Sunday, April 10, 2011
Schuster - Blac Flies Resplendent On Blak Moon
Adeptsound CDR. ADSCDR03.
Available now for pre-order. Release date: 18th of April 2011
[Also available via Licht Und Stahl in an extremely limited run of 20 cassettes.]
Blac Flies Resplendent On Blak Moon is one of those highly polished Industrial Ambient outings where upon playback you start to count off the Industrial samples on your fingertips only to quickly realise that you’d need the hands of a dozen TG acolytes to finnish the job off properly. Within eleven tracks and almost an hours worth of material I was indeed transported and whilst sat crossed legged in the middle of my inverted star [thigh bone in one hand, fly whisk in the other] I was submerged into that familiar world of murderers monologues, house flies trapped in bottles, Paul McCarthy groans, bowl rings, vocals treated to sound like Darth Vader crossed with a Tibetan shaman, water bubbling underground, vinyl surface noise, machine blasts, sonar bleeps, reverbed vocals, astronaut chatter, street rioting … there they all were, waiting for me to check em off and write em down. Now where’s my I-Spy book of Industrial samples when I need it?
This may enlighten you further: Blac Flies name checks Rudolf J. Mund, an obscure member of an obscure Nazi occult outfit, Andrew McAuley who disappeared one day in his Kayak off the coast of New Zealand in 2007, contract killer Richard Kulkinski, reggae star Dr. Alimantado [?] and others too obscure even for Google. Here are some other things to think about: track four ‘Esbat’ isn’t just 30 seconds of insect chatter its also the name of the Wiccan full moon festival. First track ‘Bellerophon’ is also the name of a mythical Greek hero. Third track mentions “Sepharial’, the chosen name of English Occultist Walter Gorn Old. Seventh track; Blakk Bile, meaning, I assume melancholia, depression or maybe some kind of Masonic ritual. Wrap all these occult/pagan trappings into some bleak Industrial landscapes and you have yourself a damned good Industrial/Pagan/Occultist/Ambient workout.
But first lets go back: the previous Schuster release ‘Breaking Down Into His Own Oblivion’ [also on Adeptsound] had the outstanding track ‘I Am Living In My Own Corpse’, a backbone track, a bleak masterpiece of desolation the likes of which gave you some idea of what it must be like to be dumped onto the barren surface of a dead and windswept lonely planet. This is what ‘Blac Flies’ is really missing, a solid twenty minute track that pins it all together. Too much is gone before it has time to settle. I personally wouldn’t have minded the 10th and best track on here ‘Giving’ expanded up to the twenty minute mark but after six minutes and 43 seconds its all too sadly gone.
You can’t deny the heritage though - English Industrial down to their [thigh] bones and no doubt sporting bad haircuts and a healthy dose of misanthropy to boot. A couple of releases in 1988 and then nothing for nigh on twenty years. I think I know one member. The Adept website mentions Dieter Müh and the sleeve mentions SC. Step forward Mr. Cammack. Discogs gives the rest away by naming Tim Bayes who I think I’m right in saying was a fringe member of DM in their formative years and is the man behind Adeptsound. But back to the music.
My big complaint of Blac Flies is that its hardly treading new ground. The mumbled vocal on ‘Sulk’ is so close to TG’s Weeping that its hard not to think of anything else whilst listening to it. The strings that see out ‘The Second Moon [Sepharial]’ could have been plucked straight from one of Arvo Pärt’s sacred minimalist pieces. The Industrial pummel on ‘Stubborn’ is Pan Sonic mutating into Paul MaCarthy grumbles and moans. The murders confession on ‘Giving [who I’m guessing is the afore mentioned contract killer Richard Kulkinski] plays out to a background of cicadas and distant ritual drums and whilst this is highly effective [‘the rats used to eat them’] it was almost as if I was half expecting it.
I now find myself in the curious and slightly embarrassing position of playing down what is obviously a classic piece of Industrial music - which probably says more about me than it does about Blac Flies. Having said that and put an ever so slight damper on it, I have to say in its defence that this is still a criminally good release made with perfectly weighted hands - Grade A Prime Industrial Ambience with a soupcon of ritualism and the occult thrown in for good measure. Blac Flies Resplendent On Blak Moon may not be progress but neither is it Industrial music by numbers. Just don’t give Chris Bohn a copy.
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