Saturday, 18 June 2016

SCHICKSALSWINDE - update


Band: B-MACHINA
Title: Schicksalswinde 
Reason for update: Acknowledging the reissue of this very limited edition tape, in a slightly less limited edition!
Format: A standard C60 style cassette tape with glossy colour cover, originally released in March 2008 by W.A.R. Productions (Austria) as part of the limited edition Moloch box-set "Traumklange und Klagelieder". This version came with a magnet showing the release name and Moloch runic logo.  A subsequent reissue sees this tape available in its own right, in a small limited run with the same cover artwork (but no magnet), hand-numbered in silver marker.
Edition: Total edition now known to be 50 copies, of which 41 are available singly in hand-numbered edition, whilst the first 9 copies within the box-set are not numbered
 
Track Listing:
Side A
01. B-Machina  *  Schicksalswinde  34.21
Side B
02. Moloch  *  Berkana  6.46
03. Moloch  *  By The Winds The Pain Give Born On The Way  3.44
04. Moloch  *  On Overgroved Paths  6.46

"Schicksalswinde" was only the fifth post and fourth review on a fledgling Honour and Darkness way back when in February 2009, when this Blog was in its infancy and had a total readership of 2: Nazgul, it's author, plus Hugin!  It's highly likely that the very existence of the tape has therefore slipped the mind of all but the most dedicated of Huginophiles, so how handy it is that there's good reason to revisit it in today's post and update you all on a new development courtesy of W.A.R. Productions.

Let's quickly recap on the original story and it start's with black metal horde Moloch, the Ukranian project masterminded by long-time friend and sometime musical collaborator of Hugin, Sergiy Fjordsson  (who also runs the excellent Depressive Illusions label).  Now, Moloch has been reviled and/or revered over the years (delete as applicable according to personal taste) not least for the sheer volume of its discography.  Fans of Uruk Hai will have sympathy for this plight, given the similarity of online comments relating to Hugin's prolific output.

In 2008 Moloch released the weighty "Traumklänge und Klagelieder" box-set, which comprised (deep breath): 9 black CDr's in ancient sackcloth with colour pro-printed inlays, 1 DVD in white plastic case with colour pro-printed cover, 1 Tape in plastic case with colour pro-printed cover, a 3" card-disc in plastic envelope with colour pro-printed cover, 2 black/white pro-printed inlay cards with track lists, magnetic cards in two versions and a few pro-printed logo postcards, all in a rigid black leather box packed with straw. 

The tape, naturally enough, was "Schicksalswinde", as can be seen in the picture of the entire contents below.  This featured 3 original Moloch songs on the b-side and a re-mix of the title track (also a Moloch song) by Hugin's B-Machina on side a.  For those keeping notes, the b-side tracks had previously featured on the 4-way split tape "Khvorost", this time featuring Uruk Hai and 2 other projects, released in 2007 in a limited edition of 50 copies.

Schicksalwinde, in the original box-set
"Traumklänge und Klagelieder" - literally translating as 'Dream Sounds & Lamentations' - was only released in an edition of 9 copies, and hence "Schicksalswinde" similarly was limited to just the 9 copies.  Nazgul was fortunate enough to have been able to buy a copy from Hugin at the time.  Whilst the rest of the contents were interesting Nazgul's ultimate goal - and no disrespect is intended to Moloch's offerings from this comment - was purely to get his hands on the B-Machina tape.  Which made it rather an expensive purchase at the time, all things considered.  At some latter point, in order to finance other collecting activity, the decision was made to sell the box but of course the dilemma was that if the tape only appeared in the box one couldn't simply keep it and sell the box as an incomplete set, as that would be a nonsense.  So - what to do?

Well, as it happens (and this is fairly dimly remembered from 8 or so years ago, bear in mind) Hugin solved the crisis by having a spare copy of the tape available.  Presuming a few extra had been done before the box-set limitation had been agreed, Nazgul thought this was jolly handy so happily accepted a copy, enabling him to off-load the Moloch box-set and still keep his collection complete.  A typical act of generosity by Hugin, and a perfect solution to the issue.

Which in light of the latest development now makes a lot of sense.  For what's come about recently is that there's been a reissue - or, more accurately I suppose, an enhanced issue - of the same tape making the edition up to 50 in total.  This seems like a good idea, when you think about it, as (a) it hardly devalues the originating box-set as such items always keep their value and the tape was a pretty incidental part of item in the grand scheme of things, and (b) there will be more than a few fans out there willing and interested to purchase a copy.

