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GAMES NEED RULES is a collaborative album between Dominick Fernow of Prurient notoriety and Function of the recently defunct techno collective the Sandwell District. This release charts another step in Fernow’s shift from tinnitus-inducing electronics and coarse screams to hypnotic techno synthscape that Bermuda Drain initiated. While Vatican Shadow cut out the spoken word monologues aspect of Prurient, Fernow simultaneously set up an exterior narrative for the project through its artwork’s and titles’ consistent reference to the threat of Middle Eastern affairs. On this level, GAMES NEED RULES is an intermission from Vatican Shadow’s personal thematic arc to meet Function’s oeuvre of nocturnal techno halfway. The cover is a monochrome black slate and the titles don’t threaten as much as they evoke. The prickling hi-end textures of “Things Unknown” stagger in and out of syncopation with its synth counterpoint. It could conjure the body’s rhythmic process processes aligning during a sleep cycle or perhaps an early morning sun cresting over the cold metal of a metropolis. GAMES NEED RULES is out now on Hospital Productions.

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