Top 20 Releases of 2013: No.18 – group A – Initiation

Group A only started in 2012 but the industrial duo have been eagerly documenting their developing sound with two albums released in 2013 demonstrating the group’s honing of their conceptual and musical aspects. While February’s A was a collection of the material they had been developing more or less on the fly for their early live sets, Initiation is more of a concept album, built around the image of a cult initiation (hence the title) and emphasising the repetitive and ritualistic elements of their music. The title track is built around a tinny drum machine and a mantric chant, but as the album progresses it builds in buzzing, rough-edged EBM synths, eerie, heavily effected violin, and washes and waves of distortion, climaxing with the kosmische brain-trip of Trance and the postpunk/no wave-influenced Sioux. Initiation is a milestone in an extraordinarily rapid period of burgeoning artistic maturity and growth for this duo and while the live performance still retains more visceral power, Group A are now grappling with the album format with a confidence and conceptual development that few of their peers ever reach.

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1 Comment

Filed under Albums, Reviews

One response to “Top 20 Releases of 2013: No.18 – group A – Initiation

  1. Chris

    Hey Ian,

    I remember your interview with them and when I saw this record available on Jet Set Kyoto’s site(they ship some lesser known and available underground releases overseas) I thought of getting it. Knowing its on your list for this year is even more convincing…but I may wait to read the rest of your picks just in case I can get them in the same order or something. So far I really like the concise nature of these year-end entries that tend to give just the amount of push to your picks without them feeling like a dragged out list, since 20 is quite a number. It’s really an enjoyable format for me and the list is tremendously helpful since I’ve been so out of the loop this year.

    -Chris

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