Cut Hands – ‘Madwoman’ 12″ [Downwards]

Hectic as always, I love what William Bennett does with the Cut Hands solo alias. The ideal blend between afro-rhythm and f**ked electronics never makes for anything but superb listening. And while I hate to unnecessarily raise expectations, the Madwoman 12″ recently released on Downwards is the top offering we’ve had from him to date.

We first clocked Cut Hands in 2011, via Paul Ackroyd’s ever on-spot music tastes. Initial thoughts were of Andy Stott remixing an Honest Jon’s hand-drum expedition, and it wasn’t until a few weeks of living with the Afro Noise CD (later released on wax) that we looked deep enough to find out it was William Bennett behind the project, which by then had taken on a whole new meaning. Exploring noise and techno through a meeting (not clash) of traditional rhythms isn’t an entirely new concept, only no one had or has done it this well before.

And that’s where the key to the Cut Hands sound lies. Bennett isn’t mashing-up sounds or borrowing bits and pieces to cut and paste a novelty record together; he’s genuinely exploring afro-rhythms and techno on different levels and at the same time.

True to the sound, Bennett records live native instruments such as djembes and ksings mixed with well-worn techno tools such as a Roland Juno or a Jupiter 8 as well as virtual instruments and midi-controllers. The masterstrokes come in the mixing pot of sounds being played like an orchestra, complimenting each other.

Madwoman is three tracks and one unexpected (almost anachronistic) robot reading interlude. The tracks go deeper than before, more changes and subtle alterings where the sounds are choked and given room to breathe throughout the same track, combining in to whole new forms. The underlying drum-patterns never cease though, giving it that necessary energy for the harsher side of electronica to come through. This is most prevalent on the title track ‘Madwoman’, also the longest cut on the album with screeching electronics to match the stunning artwork, conjuring up vibes of a scorned psycho with scissors in her hand.

William Bennett continues to prove his unique musical integrity with Cut Hands releases. Incredible musician in the studio and the live show is something to experience. Check the clip from the record below, then go get yourself a copy before they fly.