ZEITKRATZER / SVETLANA SPAJIC / DRAGANA TOMIC / OBRAD MILIC: Serbian War Songs LP/CD Karlrecords/Zeitkratzer Productions

ZEITKRATZER / SVETLANA SPAJIC / DRAGANA TOMIC / OBRAD MILIC: Serbian War Songs    LP/CD  Karlrecords/Zeitkratzer Productions

The long enduring ensemble Zeitkratzer, pump out release after release either as their own collective, or with (as here) other artists that linger around the same musical causes they inhibit.

As the title suggests, this is an album of ‘Serbian War Songs’; which incidentally are from World War One.  None of which are easy on the ear.

Zeitkratzer let the songs play out vocally (I assume from their collaborators), whilst they provide a barrage of noise and bombastic orchestral instrumentation.  In short, the end result is a ludicrously insane mass of warbling and the aural equivalent of insanity.

Underneath all of this, I am sure there is a homage to fallen comrades and whatnot, which is easy to derive from the album, even if I don’t speak Serbian.  I am sure it is well meaning; but I would have preferred the musical element on its own, as it is all a trifle too much to bear.

Kudos has to be given for this venture, even if it all becomes unlistenable.  The production is second to none (as with all Zeitkratzer material), but it’s all a little too much to swallow as a whole album, no matter how well it has been orchestrated.


ZEITKRATZER: Perform songs from Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk 2 LP/CD Karlrecords/Zeitkratzer Productions

ZEITKRATZER: Perform songs from Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk 2      LP/CD    Karlrecords/Zeitkratzer Productions

Yes, it’s the ensemble Zeitkratzer once again playing homage to another well-respected artist.  This time, it’s those electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk.

Without an electronic instrument in sight, Zeitkratzer cover classics, such as ‘Ruckzuck’, Klingklang’ and ‘Strom’ as well as others; with clarinet, trombone, double bass and a whole host of other orchestral instrumentation.  It’s truly barking mad, but it’s also a wonder to behold, making complete sense to revisit some of Kraftwerk’s classics, via a different medium.

Sometimes, Reinhold Friedl’s Zeitkratzer over perform.  In the past they have fallen short occasionally with their interpretations of others’ work.  However, with this latest output, they have remained respectful to the original tracks and indeed, with an artist of such high calibre; anything less would have been a disaster.

If you are a fan of Kraftwerk, I urge you to hunt this one out.  Devoid of any synthesizer as this is; it’s still a playful and enjoyable interpretation that is worthy of your time.  If anything, it made me smile.


PAINKILLER: Execution Ground 2xLP Karlrecords


PAINKILLER: Execution Ground   2xLP   Karlrecords

Initially released in 1994 when Painkiller were still with their original line up; this is the first time this album has seen light of day on vinyl, unbelievably.

Always viewed as an oddity, mainly due to their first two albums ‘Guts of a Virgin ‘ and ‘Buried Secrets’ being released on extreme metal label, Earache; it was a hard slog for the band themselves to get any real acclaim, due to the market they would initially be exposed to.

Combining a blistering mix of Free Jazz, Grindcore and other obscure genre splicing, Painkiller only appealed to those with more eclectic tastes; and it’s only now that they will truly be appreciated for their efforts in wider circles.

This lengthy four-track album pounds with Mick Harris’ percussive skills as crunching guitars and bass ooze through a barrage of bastardised saxophone screeches.   It’s plain bonkers, but works to great effect; and the re-mastering to vinyl gives a newfound warmth to the proceedings, where the ambient numbers find a new depth and resonance.


ZEITKRATZER-REINHOLD FRIEDL: Kore LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions


ZEITKRATZER-REINHOLD FRIEDL: Kore  LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions

Directed by Reinhold Friedl, the ensemble simply known as Zeitkratzer, continue on their never-ending quest to produce interpretations of others’ work, the best example of this being the ‘Whitehouse’ album.

Zeitkratzer have a string of awards under their belt; and having being exposed to much of their work they have a heck of a lot to be proud of. Audacious as they are though, sometimes it simply doesn’t work; and ‘Kore’ is one of those moments where this would have best been kept to the live arena.

A noisy affair and a wreckage of collapsing Jazz instrumentation that grinds and explodes, screeches and crashes; there is a lot that could be said about this album if it wasn’t so pointless and unlistenable.


ZEITKRATZER+KEIJI HAINO: Stockhausen LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions


ZEITKRATZER+KEIJI HAINO: Stockhausen LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions

This is the second album I have heard in collaboration between the ensemble and Haino. A quieter affair than their collective last output, this concentrates on a formula that filters through as droning Dark Ambient for the most part.

Haino as expected, growls and grimaces vocally throughout the mix. A respected noise artist in his own right, it is of no surprise the gloomy trenches he drags Zeitkratzer into; and indeed a realm of oddity, that to be fair seems utterly pointless sometimes.

