Thursday, 23rd March 2017. 6:01:24pm ET


ARTIST: Portion Control

ALBUM: Crop

LABEL: Sigsaly Transmissions

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 7-20-10

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Since their founding three decades ago, England's Portion Control have been both one of the dark electronic scene's most influential acts as well as one of its most obscure. After a long hiatus, the band returned to active status five years ago with numerous reissues, festival appearances and new material. Their latest release is a double-CD compilation of their newest material, highlighting their current gritty style. More ominous than aggressive, tracks like "Hardman" and "Too Much Damage" pair tense, deadpan vocals with grimly marching drum machine rhythms and stark synthesized bass lines. Fans of fellow underrated UK act Attrition's early work will especially enjoy the dark instrumental blips and unsettling samples of "Sickman" and the 15-minute continuously mixed epic that is "Onion Jack IV Segue: Pearly King and Queen / Cosh Boy / Onion Freak / Drive By / Sunbeam," which proceeds gradually from dark ambient laced with vocal snippets into bleak rolling breakbeats. Aside from their pioneering work in electronic music, Portion Control also draw heavily on punk elements, which come through particularly clearly on the tortured drawls of "Blood Rushed to the Head" and the gravelly belted vocals of "Chew You to Bits (Rebuild)." More purely melodic elements are rarer but consistently excellent, with the semi-sung vocals of "Brain Scraper Death Dive" providing a moment of unexpected fun and funk. Given their incredible influence (they've been name-checked by the likes of Depeche Mode and Skinny Puppy) and prolific output, delving into Portion Control's massive oeuvre can be intimidating, but this collection is a perfect entry point for fans curious about their current work.

For more information, visit the Portion Control website at www.portion-control.net.


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