L/S Disorder – Sub World Unknown
Sub World Unknown by L/S Disorder is a hodge-podge of heavy metal, dubstep, hip-hop, and drone as interpreted by plunderphonics. Along with Geoflesh’s self-titled album, it’s the most avant-garde release on Dublin label Smirk Sounds. Sub World Unknown was the second release by the label, demonstrating an early predilection for experimental sounds that need not conform to one’s standards of what vapor(-wave) should be.
This full-length primarily utilizes plunderphonics tropes with ECCOJAMS-style production, but the result is something much closer to vapornoise by virtue of the disparate samples. For example, opening track “Beatlemania 2k4” presents an enormous wall-of-sound after a minute of distorted heavy metal that can hurt the ears of those who are not prepared.1 However, there are also tracks such as mid-album track “Temporary Escape” that recall the progressive electronica of Oneohtrix Point Never with a hint of new age. “No Hellfire Hot Enough” and “Havskatt” dispense with the harsh noise of “Beatlemania 2k4”, but they both feature portions of loud drones that are still just as uncomfortable. “God Slave” features some hardvapour textures in the demented techno atmosphere created by the distorted keyboards.
Sub World Unknown lies in the space of albums that are to be experienced more than they are to be enjoyed. That’s not necessarily a “negative” feature of the album – it’s simply a different category of musical experience. It does inherently restricts the type of listener who will hear this as anything other than sample-based cacophony, which is a natural response to a highly disparate mix of source material. Some of these songs are experiments that didn’t quite work out or are too similar to others: “No Hellfire Hot Enough” breaks its own and the overall album’s flow with an unnecessarily extended ambient piece following the loud drone, “Temporary Escape” relies too much on the new age/progressive electronica part, and the blast of noise in “Hope, In Alignment” does not punch as hard as the heavy metal blast of opener “Beatlemania 2k4”. “Hope, In Alignment” also ends the album rather awkwardly with a hip-hop bit sampled as lo-fi classic-style vaporwave.
If you’re interested, grab “Beatlemania 2k4” and the great drone “I want to be a part of your world”. They’re the best examples of what L/S Disorder was trying to achieve.
1. Beatlemania 2k4 – (5:15)
2. Havskatt – (4:26)
3. Shooter – (5:15)
4. Temporary Escape – (3:50)
5. No Hellfire Hot Enough – (6:13)
6. God Slave – (4:24)
7. I want to be a part of your world – (7:08)
8. Hope, In Alignment – (6:02)
1The content of this article is inspired by personal experience.