Where they excel on this release, is when the instrumentation is allowed to flow and ebb away with inky black fluidity. These moments however are few and far between and a lot of the time, a lot of what falls from the speakers is nothing but prolonged gasps of air.

My patience has finally given way with Zeitkratzer and their varying partners in crime. I have a few releases by these guys that are genuinely worth investing some of your time in; and apart from a few brief moments, this isn’t one of them.


HANNO LEICHTMANN: Unfinished Portrait of Youth Today LP Karlrecords


HANNO LEICHTMANN: Unfinished Portrait of Youth Today LP Karlrecords

A prolific figure in Berlin’s experimental electronic music scene, Leichtmann has released several albums under his own name and many an alias. I personally have never encountered his music before, so there was a lot to take in with this being a 29-track album, albeit with very short songs.

With the longest track on the album merely clipping just over two minutes, it is hard to become immersed in everything that is going on. Sounds vary; from delayed guitars to odd flashes of staggered techno and 80’s pop influences, playing on repetition.

The annoying thing is, that many of the tracks have a lot to offer; but just end before they even begin. Without witnessing any evidence to suggest otherwise, I can only feel that Hanno would struggle to compose anything of any great length. I am sure he actually could; and would most likely benefit from doing so.

There is much on here I did enjoy sonically; as there are stages on the release that flutter in an IDM fashion. But without something to fully latch onto, I can only file this under one of those collectable oddities that I most likely won’t pick up to play, ever again.


YASUNAO TONE / TALIBAM! / SAM KULIK: Double Automation LP Karlrecords


YASUNAO TONE / TALIBAM! / SAM KULIK: Double Automation LP Karlrecords

There’s only going to be one outcome when you collectively place avant-gardist, Yasunao Tone, experimental duo, Talibam! and trombonist, Sam Kulik in a room together; and that’s a sheer wall of stupidity passing itself off as music, if this release is anything to go by.

‘Op Apsis’ and its counterpart, ‘Spome Trope’ warble out of the speakers at 100db with a sheer lack of form and function; a perplexing chaotic mess that unravels ridiculously over the course of the album.

Individually speaking, each of this trio does have the ability to produce something of worth; so I am flabbergasted that this complete piss-take of noise ever made it to physical release status, let alone vinyl.

Over the years there have been many artists out there who have perfected this kind of relationship with sound. Whitehouse spring to mind when developing extreme electronics; and they are the masters of this field. Tone, Talibam! and Kulik are not; not even by a long shot.


ZEITKRATZER: Column One: Entropium LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions


ZEITKRATZER: Column One: Entropium LP/CD Karlrecords / Zeitkratzer Productions

I have been avidly watching Zeitkratzer roll along with their many interpretations of other artists’ work by their ensemble for some time. These have often produced mixed results; and in all honesty I have enjoyed releases where they have covered music I actually like, which I guess is to be expected.

I have always appreciated Column One, who have managed over the years to keep themselves relevant, with an array of contributors that kept their line up fresh. With such a lengthy catalogue there is much work that Zeitkratzer could have approached; yet here we have 5 collaborative efforts, which are now seeing the light of day for the first time since they were recorded during the Maerzmusik festival of 2012.

Overall the end result is that of a steady, if not over engaging wall of Musique Concrète (which is personally a genre I cannot stand, in any shape or form), but it is done with a modicum of skill, that should appeal to aficionados. I appreciate track 3 ‘Vilde Navarseke’, which suitably massaged my penchant for Dark Ambient, with its rumbling inky backdrop of colliding rich strings, amongst raining percussion.

My interest hasn’t wavered, but once again there is here another of Zeitkratzer’s works that I will only give a passing glance to, mainly due to my own personal preferences.


AIDEN BAKER & IDKLANG: In the Red Room LP Karlrecords


AIDEN BAKER & IDKLANG: In the Red Room LP Karlrecords

Baker’s discography is truly expansive; with at least two or three albums a year, more often than not collaborating with other artists. In all honesty a lot of the releases can be hit and miss, such is the price of being prolific.

This two-track album is undoubtedly an oddity; pleasant all in all but as strange as it is serene. The title track utilises gentle guitar harmonics and drones that drift into pattering glitches and delay; whilst the second side, ‘Where we’re from the Birds Sing a Pretty Song’ carries on from where side A left off, albeit in a nonsensical fashion.

‘In the Red Room’ is harmless, but isn’t Baker’s finest hour due to feeling like one long pointless jam session. Collectors will appreciate this on its vinyl format, whereas I am aghast that some people actually manage to get a vinyl release (and this doesn’t warrant it), while others never get the opportunity.

That being said, this isn’t a terrible release, it is however an album that left me wanting more; just not for the right reasons.