultraviolence. By the time of All The Saints Have Been Hung (2005) all that wheeling aggression has been condensed and compressed into purest (anti-)funk - see especially the dropforge rollage of the title track and the blistering ‘Anti Inferno’.

Listening back to all this stuff, I'm freshly struck by its subtlety, both in terms of texture and architecture: though the core of the project is belligerence and route-one BOSH (and truth be told first time around that’s all I cared about), there are just as many passages of strung-out, droning, minimal, dub-damaged introspection - and it's these more understated/subliminal bad vibrations that leave the stronger impression now. Behind the street-fighting, bad-booze-and-speed bluster, a revolution in sound design: whichever way you look at it, this is a body of work that updated, redefined, and exploded the parameters of both industrial AND techno musics…no mean feat, bub! Visionary, ahead of its time, and, let’s not understate it, GENIUS. The wider world wasn’t ready then, and I’m not sure it is now. But YOU are. Get in!


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