Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Title:  Aufrecht Im Truben Schlamm Der Zeit  
Reason for update: Master CDr from N.Strahl.N with songs for this split release

Coughing, spluttering and dragging himself from his death bed for you, Nazgul has been delving back in the archives for today's post, which was originally published in September 2009 as a review of this split release between Bonemachine and N.Strahl.N.

Essentially, as we've seen evidence for before, artists contributing to split releases often would send CDr's of their intended content through to Hugin, either because he was releasing it through W.A.R. Productions or, presumably, as Hugin would compile the bits and pieces (artwork, liner notes, songs etc) for the label involved.

Sometimes these master CDr's come in quite nice formats, with a little letter or some stickers or pictures on the case/cover.  In this instance there's none of that - a plain silver disc and a plain white card sleeve is your lot.  Mind you, fair enough - who knew that one day such an innocuous item would be featured for the world to see via the raving lunacy that is Honour and Darkness...?

The 3 songs we are familiar with from the original review, namely 'Im Trüben fischen', 'Bergen und Brechen', and 'Halten und Walten'.  Which, when translated into English using online software give us some fairly mad meanings; the first being 'Fishing in Troubled Waters' (so far, so good); the next 'Mountains and Breaking' (no, I don't know either); but the final one is my particular favourite, being the bizarre and literal 'Holding Managing Thing' - yes, I'm pretty sure something has gone awry in translation there too, so if you've got a better answer then let me know!

N. Strahl N. are a post-industrial outfit and brainchild of German 'sound-artist' Mario Löhr, active since 2005. The project have appeared on a multitude of limited edition releases (tape, CDr, professional CD, you name it, they've been on it!) and compilation appearances DIY labels around the world. They've popped up a few times over the years on Honour and Darkness, normally during the course of Nazgul's review of obscure compilations featuring Bonemachine, so it's a project relatively well known to us now.

There's an interesting interview with Mario at the Tokafi website, which is worth a read, for an insight into the man and his music, but for those of you with less time or inclination the opening paragraph of that interview sets the scene nicely for this enigmatic artist:

"Noise is often regarded as a primitive genre and with its primary focus on immediacy and energy, it often is. On the other hand, artists like Mario Löhr of N Strahl N are demonstrating that it also holds the potential of great depth and a fascinating, impenetrable degree of complexity. In fact, Löhr's elaborate, enigmatic and gracefully flowing arrangements seem to belie their roots in Industrial culture and so does his preference for sound artists like Asmus Tietchens and Esther Venrooy. The noise, however, does come in at the level of sound design, when field recordings and scrambled radio transmissions are turned into distorted blocks of greyish sonics, reworked into beats, drones and layers of crackle and combined into cinematic compositions of many different parts and movements. 

While the years 2006 and 2007 were spent carving out a distinct nice for himself, 2008 has been the year of unlikely collaborations: Löhr has struck deals with acts unknown to many or with artists without obvious outward correlations and published a string of albums which were as impressive as they were heavy to digest at times. It has only served to sharpen the profile of N Strahl N. And while Löhr claims to have "no idea" as to what his magmum opus could sound like, there is a very real chance he may already have written it: His series of EPs centred around modern media of communication, self-released in tiny quantities, is merely awaiting an integral release on a label open enough to see the potential of the tryptich. With its clairity and cleverness, there is certainly nothing primitive about the music of this project."

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