[​/​] no. 30 | Random Shadows by urbanfailure

urbanfailure – Random Shadows 7″ ep

released by heart by Sky Burial and [/] urbsounds collective limited to 33 pieces on clear vinyl, hand made, recorded live with passion and punk attitude. Shadows photography Jana Mikova, most expressive and beatiful cover art by Tove ~ thanks + respect, released March 26, 2016

Rhythm and polyrhythm

are the key mathematical functions that define the essense of music. The process of representing integers as products of prime numbers gives an illusion of purpose and causes sudden blood flow to the brain. This occurs almost ceaselessly. As if the nasal root started moving away from its place and the hands started loosing control. The nervous system is exposed to everlasting pleasure and the distracted brain is fully absorbed by the illusion of quality and quantity, rhythm and melody. The mosaic evokes the feeling of wholeness and unity. Falling asleep during the performance becomes the most delightful state to experience.


Review by The Wire – number 396 | February 2017

Urbanfailure`s Random Shadows EB reviewed by The Wire
Urbanfailure`s Random Shadows EP reviewed by The Wire

 Review by Vital Weekly – number 1029 | week 17

URBANFAILURE – RANDOM SHADOWS (7″ lathe cut by Sky Burial Productions/UrbSounds)

A highly limited lathe cut 7″ recorded by Urbanfailure, who ever that might be, and apparently the three pieces on this 7″ are all live recorded, which is actually a great achievement. Rhythm plays an important role in these pieces, banging on what seems to be metal percussion feeding through a variety of electronic devices, such as delay and reverb, meanwhile also being picked up by a loop station or two. Maybe even a synthesizer or two for some colouring of the sounds; it is not easy to say, but the end result is quite good.
There is an old school industrial music texture to these pieces, especially in ‘Gridiron Ambience’ it bangs around in a heavy manner. ‘Standoff Abrupt’ has a more modern sound, in which live digital processing plays an important role. ‘Consciousness Mismatch’ is the shortest of the three pieces and a pretty straightforward rhythm piece, but without the complexity the other two pieces seem to have. Short but great. I wish it had been longer. (FdW)

Review by Ed Pinsent / The Sound Projector

Got a 7-inch lathe cut from Urbsounds, the Slovakian label that’s the home of very unusual urban and avant-techno sounds. We have in the past noted the 2004 compilation Urbsounds Collective, and the 2012 CD Instant Satisfunction. “Inhuman machine-like spirit created from the incessant repeating beats,” noted Nausika at the time. Michal Lichy recently sent Random Shadows (SKY BURIAL 013 / URBSOUNDS COLLECTIVE [/] no. 30) by Urbanfailure, a baffling EP of three tracks…everything sounds very “muffled” on the actual lathe cut, which I expect is due to the limitations of the process, but when played on the Bandcamp page you get quite a different story and the music’s aggression comes to the fore. ‘Gridiron Ambience’ starts out as a random array of beats and nonsensical noises, including some completely out-of-context birdsong recordings, then gradually warms up into a menacing and pounding mess – only to subside into mystery again before you get any ideas about bouncing up and down to the music. Quite bewildering in its compositional shape. You might fare better with ‘Standoff Abrupt’, which has a more recognisable rhythm and squelchy synth patterns, but the sounds are mean, abrasive, and nasty. Any hopes of continuity or uninterrupted listening are constantly sabotaged by Urbanfailure’s disruptive interventions. The blurb on the Bandcamp page indicates something of this record’s intentions, through allusions to mathematical principles, integers, and the human nervous system.

The cover art is by Tove, depicting three hooded spirits breathing fire in a mystical circle, and on the back cover apparently taking part in a makeshift funeral. This back cover, all suffused greys and blacks, feels very appropriate to the music somehow, especially when I play my lathe version with its ghostly and pallid beats. There’s also a full colour foldout, with a photography by Jana Mikova depicting air pollution and black clouds in a sickly green and orange sky, and image that induces a profound industrial horror in the viewer. From 15th April 2016.