Thursday, 20 August 2009

OTHER VISIONS


Band: B-MACHINA
Title: Other Visions
Format: Credit-card size CDr (red disc) which comes in an orange envelope (sealed with the B-Machina sticker with 'Industrial Folk Hymns' motif/logo) together with 3 postcards (showing Max on guitar) and assorted magnets, including track listing/edition number design (photo 2). A W.A.R. Productions (Austria) release from 2008.
Edition: Only 17 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:

01. Other Visions 2.18
02. Forgotten 2.20

Another Blog, another limited edition release from the vaults of W.A.R. Productions!

This 2008 mini-CDr release effectively cements the addition of the acoustic guitar into the B-Machina canon with 2 short tracks, and leaves the listener wishing there was a lot more to this brief release than there is in actuality. Of course, far too many releases can outstay their welcome so the "less is more" approach can work well as a taster for the future sound of a band, but even hardcore fans like Nazgul have to wonder at the sub-5 minute duration of this particular release!

That said, the packaging is once again exemplary and the multitude of magnets and postcards certainly add an air of quality and thoughtfulness to the overall design that you can't quibble with. As with most of Alex's limited editions, there are precious few of these around (only 17 pressed, of which this is #11) so if you didn't get one at the outset then I'm afraid it's probably a good few sleepless nights poring over every conceivable internet sales site for you if you want to get hold of one now! Your alternative plan of attack would be to track down the "Rotation Zwei" release via the Russian Valgriind label, as these 2 tracks are present amidst a whole host of other impossible-to-find B-Machina material.

Anyway, back to this - the original pressing! What is immediately apparent is the prominence in the mix that Max's flamenco guitar takes - it may sound like an improbable combination, Bonemachine industrial soundscapes and Spanish guitar - but against all the odds it works! Rather like all weird-but-successful combinations (Christmas cake, strong cheddar cheese and whiskey being a recommendation from Nazgul that you really ought to try altogether), don't knock it until you've tried it....

Track 1 'Other Visions' kicks off with an effect that sounds equal parts horses on the move and/or magma escaping the earth's crust, before the most delicate of guitar interludes appears over the top. Equally, on second track 'Forgotten' the guitar is right at the front of the mix over a gentle synth background, at times strident and full-on like a Mexican stand-off in a classic spaghetti western and at times gossamer-thin and a thing of beauty.

As a statement of intent both a potent and intriguing mixture, and one that develops the project nicely into a whole new sphere.

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