Flowing energies and social pressure, high expectations and pathetic fails, driving rhythms and cheerless inertia, so-called integration but effective exclusion; these are some of the opposite poles reeled out of the debut full-length delivery of Glass Knot (Lasse Bjørck Volkmann aka Metalized Man, and Nicolai Vesterkær Krog aka Misantrop) on Foul-Up. ’Present Tense’, is a multi-level sonic object whose large-scale reach only equals the profoundness of the tale of love and hate it discreetly tells – in between the lines. Laying down a hot-blooded mixture of warped industrial rhythms, chopped-up breaks, off-kilter drones and hi-NRG anti-techno with a strong punk attitude, the seven tracks blaze their trail away from expectations and norms.
Developing into an all-consuming vortex of ruffneck riddims and anxiety-induced chain reactions, sure to make an impact on the dancefloor and into the dancers’ psyche all at once, convulsive grooves and high-voltage electronics combine – spontaneous and raw – in a concert of droning mechanics, tribal drums and expansive distortions, absorbing the listener deep into its burning entrails of molten metal and aching flesh. The album throws notions of guilt and pride back-to-back for a sustained wrestle, but ‘Present Tense’ is also a reflection on the place of body in our heavily industrialized civilization. From the meaning of ‘’presence’’ to the stigmatization of the body and sexuality (‘Present Tense 3' being key in that regard) – such considerations find an echo in the pair's creative process itself, as Volkmann and Krog explored the gap between various levels of physicality and tension, presence and absence, musical grammar and its own dedicated conjugation.
Even though a software-free effort, Glass Knot’s debut release isn’t to be looked at under the angle of some arrogant ‘’hardware-only’’ kind of purism. Instead, the album invites to reconsider music as pure energy – a communion of diverging fluxes into a single, cathartic delta of fluctuating emotions and sine waves. Fruit of multiple stamina-testing live studio sessions at Copenhagen’s Mayhem, in which the pair came to experience an acute synergy, the album oscillates from feverish club-ready grooves (tracks 1, 3, 5) to mind-altering drone experiments (2, 6), through the mutant uptempo frenzy of “Present Tense 4” and funky murk of the seventh number.
The album ‘Present Tense’ is a work in motion, vibrating and throbbing as a heart trying to find the right pulse. Never quite committing to capture and lock up the feelings of tension and anxiety it feeds and builds upon, Glass Knot rather let the door of the cage wide open, for sense and emotion to happen with unhindered magnitude and freedom throughout its seven tracks and beyond. Unfinished, unpolished, unlimited.