Genero is one more label to surface from Vancouver's explosion of young, homegrown talent. Run by Soledad Muñoz, it has a decidedly feminist bent, having so far only released tapes from female-identified artists. After launching with the woozy art-pop of Regularfantasy and continuing with D. Tiffany's dazed house, Genero turns to local duo Minimalviolence (AKA A.Luk and Lida P) for its third release. Luk exists in a unique cross-section of scenes in Vancouver, making minimal wave-inspired techno in her own name and moonlighting in the post-punk band lié. Those influences are all over Minimalviolence's debut, whose hard-knocking drum machines and claustrophobic arrangements resemble L.I.E.S. more than the chilled-out house that's become associated with Vancouver.
Heavy Slave is a lo-fi house record, but not in a hissy, chewed-up way. Minimalviolence's music is cloudy and dim, where the drum machines sound like wooden sticks banging on trash cans and the vocals are mumbled from a distance. It's a jammy record, but the group have a practiced approach that paints them as more of a rock band than house heads. On "Images With Restraint," you can hear the two artists triggering sounds in tandem, and elsewhere they methodically pile on elements so that each track becomes about twice as heavy as when it started. The music is spontaneous and exciting, and you could never call it tracky.
Though their sound palette is rudimentary, Minimalviolence have a remarkable variety of directions. "Linguistic Hardcore" and "Cities Of The Interior" approximate the wind-tunnel feeling of headfuck techno with their primitive set of tools, while "Husbands" channels a classic, Submerge-style electro that almost sounds like another band altogether. By the time it closes with "St. Paul's Bay," a deceptively fluid bit of techno, Heavy Slave will already have you in the wringer, though it never feels intensely punishing. For another act entering the crowded world of gritty, analogue dance music, Minimalviolence set themselves apart with a wide repertoire of ideas and expert improvisation.
Tracklist1. Linguistic Hardcore
2. Images with Restraint
4. American Thrash
5. Wax Palms (Bodyheat)
6. Cities of the Interior
7. St. Pauls Bay