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Creamer Noel Gardner , August 31st, 2021 08:45

Ren Schofield's new grot-coated offering is the sound of him tilting back to a rock sensibility, writes Noel Gardner

Ren Schofield, who records as Container, is a perfect raver for the punks, indeed maybe a perfect punk for the ravers too. His releases – EPs, or relatively short LPs, of mostly vocal-free tracks with strangely queasy one-word titles – are uniformly machine-created, and in something approximating the techno style, while also roiling with distortion and generating the sort of chaotic atmosphere more familiar to the noisy underground rock scene where he began his musical education. Formerly located in Rhode Island, Schofield has lived for a few years now in London, where his last but one live set (at the time of writing) took place, as part of a hardcore punk festival.

Creamer is the first new Container material since that time, and though the grot-coated drums and overheated hardware blare of its four-track, 13-minute duration don’t indicate a significant gear overhaul, the producer says it’s the sound of him tilting back towards a rock sensibility. Unexpectedly, at least to this observer, it’s released by Drone, a Kompakt sublabel founded by Richard Fearless of Death In Vegas. While Fearless has a history of combining rock and techno aesthetics in his music, the results have certainly been very different to Creamer – yet presumably the DIV figurehead likes what he hears, and so he should.

The title track, also Creamer’s opener, is not a rock song in the sense most people would think of it – none of this is – but exhibits elements that clue you in to Schofield’s way of thinking. It starts with a battalion of cheesed-off fruit flies having their narked buzz sent through big amps and Metal Zone pedals, or something that sounds like that; an acidic loop and stuck-pig kickdrum makes its mark in due course. It is likely very hard to mix with but would do damage in a certain type of club.

On 'Shingles', the way the noise element cuts out after about 20 seconds (and again later on) and lets the rhythm rule the roost is a tested rock band trick, likewise a ubiquitous club DJ one. Its ear-jabbing synths have tonal commonality with a certain no wave or noiserock style; 'Sniffers', meanwhile, rocks a beat a competent punk drummer could replicate or play along to. Later, a bassline lurches along in a manner that feels a little like hearing an alarm going off while battling seasickness. That just leaves 'Rippler', touting a plausible Chicago juke influence in its drum production, as raw and twisty as the hardest RP Boo bangers at any rate. The track’s second half is almost cartoonish in its cheerful rudeness, but that’s a line you have to let Container skate.