Archive for May 18, 2009

Dawn Syndrome Reviews

Gothtronic

In a splendid crafted cardboard packaging with bright orange and green colours, i find the disc of Chaos as Shelter from Israel, whose sounds are led out of my speakers straight into my ears for some days now, especially in the late hours. My brain then starts shaping very strong images in which i find myself somewhere in the Middle-East, sitting beside a river and watching the local population carrying water out of a dwelling and drying the clay in the hot sun. A little further an old tredmill is being operated and the sqeezing sound has a relaxing effect on my mood, due to which the heat of the burning sun is surprisingly good to bear. Then vocals sound from a villager that is cattling his goats and passes by my place. In the booklet it is stated that this is an outtake from a vinyl home recording dated from 1950 on which one Isaac Goldfield can be heard who is reciting a Kaddish. If the end of Kali Yuga is announced with this, i wouldnt even have noticed it. The sound of an accordeon is heard. A contribution of Vera Agnivolok. Another contribution is of Helena Dorsht, who sings on one of the tracks. By now the time has come to devote myself to my afternoon prayers. Hypnotized by the contrasts of the all encompassing shrill sound to the other sounds of the near vicinity, i stand still to listen to it…

Chaos as Shelter have made a masterpiece this time. In the ritual ambient on this album the organic and electronic sounds perfectly merge and result in strong imaginative soundcollages. Dawn Syndrome is dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga, the age of iron, which is the final and most negative of four evolutionary Yugic cycles, the end of the world, and the dawn of a new golden age – Sataya Yuga (the age of purity).

Heathen Harvest

Vadim Gusis is the man responsible for the musical flow of Chaos As Shelter and this Russian born musician has risen to become one of Israel’s premier post industrial musicians. Vadim is a very prolific artist having released more than eleven albums since 1999. Dawn Syndrome is a recent recording made avaliable through the upcoming Israeli label Topheth Prophet. Dawn Syndrome is the fifth official release of Topheth Prophet following previous releases by Israeli musicians Barzel and Grundik & Slava.

Dawn Syndrome sees Chaos As Shelter delving deeply into ritualistic ambient music as Vadim constructs a soundtrack for the final cycle of the Kali Yuga. The Kali Yuga is part of the Hindu cosmology belief system and it is explained as:

“According to the Hindu tradition of cosmology, we are now nearing the end of the Kali Yuga (the Age of Iron) which is the final and most negative of four evolutionary Yugic cycles.

Each Yuga is like the season of a super-cosmic year, even greater than the cosmic year of the precession of the equinoxes. When the Earth came into its current phase of manifestation and the first Yuga began (‘Satya’ Yuga, meaning ‘Purity’) humanity was barely removed from its original state of God-like innocence. This was the original Golden Age. As time progressed the planet underwent the influence of a negative descending spiral, and the quality of life in each successive Yuga became further and further removed from the knowledge of truth and natural Law (in other words, ;’Reality’).”

The Dawn Syndrome attempts to capture this cosmological evolution and give it expression through music. Accompanying Vadim on this spiritual endeavor are guest musicians Helena Dorsht (Voice), Vera Agnivolok (Piano Accordian), and the sampled voice of Isaac Golfield taken from a home recorded vinyl disc recorded in 1950.

The music on Dawn Syndrome is a mutating mixture of sacral sound cultivated from acoustic instrumentation and electronic sound manipulations. The album is dominated by singing bowls which when struck with finesse and skill unleashes high pitched resonating whines. This unique instrumental sound embellishes the entire album giving the music a very distinct personality. Alongside the singing bowls is a myriad array of sounds ranging from vintage voice recordings to unidentifiable percussion and sound concrete.

The atmospheres invoked are sacral in nature and communicate a deep sense of reflection and at other times a sense of colliding impressions that give voice to the cosmic forces and currents that define the Kali Yuga. There is a definitive Middle Eastern identity to the music that inspires images of dry wind swept deserts, hard baked clay homes, veiled women, and religious devotion.

