Sunday, April 29, 2012

The New Blockaders - Schadenklang

The New Blockaders - Schadenklang
Hypnogogia LP. GOG03
350 copies. [50 copies coming with personalised Richard Rupenus sleeves].

The biggest mystery for TNB watchers is that this ‘live’ LP was recorded earlier this year at Morden Tower, thirty years since TNB’s first ever live performance at the same venue. In their thirtieth anti-versary year it seems appropriate that they revisit the scene of their first crime. Or did they? Maybe a surreptitious slink into Morden Towers for Rupenus R, Gillham and and Hutchinson during half day closing in Newcastle was the only way they could get this down or maybe I missed news of the gig completely [not entirely alien concept round these parts]? As ever the mystery that surrounds TNB is all part of the appeal. What actually did happen and all that matters now is that this LP exists. The rest is conjecture.

What I find remarkable about Schadenklang is the way in which it mirrors those early live outings whilst at that the same time increasing the listeners discomfort. Its like the old Blockaders with piled on agony. Those early 1983 outings saw the two Rupenus brothers create the sounds with which TNB has now become synonymous; scraping metal, clatterings of junk noise, disorientating atmospheres of edgy incoherence ... fast forward thirty years and Schadenklang brings all these elements to the fore with knobs on. Its impressive stuff.

Schadenklang  is an ever rupturing cascade of squealing train brakes, hammered metal, discordant and abrupt braying of tortured and unyielding steel plates shunted into place by three people intent on causing you maximum discomfort. Thanks to Phillip Julian’s mastering the nuances are gorgeously audible leaving the intrepid listener with a feeling of being sucked head first into a painful vortex of randomly and manically hit junk from which escape comes only with the lifting of the needle. Its the simple elements which cause the greatest discomfort; hitting what sounds like a common-or-garden dustbin with a baseball bat will indeed sound pretty noisy, when you incorporate that sound into a niggling bass hum, sawed tin and other various metal abuses the result becomes intensely disorientating.  Its a constant stream of quality noise for which The New Blockaders are rightly recognised as being the leading exponents of.

The recent flurry 30th anniversary releases cements TNB’s status as being  the undisputed masters of noise [for me anyway].

Those ever faithful TNB acolytes wont be disappointed with Schadenklang [translating as ‘destruction noise’]. Its forty minutes will be an endurance test for some but for your hardcore TNB fan its tuck in time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice article and photos Mark - didn't we all have fun?
re:Packhorse, do the dreaded words "Otley Run" not mean anything to you?
- Toddmeister