Dieter Müh ‎– The Bjorn Tapes

Dieter Müh ‎– The Bjorn Tapes LP Force Majeure 2018

This is a prime case of what is old is made anew through a welcomed reissue, so kudos to the French based Force Majeure label, which itself is a sub-label to Nuit et Brouillard. The Bjorn Tapes is an early release from the long active UK industrial experimentalist project Dieter Müh, which I was of the understanding is the solo endeavour of Steve Cammack. Although I have now discovered that at an earlier point the project was a duo with David Uden. This recording from the early duo period, which itself is a live recording from 1999 where the sound has been further treated in the studio subsequent to the performance. The first edition of The Bjorn Tapes was fittingly on cassette, released on tape via the Japanese noise label Xerxes, run by Yasutoshi Yoshida of Government Alpha. Later in 2004 it was reissued on CDr via the Italian post-industrial Blade Records, and now has finally made it onto vinyl 19 years after it was originally recorded.

Although armed with a central experimental focus, there is a strong thread of raw post-industrial sonics present throughout. Herma is the first of three tracks and edges into frame with a distant drone and muted rhythmic loop. Later some more forcefully scratching metallic tones are added for good measure and the general approach pushed into far more active industrial territories. Low Feed follows with a similar tone of muted drones and rhythmic loops, but with the inclusion of unintelligible treated voices. Likewise, the echoed and distant sound of the raw mid-toned metallic textures give a clear sense of the live setting of the recording, while the overall atmosphere edges towards being more forceful as the track progresses. Side B features the single lengthy track Aghor, and while tonally consistent is somewhat more abstract given its span. Cavernous tones give way to a thrummed bass pulse, which in turn shift to looped aquatic rumble, sparse echoed shards and disembodied radio voices, and semi-melodious drone which builds to a choppy and chaotic peak, before collapsing late track back into more minimalist and abstracted sounds.

Presentation wise, the cover is a two-panel foldout outer-sleeve, with screen-printing on textured card with replicated original cover artwork and live photo on the back panel. This when coupled with the heavy wight vinyl pressing of 320 copies rounds out the entire package in a classy and no-frills manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.