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Power and Steel

Ex.Order – The Place Of Dead Roads (cd 2017)

The new Ex.Order is not a new album. It is a compilation with ‘old and rare’ tracks, just as “War Within Breath“. But the tracks are not really that rare. They are mostly of compilations that I have, probably bought because Ex.Order is on them. “Juche” (2008), Zugzwang” (2010), “Heilige Feuer II” (2002), “Collapse” (2000), “Resistance” (1999)and “Don’t Hunt What You Can’t Kill” (2002). Then there are two unreleased tracks from 2008 and 2010.

The tracks vary in style like we are used to from Ex.Order. Some tracks are not-too-extreme noise (what I often term “ambient noise”), sometimes they even lean towards dark ambient. There are also extreme “death industrial” walls of sound with aggressive vocals and/or samples. Back in the days I was not fond of these extreme sounds (just read back my old Ex.Order reviews), nowadays I think such tracks are the best. Especially when they are as structured and ‘moody’ as Ex.Order can make them.

Indeed, the new album that is named after a book by William Burroughs, is a wonderful release of one of my favorite noise projects. I would not mind a release with really new music (or a compilation that includes material of the old 7″s), but I have another great album to play while laying on the couch with a glass of whisky and a book!

Link: Power & Steel (Loki Foundation)

v/a * Incendium III (cd 2011)

This is the third of of cheap label compilations of Loki-Found / Power & Steel (I got mine for 3 euros at the label’s WGT stand). Loki mostly releases dark ambient in a slightly distinctive, ritual style. I like much of the material that the label releases, but I do not listen to dark ambient all that much these days, so I do not buy their every release. There are 13 projects on this compilation, with each one or two tracks of a recent release. I did not have the tracks yet of Bad Sector, Fjernlys, Penjaja Insaf, Herbst9, Blood Box, Inade (apparently they have a new album that I did not get yet), First Law, Circular, Phelios, Kammerheit and S.E.T.I. Tracks that I did have are of Land:Fire, Ex.Order and Inade (of the previous cd). The compilation is again a nice one. I like the darker sounds of Inade and especially the more noisy sounds of Land:Fire and Ex.Order best, but that is nothing new.
Link: Loki Found

Ex.Order * Shuchu Ryoku (cd 2010)

Yesterday at the second Phobos Festival I bought this brandnew Ex.Order and two oldies (see below) at the Loki-stand. Ex.Order continues with making a dark wall of noise with samples and highly distorted vocals. Like we got used to from Ex.Order “Shuchu Ryoku” (apparently a sort of execution) contains rather extreme and very dark noise tracks and more ‘ambient’ (relatively of course) tracks. The pulsating industrial sounds are fortunately present. Perhaps this new album is not really surprising, but again very good.
Link: Power and Steel

Ex.Order * The Infernal Age (cd 1998/2004)

However the box does not say so, I suppose I got the 2004 rerelease of this 1998 album of Ex.Order, which was their first cd. The material spans the period of 1995 to 1998. The first tracks are best described as ‘noisescapes’, a continuous pulsating (soft) noise with a lot of samples and some rhythm. These tracks are quite interesting, but lateron comes the more typical Ex.Order kind of noise: a very dark wall of sound with many samples and some rhythm. Ex.Order manages to make quite extreme electronics, but not of the unstructured, chaotic style that I do not like, with a very dark atmosphere. The rhythms give the sound a very nice, and dirty industrial feel, a sound that was perfected on the 2007 album “Corporate Control“. “The Infernal Age” makes a good step in the direction, there are a couple of brilliant tracks here. Now I need to lay my hand on some more older material of this great project.
Link: Power and Steel

Bad Sector * Cmasa (cd 2009)

Of the many releases and compilation contributions of Bad Sector I have but a few of the latter. I never really listened to this Italian project and with this new album I guessed that was about time. “Cmasa” contains strange soundscapes, not really (dark) ambient, but collections of sounds, samples and here and there a voice. The music is minituously compiled and interesting to listen to, but not really my kind of music.
Links: Bad Sector, Power & Steel

Ex.Order * Corporate Control (cd 2007 power and steel)

Long ago when I was still a newbee in the industrial world, I got most of my stuff from Loki. In that time they also had the ‘sublabels’ (?) Nature and Organisation and Power and Steel. Apparently at least the latter still exists. For a very long time I couldn’t listen to noise, but the darker sounds of Söldnergeist or Ex.Order appealled to me. Yet I haven’t really followed these projects. I do have some releases of both and now with this new Ex.Order album (the first real album since 1999) I decided to get myself a copy. “Corporate Control” opens with impressive and very dark low-frequency noise tracks, the way I like it! This dark tone remains present, but not all the tracks are as noisy as the first. There are also more ambient-like tracks, but also they are nice. Slow, low frequencies, distorted voices and samples and here and there a noisy outburst. I think the lovers of power electronics need nothing more to be said, get this great new album! For those who are not too familiar with this kind of music, Ex.Order is a noise act that you may start with listening to noise. It is extreme in style, but not too extreme in sound, so your ears may get used to this kind of tonal anarchism.