LEVAS MAGMAS: Acts of Worship CDr/DVDr Existence Establishment
My initial reaction to this release was towards the DIY packaging that is reminiscent of punk ethos. Either way, this has been well put together and it warmed my cockles somewhat smelling the glue and paint and trying to prise the CDr out of the neatly patched together digipak.
Musically, the bedrock of this album is bedded down in Dark Ambient circles. An old school industrial vibe resonating over individual tracks in machine like drones, whilst clattering scraps of metal fall together in on their way to the smelting forge. It’s not entirely inventive, nor is it original, but does serve a purpose in the genre, which this album is pinpointed within.
The accompanying DVDr utilises source material from newsreels, to diabolic atrocities and so forth. Essentially I would expect to see this played out at any live action Levas Magmas took part in and to some effect adds the necessary ingredient that is sorely lacking when taking on this release in a purely aural environment.
‘Acts of Worship’, is by no means a bad album when collectively packaged with the DVDr. However, there is little on offer in the grand scheme of things, when there are so many other artists out there providing a vast amount of work that triple the engagement this project struggles to provide.
LACKTHROW: Release 2xCDr Existence Establishment
There is nothing more ludicrous than the packaging this 2CDr album provides. Seven inches of tar painted copper plating that provided me with as much entertainment trying to take out the CDr’s as much as it did actually listening to them; if nothing else it made me smile, cut fingers and all.
Andrew Powell’s Lackthrow spews a staggering 54 tracks out over two discs. With a visceral mash of power electronics and cold Industrial waste, that assaults the senses from every angle. Much of this has been heard before and that by no means is an insult in a market as saturated as this project lingers within; if anything, Lackthrow holds its own well.
Let’s be honest now; there aren’t that many releases from the genre that can actually be termed ‘good’. I do raise my hand in admission that PE is one of my guilty pleasures, fully aware that the majority I play now and again is absolute hogwash, requiring little to no talent at all. There are exceptions to the rule however, with Control and Slogun being a prime example of consummate professionalism, providing PE with a purpose and necessary soapbox, where the sounds on offer are clinically executed to devastating effect.
Lackthrow doesn’t achieve the same heights as his peers. Then again many artists of this ilk rarely do; what they do provide however, as in the case of Powell, is an essential insight into B division solidarity.
GM ELECTRONICS: Trashwalker CDr Existence Establishment
Packaged within another of EE’s DIY copper and tar infused amalgamations, we have six tracks of OTT digital noise and electronics. ‘Trashwalker’ was previously released twice on other labels. I am scratching my head as to why this needed a third outing, but I suppose if there is a market for this then why not.
GM Electronics represent the more visceral, less vocal driven affairs that sit borderline between PE and out and out noise. There is little on here to take on board as actual ‘songs’, rather than something to clean out the cobwebs or brutalise your neighbours.
It would be all too easy to cast aside this project and indeed this release. I thoroughly understand where ‘Trashwalker’ is coming from thematically and there isn’t much on here that wouldn’t sit well within any self-respecting all-out-noise addict’s collection. However, as an album to actually speak about musically, there is little to differentiate the songs on a track-by-track basis and more emphasis for me should be placed on the collectable nature of this limited product, rather than anything pleasurable to listen to.
BEREFT/FIRE IN THE HEAD: MA/PE/FU Volume1 LP Existence Establishment
MA/PE/FU markets itself as a series of projected long running releases, with various artists facing off each other on split albums such as this. I like concepts and projects that come together, reminding me of the days when artists coupled themselves to produce ‘Remix Wars’ albums; it feels remarkably old school.
Andrew Grant and former Force of Nature Productions head honcho Peter Lee are first up with their project, Bereft. I know Peter very well; so take the subject matter lyrically with a pinch of salt, hoping the majority of this is spat out with their tongues firmly in cheek. Either way, this is 2012 and the message that comes across is a tad misguided if there is little meaning behind it, if not downright childish. The music itself is a steady and forceful rampage of power electronics and old time industrialism, which, whilst not providing the impact of their peers, does the job as required.
Next up on the table is the prolific Fire in the Head, with Michael Page’s undercurrents of rich Dark Ambient, providing the foundations to a blister package of rasping electronics and venom-ridden, vocalisations. The end result being a stable representation of FITH and the majority of the output Page has produced under this banner, which should satiate a lot of his fanbase adequately.
Overall, this initial output is a stable backdrop for an impending variety of works that should provide hours of listening pleasure to shaven headed wearers of wife-beater vests everywhere. I like my PE a lot, but can’t help sometimes cringe at the subject matter, where those with the loudest voices have so little to actually say.