PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

House of Black Lanterns: You, Me, Metropolis

House of Black Lanterns' latest release, You, Me, Metropolis, his third for the nascent Houndstooth Label, sees the Berlin-based producer/sound designer bringing together his twisted re-interpretations of Chicago juke and footwork with stellar remix work from UK legends _Unsubscribe_ and Breakage.

House of Black Lanterns

You, Me, Metropolis

Label: Houndstooth
US Release Date: 2013-08-19
UK Release Date: 2013-08-12

Dylan Richards (aka House of Black Lanterns, King Cannibal and Zilla) is an extremely talented producer. Having explored deep and dark dancehall flavors (as King Cannibal for indie dance music behemoth Ninja Tune) whilst the rest of the UK was deep into its dubstep addiction at the end of the noughties; Richards, disillusioned with the direction the label that broke him wanted him to head in, went to ground for some time, beginning his metamorphosis into House of Black Lanterns by advancing on his aggressive, dark sound, mellowing out the in-your-face belligerence he became famous for in favor of a more subdued, but no less impactful, techno-inspired sound palette.

This transformation and re-emergence into the spotlight has been partially guided by UK clubbing institution Fabric’s newly minted, artist-led endeavor Houndstooth – a label ably curated by influential blogger and broadcaster Rob Booth that is already punching way above its weight at only six months old.

His latest release, his third for Houndstooth, sees the Berlin-based producer/sound designer bringing together his twisted re-interpretations of Chicago juke and footwork (“You, Me, Metropolis” -- taken from his debut album as HoBL Kill The Lights -- and the previously unreleased "Worthless") with stellar remixes of "Broken" and "Shot You Down" by label mate _Unsubscribe_ and experimentalist Breakage respectively.

Kicking things off is the aforementioned album track, “You, Me, Metropolis”, a kaleidoscopic joining together of Vangelis-edged synth work, relentless, pounding footwork-inspired drum work and stimulating melodic work that deftly weaves in and around the dark, harmonic backdrops, juxtaposing both light and dark emotions in fine style.

The _Unsubscribe_ remix that follows sees UK techno legend Dave Clarke, along with his partner in crime Mr.Jones, get their grubby mitts on the moody banger that is “Broken”. Clarke and Jones transform the original -- a hefty, gloom imbibed 4x4 number -- into a stripped-back electro tune, replete with Ghettozoid’s mutilated, hermaphroditic vocals and some serious techno bass weight. It’s not too far removed from the original, but different enough to warrant inclusion on this EP.

Experimental studio wizard Breakage takes the lush “Shot You Down ft Leni Ward” straight down the rabbit hole, through Wonderland and into hell -- not something you would generally think possible when playing with source material composed by Richards. Breakage is probably most famed for his exploratory drum and bass and dubstep music, exemplified by his work on Shy FX’s Digital Soundboy label amongst others. Yet despite this well-earned genre prestige, Breakage does not cave into expectation by taking the tune down into the territories he usually patrols. Instead he pays homage to House of Black Lanterns' own reinvention as a techno author by twisting the vocal track and herding the track into dark, throbbing, minimal territory – surprising, but so, so good.

The previously unreleased “Worthless” – an extremely apt companion piece to “You, Me, Metropolis” – finishes off the EP with a melodic juke workout that unites the almost now patented retro synth work HoBL has employed since his transformation from King Cannibal, with heavily modulated vocal utterances and a keen ear for harmonic progression and sound design.

Once again, Houndstooth bring another future classic to the table, with the four tracks included on this release all primed and tested for both club and home listening use. At only six months old is it possible for the label to keep up with its impressive, prolific start to life? My guess is with Booth at the helm absolutely anything is possible for Fabric’s newest and possibly greatest asset.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.


When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.


20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.


The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.


Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.


Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."


50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.


Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.


The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.


Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.


'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.


Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.


MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.


'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Nudges Out Conscience in Our Time of Crises

Avatar shows us that to fight for only the people we know, for simply the things that affect us personally, is neither brave nor heroic, nor particularly useful.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.