German Army: In Transit (Dub Ditch Picnic, 2015)

June 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

German Army: In Transit

German Army: In Transit

Mysterious lo-fi creepers German Army have released dozens of tapes since 2011, with a growing number of CD-R and LP releases popping up occasionally. This 72-minute CD is the first factory-pressed compact disc release from the group (whose members are now identified as Peter Kris and Norm Heston), and it consists of tracks from tapes on Hobo Cult, Chondritic, Balaten, & Dub Ditch Picnic, mostly from around 2012-2013. All of the tracks here explore murky Cabaret Voltaire/Residents/Suicide territory, with spooky vocals, haunted drum machines, and plenty of delay and echo whenever possible. There’s 27 tracks here and a lot of them are a minute or two long, some of them explore similar sounds. If you’re looking for something more melodic, “Alms For Arms” has a pretty nice tense atmosphere and drum machine rhythm. “Twisted Lichen” starts out with backwards vocals, then they turn into this slowed-down detached melody, along with some bizarre disconcerting sound elements which fit together loosely. “Clan Bride” is probably the noisiest track here, starting out with a subterranean drum machine rhythm and more slow vocals, and then getting drenched in layers of propane-ignited guitar. “Mirror Analyst” is basically just a different mix of “Twisted Lichen” (this one sounds a little tinnier). “Pivot” is a cool minute-long gamelan loop experiment. “Holocene Epoch” is a hypnotic, dubby techno-ish track. “Human Cow” is a short Container-like drum machine experiment. “Deep Wall” is a cool trippy track with some sort of slowed down guided meditation sample, over a loop that oddly reminds me of some of Fred Thomas’ more tape manipulative stuff. “Malaria” is another experiment placing festering noise on top of queasy, wavering tape loops and spoken vocals. “Evening Gold” has an oddly clear piano-like melody on top of weird gremlin-like vocals and smashed up sounds. “Colony” has a mutated exotica feel, sort of like that Mike Cooper album on Room40. “Journey Into Speech” stretches out to 6 1/2 minutes of distorted vocals and rumbling beats. “Transcript of Tongue” ends the disc with more slowed down speech and ominous synths. There’s way too many tracks on here to go through all of them, but this disc offers a generous sampling of German Army’s expansive repertoire of disconcerting post-industrial sludge.

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