STM 281 - Blakk Harbor

Mix by Angelos Liaros aka Blakk Harbor from Ant Zen Record Label

Photo from artist's personal archiv

Dark experimental industrial-techno artist Angelos Liaros aka Blakk Harbor of Ant-Zen records a mix full of slow-paced heavy beats and intriguing dark layers.

Angelos Liaros is the man behind Blakk Harbor, a Berlin-based sound designer from Athens that rocked the scene last September. His latest album (he has also released several works under Mobthrow, his other moniker), entitled “Madares”, was put out by the highly regarded German label Ant-Zen. In line with other superb Greek artists such as ANFS, Kondaktor or Pact Infernal, his sound combines the profoundness of drone, the sharp abrasiveness of industrial/noise and the mystic of ritual techno.

Lasting more than an hour, STM 281 is a mesmerizing mix that puts together Blakk Harbor’s trademark dystopian offering with other top producers of the likes of Broken English Club, Hiro Kone, Drew McDowall, Mika Vainio and more. Wisely mixed, its harshness pivots on filter oscillation, slow-paced heavy beats and intriguing dark layers.

It opens with “Stray Dogs” by Broken English Club, a raw track that represents a clear declaration of intent where vocals (and barking) combine with an ongoing sharp distortion. In fact, such distortion would end up being the common ground from which most of the pieces would grow up. After that initial beatless track, Vargdöd’s “Bitten” brings in a good deal of muscle with a powerful circular techno beat that intermingles with frantic beeps. Already at this point, intensity reaches a level that would continue, restlessly, until the very last track. Drew McDowall and Hiro Kone’s “Bright Kiss of Fire”, taken from their last year’s EPs, shows these two geniuses’ adaptability to each other’s unique crafting and their unquestionable versatility. Further on, another special collaboration is that consisting of the late Mika Vainio and Franck Vigroux. “Brume” is the evocative opening track in 2018 “Ignis”, and provides a feeling of mysticity that fits like hand and glove with the whole narrative of the mix. Simultaneously mysterius, fragile and profound, the track develops based on repetition, epic layers and cold industrial effects till transforming their sonic journey into a mystic experience. Hiro Kone repeats with “Pure Expenditure”, a killer industrial track from the homonymous album, which is a masterpiece in its entirety. On his part, Angelos shares three impressive own tracks (two of them unreleased) that transport listeners to another magical realm, that of dark ritual techno. Although a hard task to accomplish, what is even more appealing about these three pieces is that they keep up with the enormous talent of some of the most important artists in current electronic music.

All in all, STM 281 is clear proof that strength does not have to be necessarily built upon fast-paced compositions, that beauty goes far beyond harmony, that distortion and repetition can take us to an altered state of mind. Blakk Harbor manages to paint an ethereal soundscape using a palette of reverberated effects and layers, wisely employed oscillations and extremely fat kicks. Also, he adds vocals, mongol chants, bells, strings and cuts played by him, among other effects, showing that this fella has an amazing taste for forward-looking composition. Terrific from head to toe, this mix must not be missed by those penchant for elliptical mantras, dark techno and industrial power. Simply huge.

Blakk Harbor on the mix:

A hypnotic drone fused mix from eclectic sound design oscillations to dystopian techno driven industrial textures. Featuring unreleased material from Blakk Harbor and exclusive mix manipulation on tracks from: Vargdöd, Positive Centre, Broken English Club, Hiro Kone, Drew McDowall, Mika Vainio, Caterina Barbieri, Samuel Kerridge, Alberich, Emptyset, The Haxan Cloak, Grebenstein, Raime and more.

Reveal Playlist
01. Broken English Club - Stray Dogs [L.I.E.S.]
02. Vargdöd - Bitten [Opal Tapes]
03. Positive Centre - Hydrostatic Pressure [Horo]
04. Drew McDowall & Hiro Kone - Bright Kiss Of Fire (Blakk Harbor overtone mix) [BANK Records NYC]
05. Cloud Boat - Amber Road (Haxan Cloak Remix)
06. Blakk Harbor - Pure Brutality [Unreleased]
07. Emptyset - Speak [Thrill Jockey]
08. Alberich - Precursor (live) [Hospital Productions]
09. Darse - Blasphemy (Samuel Kerridge remix) [Obseqvivm Records]
10. Grebenstein - Acting within your terms [Downwards]
11. Blakk Harbor - Sacred Grounds [Ant-Zen, BH]
12. S. english - eleventh night [L.I.E.S.]
13. Blakk Harbor - Mass Hypnosis [Unreleased]
14. karim maas - removal of decc [The Stone Tapes]
15. Tzusing - 日出東方 唯我不敗 [L.I.E.S.]
16. Belief Defect - Deliverance [Raster]
17. Hiro Kone - Pure Expenditure [Dais]
18. Caterina Barbieri - How to decode an illusion (Blakk Harbor Fm mix) [Important Records]
19. Mika Vainio & Franck Vigroux - Brume [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
20. Low - Dancing and Blood (Blakk Harbor pad mix) [Sub pop]
21. Raime - Notion 2 Notion (Blakk Harbor special mix) [Blackest ever black]


- "Drew McDowall & Hiro Kone" adding overtone mongol singing and fm tones/samples from haxan cloak.
- "Caterina Barbieri-How to decode an illusion" adding additional melody on top with fm bells.
- "Raime-Notion 2 Notion" adding vocals, overtone chants and cello strings.

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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