Review: Various Artists – Tag Und Nacht II

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Various Artists – Tag Und Nacht II – (Total Black 70)

Tag Und Nacht II is the second compilation that’s been released on and by the Berlinian label Total Black. Representing industrial culture from Berlin and what it has spawned, musically. It is a selection of some of the murkiest, darkest, experimental industrial music that we’ve heard in a while. Starting off with Stark Jorgensen’s (ASCETIC:) solo-project Halv Dröm and the track “Spirabilis VII“.

It’s like threading through a vast landscape, in the night, that’s been bombarded with snow overnight. Something’s lurking in the shadow of the trees right beside you, as the sounds intensify and the noise gets more high-pitched. There’s a constant atmosphere with this song that never really changes, it just pulsates on and on as if it were a part of you – your heart. Moving ever so fast through the snow and avoiding the parts of nature not yet trodden by humans. The more you get into it, the more the noise overshadows and the less picturesque of a landscape of sound there is. The song comes to a halt after five minutes of constant audiovisual terror, wearing off and going into the quiet abyss.

The rhythm goes berserk – “Human Diversity” by Edema Intravenosa is hauled at you, with in-your-face distorted vocals and continuous beat of the drum – this is about as noisy as techno can be. The atmosphere of the song is both claustrophobic and enigmatic, the bass drum is deformed and goes well with the snaredrum and other instruments used. For this song to really shine is when the chorus – or what can be seen as one – comes tumbling in with synthesizers that make the soundscape even sharper. It cuts like a knife to hear the screeching vocals coupled with something that could be reminiscent of electronic body music and electro, and it overlaps the monotonous rhythm, making it even more powerful then it was in the first place. The developing nature of the track is what makes it exciting, and frightening of course, to listen to.

I must admit that I haven’t listened much to Operant (Luna of Instruments Of Discipline, plus August from ASCETIC:), but their song “Mistaken For A Piece Of Thyroid” is as bold as it is noisy, and even though it is a bit slow at the start, it builds up to one of the most massive atmospheres I’ve ever heard in a techno song. Drawing from both the industrial side of it and the minimalistic techno, charging at you with noise at spearpoint. The more Luna’s distorted vocals are present, the more it changes and then ramps up to be a really aggressive and tumultous song. Half-way in you find yourself lost in the different moods it goes through, and every influence they’ve decided to put into it, pays off in the end. A very powerful and intimidating song, just as it should be when it comes to these genres, according to Repartiseraren.

Josef Gaard (Nathan Levenson) is next with his song “Compline” – a more cautious song – but with a strong atmosphere that is both in the foreground and background. When you think the bass drum is going to move into a steady, straight-forward techno-rhythm – it suddenly drifts away into a more unorthodox rhythm. There’s also a pinch of acid thrown into the mix, alongside a wandering industrialized soundscape. Even though there’s almost a constant rhythm, it suddenly goes heavy on the bass and floats out into a unwavering and bombastic atmosphere of sound – making the listening experience even more enjoyable. The way he crafts and pairs these noises, rhythms and constructs a whole world of his own is impressive. A really great track when it comes to everything – there’s really nothing that can strike this one down.

AVM (/ϟ/HUREN/ϟ/ + BLUSH_RESPONSE) also have a place on this, up until now, formidable compilation, with their track “Flesh Riot“. When paired together, the pounding bass drum and fierce rhythms are tweaked until they become the crazy abomination in sound one could expect from such a collaboration. It’s not really that interesting in general as I prefer them as their separate alter-egos, but it is interesting how they’ve managed to create such firm sounds and the only thing one wants is to get away from it. It is menacing to say the least and it gets even heavier and more intense the further in one gets. Sounds tweaked beyond the imaginable, noises to the left and right, forceful industrial techno with regards to nothing and no-one. A constant bombardment of the senses – a constant plague that could drive one insane.

Now here’s a rhythm to dig – Entertainment is the artist – “Club 2020” the song. The minimalism is superb and the thing which grabs a hold of one is the tempramental rhythm. It’s one of those songs that you wouldn’t expect to be where it is and end up somewhere totally different. The eccentric nature of the track is wondrous in its own right even though the samplings tell a different tale – a noisier and more mystical one. A good song on its own and where the compilation itself changes into something different.

MRTVI enter the picture, with the song “Anul Útlimum” – a really odd and experimental vaguely industrial one. There’s more of a classic techno vibe to it and the minimalism in its core slowly proceeds into a secretive atmosphere. As with “Club 2020“, a really short but comprehensive song. It’s a bit everywhere but at the same time caught in a maelstrom of consistent sounds. Creating a bit of a hazy and rhythmic venture which we feel obliged to follow. At the same time that it is unnerving, there’s also a bit of it that is oddly relaxing – as it moves in its own pace and never ceases to stray away  from that straight line – which is: going forward, steadily ahead.

Now here’s the final song on this release, by and of Commercial Tower, titled “Asphalt Animism“. A long-running and ambitious track which paints a really bleak picture. You could call it anti-picturesque, and as the name foretells – there’s an edge to it which can knock you out in seconds – after entering the latter parts of the song. The noises are out of control and smacks you in the head, one after one. Even though it is my least favorite of all the songs on this release, it the brutality one would expect from such a compilation as this one. It just feels like it goes on and on, treading into such monotony. Even after having listened to it a few times, I still can’t get into it. However, to conclude everything: “Tag Und Nacht II” is available cheaply digitally and is a good representation of Berlinian underground industrial, experimental, noise, and techno music. The release was mastered by Frederic Arbour at Cyclic Law. You can stream and buy it via Bandcamp, down below.

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