rhythmical industrial

Imminent * Cask Strength (cd 2009)

Cask StrengthI have gravely neglected the current that I call “rhythmical industrial”, but which since years has been called “rhythmic noise”. I never liked the latter term, since however the style is rather extreme, I seldom found it really noisy. Then again, Winterkälte’s last album (“Disturbance” 2004) is quite noisy and this album of Imminent is too at times. Around 1998/9 I shortly listened to this music. Winterkälte’s “Drum & Noise” (1999), Imminent Starvation’s “Nord” (1999) are great albums, but the “Industrial Frequencies” compilation series and other projects in the style were too tame for me. Another problem that I often had with the style, is that the music is often a dustbin of ideas with tracks stuffed with different rhythms, breaks, sounds, samples and ideas completely losing the idea of ‘danceablity’. My interests shifted to other musical currents and for about 10 years I probably did not even hear a single “rhythmical industrial” release. Then at last years Wave Gotik Treffen I saw Winterkälte which was great. Then I noticed that Imment has a new album so I figured I might want to find out what it is that “rhythmic noise” is nowadays. “Cask Strength” opens with two IDM/breakcore tracks, but then goes on full throttle with extremely loud dance music. A lot of breakbeats (while I love the regular blasts of the “Lost Highway” track) and also more tranquil tracks, mostly very nicely done and a good listen. Danceable? I do not know, sometimes I guess. Apparently with Winterkälte out of the way, Imminent is the best project in this style. Ironically too by the way, since both Winterkälte and Imminent are the projects that have made this music since 1993/4 while all the later bands are less skilled to make this kind of music. Too bad in a way, since I have the same with other styles (harsch EBM, old Wumpscut style for example, noone ever topped the earlier releases, especially not Ratzinger himself), but at least Imminent has made a new release! However much I like this music when it is well done, just as with extreme tekno or power electronics, I will not play a release such as this too often, since I usually feel like listening to a little more easy music. In any case, should you -like me- have missed the last 10 years of “rhythmical industrial”, this new album will not sound shockingly new, but Moreau is still a guy to make this sound good.
Links: Imminent, Ant-Zen

Synchro Mode * Rüsselkäfer (cd 2009)

RüsselkäferSo Argentina also offers loud electronics. I did not know Synchro Mode, nor the “new and promising harsh electronic label from USA, Soviet Media Kontrol”. No worries of course, since Synchro Mode offers “strong rhythmic noise tunes with breakcore influences”. Fortunately there are not breakcore breaks in all tracks, most of the tracks are more of a Winterkälte harsch industrial style which is not bad at all. The result is pretty energetic and enjoyable. The tracks have a varying length (4 to 11 minutes) and enough variation to keep my attention. An interesting release in the style. It seems that the earlier releases can be downloaded from the project’s website, but I have not tried that yet.
Links: Synchromode, Soviet Media Kontrol

Terrorfakt * Re/Evolution (cd 2009)

Re/EvolutionThis new project already has many releases available, but the first release is of 2002, a couple of years after I listened to this kind of music. Terrorfakt makes industrial techno, most of the time not as extreme as Winterkälte or Synchro Mode, but still quite energetic. The music has enough variety, but often misses just that to make it really good, perhaps it is the flood of breaks/rhythm changes, I am not sure. Not bad, but not too great either.
Links: Terrorfakt, Metropolis Records

v/a * OEC 100 (7cd 2008 old europa café)

OEC100For their hundreth release The Old Europa Café label has released a 7-cd compilation with a track of each band and project they have been involved in during the years. However looking around the internet it seems like the bands are featured alphabetically, this is not the case, the cds are ordered somewhat thematically / according to style. “Somewhat” I say, since it is not completely that there are industrial and folk cds, there is some overlap. That is only for the better, the compiler of the cds has a rather good ear for things. In the beginning I had the idea that there are alternally more industrial and more folky cds, but this is not entirely true. The compilation opens with a cd with mostly not too extreme noise, a nice cd. Then follows a cd with more (neo)folky music, but not the too typical sounds of a compilation that I reviewed a few days ago. Then we have cds with power electronics and the extreme, chaotic style that isn’t mine, but also more old industrial things, strange experimental soundscape music and more of an old neofolk cd that I find awfull (Ain Soph, that sort of bands). Having heard the whole thing, my temporary conclusion is that the first cds are the most interesting and towards the end are some cds that I will probably never play. I think that four out of seven cds are enough of my taste to put in the player every now and then, so the “price/quality balance” is not that bad.

We didn’t put limits to the sound stiles, so here you can really hear all the sounds of the Industrial sub-culture featured on OEC !

This is a sure thing and it would be utterly impossible if everybody would love everything on this “mammoth compilation”, but I guess that for people who like the better stuff from the scene, there will be plenty to enjoy on “The Old Europa Café”.

