C39 – blue tape with black imprints. Pro-dubbed chrome plus cassette. 2-side 3-panel J-card with and artwork and design by HausMo Max.
Davey Harms records pummeling electronic workouts under the World War moniker. His music fuses the insistent pulse and rigid grid layouts of techno with the abrasive skronk and inventive tonal sculpting characteristic of the noise circuit of his home base in Providence, RI. Soundsystem, his first album for Hausu Mountain as World War (after 2016’s Cables tape under his given name, and a stint as Mincemeat or Tenspeed), pushes his already overloaded practice to new peaks of dense arrangement and body-animating cyborg groove. While Harms lays out his tracks with components typical to classic techno, barreling through polyrhythmic kick drum configurations and evolving bass lines, the tones he chooses to highlight continually defy expectations. Massive squelching noise formants swirl through the 4/4 stomp before striking on the beat with a crisp, percussion-like attack, and other electronic voices sizzle and roar with a synthetic weight that evokes crunchy metal guitar work. Along with contemporaries like Container and Shit and Shine, World War carves out a corner of the technoid underground focused on stuttering alien rhythms, distorted percussion, and fine-grain texture. The rapidly evolving drum patterns on display on Soundsystem bubble with activity and variation, reaching some bizarre middle ground between heavily swung two-step beat music and thick gabber beatdowns – all conjured from Harms’s tiny rig centered around the Roland MC-808 sampler/drum machine. World War balances the potential aggression of his heavy jams with a sense of play, conveyed in his predilection for wonky lead melodies cast off in preset-like horn tones and clipped, insectile peals of static. His jams thrive on unexpected segues and uproarious introductions of new elements to the mix. He programs his machines past their breaking point, and we watch his brain pour out at our feet.