William Maybelline's Qual makes a return to the forefront of the esoteric minimal synth underground with the teeth clenching EBM grind of Cupio Dissolvi, a three-track EP on Avant! Records that sees him moving deep into the recesses of hardline industrial techno (listen now - exclusive)
Having first emerged in 2011 as half of the coldwave duo Lebanon Hanover, William Maybelline's foray into the somewhat oversaturated post-punk scene reflected a singular approach that drew its focus on the more harsh, cold elements of the genre. This vision was best reflected in track titles such as 'Ice Cave', 'Northern Lights' & 'Hall Of Ice', cementing the frostbite ambience that is central to the group's sound. While Lebanon Hanover carved out a paranoid, frozen in time sound, Maybelline also quietly rolled out the first recordings as Qual. A project that lay its gaze on the more machine than human side of the dark sounds expelling from his studio. Following a similar trajectory to Silent Servant in his post-Tropic Of Cancer and Sandwell District projects, Qual has taken the more traditional elements of his previous records and scraped away any excess fat, leaving the sound stripped to its bare bones, and while it carries the hallmarks of his previous work, it now reflects Lebanon Hanover's skeleton, albeit electrified by a strong, relentless techno thud.
Opening with the dreary-eyed hypnotic slabs of sound that make up Cupio Dissolvi, the atmosphere is instantly transported to the endless all night parties of Berlin’s famed techno scene. The vibe is one of aching muscles relentlessly pounding away to the fierce analogue jack. Mirroring the recent sets of Ancient Methods in both strength and blood-on-the-tracks power electronics gore (unsurprisingly this EP has been picked up for DJ support by Michael Wollenhaupt) the fierce bassline and halftime auto-crunch drums roll along like some sort of techno-tank. Its evil vocal hooks mutter away in the dark in a decadently gothic drawl like a stranger in the darkest corner of the club luring you closer, yet remaining just out of sight. It truly is a steady move towards the sort of horrorcore menacing rhythmic funk most producers in his field can only dare dream of.
Following on from this, A Bloody Blob continues the endlessly rattling assault with a tightly wound beat rotating around an oil-soaked vocal hook that sees Qual letting slip a morbid cry of how he will dig his own grave. The tracks feeling intensified by the punishment whilst it continues onward with the sort of theatrical synth techno that came to signify Prurient on his stellar crossover records Bermuda Drain and Through The Window. Drawing the EP to a close, Rape Me in the Parthenon draws a strong influence from the recent Consumer Electronics material both in its title and textures. An eight-minute affair that propels its psychoactive shards of noise into Maybelline's vocals which sound like they have been ripped straight out of his lungs. Quite possibly the heaviest entry from Qual yet, and a brutal end to an EP that both claws at his past work, yet is strikingly focused on moving forward.
Cupio Dissolvi sees Qual carving out a decidedly jagged space within the industrial techno sphere, and while he may be something of an outsider within the genre, these three tracks go a long way to marking him out as a truly unique voice howling from the darkest depths of a dancefloor filled with dead-eyed ravers.
Cupio Dissolvi 12" EP
A1 Cupio Dissolvi
A2 A Bloody Blob
B1 Rape Me in the Parthenon