Streicher – Global Gas Chamber / Totenrune – Bellum Internecinum MC Fall of Nature 2016
As a first observation this split function as evidence there is still movement in Streicher camp, given the formal status of the project has been somewhat unclear in recent years.* But in keeping with the ‘political lighting rod’ role Streicher have played in the past, this modus operandi remains steadfast in 2016, but has been updated here with a concept to specifically address current socio-political events playing out on the world stage.
‘Global Has Chamber’ commences with a media sound-bite to inform the context and concept of the track, which is quickly followed by jagged scrap metal crunch and the terrified squealing of a pig. This sample of ‘base animal terror’ is soon replaced with the screaming of a mass of humanity and further set to a sample of hissing gas – just to leave no shadow of doubt of meaning. All this is further underscored by distant mid toned noise, crude analog filth and the gruff garbled vocals of Ulex Xane. Once this initial sound is established, a foreboding monotony takes over which functions to hammer home the impact of the track, where the lone sobbing of a female late in the track being an additional grim touch. The mood and feel of the track is quintessentially that of Streicher’s established power electronics sound, although there feel here is that of a ‘soundscape’ style as opposed to overtly rhythmic approach.
On the flip side of the split, this is my first introduction to Totenrune, which is the solo project of Karl Rogers, who is also the label boss of Fall of Nature. Although primarily being billed as ‘noise’ upon listening to this single track ‘Bellum Internecinum’ (meaning: “a war of extermination”), it has a much greater rough ‘industrialised’ noise feel, given the source material is derived from scrap metal abuse. Rough layers of ripping static and crumbling distortion make up the bulk of the sound, where there is a mid-paced cyclic feel to how the piece plays out over its length. The cover states that this track was created in one take, which on the face of it appears to have been executed with intent rather than being merely improvised on the spot – but I am not sure of the truth of this either way. Regardless, this has more than adequate focus and rough industrial noise tonal aesthetic to make it a solid and enjoyable track that sonically and thematically suits the split format with Streicher.
The tape itself has a pro-printed doubled sided J card, with suitable rough b&w photocopy artwork (courtesy of Luke Holland of Trapdoor Tapes with 5 different covers produced), while the hand drawn runes on either side of the black shell cassette to indicate the artist is a nice touch. With its small limitation, it is likely this tape is already sold out. Too bad for those who have missed it.
* – Besides from a number of archival reissues, Ulex appears to have been mostly inactive on the Streicher front since 2003’s ‘War Without End’ album, and although there were Streicher contributions both the Death Pact International ‘Australian Units’ CD from 2014 and the ‘Fight Your Own War’ book compilation from 2016, it is not clear when those contributions were recorded. Likewise the split MC with :M: from 2013 featured an private archival Streicher recording.