Image: Soft Pink Truth/MC Schmidt
Black metal is the music of mold and rot. Where ancient trees decay on fecund forest soil you'll find a man in corpsepaint wailing about dark riders in the night, pagan gods, and the sanctuary of wild places. If there was ever a genre of music down with nature, it's metal. You would likely never associate it with techno, with its decidedly unnatural textures and arch-precision. It's like recasting a root system as a circuit board. Or perhaps not.
Soft Pink Truth is the techno/house/what-the-fuck alias of Matmos' Drew Daniel, which has mostly been inactive release-wise over the past several years. That's changing this month with the release of his full-length record Why Do The Heathen Rage? The LP is a complete, entirely earnest set of black metal covers, turning the scorched metal hell of the genre's looming figures into dance music or at least some busted (the good kind of busted) version of dance music.
The track below is actually a non-album preview but deserves the share. It's a Burzum reworking, called ''Rundgang (Fuck Varg’s Racist, Anti-Semitic Bullshit Politics Forever!)'' You can find the album preview, a cover of Venom's "Black Metal," here.
If you're out of the black metal loop, Burzum is the band of Varg Vikernes, a dude who spent some large part of the past two decades in prison for murder. Vikernes' belief system consists of some gnarly combination of racism, eugenics, paganism, and Nordic nationalism. He's one seriously shitty dude and, unfortunately, not an outlier within some sects of black metal.
Daniel told Pitchfork, "I felt like if you're going to do black metal covers and your point is a queer critique of the shitty ideological disaster area that is black metal, then it would be cowardly to not address the Burzum question."
The mix is a cool revision/comment on the black metal aesthetic generally, hewing mostly toward the softer shapes of house music than anything you'd typically imagine as "black metal techno": more dancefloor purism than genre experiment. Vikernes will hate it, in other words.