When listening to Dawn Syndrome the listner must abandon their sense of control and suspend the rational mind in order to allow you to become fully submerged in the aural atmospheres. With this accomplished Chaos As Shelter gently leads you through carefully constructed songs that bleed together offering a fluid listening experience that though subtle in nature is still grossly engaging. With the right setting you are able to feel the music striving towards the coming age as it sheds layers of illusion while seeking the light the dawn promises. Murky atmospheres slowly part allowing light to stream through the dark hours. Just as the dawn’s first rays begin to penetrate the night the music becomes muddled and abstract once more as forces gyrate and mutate rotating in incessant cycles within cycles.

The music also embodies a vague sense of progression. Rather than feeling as if you are on a linear journey it feels as if you are suspended in a calm center which offers you the vantage point of watching the cosmological evolution evolve, gyrate, disintegrate and reconstruct all about you. Vadim does an excellent job of balancing the sound so none of the atmospheres ever feel heavy or suffocating but rather remain crystalline like clear water. Metaphors of light and water are fitting descriptors to try and identify the music.

Music listeners who enjoy ritualistic and experimental music will enjoy Dawn Syndrome. And it is very likely that this album will bare no comparisons to other music in your collection. This is not your standard dark ambient album. Indeed the music bares little resemblance to other albums I am aware of. Chaos As Shelter has successfully constructed an aural journey that transports the listner outside time and space while navigating towards inner regions waiting to be unearthed. For those of us who reside a world away from this region the music of Dawn Syndrome delivers a dreamlike journey capable of tuning the listeners subconscious into to the subtle vibrations and unique identity of this geographical region and its spiritual culture.

industrial.org

Chaos As Shelter have been around for a decent amount of time, but I think this is the first full length album of theirs I’ve heard. The majority of stuff here could be described as ambient, though the type of ambience that occurs and the sounds used vary throughout the disc. Some of the songs have more of a really ominous and brooding vibe, others are weird collages of drones and chimes, some tracks have middle eastern vocals and instrumentation, and others consist heavily of found sound, and some tracks even have some (evil) accordion sounding stuff in them. But all of the material here is some type of ambient, and the mood created overall is rather dark, if somewhat more cheery at times. The amount of variety makes this disc really nice, and none of the 9 tracks here really sound the same. This disc spans about 70 minutes, but you never really notice, and you’re actually sad to see it go, which is always a sign of a good album.

To go off on somewhat of an unrelated tangent, it says in the liner notes that this album is dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga. From what I’ve gathered, Kali Yuga is a Hindu belief that basically represents a long span of time where the world is decadent, and when the Kali Yuga ends, the world will be more or less paradise. This sounds rather silly to me, being as I am of a pretty nonreligious persuasion, but I find it interesting, and I figured it was interesting enough to mention. Also interesting is that some of the vocals from this album were recorded by a guy named Isaac Goldfield in the 50’s, and Chaos As Shelter somehow accidentally came upon a vinyl record of this recording.

Anyways, to get back to the music, I like this disc a lot. The drones and ambience it creates are really nice; it manages to be soothing without fading into the background at all. This is smart and diverse ambient music that strays somewhat towards the darker side of things, with the occasional ethnic bent included in as well. Recommended for sure.

aural pressure

The first review for a Chaos as Shelter release to hit this website…which is a surprise considering how long this Russian artist living in Israel has been around…but better late than never I suppose. With some very compulsive releases on CD / CDR already under his belt…check out “Dead Air Broadcasts” which is highly recommended…”Dawn Syndrome” follows with the tradition of releasing sound sculptures made from varying sources. Dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga and the dawn of Sataya Yuga…kind of negative vs. positive cycles…the nine tracks on this release is more ritual based ambience for which he has gained a sizeable following.

Steeped in religious imagery and mysticism, the music encompasses organic and artificial sources to create a deeply profound journey into the soul. The sounds of chants used over water bowels being struck in harmony is just one of the components that sets the scene for this rather unnerving recording. The use of almost Middle Eastern musique concrete…where sounds devolve and dissolve…helps brings forth the light from the darkness. Semi experimental in vein, where modern equipment and traditional musical instruments clash head to head, helps the music to mutate in various directions whilst still retaining a sense of balance. Add in the guest vocal talents of Helena Dorsht and Isaac Goldfield, who add a suitable layer of emotional discord, and what you end up with is a recording that reaches deeply into the human psyche.

