Van Boom leaves no space for the faint of heart in his Fact Mix, an elegant onslaught of hard techno and post club at terminal velocity.
Splatters of feedback, squalling noise and battering ram drums sound the alarm: Van Boom has arrived. The Kuwait-based producer, DJ and organiser has been performing playful plastic surgery on the dour face of European techno since his debut EP frown was released back in 2019, hammering out a hard, fast and sexy take on the sound that lurches between hard-faced aggression and tongue-in-cheek melodrama. On MORFEUS, his 2020 EP for ANBA, and more recently on Prosthetics, his debut album and inaugural release for Varg2™’s Cease 2 Exist imprint, Van Boom hones a razor-sharp, high-tech industrial foundation with elements of post-club chaos, ’00s bass gymnastics and interpolations of Arabic scales lifted from the rich, idiophonic musical traditions of the Gulf region. “The soundscapes I produce capture, distort, and then fragment the industrial terrain I grew up around,” he told METAL. “I definitely would consider myself to be an outsider, but I mostly felt that way growing up in Kuwait,” he continues. “It’s also been difficult to connect with musicians in Kuwait who found my sound to be too abrasive and outside of what they’re used to. My music is a personal expression that, I hope, can resonate with the feeling of ‘otherness’ – of feeling othered in your own country.”
On Prosthetics, which the label describes as “a mangled mirror to the social and state forces with which he lives,” and the album’s accompanying collection of remixes, featuring flips, inversions and eviscerations from some of the producer’s closest friends and brightest inspirations, including Endgame, Estoc, E-Saggila, Sorcery, VTSS, Whiterose, Deena Abdelwahed and Slikback, this feeling is distilled into potent concentrates of eldritch ambience, punishing percussion and mutilated sound design, pushed to the most dissociating and cathartic extremes. The same pressure is applied throughout his blistering Fact mix, an elegant onslaught at terminal velocity. “Pure darkness in industrialised terrain is the theme of the mix, which incorporates genres from hard techno and post-club sound,” he explains. “I wanted to demonstrate how club music could be reflected in a sinister setting with a unique twist.” Brandishing unreleased weapons from Exploited Body, Estoc and Cardopusher, Van Boom leaves no space for the faint of heart, plunging us into the shadows without so much as a lighter to guide us, letting us loose at lethal speed to be overwhelmed by the discordant force of his sound.
You can find Van Boom on Instagram, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
Ice_Eyes – ‘Dark Unit’
Death Grips – ‘No Love’ (KAVARI Blood Flow Mix)
LSDXOXO – ‘Rockstar69’ (Exploited Body Remix)
AQXDM – ‘Balled 002’
Witch Trials – ‘Dilemma’
Liza Aikin – ‘Hospital Bed’ (Swarm Intelligence Remix)
Van Boom – ‘Torn’
LAREN – ‘Call of The Nymph’
Estoc – ‘Unreleased’
ØRGIE – ‘Thétre Du Chaos’
exilee – ‘toll bait’
xerxr – ‘ca mi allah psytrance’
MORSURE – ‘Abstract Dimension’
BLK SLK – ‘1312’
Van Boom – ‘Agora’ [Feat. Whiterose]
DJXNX – ‘MOP’
Van Boom – ‘XXX’ [Feat. Whiterose] (Sorcery Remix)
Cardopusher – ‘Unreleased’
Listen next: Fact Mix – Laila Sakini