Sunday, 11 December 2011

GONE [V/A]




Band: WACH
Title:
Gone [various artists]
Format: CDr release on the Apocalyptic Radio label (Germany), 2011, cat ref AR060. The disc sits within a paper sleeve, which is contained inside a card sleeve that is folded in on itself to form an envelope-type arrangement. The release also comes with a sticker advertising the label.
Edition: Limited to 66 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing.
01 N.Strahl.N * Nachtstück Nr. 16 8:23
02 Wach * Mind Control 3:46
03 Vronthor * Untitled 4:49
04 Vincenzo Bossi * Kadaver Lounge 8:46
05 TZii * Lux 7:22
06 Fleshcrawler * Bluten 8:18
07 Flutwacht * Untitled 9:29
08 Goghal * Untitled 8:39
09 Antracot * Rotting Flower 6:40
10 Ego Death * Nachtod Düsternis 5:40


Nazgul always approaches compilations of this sort with a sense of foreboding. Often an amalgamation of styles - Industrial, Power Electronics, Noise, Experimental, Weird and Wonderful - you never quite know what you're going to be subjected to, and for quite how long the 'entertainment' might last. Jumping into an Apocalyptic Radio compilation is an experience akin to walking into the bar scene in Star Wars: a slow pan across alien beings engaged in unfathomable activity.

In the midst of all of the peculiar recordings on this release lies a song called 'Mind Control' by none other than WACH, the project of Reverend Kim and Herr Insomnia. Now, we've gone a whole year without WACH making a dent in Honour and Darkness in any significant manner: the last full-length release "Experimentum Solaris" was reviewed back on 15 April 2010, and the promotional photo of the "Nordwand" EP was put up on 23 October 2010 in hopeful expectation of a release shortly afterwards (in actual fact, it has literally just been released as I type, although a copy has yet to find its way to Castle Nazgul). So let us rejoice for a short moment in the fact that WACH manage to get a post in calendar year 2011, albeit at the eleventh hour!

Hugin tells me that the track in question was recorded circa 2007 (there is no information on the packaging of the release itself), and also noted to Nazgul that he was unaware that Apocalyptic Radio had actually used the piece on this compilation. Tsk tsk, I know the release is a limited edition of 66 copies but you might imagine the artists themselves would have been sent a few promo copies at least? It makes you wonder quite how royalties might be calculated in these circumstances (cue hollow laughs in the background from recording artists worldwide...)

Back to the music. To Nazgul's ears the song sounded like - and continues to sound like - a B-Machina track rather than the sort of dreamy/doomy space ambient experimentalism that WACH has recently been known to indulge in. There is a distinctly B-Machina-like mechanical rhythm from the outset of the song that brings together a pulsating bass line with a mechanised beat before sampled pieces of narrative intersect the music. Nazgul couldn't identify the original recording of the samples, although he'd be willing to bet that Hugin will be quick to fill this information gap!

The track continues with an amalgam of static-tinged narrative and the same musical theme underpinning the song, until at the three and a half minute mark it fades into an ambient void punctuated suddenly at the conclusion of the song with another short sampled piece of narrative.

Clearly the time that this was recorded pre-dated some of the more spacey WACH recordings, which doubtless helps to explain some of the other influences at work on this song. What is rather refreshing is that it is relatively short and sweet, so does not outstay its welcome and leaves you willing to give it another spin to take it in again. This is more that can be said for some of the more lengthy pieces on this album, although to be fair it is a pleasantly listenable collection and it not as intimidating as some of these types of release can be (the "Skull The Stench" compilation in particular springs to mind here!)

Nazgul suspects that there's nothing much than we should infer from this song about the future direction of WACH given the relative age of the song and the difference in style to more modern recordings. Nevertheless, as a means of raising the profile of the project on a distinguished and critically acclaimed label this feels like a success story for the most part. Perhaps someone from the label might now be able to drop Hugin a copy of the blessed thing...?!

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