There’s much to tell about this recording but so little space left to tell it that only by investigating it yourself will you have the full insight into what “Dawn Syndrome” achieves. Mark my words though. Although dark and ritual it may not appeal to everyone. “Dawn Syndrome” needs time to get under the skin. You have to be 100% focussed to get the most from it.
Vadim Gusis doesn’t just create music. He lives and breaths it and this is amply shown here. Pilgrims willing to follow his path will be suitably rewarded for their time and effort.

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Frogs Reviews

Industrial.org
To the best of my knowledge, “Frogs” is the first I’ve heard of Grundik + Slava. I definitely had no clue what to expect, but I more or less took the cute frog drawing on the cover as an indication that it would either be really good or really bad. Luckily, this record falls into the latter category.

The audio here is a really cool take on the experimental ambient genre, creating beautiful soundscapes using dark synth sweeps, found sounds, guitars and a bunch of other things. There are a few tracks where they go into completely different territory- especially the second track, ‘a frog gets over his fear of water’, which sounds like some aliens kidnapped a funk band- but mostly they stick to the really experimental ambient stuff. “Frogs” also features the talents of Chaos As Shelter, Igor Krutugolov and Victoria Hanna, the latter of which contributes vocals on half of the tracks, giving them a really weird feel, adding a somewhat playful side to the darker tracks. I especially love her vocals on the fourth track, “women of rain forest”. imagine if the vocalist from melt banana took a lot of lithium and really sang; it’s bizarre and cute, but undeniably beautiful.

There are some more traditional middle eastern elements here and there, but mostly this disc keeps to its really nice experimental dark ambient textures with the previously mentioned hanna’s vocals popping in to add even more texture. There are always new sounds coming into the mix, it never gets boring. In a lot of ways this makes me think of Throbbing Gristle’s more soundscape driven works, because it has that definite vibe to it.

Conclusion:
This album rules! Go embrace the frog now, motherfucker!

maelstrom
Grundik and Slava, the highly respected and fruitful duo that originated in Israel in 1994, currently share their time navigating their music between Israel and New York. On Frogs, they benefit from the undeciphered vocals of Victoria Hanna (at times whispering in a Gilli Smyth manner), and some bass work by Kruzenshtern & Parohod’s Igor Krutogolov; but most of all they rely on their own vision and their own means (such as computer, guitar, drum machine and field recordings, not to forget their skills) to execute it.

Frogs is to electronic music what Egberto Gismonti’s Danca Das Cabecas (1977) is to jazz and Peccatum’s Lost in Reverie (2004) is to metal: a journey that stretches beyond the boundaries of a genre, avoiding preconceived limitations and definitions, and bridging between the tangible and the metaphysical, while navigating between the structured and unstructured.

The music presented here is a carefully unfolding organic adventure with its background and foreground merging into a single entity, making each listening equivalent to a trip in wild nature, ranging from the tribal and eerie to the meditative and relaxing, and with so much finesse that it can only be partially absorbed on each trip; hence, remaining fresh with every listen.

Frogs is one of the most articulate electronica offerings I have ever heard, and a must have for anyone with even a mild interest in avant-garde electronica that is completely free of commercial considerations. (9.5/10)

Gothtronic

After “For electronics and birds” the album “Frogs” is the second in Grundik + Slava’s fauna series. As the title presumes, all the music is dedicated to frogs. The titles of the songs enhance this presumption even more. As on it’s predesessor “For electronics and birds” the electronic music is amplified by sound of nature on the eternal quest towards the ideal sound.

The electronic music of Grundik + Slava always been defined by orginality and “Frogs” can’t be anything else but again a real gem. The natural sound of frogs, birds and the rainforest combined with the experimental electronica gives the listener enough impact to wish there actually are raindrops falling on your head. A refreshing shower would lighten up the music even more, but even without there is enough life to be seated inside.

On “Frogs” Grundik + Slava choose to be accompanied by the female singer Victoria Hanna. With her frail but very beautiful voice she can be heared on many songs. This creates an extra soundlayer with give the idea of the fauna in the music an even greater edge. One doesn’t feel love for frogs to find the gem in this album. For the lover of experimental electronica this is an absolute musthave.

