"Negativity" (Album, 2004) !DSO Recommended!
Having released the 1999 album Defeat under the extended (and then more accurate) name of Audio Warfare, Cubanate's Graham Rayner and K-Nitrate's Christian Weber refined and developed their proposition, sound and name and returned in 2004 with this ballsy collection of industrial techno. Seeking to place the project somewhere in the mix around Apollo 440, Death In Vegas and The Prodigy, they actually succeeded in carving out their own, quality industrial dance niche and Negativity was the brilliant result.
Building the ten tracks here around grinding guitars, breaks and old-school triggering-like keys with, thankfully, no compulsion to throw in mediocre, growling vocals that all too often mar a lot of industrial electro that this occasionally borders, what remains is a remarkably lean style of composition providing no hiding place for lazy or sub-standard song writing. Which isn't a problem as this doesn't have a single dud track. What vocals there are merely add to the audio texture and are never really up front. The hypnotically repetitive pattern of most tracks is a joy that only the brave and talented can really pull off and Audiowar do it with ease here.
In no time at all, this rocks its way through ten tracks that although firmly contemporary recall the best of The Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Taste or Land of Rape and Honey era Ministry and, covering the breaks side more, Meat Beat Manifesto at their most industrial. It's a shame this didn't get more recognition when it was released and I hold my head in shame as one of those who received a review copy all those years ago, and has only now gotten around to righting that wrong. I'll never have a clear conscience about that but the least I can do is say if any of this sounds intriguing then you should pick up a copy immediately as the intervening years have done nothing to weaken its impact. 8/10
Rob Dyer (May 2009)