GÜNTER SCHICKERT/PHAROAH CHROMIUM : OXTLR 2xCD/3xLP Grautag Records

schickert+pharoa

GÜNTER SCHICKERT/PHAROAH CHROMIUM : OXTLR   2xCD/3xLP Grautag Records

Schickert for some will mainly be known for his involvement in the Krautrock scene in the 60’s and 70’s; couples up with German/Palestinian composer Ghazi Barakat (Pharoah Chromium) her for a lengthy display of obscure electronics and analogue instrumentation.

The collaboration utilises and plays on each other’s strengths where musicianship is concerned. The Free-Jazz of Schickert is somewhat toned down in to long drawn out breaths allowing Barakat to allow his own influence into the mix; and the results as a whole are complimentary to each party.

‘OXTLR’ revels in atmospherics akin to the distant sounds of revolving planets as they circulate the solar system; dense and enriching reverberated echoes of time delayed occurrences, formulated into a sea of Dark Ambient.

This lengthy release capitalises on range and pitch, requiring a great degree of patience and appreciation of the long game. Overdubs and undercuts are layered with a penchant for perfection and clarity, where neither artist outshines the other; coupled together to provide mountains of grinding noise alongside a gloopy tranquillity.

As an entire experience this will only appeal to a select few. I personally don’t have much time for Krautrock as a whole; but Schickert is tethered down here and with the inclusion of Pharoah Chromium, the entire experience becomes evidently more listenable as a complete immersive experience.

8/10

CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER: Blood Drums 2xLP Grautag Records

cavernofantimatter

CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER: Blood Drums  2xLP Grautag Records

Bizarrely recorded in mono and electronically processed for stereo sound, the trio of Tim Gane, Holger Zapf and Joe Dilworth have come together to record an album of dystopian sounds with a variety of heavy electronically treated influences.

Upbeat electronic Jazz influences warp through the speakers the moment you hit play.  Things are going well with the playfully simplistic, yet pleasing sounds when lunacy rears its ugly head from out of nowhere with the volume panning in and out at speed, only to be repeated throughout the track.

It’s clear that Cavern of Anti-Matter have their head stuck in the past; there is more than a nod to David Bowie along the way.  The fundamental difference between their hero and themselves is that whilst he created music that captured a generation,  ‘Blood Drums’ comes across as a trippy mess of badly executed electronics, that are as misshapen and badly conceived as you could wish for.

Concept wise, this latest release portrays itself as a Z-list Tangerine Dream in some respects and considering I have no time for them either, some of the talent hidden on this album merely comes across like nonsensical dribble; which is a shame, as clearly these guys do have some musical capability.

5/10

RAVI SHARDJA: Grün ist Grau 2xLP Grautag Records

ravishadra

RAVI SHARDJA: Grün ist Grau  2xLP Grautag Records

Opening up with the fabulously titled ‘Bombay Boobies Battle’, it was quite a surprise to find that the music presented over this just shy of 17-minute marathon, is a collection of ambient and noise manipulations.  When creating tracks of this length, it’s important to create a solid foundation for the many grotesques electronics to dance along and unfortunately this is where Shardja falls short; everything feels disjointed and lacks any form of cohesive stability.

Things come together somewhat on track two, where at least there is an emphasis towards structure, as is the same with the rest of the remaining vinyl.  Unfortunately, there is little to enjoy along the way, with a mass of freeform noises and scratches of sound, coming together like a jigsaw of noise, to produce a picture that provides little satisfaction to the time invested in piecing it together.

5/10