VARIOUS ARTISTS: ZYKLUS 1
CDR: Steinklang SK7-10 [2003]
Ltd x 1000

Rasthof Dachau / Stahlwerk 9: Blood Soil
A Challenge Of Honour / Krieger: Freie Revolution
Cold Flesh Colony: Sanatorium I
Cold Flesh Colony: Sanatorium II
Totensonntag: Reichskehrwoche
Totensonntag: Alles Wird Gut!
Tugend Mensch: Death To The West
Tugend Mensch: This Is The End
#define: {blowOUT}
Soulcripple: Technology
Gift: Shoah I
Gift: Final Station
Radio Murmansk: Konbima

Zyklus 1 is a collection (mostly A-sides) of the Zyklus 1 7" series on Steinklang. You'll be lucky to get any though - all were limited to 150 and a box containing all 9 was limited to just 65! You're gonna kick yourself if you don't get this 'synopsis' of the collection. Oh, and one of the hottest things about this release is that the disc itself is etched to resemble a 7" record - how cool is that! And no, I haven't tried it on my turntable yet...

A collaboration between Rasthof Dachau and Stahlwerk 9 kicks this compilation off beautifully. I've heard some Rasthof Dachau before and was looking forward to this track. 'Blood Soil' features Mid-tempo rhythmic electronics verging on power electronics with a shouting, distorted voice. (I hit the repeat button). A definite for fans of Brighter Death Now. Another collaboration follows - this time between A Challenge of Honour and Kreiger (Rasthof Dachau's side project). 'Freie Revolution' starts off in the realms of Arcana but the German vocals give it a harsher feel. A nice enough track. Next up are two fairly short tracks by Cold Flesh Colony (side project of Mürnau). 'Sanitorium I' features harsh power electronics with great rhythms blow. Very repetitive with screeching vocals just audible. I prefer 'Sanitorium II' to 'I' though. With much more rhythm yet still as much distortion, this is more of a pleasure to listen to. Next up is Totensonntag - a name I'm not familiar with at all. The music of 'Reichskehrwoche' is very much in the vein of Hypnoskull or Sonar but I'm not keen on the vocals. The second track 'Alles Wird Gut!' is slower with heavy drums and synths along with slow & distorted / screaming vocals. Not a lot to this really but the silly synth samples didn't help.

Tugend Mensch! I've just found my new favourite band! Apart from the highly-depressive song titles, "industrial" doesn't get much better than this. A jolly trumpet hails in 'Death to the West' with martial drumming, dense electronic rhythms and fucking great percussion. I've lost count how many times I have played this track. A must for fans of In Slaughter Natives and Arditi. 'This Is The End' is yet more Tugend Mensch to satisfy the soul. This time the song is much more punchy and rhythmic. Absolutely gorgeous stuff reminiscent of a darker Sonar.

#define are another new name to me. Their light electro track '{blowOUT}' in the vein of early 90's F242 or FLA is a bizarre inclusion and sticks out like a sore thumb. Some of the sampling is obviously more up to date but this doesn't float my boat at all. Soulcripple take us into track 10 with 'Technology'. Harsh, distorted electronics with simply demonic vocals! Ok - so the vocals aren't brilliant but the music certainly is. The next couple of tracks are from Gift. 'Shoah 1' brings heavy distortion and crashing samples making this similar to a lot of power electronics already out there. It's pretty intense stuff - very dense, uncomfortable and absolutely relentless! Right. 'Final Station' is harsher again - here comes that uncomfortable feeling! Very, very dense and distorted and only for true fans of power electronics. The last track is from Radio Murmansk. I presume these guys are Russian because I can‚t quite find any of the strange symbols on my keyboard and so have undoubtedly spelt the song name wrong. Alas. 'Konbima
' is a quaint tune with aggressive undertones. It's quite bouncy in places because of the strange two-step synth used but doesn't really go anywhere. It's quite a flat tune despite the wide array of samples used. It all ends with an upbeat old Russian sample.

JLM

[Steinklang]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/various/va_zyklus1.html