Various ‎– Release Your Mind Vol. 2

Label:
Release Entertainment ‎– RR 6961-2
Format:
3 × CD, Compilation
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Mastered February 1997 at M Works, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Comes in a special carton package.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Disc 1): 4500 69612-1 J70913-04 A @
  • Mastering SID Code (Disc 1): L803
  • Mould SID Code (Disc 1): IFPI 2F57
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc 2): 4500 69612-2 J70913-05 A @
  • Mastering SID Code (Disc 2): L803
  • Mould SID Code (Disc 2): IFPI 2F57
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc 3): 4500 696123 K70913-14 A @
  • Mastering SID Code (Disc 3): L804
  • Mould SID Code (Disc 3): IFPI 2F51

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June 4, 2012
Let's face facts, this area of music is almost universally neglected, despite the fact that its impact on future music will be greater in the long run than that of Punk. The retrospective kudos Punk carries with it in today's generation should be judged by the taboo which surrounded it in the late 70's - DJs avoided it like the plague, mainstream media changed it from the exciting Youth Explosion it was into some kind of daemonic, Hell-spawned monster, anti-everything, contemptable. Now treated by both with reverence, it's continued existance from small London/New York roots is no thanks to them whatsoever. It might have been the same for Industrial Music, which set out at around the same time, but Industrial just wasn't extreme enough in expression, despite the Death Factory / Serial Killer / Alienation motifs. It failed to gain the same negative promotion and remained virtually underground, where it dwelled for over two decades, untainted and pure. Both music forms saw lessons in the past - that every five, ten years, you could repackage Dadaism, and get exactly the same outraged reaction it has throughout it's every incarnation this century - from CHUCK BERRY to DAMIEN HURST. So with this area of music being so singularly neglected, how do we get to hear the groups & musicians we have only read about? Well, this album is a good starting point. It nets nearly three dozen cutting edge experimenters & composers who have terraformed our future listening. A lot of them you may have heard before, while others have been working in virtual obscurity. The value of this collection cannot be judged by any one particular track, but by the album in it's entirety. Before trying to analyse any further, I should mention the actual packaging. If you've caught a previous review of this compilation, they will no doubt have made reference to it. Let's pull no punches - it's massive! If you have a sparsely-furnished warehouse for a front room, you'll still probably need to move the chairs around to lay it out flat. And it's designed a little like one of those Chinese puzzle boxes, although it DOES fit back together easily, without summoning any naughty old cenobites. I'd call it a prolapsed concertina made of card, and not the easiest thing to extract a CD from if you're in a hurry to freak out the neighbours. So to the music. To be honest, I feel they have given perhaps a little too much space to the extreme noise end of the scene, and maybe not enough to the mysterious, enigmatic, artistic or just plain weird.

The opener from the first disc is a soft, gentle wander through an idealised Eastern Ethnic Magic Place, showing Mr. SERRIES expanding his musical reach into territory already well established.

AMBER ASYLUM create a dramatic Folk-Classical music with floating female harmonies drifting over warm guitar & string section. They're unfamiliar to the reviewer, but sound mature & confident in their composition & application.

Curiously enough, the opening to LULL's track sounds more like VIDNA OBMANA than the opening track on this CD - ponderous cello-like sounds which are soon overlayered by Dream-State glissandos of glass shards. Considering how minimal the fifth LULL album is, this is a surprisingly complex composition, harkening back to "Dreamt About Dreaming" with it's structure & (snake) charm.

TRIAL OF THE BOW kick the tempo of the album up some with fast tabla rhythm while melodic, harmonic tune, simple but charmingly lulling, is enscribed over the top.

MARTIN FRANKLIN, relies a little too much on cliché for his TUU track. Don't get me wrong - TUU are ahead of most in their field which might be described as Eastern Ethnic Mystery, but the various rattlings of bowls & chimes over which haunting wind instruments float seem over-familiar, easily interchangeable with running water & bell trees. Atmospheric, eerie & always listenable, taken from the "All Our Ancestors" album (which is worth anyone's money).

YEN POX keep the warm haunting feel of the previous tracks, injecting them with bizarre watery voice doodlings. The core of this music is (as with many on this disc) a gradually transmuting drone around which attendant sounds busy themselves.

MANDIBLE CHATTER use big heaps of noise to create the opening of their slightly Eastern-sounding track. Ethnic drumming through which is percieved an ever changing jungle of dark, ill-defined noise. What sounds like foxes yap in the distance and groans, growls and synthetic moans join in.

TRIBES OF NEUROT take us to an alien land, where layer upon layer of busy synthetics move in slight waves, giving very much a RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP feel of other-worldliness. An interesting and enjoyable journey.

THE JOY OF DISEASE I believe to be a JAMES PLOTKIN project. Minimal drum box through cheap fx set against subtle humming, droning backdrop and mumbled voice. Stripped and emaciated, this is unlike most of the meatier PLOTKIN projects which came later and sounds like a quality recording of CABARET VOLTAIRE circa "1974-1976".

SUBARACHNOID SPACE close the first disc; a tinny rhythm but complicated, kinda Prog Rock for the Metallic Generation. Reminds me of SPLINTERED having a session where they improvise with a lot of found garbage material in a flat live setting.

HYBRYDS open the second disc, and as ever they never fail to please. This time they offer us a very metallic-sounding variation on their Ethnic meanderings which take place at around the tempo of a burgler in the early hours, and give the impression that if this were the case, they wouldn't be above murdering anyone who might try to stop them. Moody and dark with deep whispering vocals which only add to the dangerous feeling.

JAMES PLOTKIN gets his second bite at the cherry with the next track. What is probably a guitar-produced generator noise churns along at a decent walking pace while further guitar sounds soar and dive like Stukas during the Blitzkreig. Busy mood music.

