Fuedal - Unit 1
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Taking the downward steps into a dingy, underground nightclub; black leather clad men and women stomping on the dancefloor past midnight. These were two of the several images that immediately came to mind when I first hit the play button on the debut LP “Unit 1” of Los Angeles duo Fuedal. Pumping away at work in a warehouse became less of a chore and more of a breeze as this served as my soundtrack of the week; a hypnotizing and mesmerizing spell of EBM inspired dance rhythms and percussive beats.
The album starts with ‘Etched’ which is the pinnacle of what I mentioned above. The vocals are slightly distorted, a bit of an electronic pulse beneath the words, giving it some harmony. A smart choice, otherwise the vocals would have sounded like some dude talking into a mic. A bit of a punch to this track, but nothing quite ass-kicking. A good medium spice.
Much more old school vibes lash out on ‘Old World’. Mechanical sounds and samples abound; warping synth work out of a sci-fi soundtrack yet aesthetically new school. A pleasing sensation to the inner rivethead; a well procured mix where nothing sounds out of place, and everything melds together nicely. No single sound is battling for control. Crisp and pure.
‘Call Me Soft’ dutifully brings to light the pop tones talked about in the descriptor of the album. It sounds like something from the current wave of post-punk / darkwave projects that have taken the scene by storm, but with its own merit. Not a cookie cutter clone; still rife with originality and better production than I’ve seen from most of the bands within the scene. Not the best vocals, though. Sometimes slurring words in between the mix, making muddied sounds. Such as around the two-minute and ten-second mark. The cleaner segments do the song justice, but I would have preferred vocals as melancholic and emotional as the beat.
Modern house music plays an important role on the final original mix ‘Cold Caller’. Taking notes and inspirations from so many other electronic musicians in the world, Fuedal twists the sound into a gnarled branch. That gnarled branch is served to our luscious community and brought back to life as a decent dark dance single. Well done; it’s fun and serves its purpose.
In between each of these songs are several other pumping jams mainly focused on EBM riddled beats, but the songs I’ve listed above are the ones that stand out the most to me. There are two additional remixes on the album from Semantix and Anticipation. Semantix’s remix taks what was given on ‘Etched’ and transforms it into an EBM monster. But what else would we expect from one of the underground scene’s best up and coming new beat producers? I’m not too familiar with Anticipation, but I wasn’t a fan of what they did to ‘Cold Caller’. A glitchy remix that takes all the soul out of the original track and turns it into a bit of a headache inducing piece. I wasn’t a fan of it the first time around, not the second, and not the fifth or sixth.
Fuedal fits right at home with DKA Records impressive roster; sharp beats, grand production, and a focus on what makes our dark electronic scene so wondrous. A minor complaint here or there does not hold this album down, and a remix not being to my taste hardly ever damages the worth of the product as a whole. Eight out of ten.Jun 10 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this review
Buy this release