Vessel’s music has always framed itself within physicality. With 2012’s breakthrough debut Order Of Noise, Seb Gainsborough showcased his writhing, concessive skews of techno and dub. With Punish, Honey, the Bristol producer and Young Echo member has strived to move away from electronic sounds to produce something even more visceral.
And visceral it is, using a variety of handmade instruments including flutes fashioned from old bike frames and sheets of metal for percussion to create writhing, primitive sounds. Opener Febrile begins with ten seconds of silence, with sparse clashes intensifying into machine gun percussion that sounds like a military raid, and this forceful, industrial feel sets the tone for the album. Within slices of fractured rhythms, brooding passages and blasts of cerebral assassination are moments of seductive physicality; dark, pulsing body music with a glam polish. Even the industrial parts glisten in the chugging stomp of Red Sex, Anima and DPM, carrying the kind of twisted carnal intensity that we can’t wait to hear in a dark, sweaty room. Despite the polished body armour of these stand out tracks, some of the more sparse, experi- mental passages soon become forgettable and – despite the press release posing the question to us – what Punish, Honey supposedly says about ‘Englishness’, we’re not quite sure. But it’s a tactility that drives Punish, Honey’s most robust moments, crafting genuinely powerful sounds with muscle and metal.