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CONSUMER ELECTRONICS – ESTUARY ENGLISH

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Consumer Electronics is the long running power electronics project of Philip Best, former member of legendary groups Ramleh and Whitehouse as well as lesser known projects like Male Rape Group and the underrated Libertarian Recordings. After a long period of inactivity, Consumer Electronics returned in 2007 with Nobody’s Ugly on No Fun Productions and followed it up with their phenomenal 2009 release, Crowd Pleaser – with Gary Mundy (Ramleh) and Mattin (Billy Bao) filling out the trio. This time Best is joined by Russell Haswell and Sarah Froelich. While overall a bit of a step down, Estuary English features some of the finest power electronics tracks since Whitehouse’s Asceticists 2006 – which also features Best. “Teknon” opens the album with a rhythmic industrial/PE track reminiscent of Slave State before reaching the album’s rhythmic peak on “Sex Offender Boyfriend,” sounding influenced by William Bennett’s Cut Hands project, which slowly evolves into more straightforward power electronics. From there, the album strips the rhythm away and has its best moments. Arguably, the two highlights of the album are “Come Clean” and the title track, “Estuary English.” Both these songs are exercises in sonic control, mixing their abrasive and sonically dynamic noise with Best’s classic, harsh vocals. “Co-Opted” features killer backing electronics but the repeated refrain “co-opted by cunts” grows tiresome over the track’s five minutes. The biggest knock against the album, however is its brevity, clocking in at only 21 minutes. Hopefully it won’t take another five years for the next Consumer Electronics lp. For fans of power electronics, this album is a must.





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