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Artridge – Butterfly Wing Theory – Part 1 (Think Tank)

Interlink Audio

Artridge - Butterfly Wing Theory - Part 1 (Think Tank)Berlin-based Artridge, self-proclaimed purveyors of post-industrial chamber music and imaginary soundtracks, are back with a new full-length CD on German label Interlink. With a four-year gap since their previous album, Artridge have developed a knack for effortless eclecticism and a talent for lush orchestration. This all-instrumental CD takes in elements of krautrock, trip-hop, metal riffing, soundscapes, jazz, gentle breakbeats, and even a touch of the blues, and binds them together with a rich and sometimes intentionally claustrophobic production style. Thankfully not an easy band to categorize, they don’t really resemble the ‘electronica’ they’re sometimes tagged with, but fit more comfortably alongside the likes of Earthmonkey or the Pink Dots/Tear Garden‘s instrumentals.

“Halo” is the most accessible

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Senser – Live At The Underworld

Label: Ignite Music Format: DVD+CD

Senser Live at The Undeworld - coverI‘m never really sure how to review live DVDs. This is partly because I don’t buy them often myself, except as records of gigs or tours I’ve seen in person. But also it’s because they don’t really fit with my music listening habits. Thankfully, although I wasn’t at this gig, I saw them around this time on the most recent reunion, so the DVD’s a bit of nostalgia for me for a gig that was itself a warm fuzzy flashback to the Guildford indie clubs of my youth. If you’re not familiar with Senser, they were a radical homegrown equivalent to Rage Against The Machine or Body Count, with leftie lyrics and a twin-vocalist arrangement and dance-savvy sound owing something to Pop Will Eat Itself.

Fast forward eleven years from

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Laibach – Volk

Label: Mute Format: CD/Ltd. ed. CD + hardback book

Volk - sleeveAs far as I know, no-one since Stockhausen has attempted a major re-interpretation of the national anthems of the world, and anyone but Laibach would be foolish to try it. There’s little sign here of the triumphalist bombast of “The Final Countdown”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” or “Leben Heisst Leben”, which is surprising given that some of the most notorious imperial powers of the past and present are represented. But then Laibach were never about predictability. Instead they are operating largely in a much more subdued, atmospheric mood, flirting with Neoclassicism, and approaching Pop balladry from time to time despite Milan Fras‘ trademark sepulchral growl.

The songs are not simply covers but ‘music from and inspired by’ each country’s original, setting lyrical and musical elements from each one in

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Laibach – Anthems

Label: Mute Format: 2CD

Anthems - sleeve detailOnly a few weeks ago I was bemoaning my shortage of Laibach material – just a couple of albums’ worth out of a repertoire that spans well over two decades – so I was more than a little chuffed when this new retrospective landed on my lap. This is not really an album for Laibach fans of long standing, given its near-lack of new material, but for the newcomer or the casual listener it’s an almost perfect historical perspective. Probably the only major omission is the absence of any of their very early material from before the suicide of original vocalist Tomaz Hostnik in 1982. Perhaps Mute were unable to obtain the rights to re-release any of this; the obsessive archivist may consider this to mar the compilation’s status as a biographical record.

In terms of popular

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Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf – Mezethakia Mukabalatt

Label: Aalfang Format: CD

 Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf ‎– Mezethakia Mukabalatt Bit of a weird one, this – even by the usual standards. It consists of two tracks, the first (“Geschwärtzte Milch” – blackened milk) lasting four minutes long and sounding a bit like late Swans in strummy guitar instrumental mode, and the second (the title track) being three quarters of an hour long and comprising a textbook example of Surrealistic klang-honk-tinkle-“boo!” Electroacoustic tomfoolery in the same zany tradition as Nurse With Wound, Roger Doyle and Bladder Flask. It’s not often you describe something as “zany” and mean it as a compliment. They sound a bit like all those IRCAM types like Xenakis and Oliveros, only without being so stuffy and academic – like dinner music for a pack of

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