Industrial heaviness from Russia

Four pieces of heavy-duty tape music and ‘industrial’ noise arrived today from Monochrome Vision, a Russian label in the hands of Dmitry Vasilev. Must admit I was very taken with the black-and-white packaging (in keeping with his label’s name) and the very clear and straightforward layouts for the artworks, even down to the use of Times New Roman. The artworks were wrapped in a piece of Russian newspaper and the CDs were taped up in bubble wrap. Just starting to unpeel ’em now…

Stroma-Konkret (mv07) is by Maurizio Bianchi and Siegmar Fricke. I never yet heard a single record by this famous ‘MB’ fellow. I understand he used to be pretty noisy. These are not recordings from his well-known 1980 period, but from last year. According to Sigmar, the German electronicist, “These compositions ‘cellular-organelles’ took place inside the spheroid surroundings of hydrophilic microfloras in the course of the radiometric age 2006″. Well, not many people can say that.

Lieutenant Caramel has a double CD compilation called Early Tape Works (mv08). Music hereon mostly dates from 1984-1988, some from a bit later. It’s got a photograph of a big foot on the front cover, and a nice skeleton on the back cover playing a Spanish guitar. This is French artist Philippe Blanchard who is also a film-maker. He says in his notes: “For 20 years, I have produced in my barrrels some tape music representing a suicidal psychodrama for any ‘good’ thinker of current music”. I can’t wait to dredge these barrels, lemme tell ya….apparently this stuff has some sonic commonality with Nurse With Wound and Brume. Juding by his portrait photo, Lieutenant Caramel looks a serious sort.

Das Synthetische Mischgewebe also has a double CD set (mv09), with a long title which begins The Escape of the Electrified Dermatologist… Music from 1995-2006. This represents some collaborations with ERG, Artificial Memory Trace, The Oval Language, and others. I think I heard one record by DSM (who is mostly Guido Hubner), Casual Praise of Domestic Calamities, which we reviewed in issue 14. On strength of that nightmarish set, I’m expecting some fairly ‘edgy’ material.

Frank Rothkamm has a compilation of his early material, Moers Works (mv10), with vintage voola from 1982-1984. Another refugee from ‘industrial culture’, presumably this is the same Rothkamm who’s currently in NYC whence he sent me his FB01 and FB02 records, those bizarre sci-fi pastiche records which apparently satirise vintage electronic music of the Cologne school. Here however, we have evidence of his early and crude ‘sampling’ experiments using the KORG MS-20 and analogue tape. Bound to be a goodie!