German Army / Old Komm
Disquiet [LP; Discrepant]

OK, so in 1976 a movie called Disquiet came out from Russian-American directors/financiers and blew out a lot of mind-frames with its dystopian style. Now, 40 years later, German Army and Old Komm (the former Cerberus reigning champions, the latter newcomers to my knowledge) present the imaginary soundtrack to the age-old epic, much in the vein of that Black Horizons 3XCS release that created faux-accompaniment to the films of Ingmar Bergman (which we reviewed in Cerberus; no link, go find yourself!). I must admit, the sections with dialogue threw me off because I wasn’t sure if the bits came from the movie in question or what (it turns out that such is the case on the third track on Side B, but I’m not sure about the sections on Side A). I guess it doesn’t matter, but it was one of the main concerns rattling around in my head after spinning this slick, shiny LP a few. After more time to digest its contents, however, it’s obvious to me the pains both artists took to make their contributions shine. Old Komm seem to me more of an experimental, filmic outfit than GeAr, droning softly and excelling at weaving together atmosphere worthy of the original product. I get served on my assumptions via their cut on the flipside, too, when a groovy hand-drum beat melts into echoes and stuttered chants in a far-from-subdued showcase. German Army, as usual, never fail to stick a percussive element behind their meat-y blobs of bass and skeletal guitar, and as such I tend to favor their bits simply because they stand on their own regardless of what the concept is. GeAr reside in a unique corner of the tape underground, drawing praise (and release dates) from a diverse array of ‘made men’ so to speak. Every bit of that expertise is on display within the many dark textures of Disquiet as the unit lends cohesion to the project. I will say that my favorite sections weasel their way into the mix, sandwiched between the longer, more heavily invested-in intervals. “Ulundi” is a sad-ass synth swirl that deteriorates like the mind of a schizo in her/his thirties into a drone draped by hauntingly manipulated dialogue and a misty fog you might expect at a train station after a heavy rain. “Caledonian River” is another drone with dialogue but it morphs into a quasi-Mudboy journey that sticks its tentacles into the soul as much as any entry in this uniquely warped little world. The majestic drift and soupy, static-drenched conclusion of “St Kenelm’s Dream” cements Old Komm’s credentials as worthy to a collab with my favorite band, such a harrowing little piece of heaven, it is, that it’s almost hard to let it go. Move that needle back as many times as you need to, that is, assuming you have this already. You… don’t have this already? Don’t make me send German Army after you.

Links: Discrepant

Cerberus

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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