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KNEKELHUIS

Smersh

M Appeal - Inc. Parrish Smith Remix

    Back in 1981, bedroom autuers and rhythmic anarchists Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard founded Smersh as an experimental offshoot of their Pop Tarts day job. Operating with a strict dogma in place, the duo would rehearse every monday night, record their improvisations and never play live. Following their strict guidelines the duo went on to record more than thirty LPs and cassettes during the 80s and 90s. Now Amsterdam's Knekelhuis imprint cherry pick a couple of their favourite moments from that extensive discography, chuck in a remix from family friend Parrish Smith and whack the whole lot on a weighty 12" pressing.
    "M Appeal" opens proceedings with a little percusso-weirdo a la drumbox, pinging and phasing away like a right ketmess. Solemn bass and mournful keys add a welcome level of musicality to this strange wave wonder, flirting with the funk but maintaining a miserablist distance. "Kiss Me Stupid" steps up the intensity thanks to a machine gun snare, squalls of guitar feedback and floaty sequences, attaining the same level of industrial pop brilliance as Propaganda or Cabaret Voltaire. Over on the flip our attention turns to Nieuwegein's most warped mind, Parrish Smith, who transforms "M Appeal" into a biting, buzzing, basement belter. The freaky beat is amplified and rewired, topped with bitcrushed bass swells and disembodied, mechanical vocals. Lurching hits of metallic percussion break up the dark and brooding tone, hinting at an afro-futurist dream which never quite materialises. It's not all about the k-hole though, keep listening and you'll feel the warm embrace of poppers-laced melody. One for the fReAkZzZzZ.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    12" Info: 1 COPY FOUND!

    Deep-frozen for many decades, something is on the verge of being released from obscurity. Dark Star is the project of Wolfgang Reffert (Ger). In the late '80s through the early '90s he released a couple of albums that invoke the darkness of infinite space. Clearly influenced by '60s and '70s sci-fi, the mechanical grooves and spiraling synths bring to mind the worlds of Alien, The Forbidden Planet and Solaris. Utilizing a less is more aesthetic, Dark Star breathtakingly soundtracked space travel to far away galaxies like no other. Rhythmic postpunk drums lay the foundation for slow, down-tuned spacerock that goes deep into industrial proto-techno-like territory, while always maintaining a sense of groove. Resurrected from the days of yesteryear, Dark Star once again re-imagines the eternal harshness and emptiness surrounding spaceship Earth. Cyborgs, extraterrestrials and genetically modified creatures rejoice on the dancefoor! This is a collection of Dark Star’s best material. Originally released on two cassettes and one CD. Mastered by Wouter Brandenburg. Photography by Rogier Houwen. Poetry by Alex Deforce.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: So, to the disdain of the true heads, this is my first introduction to the world of Dark Star, and I’m hooked. From the drifting kosmische of the opener, through chugging machine funkers, proto techno stompers, slo-mo slammers and asteroid assaults, this is home listening for the apocalypse. Fuck what anyone else thinks, be your authentic self.

    The Knekelhuis hot streak continues this week as the Dutch label provide an introduction to the richly rhythmic and deeply esoteric world of Zaliva-D. Based in the Chinese capital of Beijing, they’ve been circling the country’s borders for more than a decade due to the extreme difficulty of streaming music there. Zaliva-D consists of musician Li Chao and mixed media artist Aisin-Gioro Yuanjin, who takes care of their stunning live visuals.

    Their fourth album (but first on vinyl), "Forsaken" transports us to an imaginary Eastern underworld of hackers, drug traffickers and gangsters, conjured out of a cyberpunk Hong Kong flick. Wrapped around a core of gut wrenchingly ferocious kicks and haunting vocals, these tracks possess a mantra-like quality and drown the listener into a world of Chinese and South East Asian textures. "Forsaken", mastered by Wouter Brandenburg, is their most well-written, organic and esoteric record to date, but still retains the steely core of their previous work. Dark machine voodoo, electronic witchcraft and evil rhythms for the witching hour.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: A-grade weirdshit for the witching hour here as Knekelhuis give Chinese duo Zaliva D their first vinyl release. Slow and sinister techno-pagan crunchers for eyeball lickers and backwards dancers - file next to Tolouse Low Trax, Patricia Kokett and Tzusing.

    Holland's weirdo industrial / post dystopian experts Knekelhuis minimal wave goodbye to the competition, speeding into an uncertain future with this razor sharp survey of contemporary electronic antics. Enlisting friends, family and fellow deathstalkers Sabla, Patricia Kokett, Maoupa Mazzocchetti and Job Sifre, the label lock us into deep machine voodoo, AC ritual and dynamo witchcraft. 
    Sabla enters the pentagram first, freaking us the fuck out with the gloomy bass swells, clattering percussion and haunting vocal smudges as "Chant 35" summons the spirit of Psychick TV in their 'Kondole' incarnation. Patricia Kokett follows with the mosquito sequences, wild acid Raï and constant bass throb of "Luxor", a soundtrack to ascention or the moment when you unlock the Stargate. Italian sounding, French born and Brussels based hardware obsessive Maoupa Mazzocchetti takes the controls on the B1, locking us into the slow, sensual and psychedelic groove of "644 Beauty Marks", a hypnotic hit of off kilter mechanics topped off with desert rock guitar and underpinned with a heavyweight bass sound. Finally Dutch electro freak and minimal wave assassin Job Sifre styles the package out with the freebased industrial funk of "We Are Monsters", a crunching combo of serrated synth abuse, insistent drum machines and garbled vox which sits comfortably next to the freakier side of the On-U catalogue. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Heavyweight weirdshit this! Knekelhuis invite four different producers to each offer their own unique style of industrial, abstract and pagan electronics.

    Taking a brief diversion from their usual fare of clattering industrial stormers and minimal wave magic, Knekelhuis take us off into the upper atmosphere this week with a killer 12" from Meo. A pseudonym of Daniele Mei, a key DJ on Rimini's cosmic scene, Meo dropped debut 12" "Fine Corsa" back in 1985. In those days Meo was active in what was later considered to be the most famous Afro Dance Club in Italy: Melody Mecca. As you'd expect, the freestyle approach to sonic selection and total disregard for genre confines informed Meo's production style, resulting in a glorious hybrid of styles and feelings. The set opens with the rolling bass, syncopated percussion and soaring synth-flute of "Chichita", a proggy piece of slow disco with hints of jazz, astral accents and chanted vocals. Next up, "Oriental Lodge" leads us into pastoral plane with calming harpsichord, operatic vocals and a drifting rhythm. Flip the disc and the titular "Fine Corsa" comes through with cop show clavs, pulsating bass and smudged sci fi vocals - totally nailing all those intergalactic ingredients needed for a full scale cosmic bomb. Finally, "Monday's Coma" closes the set with shoulder rolling percussion, prominent bass and trippy keyboards emphasizing the mystical melodies at play.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Knekelhuis come through with a cosmic killer here, reissuing Meo's debut 12", originally released in 1985. If this one's new on you, expect OG Rimini cosmic packed with loose funk, proggy tones and low tempo grooves.


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