Grundik + Slava are pioneers on the erea of israelic/american electronic music and “Frogs” shows they still reside at the top. The joint release between Auris Media Records and Thophet Prophet made it possible this gem could be released.


A SHIELD OF DEFENSE AND THE WORD OF THE SON OF Blood Reviews

Industrial.org
Flirting with issues of fascism, race and religion is hardly anything new to the genre. Take seminal act Mental Destruction for example whose rhythmic poundings try to reign down some old Testament fire and brimstone upon all the sinning unbelievers. Genocide Organ take on the role of the ultra-right and despite being commonly mistaken for the real thing, do so purely as a postmodern attack against. Detecting when the uniform is worn with burning sincerity versus being a disguise for subversive intent is often difficult if not impossible as well as being highly dependent on the political bent of the listener. With Barzel I myself detect zero sarcasm making this militant Jewish industrial the perfect soundtrack for Israeli settlers dabling in ethnic cleansing or those just yearning for some ideological pornography to get beneath their thick skin.

The 9 tracks here (plus a short intro blurt) blast through 48 minutes filled with burning oil and billowing smoke. As one would hope from the byline, the focus here is on martial music based around heavy industry and themes of racial / religious pride. Lyrically the tracks are crammed with historical references to the birth of Israel, go words like “honour” and “Zionism” and the same sort of creepy hate fueled fanaticism that drives both the JDL and WAR alike. Still, there is less focus on the “other” and more on self agrandizment, militant empowerment and nationalism.

Instrumentation is formed using rough loops and line noise in the finest industrial traditions and bears an immediate gritty authenticity sometimes missing from our progressively more software driven scene. Structurally songs roll along like bulldozers through a refugee camp with the destruction sometimes painfully close while at others as if seen via a poorly recepted newscast on pirate television. It’s all very noisy, crude and with particles of sand and ash irritating any and all smooth surfaces.

The sound quality on this disc works both ways. Its lo-fi, at times utterly bombed out profile mixed with the thematic hate spewing forth like hornets from a disturbed nest is at times almost frightening in how it displays raw malice with so little emotion. The lack of full spectrum oomph however makes this world a little smaller and distant, like driving by a serious accident instead of being spattered across the wreckage at its epicenter.

Comparisons would immediately lead off to acts like Survival Unit though the level of rhythmic structure adds some MZ.412 like momentum to the power electronics and old school industrial. While I think a different approach at the mastering stage might have increased the circulation to the extremeties, what’s here is still quite effective as a (perhaps unsavory) motivational tool.

As I tend to follow events in the middle east, I’m not a disinterested bystander which means that ideologically I see zero difference between Likud and the Gestapo besides surface dress code aesthetics. For me Barzel fill the jack boots of an anti-hero which does lend the work a forbidden taste I am not immune to. For hardcore Zionists from the JDL mold this release may provide the equivalent service that Resistance Records does for dented head neo-nazis. But unlike every bit of bonafide white pride flotsam I’ve heard, Barzel places art high above the politics. So even if your point of view is from beneath the butt of an Israeli rifle, it is hard to resist this call to arms.

aural pressure
Jewish culture and history, I’m shamed to say, I know very little about. I know that for some reason, which I still can’t fathom out, the Jews have been persecuted since the beginning of time. I’m also aware of the atrocities and genocide that the Jews have had to tolerate in the 20th century and that hatred hasn’t disappeared even today. That is the sum of my pitiful knowledge.

When I saw the cover stating “Militant Jewish Industrial” I was slightly worried that here might be a propaganda exercise put to music that would be off-putting to those intolerant of all things Jewish. Forget those preconceptions. Put aside your religious bigotry and just enjoy a great piece of power electronics. Barzel work very much within the styles of Propergol, Folkstorm, Today I’m Dead etc. Utilising samples from radio / film and distorted vocals over ear crunching noise this recording will go down as a classic amongst fans of this genre. Huge waves of reverberation threaten to blow up the speakers as the sonics go into overload mode. Throbbing with the power and energy of a nuclear blast the music of Barzel deserves a place within anyone’s collection. Awesome in other words.

