With his first full length album on BITE, SARIN confronts us with past and present horrors of our time through eight captivating EBM tracks.
In a world where almost anything can be appropriated and neutralized, and parts of the underground techno scene have increasingly become a business, social commentary rarely stretches beyond the irony or proclaiming the liberating power of rave. Once in a while, however, there will be an artist or a release that can shake the prevailing paradox of hyper-alert apathy and offer a meaningful critical look at these peculiar times we live in. Throughout his artistic work, Emad Dabiri aka SARIN has been doing precisely that.
Coming from A/V editing background, Dabiri started making music as SARIN in 2014 and has since released numerous records across labels such as aufnahme+wiedergabe, Veleno Viola, BITE or Total Black, as well as his own cassette and A/V platform X-IMG. His music is very much entwined with the audiovisual aspect of his work and influenced by the provocative and transformative power of old school techno, industrial and EBM. Combining clean, cold sharpness of these influences with cut-up sampling of mass media and haunting cinematic melodies, SARIN develops a bleak universe that vividly reflects much of our current social and political context. On his forthcoming full length album „Moral Cleansing“, he takes this approach even further to create one of his most challenging releases to date.
The album features eight innovative and thought-provoking tracks that delve deeper into the topics SARIN has been examining on his previous releases. Drawing inspiration from history, geopolitics, and mass media spectacle, „Moral Cleansing“ aims to confront and dissect the spiraling, repetitive nature of our collective existence and serve it back to us as both a spectacle in itself and a wake-up call.
The album drags us in it right from the opening track “The Culling”. Starting with a rich, dramatic synth melody resembling an old horror movie and a muffled, biting vocal sample, the track establishes an intricate, refined state of prosecution and paranoia that will persist and morph throughout the release. This uncanny, almost sophisticated sense of menace is especially well-executed on “Psychic Driving”. Operating at a slower pace, the track features samples from interviews on declassified government-sponsored mind control programs, minimalist basslines and clean singular sonic elements, making the listener anxious and hyper-aware of the slightest variation in the atmosphere.
In line with old school practices of recontextualization, in “Amiriyah” SARIN himself assumes a position of a witness or an observer merely informing us on the catastrophe by sampling the deadpan delivery of a public speaker, which once again highlights the omnipresent state of numbed out indifference to the suffering of others. He contrasts this semblance of neutrality with screams, shattering and noise. According to press release, in “SAVAK”, named after the CIA trained secret police of Iran under the Shah that tortured students, activists and artists, he adds excruciating clips from survivor interviews and a gorgeously moving ancient Sufi recital.
“Exocet II” and “Images In Your Mind” evoke the frenetic energy of old school industrial, as if to highlight the bursts of the misguided need to act that emerge every once in a while from the prevailing state of collective anesthesia. “Images In Your Mind” drives this energy to full-on militant action through the use of SARIN’s own voice over the virile lamentations on the nature of justice and evil. The album closes with “Inextinguishable Fire” that seemingly lulls us back in with its slow abrasive unease that gradually fades into hiss and silence. The message is quite clear.
„Moral Cleansing“ is SARIN's most accessible and conceptually explicit release so far. Sonically, the album relies on sophisticated sound design, dynamic percussions and captivating electro inspired melodies, resulting in a complex, sensual collection of dancefloor-friendly tracks. At the same time, sampling is more pervasive, more present, harder to ignore. Here, he doesn't let it easily slip between catchy melodies and hard-hitting basslines, but rather wants us to feel the cognitive dissonance as fully as we are often living it without really noticing – it has become that normalized. In that sense, “Moral Cleansing” is not only powerful but stylistically advanced, an album who’s deliberate contradictions will make you return to it over and over again.
Cat. No.: BITE010
Release Date: November 15th, 2019
Format: 12” LP / digital
A1 / 1. The Culling
A2 / 2. Psychic Driving
A3 / 3. Amiriyah
A4 / 4. SAVAK
B1 / 5. Repression
B2 / 6. Exocet II
B3 / 7. Images in Your Mind
B4 / 8. Inextinguishable Fire