Well it has been over six weeks since my last review, and I am not sure I have left it that long since I began writing them back in 2013. The summer has been a great time to catch up on a few albums I haven’t listened to enough, but also take in some releases that are coming out in the last few months of this year.
As a result deciding which to review first has been and interesting process, and believe me there are some absolute killers coming down the vinyl pipe for the rest of 2018. But enough of that let’s get to the task in hand. In the end choosing this joint release from RMFTM and 10000 Russos was a bit of a no-brainer, mainly because it’s so bloody good; but also because it in many ways exemplifies what I see this website as being about.
At the time of writing (and I do change it from time to time in case you are reading this well into the future) the strap-line for the site is “Notes on the weird, challenging, thoughtful, chaotic and nebulous”… which is exactly what this album is. Indeed, the press release seems to set up the album well:
Free from any sort of structure or direction, the result of this pairing is an intense, jarring collection of deranged industrial freak-outs that make Einstürzende Neubauten sound like Depeche Mode. Painting a dreary image of barren, polluted landscapes in the dystopia we seem so desperate to hurtle towards, on this record RMFTM and 10,000 Russos have laid out a terrifying, cerebral soundtrack for the end of times whilst simultaneously asserting that both bands are some of the finest within the dark, murky underbelly of experimental music. From the pulverising guitars, metronomic beats and industrial synths, to the droning Tibetan bowls and buried vocal chants, the album jerks between intense metallic fury and psychedelic hypnosis.
Well as that’s as good a description as your gonna get so let’s get right down to the listening. The album comprises four tracks, all of which have their own distinct style and energy. As the above description suggests you really get the feel at this is a group of musicians who have got together and just let rip with, frankly, devastating results.
The album opener “A Song To Get Rid Of The Crooked Crosses” begins as if on a windswept plain, the detritus of a post-apocalyptic wasteland swirling about amidst clouds of radioactive dust. You can feel the pain in the very core of the music here as the bands set the scene… a scene of carnage and maelstrom. As you may have figured by now this is bleak… in fact it is beyond that; and as it progresses that desolation only seems to increase as we’re taken through a series of post-everything encounters. Then at just past five minutes… oh fuck that baseline! I’m listening to the mp3 and it’s got my speakers jumping out of their skins… the march… of what? Out of stasis comes movement… mass movement! Kinetic energy out of inertia… a massive beat expanding almost exponentially devouring everything in its path… not so much the physical as the social, the psychological and the political… the intensity is incredible as the track hits level after level like a teenage gamer on speed. Ten minutes in and the track is now almost self-perpetuating and transcending its original axis almost as if recreating itself.
The comedown is sudden leaving a weird sort of vacuum in the room which is immediately inhabited by ‘Dazzling Rays’ with it’s massively dark electro-beat conjuring up for me a nightclub with only black lights… yet that sense of emptiness is still there: because although the beat is pulsating, and the peripheral noises off are intense there are voids within the music that refuse to be filled. A weird paradox where the wall of sound has a fundamental absence within it… amazing!
After those two tracks ‘The World I Hunt’ immediately feels less intense… well at first at least. This one is a real slow burner with a thoroughly sinister opening with cries and wails almost petrified within the chaotic and nebulous sounds that every so often coalesce in the mind before you cognitively lose it again… trying to bring it back… looking for some eddy of sound to grab onto and construct a narrative. The more you listen, the more you succeed, the more the track moves away from you. Until, that is, something more concrete arrives around the halfway mark when sounds resembling a coherent musical experience emerged out of the primordial mass and ponderously begin to take the listener off on what feels like a perilous flight of trance-like states heading for the void… it’s nihilism but not as we know it…
From that we stagger exhausted towards ‘Clamber Into Night’. Any sense of respite from the innate darkness of this album, it seems, is futile. This is full on and intense although just as the beat drops in there is also a odd sense of hope… a stream of positively that finds its way into the abyss that has provided the backdrop to most of this album. So while by most standards it is monstrously dark, I would definitely dance myself stupid to this track perhaps knowing that it may well be the final song in the disco at the end of the universe. In doing so I imagine being in a huge turbine hall-sized structure, the beats reverberating off the walls and ceiling until, as happens, the track just collapses in on itself
…a silence like no other at the end of an album
…a total absence of anything
‘RMFTM and 10000 Russos’ is released by Fuzz Club Records.
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