And so it is that "Schicksalswinde" has re-emerged.  Now, I have to say that I've normally got a fairly good nose for finding out about such things but this one came as a bit of a surprise to me and it was actually only when I saw a copy for sale on Discogs last month that I became aware of it.  That copy has been added to the collection, suffice to say, so I've now got #19/50 of the later edition to add to my unnumbered copy from the first edition (which, actually, is a bit of an anomaly when I think about it in that it can't have been one of the first strictly speaking - unless Hugin took it from an unsold box-set - so really it's arguably an unnumbered part of the second wave numbered edition and not from the first edition.  Still with me?  Over-thinking this one too much, methinks?!  Let's move on....)

So far so good then.  However, something else interesting has come to light as Nazgul has spotted there's now an entry on the Metal Archives page for "Schicksalswinde".  This entry suggests a much earlier release date for the tape, noting: "originally this tape was printed in 2008, limited edition 50 hand-numbered copies. 9 copies were included in "Traumklänge und Klagelieder" boxed set and the remaining 41 copies were hold-on. Now in 2010 label started to spread the remaining 41 copies of this tape."

It seems hard to believe that the tape has been more widely available since 2010 in this way, as I'm sure Hugin would have mentioned it, and more copies would have appeared for sale and/or resale?  That said, the Metal Archives page for the entry was created back in March 2010, which sort of adds credence to that timeline, although the same author edited it again in May 2016 so could have added the quoted details then, and not when originally posting the release?

The only logical thing to do was to check with Hugin himself, who said, "I just printed 50 covers - 9 I added to the Moloch box and the final 41 covers I released circa 2 years later, they are numbered too: 10-50"  

Clearly the supposedly all-seeing eye atop Castle Nazgul is in need of a bloody good polish!

Which then confirms what I was fairly sure about regarding my original tape - the one that came in the box, and which is pictured in the original 2009 post - which wasn't numbered in the way that the new copy is.  I'd would have mentioned it in the description in the original blog post too.  Anyway, this information does make the comment in the Metal Archives post about the entire edition being hand-numbered technically inaccurate.  


Amusingly enough, though, it does also mean that B-Machina are now one of the elite few of Hugin's bands to now appear on Metal Archives!

And in researching this post, something else interesting has happened!  It turns out that hidden away amongst the various other CDr's in the original box-set there were 2 other songs with a B-Machina connection, which I'd completely overlooked at the time!  Now, in Nazgul's defence, my vague recollection is that most of the inlays and track listings were not in English (that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it) but the fact remains that there's been a missed opportunity to add something about these songs to Honour and Darkness.

So we can correct that superficially by acknowledging the existence of:
  • On the 3" CDr card-disc, there's an exclusive Moloch track 'Palast der Sturme' remixed by B-Machina; and
  • On CD3 'Unreleased tracks' there is a version of 'Berkana' remixed by B-Machina

However, not having the bloody box-set to hand any more means I can't immediately tell you anything more about the pair of them.  B'ah!

Original copy (unnumbered, left) with reissue (numbered in silver)
With unusual ineptness, I also have noticed the original Honour and Darkness post was inaccurate in that it only referenced the 3 Moloch songs on side b of the tape, and not the title track from side a in the 'track listing' information. Most odd, must have been an errant pink of Old Foghorn's Fart Blaster consumed during drafting that led to such a monumental error?  The original review of these tracks concluded that:

"All three tracks are, in essence, capturing elements in Mother Nature in an ambient soundtrack. It's rather difficult to distinguish between the three too, as they run together as you listen to the music, but the outset of the tape is heavily dominated by a blustery wind, over which is lightly phrased some acoustic and string elements. Imagine yourself out in the woods at night, wind swirling around your ears and the faint sounds of distant music coming from out the darkness between the trees, and you're there really!

Very ambient, not overly memorable, but if you're of a mind and temperament to enjoy a heavily wind-based ambient experience (and I know I could have phrased that a little better, but you get my meaning I'm sure) then this particular 40 minutes or so could be right up your avenue."


Heavily wind-based ambient? Definitely the work of that pint of Fart Blaster, I reckon?!

And what of the 34 minute title track you may ask, having been left in limbo for 7 years for any news of that song: well,  Well, in actual fact, it too is a blast of windy ambience with a solitary keyboard to keep a melody in the background for the most part, so perhaps the original review - as confused as it may appear to be - had actually hit the nail on the head.  

Listening to it again with the benefit of hindsight it is very reminiscent of an early Hrefnesholt track, and you can picture yourself sitting on the side of a Welsh mountain looking down the valley on a windy day with this as your ideal soundtrack.

Oh - did Nazgul ever explain that "Schicksalswinde" translates broadly as 'Winds of Fate'? Well, it does, and dovetails nicely within the broad theme of the host box-set itself. 

Original tape release with magnet (left) alongside reissue

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