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The opening multi-part "Babylon" established Deuter as a true krautrock innovator. Over nearly fifteen minutes, he combines acid guitar, atmospheric organ, wordless vocals, and other sonic bits to create a true masterpiece.
It's probably worth noting that every instrument was performed by Deuter; ah, the miracles of overdubbing! This sounds almost like an Ash Ra Tempel outtake! Beginning with a droning organ, this becomes a ten-minute duet for said sound plus an honest-to-goodness sitar. What could be awfully cheesy in lesser hands is nothing less than a meditative piece of genius here.
Next up is "Atlantis", which has Deuter's wordless "AHHHhhhhhhh"s accompanying hand percussion and a recording of the seashore. It's one of those pieces that truly transports you elsewhere, and it's another highlight on an album chock full of them. Finally, "Gammastrahlen-Lamm" ends things with a decidedly ambient and spaced-out synth. For sheer variety alone, D is incredible; luckily, the music itself bears this out. Deuter's next album, AUM, took a decidedly different approach.
Gone are the epic tracks, to be replaced by a series of mostly short pieces. AUM is also less varied, focusing mostly on sitar and hand percussion. The tracks were orignally arranged into three suites on vinyl; for the CD, they have been indexed seperately. The epic "Susani" longest track here at eight minutes is an exception to the rule, being a stunning piece of echo guitar soundscapes and wordless chants that would make Achim Reichel jealous.
While this is much more in raga mode than rock, it's still an incredible listen. It also beats the hell out of a lot of later New Age, which it does resemble at times though Deuter managed to avoid the schmaltziness that is usually associated with the genre. Sadly, after this double knockout, Deuter would retreat into New Age music of a in my opinion cheesy nature. He did this for spiritual reasons, which I do respect and understand.
That's really a shame, since he showed such promise. Labels: ambient , art rock , krautrock , prog rock , psychedelic , space rock. Not the greatest human being, sure, but definitely one of the most original musicians EVER.
I just found out he passed away today. I never met him, but I'm deeply saddened. At least his pain is over. Rest in peace, good Captain. Mute, ; available 13 tracks, Previously reviewed here, most readers of this blog know Neubauten quite well. This album is a compilation of singles, EPs, and unreleased material covering the years to What's interesting is how much more accessible they were at the start!
The apparently unreleased remix, "Tan-Ze-Dub", is also included, and it is indeed a dub reconstruction. This brief track features guitar, metal spring, and an electric drill tearing up a wood board!
Einheit, though not usually at the same time. With its pretty tinkling keyboard and restrained vocals, this very well could have received radio play.
Featuring guests Roland S. Howard of the Birthday Party, guitar and Lydia Lunch, it begins as a slow drone. It proceeds to become a creepy repetitive mass of pounding percussion, bizarre electronics, and Lunch's howling agonized vocals "We'll bring out the leeches to suck the bloodless, bring out the leechessss".
Allegedly, Bargeld had his body covered with contact mics, while F. It's not quite as disturbing as "Thirsty Animal", but it's still not the sort of thing to listen to if you're paranoid. KALTE STERNE comes highly recommended to listeners interested in where it all began, and the more open-minded post-punk and industrial fans out there would probably find a lot to like here as well. Labels: avant-rock , dark ambient , dub , early industrial , no wave , noise rock , post-punk.
At this point, their addictions mostly to heroin, but I'm fairly sure pot and psychedelics were involved as well had gotten the best of them. Tape loops, shards of primitive synth, overdriven drum machines, and scratchy guitars form the basis of most of these tracks. The results are far closer to a mix of early industrial and dub than any sort of indie rock. Opening number "Solid Gold Tooth" is two minutes of Flash Gordon-esque ray gun sounds accompanying what could be another synth or a severely distorted guitar and the atonal howls of Hagerty and Herrema.
Closer "New York Avenue Bridge" features pretty atonal piano and a relatively restrained Herrema vocal, resulting in what might be the album's calmest moment despite some fairly nasty lyrics. Curiously, since this was originally a double LP, the CD is divided into four tracks. Thus, songs one through five are track one, six through eight are track two, " Edge Of The Ape Oven" occupies track three, and ten to fifteen take up track four.
This is actually for the best; once you start this album, you can't skip tracks if you want the full effect. I consider this an unintentional masterpiece, but you definitely want to sample it before investing. At times they're nearly indistinguishable. Labels: art rock , avant-rock , dub , musique concrete , noise , noise rock , post-punk , post-rock , psychedelic. Mohini, ; reissued by Triple X; availability uncertain, but easy enough to find 5 tracks, Psi Com was a minor blip on music's radar, but the involvement of Perry Farrell ensured them some sort of posthumous recognition.
Farrell provided vocals and percussion, mostly resorting to junk percussives such as engine blocks. Psi Com finds Farrell and company making dark goth rock with arty touches. Perry's voice in particular is absolutely indebted to Peter Murphy; only on "Xiola" can you tell what he'd go on to. As for the music, it truly is goth rock, and perhaps not overly notable, but these guys certainly had a way with a tune!
