CD: Vrihaspati VR003 [2006]

The Bells At Battery Park
A Fine Day To Die
Fantasy Is XTC
After Us Rule The Insects
Das Leben Ist Grausam
Flieg Mit Uns
Lovers In Uniform
None Of The Above

People often ask me, usually when they are pissed mind, what it is I enjoy about reviewing. I tell them that it’s not about the writing. Fuck… I can’t write for shit as you’ll all undoubtedly know. It’s not about seeing my name in print or on a website. I get that every time I’m arrested for some stupid misdemeanour. Nor is it about receiving the thanks from a label or artist for a nice review. Rarer than hens teeth if truth be told. No. I say it’s for the different and entertaining music I’m forever encountering. One minute I can be listening to the most fucked up Japanese noise unit then find a release like this by Laharis to review. An actual musical recording that is the perfect antidote to all the extreme noise and dark ambience that I find myself floating in at the moment. Being a reviewer is great. The best non paid job in the world.

Anyone out there a fan of A Challenge of Honour? Excellent act. One of the best around. Some pretty incredible releases. From the earliest works to the later opus’s ACOH releases were always a special event to be highly anticipated. Laharis is Johan Konig. He was ACOH. He founded ACOH. He took Peter Savelkoul on board. Then he gave ACOH away to Peter. Let him loose to do his own thing. Which begs the question: why? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. We don‘t need to know. After working on a project Sektor 03 Johan went back to a name he had used many years ago. Laharis. All of which brings us up to date. Apart from to mention that this release is under the Vrihaspati Recordings banner. A label run by Peter. What goes around comes around.

The 9 tracks on "Unpolitical Alchemy" mixes the old style musical ambitions of ACOH, neo classical mostly, with electronica and trip hop. The results are just what you would expect. A highly diverse and stunning release that is almost so sensual that it hurts. I tend to use the word beautiful a lot in reviews, yeah… I know sometimes too many times, but never has the word quantified a recording so perfectly. "Unpolitical Alchemy" is that recording that stops you in your tracks. That makes everything else become insignificant and passé. Time ceases to exists. The chords creating a dream in which you must succumb to. The beats are electric, the heart which pumps and drives the blood of the other instruments flowing, whilst the compositions slowly work their magic on the psyche. This is music that delivers messages of love and hope. Of freedom and expression given full reign. It is ACOH with added dimensions hitherto unheard. Beautiful it is then. The only word worthy enough to sum up "Unpolitical Alchemy".

There may be dissenters amongst you reading this who feel I haven’t done the recording justice by not going into every little detail on every track on this recording. I say this: you are right. But this is my decision. For there is thought behind the madness. By not going overboard I’ve left you all dangling. Wanting to hear more about this exceptional release, and the only way you’ll find this out is to go out and buy it yourself. Even if I didn’t get my copy for free, a perk us reviewers have, I would still have bought it just because of the history behind it. And that says more than any dissecting of the recording ever could. The fact it surpassed everything I could ever have wished for is one of life’s great bonuses.


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