Album of the month
Maelstrom 'Her Empty Eyes' (RAAR)
Hailing from the ancient French harbour city of Nantes, Maelstrom was brought up on a strict diet of techno-filled warehouses. His debut album ‘Her Empty Eyes’ (released via his and Louisahhh’s own RAAR Records imprint) is dripping with industrial sensibility. It kicks off in suitably acrid fashion with ‘The Murder Of Jose Robles’, which boasts a groove that pushes forward with all the grace of a freight train, while the more rhythmic ‘Battle of Jarama’ sounds like 90s rave filtered through a jet engine. Standout club cuts are actually few and far between; instead, Maelstrom looks to explore the emotional resonance behind his influences, from the eerie drone techno of ‘Hotel Florida Room 108’ and chilling ambience on ‘Respite In Albacete’ to the unsettling soundscapes of ‘Where Is Nin’. ‘Her Empty Eyes’ might not be for everyone, but there’s a certain poetic beauty in the way Maelstrom finds emotional resonance inside of his bleak influences.