Secret Thirteen Mix 212 - Qual

William Maybeline aka Qual of Avant! Records

photo by Maru

The darker side of Lebanon Hanover - Qual of Avant! Records delivers a messy beatdown through EBM, industrial and techno

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Qual is the solo project of William Maybelline - one half of the ice-cold Lebanon Hanover duo. William first stepped into the scene as an individual artist in 2014, declaring through his alienated sound the intention to explore the very grimmest areas in synth-based music. His 2015 Sable LP on Avant! was unapologetically gothic in subject matter (Luxurious Bleedings, Rip Doth Thy Scarlet Claws, etc.) and sound, brutally knocking listeners down into a vortex of agonizing self-reflection. Qual’s most recent and by far most uncompromising output came this year with the release of his Cupio Dissolvi EP. On this record William merges the despairingly freezing properties of ‘80s-‘90s EBM with the more aggressive sensibilities of industrial techno without ever diluting the intensity of either. This is not an appealing world, the recent swing of pop culture into the dark notwithstanding. Qual is impossible to listen to half-heartedly - it will drag you by the jaw and butcher you in a dirty alleyway. Or you can come with. Your choice!

Secret Thirteen Mix 212 might not be a surprise, but it is certainly a treat for anyone who loves power electronics, EBM and industrial techno. What Qual has given here seems to be, in a sense, the formula for his new musical direction (as heard on Cupio Dissolvi) - a lot less melodic than previously, a lot more techno-focused. The mix starts with masterpieces in the genre of power electronics - Oil Thief’s Death Sieve, Coil’s Solar Lodge, and, of course, Haus Arafna. The selection then goes to EBM through classics such as X Marks the Pedwalk and DRP, and ends up in bastardised techno territory. This latter part is the most significant in the mix, and perhaps there is a clue in that. The tracks of artists like Ontal, Ancient Methods and Mondkopf finally take us to the end point - Fifth Era’s hardcore Untitled banger.

The rough texture of Qual’s mix reminds Kazuo Nakamura’s “Inner” series, and Inner View #3 in particular. The abstract forms leave a sense of cold in the viewer - they form an unrecognisable type of machine or perhaps a cruel monument that resembles a tower of gallows. This chill is exactly what Qual brings in bulk. Don’t miss out.


01. Embrocation - Modus Vivendi
02. Oil Thief - Death Sieve
03. Coil - Solar Lodge
04. Haus Arafna - Colony Collapse [A Sign For You]
05. Inside Treatment - Walk Alone
06. Prager Handgriff - Adrenalin
07. Tzusing - King of System
08. Scwefelgelb - So Heisser Es Wird
09. X Marks the Pedwalk - Abattoir
10. DRP - Go Into Ecstasy
11. Dissecting Table - Naturalism
12. Ontal - Critical Path Method
13. An-i - Mutter
14. The Soft Moon - Desertion (Phase Fatale Remix)
15. Ancient Methods - The Whip
16. P.E.A.R.L. - HOG II (Stave Remix)
17. Iszoloscope - Raudivian Device
18. Pinion - Grid
19. Mondkopf - Ruins
20. P·A·L - Erosion V1.1
21. Notstandskomitee - Maschinenmenschen
22. Basic Implant - Bassdrücker
23. Demanufacturer - Volcano
24. Fifth Era - Untitled

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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