Total Control: Total Control 12"
- Total Control's debut album Henge Beat was one of the true standout albums of 2011. I have spent many late drunken nights hopelessly captivated by it, consumed completely within it's fucked up electronic punk rock universe. I am certain many other people have also had this same powerful experience. On this release, which is essentially a collaboration with Melbourne based DJ Michael Ozone on his new label Home Loan Records, we see a very different side of Total Control. The guitars have been relegated to the distant background, with the electronics and the production itself taking centre stage. The 5 tracks on this record are split into two distinct parts. Side A features the Total Control originals, opening with a sedated reinterpretation of Carpet Rash from Henge Beat. The tempo has been slowed, the distinctively menacing guitar work of Mikey Young absent. The stripped back sparseness highlights just what a great song it is. Instrumental New Age is a subtly optimistic track, like a soundtrack to mornings where you wake up from a blackout haze not knowing if you did something horrible the night before and then being reassured that you did not. Side B consists of two club remixes by Michael Ozone himself. Carpet Club Crash is yet another re-imaging of Carpet Rash, and what results is a fresh take on the song and perfect material for a dance floor fuelled on ketamine at 3am. Closing track New Age Hop continues that sentiment and sounds like the last thing you would hear before passing out. When taking the bands earlier 7 inch releases into account, most notably the now classic dance hit Paranoid Video, this collaboration between Total Control and Michael Ozone makes a lot of sense. This is a fascinating release from a band that consistently evades definition and thrives in challenging its listeners. An essential oddity in Total Control's eclectic and growing discography.
- Matt Kennedy.