Opener "Ho Ka Hey" is the most upbeat track here, rushing along with force and attitude. Closer "Winds" is perhaps too long, but it's a nice slice of droning gloom nonetheless. You'll probably be able to find this cheap, and I suggest you do. Psi Com may not have been overly original, but they're a perfectly nice listen anyway. This was also their only official release; some bootlegs exist, but I'd approach those with caution.
Labels: art rock , gothic , post-punk. Guest vocalists Kurt Cobain! The session occurred in October of ; a year later, Sub Pop released the first three tracks as the debut EP. Clocking in at just under thirty-three minutes, these songs were extremely unique for the time. Only Godflesh was working in truly similar territory, and they were nowhere near as minimal or compelling as Earth!
The first is a crushing instrumental, while the second features Carlson and Cobain's drone vocals and some truly frightening shrieks from Canary. The chugging riff is reduced to one repeated phrase; when the drum machine leaves the mix, all that remains is buzz, hum, and that "riff". The remaining four tracks are no less impressive; the lurching "Geometry Of Murder" finds Earth at their most Godflesh-esque, while "German Dental Work" is amplifier noise and the drum machine.
Final track "Dissolution 1" yes, there were other "Dissolutions" down the line is in similar territory, and all three should have been released at the time. The standout, surprisingly, is the compartively brief "Divine And Bright". Being Earth, it makes sense that this was, in Carlson's words, "a love song written to the H-bomb"! While it's perhaps not as singular as EARTH 2, the material contained on this disc is every bit as vital to understanding how drone metal became so inspirational.
It only makes sense that Southern Lord reissued this material, as most of their acts are in debt to Earth's innovations which doesn't mean you should ignore those artists; most of them are amazing! After this, Preston would leave for Melvins, and Carlson would ditch the percussion as well. EARTH 2 is definitely the best place to start, but the timid may want to begin their exploration of Earth and drone metal here.
Labels: avant-rock , dark ambient , drone doom , drone music , minimalism , noise rock , post-punk. Ralph, ; reissued several times, most recently by Mute; available 14 tracks, Let's face it, if you've kept up with me thus far, there's a Which is funny, since the general public literally doesn't know who the members are! This is from the stage in the Residents' early years when they primarily used synths for instrumentation.
Musically, these tracks were the catchiest material the group had ever unleashed. This particular album shares a lot with minimal synth and electro-no wave artists such as Fad Gadget and Dark Day.
Tracks such as "Weight-Lifting Lulu" and "Blue Rosebuds" are based around two or so synths at a time, accompanied by the singing Resident's unmistakable vocals. Guest vocalist Ruby turns in an inspired performance on "The Electrocutioner", and usual collaborator Snakefinger adds his inimitable guitar throughout, but otherwise it's just four guys and their synths creating a unique blend of avant-garde and pop on their own terms.
If you're new to the Residents, this is probably the most accessible entry point to their vast catalog, but it does pale slightly in comparison to their other early work.
Labels: art rock , avant-pop , avant-rock , early electronic , no wave , outsider music , post-punk. Having relocated to England, the two mavericks were lent 8-tracks by Throbbing Gristle so they could record this album. Both musicians take turns on guitar, synths, "synth percussion" more on that later , bass, and other noises. Leer sings lead on four tracks; the fuzzy "Connotations" and the bizarrely catchy "Monochrome Day's" are definite highlights.
Rental takes the lead on "Day Breaks, Night Heals", and this creepy gem is the absolute standout. What's interesting about the percussion is that Leer and Rental didn't use a drum machine. Instead, they pounded out rhythms on synth and made tape loops of the results. While primitive, this technique lends a unique touch to these tracks. The flipside is a completely different story.
Rental is credited with tapes, loops, and voice for this side, while Leer takes on synths, tapes, and voice that's voice, not vocals.
Long drones and loops, accompanied by TV sounds and those other "unseemly noises", flow effortlessly towards dark chillout bliss. The lengthy "Interferon" is the standout here, but the other three are amazing as well. Both sides add up to what is one of the best releases from Industrial Records; thank goodness Mute reissued it! Leer still has a synthpop career, and for a while was in Act; some is worth investigating, some isn't.
After this, he retired from music to raise a family, sadly passing away in Labels: ambient , avant-rock , dark ambient , early industrial , post-punk , space rock. While definitely within the classically influenced realm of most of their Italian contemporaries, Opus Avantra bring more than a bit of avant tweaking to their sound.
Track two, "Les Plaisirs Sont Doux", features Del Monaco's gorgeous vocals singing French against a purely classical backdrop, accompanied by a spoken word double-tracking.
From here highlights are hard to pick out, as the music veers from beautiful folk to ominous dark prog, always peppered with bits of odd production and sound effects.
The drumming throughout is definitely jazz-rock inspired, which makes for an interesting accompaniment to what is otherwise a mostly classical lineup. The closing "Rituale" brings everything to a furiously rocking end, with proto-breakbeat percission and the most frenzied performance by Del Monaco.
As a bonus, the Artis CD contains "Introspezione Integrale ", which is the full six-minute version of the title track. In this form, it's an even more stunning bit of concrete experimentation. While all their albums are worth a listen, this debut outing is simultaneously Opus Avantra's most daring and enjoyable work.