2nd Gen * Irony Is (cd 2000 mute records limited)

I had never heard of this guy until last weekend when I saw him at a nice and free festival in Rotterdam (NL). An earblowing piece of industrial techno combined with noise and digital hardcore-like elements. On the cd (at a more modest volume) it isn’t that hard, but still this is fairly hard for a techno cd. On the other hand, this guy from Manchester (UK) was signed on the same label as my country mate Speedy J (NL) who also knows his way with industrial techno (see reviews elsewhere).
Anyway, slow distorted beats, some influences of noise, relatively tranquil and heavy tracks and some difference in quality of the tracks are the elements that describe this cd. One last thing: it is very short, 40 minutes. All in all pretty nice.

Speedy J * Public Energy no.1 (cd 1997 mute records limited)

Yes I know this cd is old, but here we have a techno-cd that deserves more attention from the industrial scene. This Dutch techno-pioneer went very experimental on this cd and left his danceble sounds much for what they are. This resulted in a kind of music with a lot of resemblances to ‘our’ rhythmical industrial releases. Not the danceble cds I mean here, but “Public Energy” does bring some heavy beats, is fairly rhythmical, has some noisy undertones and strange sounds. A description that may remember you of old style industrial cds, not?
This cd is thought of highly in the techno and even pop scenes and got high rankings in pop and techno magazines. I wonder if that would also have been the case if the artist didn’t bare the name Speedy J, but for example Dive….
All in all a cd that deserves a listen from everyone who enjoys experimental industrial (or techno). <10/7/00><3>

Speedy J * A Shocking Hobby (cd 2000 mute records limited)

This is where Jochem Paap continues after “Public Energy”. “A Shocking Hobby” opens with some dark ambient-like soundscapes and continues with a heavy rhythical industrial track. This latest offering of Speedy J is full of industrial rhythms with a minimal slightly technoish approach. Some tracks are more soundscapes, but most contain a rather slow industrial rhythm and a few sounds to finish the track. However this is still said to be techno, it is hardly danceble and I think that this will appeal to many people who enjoy rhythmical industrial. <18/2/01><3>

v/a * Masonic (cd 2003 hymnen records)

And here we have proof that the closing question of my N-Vitral review cannot be answered with a “yes”. “Masonic” is the name of a 4×12″ compilation which was also released on 2cd. Basically it is a techno compilation, but it is also sold in the industrial scene. Musically it shows a wide range of techno(ish) sounds, giving a nice overview of what is available. From the electro-sounds (in the ‘techno explanation’) of Bochum Welt and soft “intelligent dance music” of Funkstörung to drum and bass, hard techno like that of Venetian Squares or danceble industrial of bands like Imminent, Gridlock or Substanz T. The compilation is not overall brilliant, but there certainly are great tracks on it and the majority is enjoyable enough. Both for industrial and techno lovers!

:Wumpscut: * Blutkind (2cd 2000 beton kopf media)

This is the first electro cd to be reviewed in Sententia. This is not because I don’t like electro, in fact, I highly enjoy this music at times. Point is that I don’t like most electro releases and therefor I seldom buy one. The chance is too big that I won’t like the cd at all. :W: (as the band’s name is most often abbreviated) used to be my favourite electro act by far. I have the first five cds (three full-lenghts, two minis), but after that the releases didn’t appeal to me anymore. This “old-new” thing also shows on “Blutkind” (which means bloodchild by the way). “Blutkind” is a double cd for the price of a normal cd and contains tracks from the 91 and 92 demos “Defcon” and “Small Chambermusicians” and is filled up with unreleased material, old and new versions of old tracks, two new tracks and a multimedia track. The latter is a flash-like little program with an awfull lot of pictures, lyrics, music, biography, etc. Looks pretty damn nice too! Definately the tracks from the demos are the best of this 2cd. They are the extremely harsch industrial – electro tracks that I love from the early cds. Distorted sounds, distorted vocals, crazy rhythms and funny samples. The first cd mostly contains these danceble sounds. The second cd contains quite a lot of ambient-like tracks and some softer electro. That last is also to be found on the later cds and that is where I left :W: for what it was. Also with the newer style the darkness and grim humour seems to be decrease.
But, this cd is a good introduction for people who don’t know :W: yet. They can hear the old and the new style, read about the history, view and extensive discography and listen to about 140 minutes of music for a relatively small price.
And not to give you the wrong impression: there is enough good stuff on this cd to enjoy me too!

Wiener Aktivisten * Chapter II (7″+cd 2003 greyland records)

What a nice surprise. When I wanted to take out the 7″, a cd fell out of the sleeve. This then must be the very limited edition of the 7″ (100 copies). A 25 minute cd with noise and rhythmical industrial, since Wiener Aktivisten is the noise project of Sven and Maria of Wappenbund and Anna. Noise with rhythms and a lot of disortion. Very nice. A nice picture 7″ too by the way. Be quick, or at least try to get only the 7″.