Saturday, October 13, 2018

Various Artists - Notes From The Underground. Experimental Sounds Behind The Iron Curtain, 1968 - 1989 [Major Label / Iron Curtain Radio Promo]

Put on the circuit via the Major Label-subdivision Iron Curtain Radio on September 28th, 2k18 and compiled by Daniel  Muzyczuk, David Crowley and Alexander Pehlemann is "Notes From The Underground. Experimental Sounds Behind The Iron Curtain, 1968 - 1989" - a twenty-one track compilation that brings on quite a lot of hardly known and mostly unrecognized music from the Eastern Bloc produced throughout the Cold War era. Coming to us as a datadisc format with .wav-files without much information provided on each and every artist and their heritage we're starting the journey with Tibor Szemzö and "Skullbase Fractures", a heartfelt piano / Tango-ballad with read out dialogue parts from what seems to be a theatre play or a (medical) book whereas Zwitschermaschine's "Geh Über Die Grenze" harks back to the Western movement recognized as Ingenious Dilletantes and Der Demokratische Konsum playing "Krebs Ohne Stuhl" caters what seems to be a live recording of echo-heavy, yet dubbed out (Post)Punk with electronic influences and a sense for dystopian Dada. Following up is "Masfele Tay" by Vagtazo Halottkemek, a noisy, super lo-fi inferno sporting epic melodies and a sense for Metal, Punk and drama, Vladimir Tarasow provides "Atto III - Drumtheatre", or an excerpt of the original tune, consisting of ecstatic background choirs and threatening, droning synthesizers telling tales of dark spaces and a perverted retrofuturist society, the New Composers' "One Minute To Start" is quite a seductive, uptempo MinimalWave banger for underground dancefloors of now, then and forever whilst the famed East German group AG. Geige play an "Elektrische Banane" to an audience awed by its weird take on a dadaistic, electronic hypergroove. Furthermore Borghesia and their "Divlja" fuse MinimalWave, experimental Punk and a killer bass groove to great effect, A.E. Bizottsag's "Pek-Pek" takes us into lands of laid back, yet off kilter beach grooves influenced by a twisted, apocalyptic echo of British Dub and Reggae - think Adrian Sherwood's studio science here - before Ziemia Mindel Würm serves an "Untitled" piece that's an epitomy of experimental greyscale desolation and dark brutalist architecture. Going on with NSRD's "Ost West" we see the group weighing in hard-hitting electronic effects and various layers of repetetive vocal samples accompanied by naturalistic flutes, "Max-Industry" is a massive comeback for New Composers in a dramatic Proto-NuBeat / EBM / Industrial fashion evoking memories of Laibach, "Co Sme?" by DG 307 brings a raw workers aesthetic to the slightly Blues-infused table and Praffdata are playing "Live In Remont, Warsawa" to an audience shocked by the bands fusion of haunded Spoken Words, complex rhythm changes and heavy guitar distortions, followed by Aktual's "Atentat Na Kulturu" which is another live performance, this time on a highly experimental FreeJazz / FreeImprov tip. With "Oplakivanje" we see Katalin Ladik provide a fusion piece incorporating electronic experimentation, echoes of what seems to be a theremin performance, Spoken Word and Contemporary Experimental Opera / performance art, Kilhets self-titled "Kilhets" follows on the path of multilayered collage, cut-up and echo-heavy, tripped out experimentalism and Pffft...! bring on more repetetive, intense Noize / Industrial-focused live recordings with "Liva At Intermedia I (Zonic Edit)", a performance not necessarily welcomed by the whole audience whilst Vagtazo Halottkemek's second appearance on this compilation album is a blueprint of how experimental Field Recordings and polyrhythms were employed in the Eastern Bloc, this time performed "Live In Petofi Csarnok". "Ptaki", a collaborational effort of Andrzey Mitan, Wlodzimiert Borowski, Cezary Staniszewski and Tomasz Wilmanski is an amnalgamation of Field Recordings, tweeting birds and Electroacoustics and the final cut, "Der Lächelnde Chinese" by the infamous band outfit Ornament &amp Verbrechen, weighs in a beautiful lo-fi Synth vibe for a dramatic, touching and spine-tingling end sequence. Very advanced, highly interesting and 100% recommended.


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