[9th] December: Skulsyr – Blodrengr

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TheOld Ways” (read: wicca) are reinterpreted into a occult ritual noise ‘ensemble’ manned by one individual—Samantha, known from T.O.M.B. and Dreadlords. Skulsyr is her solo-project; whose intent seem to mixture Coven ritualism through experimentation with blackened noise and dark ambient. Intriguingly enough, the word “Syr” is a nickname for the Norse goddess Freya’s magical swine—a ‘Hildisvin’ (battle-boar). ‘Syr’ can also mean “sow“. Either “Skul” is referring to World of Warcraft, or something out of the Prose Edda, though a deeper intention of the name might not be thought out. It must be related in one way or another to neo-paganism and Norse mythology to a certain degree—but Wiccan solemnization runs through like a drawn line in red. The year goes around in seasonal festivals—different holidays for different months.

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She’s actualized for Ljudkalendern with an exclusive track newly produced for that purpose for 9th December. The track was recorded during Samhain—a sabbat where you generally celebrate those who’ve passed on. So the ritualistic tone was already set, considering what month it was recorded in: November. Although a solo-project, her track which is called “Blodrengr” (Blood Warrior) was created together with Duncan McLaren (Enneract) on vocals, Samantha can be heard banging a tribal drum and she’s conjured a hazy atmosphere which lets you delve into a maze of brooding, sinister but captivating music. From Duncan’s eerie distant chanting to an ever so present drumming, fading away into otherworldly hymns created on what sounds like thin air—as the gloomy cloud disperses. It might be so poetic that it actually does not need any poem because it’s self-descriptive.

Here a ritual begins and ends in the blink of an eye, though at great length. Tomorrow here will be another track but for the 9th December this place is reserved for Skulsyr and her track “Blodrengr“.

Listen: Ancient Methods × Black Egg – The ‘Ohne Hände’ Remixes 12″

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Chaos-disciplinarians Black Egg have been ushered from their sheltering oval cistern by Wollenhaupt. The group had their magic rejuvenated as he channeled the sullen vigor for his own intentions. “Michael Wollenhaupt!“, they shouted in unison. Now his name was finally to be known to the world. He had long before hidden under the guise of Ancient Methods—a brutally resounding, uncompromising manner. Now he was finally a part of the collective aufnahme + wiedergabe—if only a loose connection between an egg and its hatchery.

Michael himself take proverbial inspiration in the word “method“, as seen with his other alter-ego Ugandian Methods. Everything’s aligned properly to become a method, pluralism: methods—a course his specific choice of music takes, while it may be unbeknownst to him in the initial stages—or change with the different alter egos of his. His other aliases suggest that he likes not only to be a part of systematic music-making, but also less musically involved, as suggested by the naming of “Backseat Driver“, and the furious “Midnight Madness“—retrospective impressions. This is of course just an interesting side-note to the primary objective of writing this article.

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One year before his involvement in remixing one of Black Egg’s tracks, Michael Wollenhaupt released his sixth album—if one counts earlier releases, with Conrad Prutzmann—as Ancient Methods originally were a duo. It bore the name “Seventh Seal” and from the titles of the tracks, resembles an allegory of Ingmar Bergman’s legendary film with the same name. An unavoidable settlement with the past and the acceptance of his coming fate—the dance of death—in Michael’s case a figurative separation from Prutzmann as his co-musician. 30th May a digital and vinyl-release of the album was put out via his own label bearing the same name: Ancient Methods.

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A year and one month later Black Egg formulated their first appearance, an album titled: “Legacy From A Cold World“. The group’s flighty musical base is constituted by the following members: USHERsan, Vera, Corina KRAUTER, Normotone, Sebastien FD, Peter Render, HIV+, and Judith Juillerat—whom parted from the group after in June after the release. The release got a favorable review on Gothic.at, summarized by the following words and I quote: “…die es zu einem kurzweiligen, vielseitigen und spannenden Werk” (…which is an entertaining, versatile and excitingly made work) roughly translated via Google Translate—my apologies beforehand. It is no secret that the masterer for this album is Friedemann Kootz; notable for mastering November Növelet’s masterpiece “Magic” and other Galakthörrö-releases. Other members whose involvement are to curate the aesthetics surrounding Black Egg are Mimi Gall—graphic designer photographer (for their debut), alongside Titus Le Pèse Nerfs who create art and alchemy—what ever the last-mentioned title is supposed to mean. Maybe entertaining the groups’ dynamic.

Now we’re on our way out of 2014—earlier this year a fruitful combination yet to be was chiseled in stone—announced figuratively on aufnahme + wiedergabe‘s Facebook in May. Ancient Method’s experimental and calculating techno was set loose, for the purpose of conjuring remixes, plucking apart Black Egg’s song “Ohne Hände” (Without Hands)—molding it gradually with methodical precision. He chiseled away sublimity, kept the pulsating energy, turned it up a few levels to make it energetic and strayed away from his own artistry—with “(Pogo Im Säurebad Plural Mix)” sounding like what could be called: noisy ritual drum’n’base. Doubling the running time in comparison with the original track, with the exception of “Ohne Hände (A Capella)” but in that case it’s comprehensible. The release The ‘Ohne Hände’ Remixes 12can be bought from the label aufnahme + wiedergabe, and is limited to five-hundred copies. You can also get it from Berlinian distributors Hard Wax. Stream the release in its entirety, below. Ancient Method’s “justified ancient” t-shirt is available for pre-order.