Kommando RJF – Sweet Slow Suicide LP Posh Isolation 2013
Leif Thuresson of the obscure 80’s Swedish group RJF has finally returned, exactly 30 years on from the release of their debut album. Here RJF have been rebranded with the ‘Kommando’ tag and in place of missing original member Tryggve Persson, Leif has enlisted assistance from Tommy Carlsson and Kristian Olsson – both of whom should need no introduction due to their individual pedigree within the Scandinavian post-industrial scene.
To quickly back track, evidently RJF set a high water mark in the Swedish industrial underground by releasing a heralded album in 1983 (‘Greater Success In Apprehension & Convictions’ – reviewed here), before promptly disappearing. Supposedly a second album ‘Roped in Rubber’ was recorded in 1984 only for the master tape to go missing, whilst attempts to record an earlier version of this album occurred as far back as 1991, but for various reasons were not completed. Whatever the actual facts are relating to missing master tapes and aborted recording attempts, time has marched incessantly on, resulting in the sophomore album being finally released three decades on from the debut. Better late then never as the saying goes.
From the first rotation is it evident that ‘Sweet Slow Suicide‘ is a punishing album in the best way possible, consisting of stripped back and staunchly analog power electronics. Given that in today’s context the lo-fi experimental electronic minimalism of the debut RJF album is partly showing its age, this new incarnation opts for a different tactic by going for the jugular with a predominantly aggressive power electronics attack. Simple and straightforward in construction, the tracks are built on queasy oscillating electronics, aggressive noise, loose rhythmic bass tones and distortion scared vocals. Noting that the overall sound and attitude encapsulates a ‘classic’ power electronics sound, in actuality it is a sound which is is often attempted but rarely nailed as solidly as this. Likewise despite the general simplicity of the tracks, the wavering distortion, crescendos of noise and harsh vocals are delivered with both power and conviction for maximum sonic impact.
Although no details are provided as to who did what on this album, this is ultimately irrelevant when dealing with an album of this calibre. Plain text on two printed inserts rounds out the minimalist visual side of the album and its 300 edition mirrors the limitation of the debut album. A mandatory purchase.
Anemone Tube / Dissecting Table – This Dismal World LP Peripheral Records 2013
‘This Dismal World’ is a split recording from the German Anemone Tube and the Japanese Dissecting Table which is conceptually inspired by Buddhist related themes. To quote from the promo blurb it is: “a dark concept album about the ‘Four Nobel Truths’: suffering, it’s origin, cessation and the path leading away from suffering”. This concept is also expanded upon with a printed insert which includes the lengthy written piece: ‘The Lotus Sutra Chapter Twenty Five: The Universal Gate of Bodhisattiva Kanzeon’ (which specifically ties in with Dissecting Table’s contribution). Additionally the cover depicts Guanyin Bodhisattva aka the ‘Goddess of Compassion’ in the form of a 21-metre high bronze statue located in Longxing Monastery, Shijiazhuang.
Anemone Tube lead off and based on the sheer quality of their recent output (specifically referring to the ‘Death Over China’ album), it is great to see the new material is as equally stunningly here. Effectively Anemone Tube’s style of taking various field recording elements and welding them into abstract industrial/ dark ambient soundscapes is fully on display here (the field recordings utilised here were evidently made in a Mausoleum and other locations in China). Of the two presented Anemone Tube tracks they are slightly on the noisier side – and great for it. ‘In The Mausoleum’ is digitally crisp, bass heavy and sweepingly evocative in its cyclic tone and perhaps reminiscent of earlier Inade. Alternately the second track ‘From Anthropocentrism To Demonocentrism’ aligns more towards a power electronics structure, its sharp tonal squall and looped sampled elements is clearly recognisable as that of Anemone Tube.
Dissecting Table’s contribution ‘1000 tones’ is presented on the second side of the vinyl which forms a singular monolithic 20 minute composition. Here the loose and chaotic track infuses stoic ritual percussion, clanging metallic elements, an abundance of noisy outbursts, chanting Buddhist monks (…presumably reciting the written tract from the Lotus Sutra), screamed quasi extreme metal vocals etc. Here these disparate elements are loosely melded together to generate a heady dose of chaotic industrial madness – Dissecting Table style of course. Although I may not be a massive Dissecting Table fan, objectively I can say the track is a heavy hitter and based on the above description you should know if it is suited to your listening preferences.
