Tech-Noir Electro Hardware Pulse Whenever I read the name Toxic Razor I think I’m about to dive into a mid-2000s themed emo band’s debut single complete with straightened bangs, eyeliner, and a raccoon’s nest of a hairdo. Alas, this is not the case as Mr. Razor is a name now synonymous with underground electronic music. A purveyor of the fine arts as he has dabbled in all sorts of analogue nonsense under Paradox Obscur, Metal Disco, Beatbox Machinery, and most recently, Hardware Pulse. Pulling the name Tech-Noir for an album title or song title isn’t the most inspiring, but it does lead me to understand a swell taste in movies since it’s a big fat reference to the Terminator franchise. Nonetheless, this cyberpunk-y album that’s proud in its recording with no virtual assistance is a decent take on electro, acid, and other industrial funk. Tech-Noir by HARDWARE PULSEThe title track is the first to hit and the best way I can describe it is as a crawl through cyberspace. If you’ve ever played the cult-classic video game System Shock, you might remember those hacking minigames; yeah, it feels something like that. A nice little breather amidst a horrid spaceship situation; a pulse to the web. Next comes the more modest ‘Slave To The Synth Brain’, a track that has me worried for Toxic Razor’s state of affairs. Is he enslaved by a intelligent synthesizer hosted by an artificial AI, or is this just paranoia? Either way, the query is ripe for the pickings; it’s a fun blend of electrical shocks and smooth beats. ‘Strategic Radio Research’ gives us a solid EBM bassline followed up by some brighter techno synths, making it the first retro club track “Tech-Noir” sees to date. Each thump is another step on the dancefloor, and the little laser sounds give it a feel as if you’re at an arcade, surrounded by your friends and adoring fans, about to beat the high score. ‘Cryo Future’ is like the soundtrack for the future of the stock market; cold and calculated beat running amok amongst a digital currency existence. ‘Aerophase’ feels like a direct follow-up to ‘Cryo Future’; a simple concoction of warmer beats flowing through the skies of the same sci-fi city. A cruise through a spinner on the darkest of nights where the neon lights below are but a blur. ‘Nightclub Interface’ joins the fray in the same existence as ‘Strategic Radio Research’; a club song but one that’s remarkably different. It doesn’t rely so much on heavy bass as it does brighter, trance like synths that gives it a feel of robotic dance music. As if a cyborg wrote this for his machine patriots. By the time ‘Magma Activity’ was done playing I felt as if a lot of the tricks Hardware Pulse has already pulled out was starting to fade, as this one, while good, wasn’t as unique as the rest I had listened to. The same could be said for the final track on the album, ‘Celebration Sunrise’. Again, good enough, but not enough tricks were pulled out of the hat to keep me entertained enough. I felt myself wanting to explore something else, listen to something else, rather than keep on with this. Thus we come to an end with Hardware Pulse’s album “Tech-Noir”. Though I was getting tired of the analogue antics by the end of the album, I still believe that “Tech-Noir” is worth listening to from start to finish. It’s a fun album, instrumental from start to finish, that can either serve as background noise for any task (washing dishes in my case) or in depth listening for those looking to find all the little secrets in Hardware Pulse’s mix.  450
Brutal Resonance

Hardware Pulse - Tech-Noir

7.5
"Good"
Released off label 2023
Whenever I read the name Toxic Razor I think I’m about to dive into a mid-2000s themed emo band’s debut single complete with straightened bangs, eyeliner, and a raccoon’s nest of a hairdo. Alas, this is not the case as Mr. Razor is a name now synonymous with underground electronic music. A purveyor of the fine arts as he has dabbled in all sorts of analogue nonsense under Paradox Obscur, Metal Disco, Beatbox Machinery, and most recently, Hardware Pulse. Pulling the name Tech-Noir for an album title or song title isn’t the most inspiring, but it does lead me to understand a swell taste in movies since it’s a big fat reference to the Terminator franchise. Nonetheless, this cyberpunk-y album that’s proud in its recording with no virtual assistance is a decent take on electro, acid, and other industrial funk. 


The title track is the first to hit and the best way I can describe it is as a crawl through cyberspace. If you’ve ever played the cult-classic video game System Shock, you might remember those hacking minigames; yeah, it feels something like that. A nice little breather amidst a horrid spaceship situation; a pulse to the web. Next comes the more modest ‘Slave To The Synth Brain’, a track that has me worried for Toxic Razor’s state of affairs. Is he enslaved by a intelligent synthesizer hosted by an artificial AI, or is this just paranoia? Either way, the query is ripe for the pickings; it’s a fun blend of electrical shocks and smooth beats. 

‘Strategic Radio Research’ gives us a solid EBM bassline followed up by some brighter techno synths, making it the first retro club track “Tech-Noir” sees to date. Each thump is another step on the dancefloor, and the little laser sounds give it a feel as if you’re at an arcade, surrounded by your friends and adoring fans, about to beat the high score. ‘Cryo Future’ is like the soundtrack for the future of the stock market; cold and calculated beat running amok amongst a digital currency existence. 

‘Aerophase’ feels like a direct follow-up to ‘Cryo Future’; a simple concoction of warmer beats flowing through the skies of the same sci-fi city. A cruise through a spinner on the darkest of nights where the neon lights below are but a blur. ‘Nightclub Interface’ joins the fray in the same existence as ‘Strategic Radio Research’; a club song but one that’s remarkably different. It doesn’t rely so much on heavy bass as it does brighter, trance like synths that gives it a feel of robotic dance music. As if a cyborg wrote this for his machine patriots. 

By the time ‘Magma Activity’ was done playing I felt as if a lot of the tricks Hardware Pulse has already pulled out was starting to fade, as this one, while good, wasn’t as unique as the rest I had listened to. The same could be said for the final track on the album, ‘Celebration Sunrise’. Again, good enough, but not enough tricks were pulled out of the hat to keep me entertained enough. I felt myself wanting to explore something else, listen to something else, rather than keep on with this. 

Thus we come to an end with Hardware Pulse’s album “Tech-Noir”. Though I was getting tired of the analogue antics by the end of the album, I still believe that “Tech-Noir” is worth listening to from start to finish. It’s a fun album, instrumental from start to finish, that can either serve as background noise for any task (washing dishes in my case) or in depth listening for those looking to find all the little secrets in Hardware Pulse’s mix. 
Oct 08 2023

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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