German Army: Diaspora of Intolerance (Dub Ditch Picnic, 2017)

May 6, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

German Army: Diaspora of Intolerance

This is German Army’s second CD release on Dub Ditch Picnic, and like the first, it compiles tracks from their many limited edition tapes. In particular, this one basically contains three 2014 tapes in their entirety, plus one previously unreleased track from those sessions. This can be described as experimental industrial, with plenty of ventures into the mystical/shamanic/ritualistic realm. Lots of distorted voices (but not used in a similar way on every track), some detached rhythms, lots of hazy echo and fading into a different dream scene. Some tracks are elaborate collages of tribal exotica, particularly “Barefoot”. Others have (relatively) more straightforward rhythms and vocals, such as “Expedition”. The track titled “New Order” has a bouncing drum machine beat which seems to be falling apart, and the deep, moody synths vaguely hint at “Blue Monday”. More accurate reference points seem to remain the Residents and Cabaret Voltaire, maybe also Rapoon/Zoviet France or Hafler Trio. Some tracks have heavier beats, such as the more abrasive “Household” or the druggy sleepwalk “Monstrous Bodies”. Others like “Tjeti” head towards deconstructed techno. I wish the 81-second chiptune-ish “Fragment” was way longer. Atmospheric, fluttering guitars drift in during tracks like “Pagan Fruit” and “Corn Mother”; only on a few other rare moments do the guitars seem aggressive. “Wet Heads” is one of the most meditative songs they’ve ever recorded, with tambura droning underneath peaceful acoustic guitar, all doused with enough echo and delay to feel like a mound of sand gradually being blown away by the wind. There’s too many other highlights to mention here; all there really else to say is that this is a group well on their way toward leaving a vast, astonishing recorded legacy.

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