What looked like a grown man sitting down at his Erector Set workstation, turned out to be mad genius; artist Tristan Shone otherwise known as Author & Punisher.   Author & Punisher appeared in support of their latest release Beastland (Relapse, 2019) at Fubar in St. Louis on July 20, 2019.

Tristan Shone may have single-handedly re-defined what it means to be an artist in the industrial music arena.  Virtually all of his tools of sonic destruction were created by his own hands with the exception of course of his keyboard and software synths.  His machine shop-like domain is the direct result of his experience as a mechanical engineer and user of 3D modelling software.  (Youtube, 2018).  What’s even more amazing is nothing heard during the performance is sequenced.  If you hear and, in this case absorb the sound, it’s been manually initiated by the artist himself.

Since the inception of “industrial” in the early 80s with such acts as Eisturzende Neubauten, the term saw an evolution through bands using organic found sounds, to samples embedded in typically dancable, sequenced beats (i.e. Godflesh) to a style that is virtually synonymous with edm/electro music.

After conquering what appeared to be some moderate sound & monitor issues, Author & Punisher laid into their 40(est.) minute set with an unparalleled, relentless fury that pummeled the audience with visceral devastation.  While Author & Punisher possesses a sound that is truly original, trace elements of industrial, doom and metal can be felt in the dust cloud emanating from the stage.  Every pulsing white and blue light was met with intense percussion and effect-laden banshee-like shrieks.

Some of the tools of Author & Punisher’s trade include pitch-shifters, a vocal mic that would make a Star Wars set designer jealous and a right-hand guided, sliding percussion trigger device nicknamed, “Rails.”  With a thick analog-driven sound, harsh, manipulated vocals and Richter-scale igniting percussion hits, Author & Punisher turned our brains to the consistency of St. Louis gooey butter cake and inspired goosebumps up and down our spines.

With Author & Punisher, however, it’s truly not enough to look at the singular sonic output or the man-made tools of the master craftsman.

Author & Punisher creates an atmosphere that is both abstract and immediate, both bombastic and claustrophobic.   What starts with the intimate creation of an artist striking a trigger in a small corner of the globe ends with a furiously powerful output of sonic storm activity capable of creating an apocalyptic blast.

Psychotic, misanthropic and yet somehow still oddly human.  That is Author & Punisher.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to catch a live performance, worry not.  Surely you’ll feel it miles away.

Author & Punisher’s latest release, BEASTLAND is available now on Relapse Records.


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