The debut album of electronic music sensation DEFCE, Surface Tension is an audio film of the most delectable order. A partnership between Death Qualia and graphic artist SHVLFCE, the DEFCE sound is a regenerative dismantling of techno, drum & bass, and industrial musics, wound together to form an all new genre. Tempos running at 185 BPM+ with a steady pulse of kick drum in the center, scattershot percussion, and heartrending pad melodies are the critical elements comprising this new sound. They are backed by a spectacular live performance that has seen them in venues as disparate as Berlin’s Burn the Machine Festival, Fuck Parade, and Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus.
“DEFCE takes all the best elements of breakcore but adds the tension and grit of noise and the spacious, cavernous qualities of classic industrial music. We don’t need much more convincing, to be totally honest.”
– FACT Mag
“DEFCE comes across as one of those forces in electronic music that dismantles the very infrastructures of genres and rebuilds them in brand new shapes and forms…Surface Tension occupies a similar space to the shapeshifting electronic stalwarts like Venetian Snares and even the esoteric kingdom of Richard D James…A modern masterpiece in regenerative electronic creativity.”
“Experimental D&B/metal/IDM hybrids aka new sub-genre Drumcode, delivered by Brooklyn’s Ohm Resistance. This stuff sorta sounds like the gear Björk was playing in that youtube clip of her DJ set at St. Vitus bar earlier this year; hell-for-leather fast but with a poised sense of metal discipline – threatening to eat your face but preferring to scowl like some daemon from the abyss. And while there are obvious links to be made with Drumcorps, Limewax, Scorn, essentially this is an altered beast, shedding D&B’s weight in favour of aerial agility and broader atmospheric space. Imagine Raime gutting Venetian Snares and you’re not far off.”
“DEFCE’s debut is a beautiful object, an intense album, and a welcome initiative. The collaborative output of Shvl Fce (known for both his music and his drawings, such as the cover artwork to Monolog’s “Merge”) and Create Her, “Surface Tension” positions itself at the meeting point of the newfound industrial techno scene, the old school industrial rhythmic noise one and dancefloor-thumping hardcore sounds. It is very gritty and experimental at times, unleashing a blast of distorted beats the next moment. Subtle and dark, but undoubtedly exhilarating and driven, this album is a perfect example of what you get by briding old and new sounds as well as club and home-listening oriented sensibilities. Recommended.”
– Ad Noiseam
“Drawing upon the aural headspace of psychonauts like Aphex Twin, Burial, and Shackleton, the duo known as DEFCE deliver a monumental album/manifesto in the form of their breathtaking blend of techno, drum & bass, and industrial speedcore that they call “drumcode.”
“Oh deary me, I’ve finally overdone it. I knew I shouldn’t have injected that DMT laced ket into my nads. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually do that, but the reality of that experience is alive in Surface Tension from DEFCE. This record leads me to believe that I haven’t lived my life virtuously enough and DEFCE is mocking me in my descent into annihilation. Think Venetian Snares, Aphex and pure sin…”
– Norman Records
In this 90-minute escape from the civilized world, all light (and therefore hope) is absorbed, leaving only black…clearly the favorite color of co-producers Jon Baruc and Shvl.Fce. If a normally upbeat guy like myself can appreciate Surface Tension for what it is then I have faith you can as well.