Monday, January 25, 2016

Dieter Müh

Dieter Müh - Hanging the Blind Dog.
Hanson Records. HN257

Dieter Müh - Live at Gängeviertel
Soundholes. Live #005.

There’s always been an air of menace to Dieter Müh releases; the unsettling atmospheres, the Yorkshire Ripper victim confessional slowed to such a degree that you think the hammer must have done more damaged than originally thought. And no rolling of the eyes at the back please, Dieter Müh are an industrial outfit, an ‘Industrial Ambience’ outfit if you like [I have no idea if its in operational use but its the one I prefer] and as such are entitled to use such samples with impunity. It comes with the territory and the fact that Dieter Müh use transgressive material such as this to powerful effect is because the source is heavily disguised, this is no gay porn fisting video at a Power Electronics gig, this is subtle and as such cranks up the gravitas, its chewing your ears up without you even knowing it.

The Dieter Müh sound has altered very little over the 20 odd years its been coming through this door. Which is somewhat surprising when you learn that from three original members there now survives just the one; Steve Cammack. And while Dieter Müh releases may not arrive with the regularity they once did, the one thing you can be sure of is that when they do, they don’t lack quality. A testament to Steve Cammack and his impeccable quality control.

These two cassettes contain three live performances from a couple of years back one of which is, I’m pretty certain, the 2012 Rammel Club Festival set. Its the one that begins with the Maureen Long interview her voice slowed down to such an extent that it becomes a hideous slur and then a sudden eruption, a pounding rhythmic pummeling and you're off. I was there, the room moved from silent attention to heart thumping rush within a second. Its what Dieter Müh do. Its what they’ve always been capable of, holding audiences rapt with gently unfolding rhythms before unleashing a barrage of rhythmic fury at the end of which you'll sometimes hear a menacing voice intoning the words ‘we’re not happy, ‘till your not happy’. The flip begins with dolphin squeals, a bowl ring drone and a gently unfolding, overlapping, enveloping rhythm that develops into an ever more out of control monster, until the tapes cuts it and then silence.

‘Live at Gängeviertel’ repeats the same both sides, a single twenty two and half minute track that moves through two distinct phases starting with layered vocal samples and somebody whispering ‘nobody’. Buried voices appearing out of the silence, voices appear for one word and then disappear, panicked radio communications with an Eraserhead-esque Wurlitzer organ playing out some 1920’s ditty in the distant background, the ‘nobody’s’ get louder, a blizzard make itself heard, drunken WWI soldiers sing, Enochian recitations. Mysterious atmospheres, darkness and unease. Dieter Müh at their very best.     



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