NAMANAX create a deep distorted noise track through which voice-like loops rise. It borrows a lot from SciFi (even to the point of stealing that spacecraft sound from War Of The Worlds). Like a huge rolling wave of death, it sweeps out of your speakers leaving you no place to hide.

O YUKI CONJUGATE - again a group who never let us down - change the mood to a more tranquil one. Their sound on this track lies somewhere between LOOP GURU and SCORN - subtle, calming chill filigree metalwork background over which a drum rhythm pops for a brief moment. OYC charm the listener with their beautiful ambience.

SOLARUS play a subtle, thin Dubby minimal ambient sound, set against naked snare. Plenty of sonic diversity make this lean work ever fascinating to listen to. More of a complete 'song' than almost anything else on this album. They really do redefine Ambient Dub.

TACTILE, the guy and gal behind SENTRAX RECORDS, usually play a deep, lulling complex of tones which warp and weft between themselves in powerful but subtle waves. Here they have taken a more noisy, intense approach, sounding like a location recording of busy traffic distorted and fed through countless fx. Thick, tone rich miasma of distorted sound.

DISSECTING TABLE take a no less noisy, but probably far more complex approach to what they create. This is TEST DEPT-style Industrial which somehow managed to be influenced by Thrash. Busy, loud, enthusiastic and variable, if all Japanese music were as clever as this composition, It'd probably reach and be appreciated by a wider audience.

RUNZELSTIRN & GURGELSTØCK take no prisoners with their eccentric lunacy which sounds perfect following the last track. Lots of gated yells, cries, gurgles, belches and shouts combine with found sound fragments and what sounds like a robotic farmyard. Intentially or not, their take on fragmentary musique concret is by turns discordant, enthralling and very, very funny. The Japanese would love it for it's harsh nature - I love it's sheer lunacy.

PICA compile what sounds like a mountain of found sound. Set to a deep, almost suffocated beat, this is a twisting, churning journey through a heavy duty junkyard. The only focal point above the (heart) beat is a 'found' vocal track. Harsh, intense, in your face, but the sheer noise makes it rather scary. A maelstrom of mutant behemoth discord.

BASTARD NOISE close the second disc, portraying the destruction of electronics with shock noise which burns, bursts and shrieks while the 'vocalist' bellows like some lunatic escapee from a Thrash combo.

CON-DOM escape their cassette culture imprisonment to open the third and final disc in this huge collection. There's definitely a WHITEHOUSE influence here - stark, discordant with crap delayed vocals, but the sheer diversity of the ever-mutating virus noise places this far above that particular group's onanistic attitudes. Nasty, noisy, confrontational but full of movement and a horrendous life.

ATRAX MORGUE do not sound much different to the previous track - perhaps the sound is smoother and leaner, less cumbersome and chunky, but the raw noise factor is still very much in place. Some nice ideas, and where it promises to fade to something more subtle, it soon flies back like a Martian attack.

Compared with the last two pieces, LAST SATANIC DANCE's track is far more structured and composed. I guess I'd compare it to the more experimental pieces off TEST DEPT's "Beating The Retreat", put through various cacophonous fx. Nice use of pneumatic drill as a percussion instrument lads! Must admit I like this - kind of what P16.D4 wanted to do but never quite got there.

ILLUSION OF SAFETY take a 'When In Rome' approach and create a vast cacophonous factory ambience, a blast furnace of discord. It whines and whimpers with the sound of machines pushed to the limit.

BRUME also choose to clear the wax out of your ears with the opening of their track, although it does have more subtle ambient phrases. As ever BRUME create a wonderland of noise, both fascinating and scary. A complex, muddy journey through a kind of structure, although to call it rhythm would be lunacy. As intriguing as ever.

SMELL AND QUIM follow BRUME well, with a piece both cacophonic and fascinating. Complex factory ambience building huge machines to stalk the streets eating everything - houses, people, cars, everything. This is not subtle - indeed it's a noisy, disturbing sound, but it has more depth and clarity than most of the Japanese school.

KAPOTTE MUZIEK take the noise intensity level back up to uncomfortably harsh. Piercing almost white noise with no pretense at rhythm or structure. This is ambient, yes, but it tries to torture you rather than relax you. Yup! The Death Factory is alive and processing human into mincemeat as we (attempt to) speak.

JAPANESE TORTURE COMEDY HOUR do not hail from Japan! The fact that there's a certain subtlety to their crackles and trills might have given the game away. This is more closely related to BASTARD NOISE and possibly LAST SATANIC DANCE with it's light-handed approach to cacophony. However, it'll still make the vicar spit his biscuit! Enough variety and intelligence to warrent further exploration.

THE HATERS are still doin' their thing, still creating harsh, shrill washes of noise to bring about the destruction of society. Much the same as many of the above noisemakers, they create a sonic sustain which makes the nerves defensively contract.

SKINCRIME is another example of this confrontational garbage - a barrage of what sounds like mower motors overdriven to cacophony.

The mild of human kindness was turning to cheese by the time KAZUMOTO ENDO's track kicked in. Very much in the same vein as the above but with tons more variety and structure. No less harsh or discordant, but proving that some people make it an artform rather than inject point zero of nothing into what they do.

And finally, before I bathe in silence for an hour or so, MASONNA closes both this disc and indeed the album with a track which seems to take an element from all of the above and put it together into one screaming, shrieking, distorting track.

A huge work covering many different area of underground 'Industrial' style music. All the tracks will not please everyone - indeed I suspect there's few that will thrill to everything here. However it still remains an important historic document of a varied and much neglected scene(s).

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.