As a whole ‘This Dismal World’ delivers solid material from both projects, but from my perspective Anemone Tube’s tracks hit the high mark of the two.
Copies of the brand new and just released noise receptor journal issue no.1 are now available for sale via the following site, which includes details of content and format:
Copies are $10 Australian, and $6.50 for international airmail postage (…I’m afraid I can’t do much about the high cost of postage from Australia). However please note that the $6.50 international airmail postage will cover either 1 or 2 copies of noise receptor journal issue no.1. Accordingly any orders for 2 copies at a total of $26.50 should be made directly via Paypal at: email@example.com
If you wish to place an order for more than 2 copies, please get in touch for a postage quote.
Orders will ordinarily ship within one to two days.
If it is preferred to pay in Pounds, Euros or US dollars the following costs apply:
- 12.0 Pounds (includes airmail postage).
- 14.0 Euros (includes airmail postage).
- 17.5 US dollars (includes airmail postage).
- 18.0 Pounds (includes airmail postage).
- 21.0 Euros (includes airmail postage).
- 27.5 US dollars (includes airmail postage).
To use the above alternate currencies, PayPal payments MUST be made directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Distribution will be finalised over the coming days, but tentatively looks like Malignant, Belaten, Tesco, Freak Animal, Terror, Cold Spring and others will be taking copies.
Trepaneringsritualen – Konung Dómaldr Vid Upsala Hängd MC Merzbild 2013
‘Konung Dómaldr Vid Upsala Hängd’ is a new limited edition MC from TxRxP which thematically relates to the norse legend of the Swedish King Domalde, whose ritual self sacrifice prevented an impending famine. This conceptual content is addressed within the cover image, which is a black and white excerpt of Carl Larsson’s famous painting ‘Midvinterblot’ (‘Midwinter Sacrifice’), whilst the Swedish song titles roughly translate to: ‘For The Benefit of the Swedes’, ‘Blood Rain’ and ‘The Corpse of the Fallen Dómaldr’.
Containing three tracks (repeated both sides of the MC), these essentially bleed into a singular 30 minute ritual death ambient composition. Although the first track leads off with some gritty textural static, the main focus is squarely the procession of slow deathly drums, swirling winds, wavering synth textures and croaked / echo distorted vocals, which combine to deliver an excellent track of slow brooding ritual menace. The second track is sparser in construction and encompasses an air of distant abstraction to its voluminous atmosphere. Here a lone cavernous bass thump provides focus in amongst various sweeping/ cavernous tonal elements and the call/ response of howling wolves. Third and final track continues the windswept sound in a slightly more forceful guise, building upon ominous drones, a slow percussive bass pulse and a melancholic synth line akin to the title track of Brighter Death Now’s ‘Necrose Evangelicum’ album – an excellent and harrowing conclusion to the MC.
If it wasn’t already blatantly obvious, noise receptor is a big supporter of TxRxP, with ‘Konung Dómaldr Vid Upsala Hängd’ being yet another excellent release within the project’s expanding discography.
The imminent release of noise receptor journal issue no.1. can now be announced.
This new print venture constitutes the physical manifestation of the noise receptor web-blog, but also contains new interview and art content to differentiate it from the already published web-based reviews.
Whilst noise receptor journal is not intended to replace the web-blog, it is however targeted at an audience who values the permanence of print media over the transience of web-content.
The magazine is currently at the printers and provided there are no delays will be out in 1 weeks time. The final price with associated postage costs will be confirmed once the final product is back from the printer (to allow the cheapest postage options to be calculated).
Details of content and format as follows:
- 12 page in depth interview with Trepaneringsritualen
- 10 pages of artwork contributed by Thomas Martin Ekelund
- 45 in depth music reviews (ambient/ industrial/ experimental / power electronics etc.)
- A5 Format
- Professional greyscale print
- ‘perfect bound’ spine, with matt laminate, thick card stock cover
- 56 pages in length
- hand numbered and limited to a print run of 200
I will primarily selling copies direct, however it looks like Malignant Records (USA) and Belaten (SWE) will be stocking some copies. For any other interested distributors, please get in touch!
Richard / noise receptor