CD: Fin De Siècle Media FDS14 [2005]

I am a clown collecting moments (and other chocolates)
Poodles in practice dress at the Battersea dogs' opera
Like a saint on a stake
Circumcised by a blind rabbi
Extract no.10
Through the lens of a mad eye
Pierre never made it
From the opened red lips
In like a bull, out like a general
The birth of Zarathustra
My body...
Locomotive shudder

The second Contrastate recording to appear on the Fin de Siècle Media label "False Fangs For Old Werewolves" collects 13 tracks of singles, unreleased material and rarities from this dynamic English mad eccentric electronic experimentalists. To save time and energy I suggest you have a quick read through of the "Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers" release review [read here] for a general overview of Contrastate and their sound.

I’m going to be controversial here and say that if you’ve never heard anything put out by Contrastate before then this compilation of tracks may not be the best place to start. Ideally I would recommend you first experiencing the "Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers" release or even the hard to track down and find "Throwing out the baby with the Bathwater", "I" and "Todesmelodie". Contrastate were never a group that fitted within the 4 minute single ethic. Their music needs time to envelope and develop which is why their longer tracks, i.e. those above 8 minutes, worked so well. This gave them the necessary space in which their ideas could flourish and enrich their music. Controversial I know but what the hell.

Never a group without a sense of humour, the dissection of each track on this compilation in the inset is hilariously self effacing, their playful disregard to adhere to musical structure or convention is to be found littered throughout this CD. To their credit though everything they released was thoughtfully produced, not for them the easy option of dumping cutting floor shit onto whoever requested a track, and on this compilation their continual pursuit of excellence is exemplary. Musically they tread the boards somewhere between dark ritual ambient and the electronic avant-garde with heavy doses of experimental passages and oblique noise rumblings coupled with samples strewn around next to the droll vocals.

"False Fangs For Old Werewolves" comes at the perfect time to catch up on some of Contrastate's more exotically curious hard to find tracks deleted sadly long ago. For fans it’s a no brainer must have. Contrastate virgins may find it a tougher slog altogether but perseverance reaps its own reward.


[Contrastate] / [Fin De Siècle Media]

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Contrastate: [Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers]

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