Boys Noize & Mr Oizo Team Up For Handbraekes ‘#2’ EP
One thing should be made clear about HANDBRAEKES off the bat. This is the double-threat duo of Germanic techno wunderkind BOYS NOIZE and French electro extraordinaire MR OIZO: two artists whom, in their own right, produce some of the filthiest house music this side of Berghain.
When either of these guys penetrate your ears, they go in dry. HANDBRAEKES is less a collaboration than a bass-heavy double-team.
I’d push back for both of these artists. BOYS NOIZE has always managed to shape the dirtiest industrial soundscapes into coherent electro headbangers, without things ever getting too messy; MR OIZO is kind of like JUSTICE‘s incredibly talented but severely underrated cousin. And yet, on first listen, HANDBRAEKES didn’t really get my engine revving like it should’ve. Hunched over my laptop, at a desk littered with mandarin peels and a bright red ‘Bondi Beach Surf Patrol’ cap (thank you, Ed Kirkwood) the deep, sleazy electro fuzz of ‘Bravo’ sounded a tad tedious and more than a little repetitive.
This kind of music is all about context. Which is why now, as I listen through noise-cancelling headphones with the volume at its absolute crunching peak, I kind of get it.
HANDBRAEKES is that type of bodily, fist-in-your-guts house that just doesn’t work with a cuppa’ and an arrowroot. Chugging, incendiary tracks like ‘Paroat’ demand to be cranked in dark basements, warehouse parties, or abandoned aircraft hangars—industrial house for industrial contexts. In these kind of environments, HANDBRAEKES would be explosive—but it should be stressed that this doesn’t even come close to qualifying as ‘easy listening’. ‘Chyna’ is an absolute assault of bass-driven techno sludge, battering the ribcages and rattling the skull with vocal cuts breathing things like “Wonderful” straight into your cerebral cortex. You can taste the sweat and chemicals. And whilst ‘Grind Go’ is a little airier, leaning more toward OIZO‘s cleaner moments than BOYS NOIZE‘s thrash aesthetic, things are still a little too heavy to ever be more than slightly radio friendly.
‘#2’ is, as you might expect, the sophomore EP from HANDBRAEKES, released through ‘Boysnoize Records’. If you’re playing it in your house, take it to the cellar. If you’re playing it in your car, be driving somewhere grimy. Really grimy. Really really fast.
Words by Gavin Butler