CD: Old Europa Cafe OECD 071 [2004]

Return To The Past By Silence
New Midnight
Basis Of Traur Zot
La Campana

All I can behold are CDs everywhere screaming ‘give me your money’. List and catalogues sent through my letterbox. Adverts in fanzines. Internet sites in the 100’s. All singing the same refrain: buy me, buy me, buy me NOW. My choices are unlimited. My financial state not so. I depend on the written word of reviewers I’ve learnt to trust over the years to help me make my purchasing decisions even though I myself have joined the illustrious ranks of the great pretenders of literary genius. A quick memo to all Record labels out there. It helps if you send your recordings in for review. Getting a freebie doesn’t guarantee you a great write up, that’s the gamble you take, but having to buy your product will end up with an even more mega slapping if it turns out that the recording doesn’t live up to expectations. A double edged sword for sure. Money talks after all.

Rest easy OEC. You’ve managed to stumble across a gold mine with "Return to the Past by Silence". All I know about Claustrum & Traur Zot are that they are two Latvian acts and that this is a ‘live’ recording but from where it doesn’t say in booklet. The music of "Return to the Past by Silence" is a conceptual work (no choking in the background please) that deals with events of the last century in the form of a requiem spread over 6 pieces and containing multimedia information on the group. Within this there is the full live performance of the group in full flow, covering all the tracks, with additional film footage & pictures of derelict buildings. The future of how music and multimedia can be integrated seamlessly into one complete aural and visual package is finally here. Listen to the music separately on a dedicated CD player or play it through your computer to get the whole shebang. Absolutely perfectly executed technology. But what really counts is the music. Flashy pictures counts for jack shit if the music falls flat on its face. Claustrum & Traur Zot have taken a variety of genres / influences and manipulated and mangled them into their own unique sound. From orchestral symphonic flourishes, deep dark ambient passages, early Industrial bashing and loops, martial stomps and finally touching on folk traditions the music touches all bases to exhilarating effect. This is a totally intense and rewarding recording that hypnotises with its raw power and solemn undertones. God damn magnificent. What a find for OEC and, thankfully, for us.

Once again I’m left amazed at some of the incredibly great music that has been discovered from the East and Claustrum & Traur Zot are at the forefront carrying the torch proudly for Latvian music.


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