Operant – Zero Knowledge (2017)
Operant, the duo comprised of Instruments Of Discipline label boss Luna Vassarotti and August Skipper from post-punk/darkwave act Ascetic, quickly follow-up the heavy and oppressive ZK_II EP released back in September 2016 with new EP Zero Knowledge, released January 2017. This time featuring co-mixing and co-production from electronic mastermind Blush Response, Zero Knowledge finds Operant treading some familiar territory but also expanding their sonic palette to include more diversity and space in their sound, making for a more immersive listening experience.
Zero Knowledge is still a challenging listen, experimental in nature and certainly not full of quick-hit tunes; but that’s never the point in this particular field of sonic terrorism. This EP rewards your close attention with dark and harsh industrial atmospherics. If you were to graph opening track “Prison 01”, it is seemingly constructed around an inverted U shape whereby there’s a gentle ambient build up to a peaking crescendo of mechanical noise before slowly tapering off back into that quieter ambient territory again. “New Limbs” starts with a shrieking noise attack that instantly jolts the listener, alongside acutely programmed disjointed and jackhammer-like industrial beats, quickly followed by Luna Vassarotti’s spoken word vocal murmur. The dark ambient build of “Deliverance” eventually gives way to a mid tempo industrial throb with a myriad of noises and samples thrown into the mix too. “Insular” is the most straightforward track on the EP, an industrial-techno assault, albeit in Operant’s suitably dark style. Zero Knowledge closes with the experimental and gloomy “The Alpha Is Destroyed”, full of intriguing electronic manipulations.
Overall, Zero Knowledge is fascinating excursion through dark, experimental harsh electronics – possibly not for the faint of heart – but absolutely for those who like their industrial raw and challenging. Recommended listening.
Available digitally and on transparent petrol marble vinyl direct from Instruments Of Discipline on Bandcamp here.