SUTCLIFFE JUGEND – Pursuit of Pleasure Album Review

Pursuit of Pleasure is the second album release by legendary Power Electronics duo Sutcliffe Jugend for 2012. It has also been 4 years (in 2008) since their last album release on vinyl format (Sutcliffe Jugend/Prurient “End of Autumn“).

Pursuit of Pleasure is released in 2 different numbered editions of 300 copies each: Asia & USA/Europe/ROTW. Each numbered edition comes in different vinyl colours that is individually hand-stamped (Asia: Red/Gold Vinyl & USA/Europe/ROTW: Black/Clear Vinyl), inner sleeve (Asia: Yellow & USA/Europe/ROTW: Blue) as well as a hand numbered A3 Poster (Asia: Victims & USA/Europe/ROTW: Peter Sutcliffe). The album is made of 180 gm virgin vinyl and housed in high quality gatefold cardboard packaging inserted in a thick resealable polypropylene sleeve with a numbered album description sticker.

Comprising 7 tracks in total, Pursuit of Pleasure starts off with an instrumental track titled Involuntary Abortion Slide that reminds one of early SPK Auto-Da-Fe’s factory-line industrial churn of drowned out drones and abrasive screeches. This sets the course out for the entire album as it progresses into the encompassing textural layers of crazed noise that is Revengance. Further aggravated by Kevin Tomkin’s deranged rants and screams of agony, Revengance is almost incomprehensible to the sane. This 2nd track is executed in their trademark style of old school power electronics, but in a more structured manner orchestrated with the brutal organic assault of white noise overlaid by complexed layers of electronic feedback that resonate with piercing aural harshness. Together with Kevin Tomkin’s frenzied wails, they weave seamlessly well together with its high frequencies and overall disturbing tonal quality. Paul Taylor contributes to With Brutal Intent with his verbal tirade of anguished and maniacal outbursts. Just like a madman, he appears to be exacerbated by the tensions between his own drastic perversions and forlorn despair through sounding almost pained and tortured with his intent of brutality. The album concludes with Kevin’s personal favourite Shy, which is an epic track that stretches for over 14 minutes. Initially starting out as a haunting ambient introduction of drone loops and synth sounds, Kevin’s gentle whispers gradually build up into the background of harsh electronics and feedback loops. Struggling between the multitude of white noise and screeches, Kevin’s whispers gradually elevate into psychotic screams of fuckraging aural armageddon, through commanding his victim to ‘SWALLOW!’

Overall, Pursuit of Pleasure demonstrates the maturity of Sutcliffe Jugend as an experimental outfit who has redefined themselves through creative manipulation of sound textures. From their progressive redevelopments of careful structured organic elements of audio layers over the decades, this album brings forth the innovative evolution that highlights the creative processes of both Kevin and Paul, departing from the original 80’s power electronics style of harsh noise into progressive post genre movements. This album successfully emphasizes Sutcliffe Jugend’s artistic creativity as visionary musicians through their conscious attempt of reinventing themselves by incorporating new influences and their personal interests to break new ground in the contemporary experimental music scene.

Best Played Loud!

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