Clear your mind, clear your room of precious ornaments, and be prepared to experience the second coming in power / noise electronics.


The Geometry Of Soul Reviews

SDC
Nothing less than two of the most acclaimed acts out there nowadays, together in a collaborative project with a new attractive artist, such as Igor Krugutolov, and a young label with an outstanding prior release and a promising future added to the mix, and the cocktail can do no wrong! This collaboration CD was created by Bastard Noise, Igor Krugotolov, and Chaos as Shelter. Bastard Noise is the noise project of ex-Man member Eric Wood, Igor Krutogolov is known for his project Agnivolok, and Chaos as Shelter is known for their multitude of releases on various labels such as Crowd Control and Drone. This CD contains a strange mix of noise and folky sounds (singing and traditional instruments). An interesting scheme composed of 5 tracks with an interesting progressive content where the Pythagoras-inspired channel between geometry and inner/outer harmony finds its way. With more than an hour of recorded stuff and such a small number of tracks, you can easily infer that all of them are long ones. All but the introductory one, where we can find some static noise, scrap manipulation and serene, ritualistic, monastic-like male chants that increase its intensity along the almost 4 minutes it lasts. Surpasses expectations.

Industrial.Org

First Impressions being what they are tend to form the cast you use to mold any subsequent encounters. With Chaos As Shelter this means that memories of “Midnight Prayer / Illusion” prime my instincts for a descent into some dark and spiritual waters. The scent of age and runish script is not all that unfamiliar to “The Geometry of Soul” but the shapes and angles are much more obtuse than expected, no doubt due to the influence of the other two collaborators. Bastard Noise is quite self-evident, his name a truism as far as his sonic outline is concerned. Igor Krutogolov is an unknown element to me so the exact nature of his contributions are not well determined.The disc opens with “Point Of No Return” which in different circumstances could suggest an odd mastering related accident at the pressing plant. I say this because the components fit easily into the Chaos As Shelter mythos – hymns, resonant low end swells, found sound, mostly what one would expect from prior interactions. What is less familliar is a frequency dependent distortion that lays fully across the the peaks of the recording like a crispy coasting of charcoal and shiny aluminum shards. I like it, the dryness and sparkle it adds lends a certain stress to the piece but it is very much an external treatment as opposed to an integral component.

The liner notes nor the label’s website expand at all on the process leading to this release but I am going to risk eating my own sweaty foot by laying the core of the second track at the doorstep of Bastard Noise. The microphone dangling in front of the PA monitors here seems thoroughly uncomfortable staying put in any position for than a brief moment. The resonant frequency locked onto my by the wandering mic placement is constantly whipping about but if you can brave the initial invasiveness of it, it becomes more glassy and musical as the track’s other components move up through the ranks into the foreground. Around this squeaky merry-go-round is a gang of slowly lumbering swells which meet with a burst of distortion before going their separate ways to the holy lands.

“Triangle” is like the blowback from Genocide Organ with its high voltage thronging and reek of heavy industry. Perhaps this is Igor’s stylistic contribution and if so, bless his black heart for the much needed catharthis. Red eyes glowing through billowing acrid smoke this one is (and any other pretentious but satisfying phrases you like to use when describing pure industrial musics).

“Live” delves into drone based microsound and easily eats up two minutes before the listener is particularly aware of it. Tack on another 7 or 8 before it becomes apparent that this is a tricky deconstruction of some of the underlaying vocal samples throughout the disc. Overly glacial perhaps but hypnotic and if you have the patience to wait through the development cycle of tones that might have been programmed using a TI graphing calculator, you will find it quite beautiful.

The final track exits the previous calm immediately with a death industrial type seething that merges a low slung dread (hard and auto-panned sinusoids through a very digital sounding plate reverb) with a blurbling inner voice of irregular distortion squashed into the little bit of space at the back of the eye sockets. It’s quite menacing at times, not from any in your face aggro but due to the suggestion that you are about to lose mental control of normally repressed thoughts. Subtle and not without a lingering strength.

Chaos as Shelter were definitely the draw for me when I first pulled this from the envelope but the mingled influences here have created an equally satisfying hybrid of noise, pure industrial and spiritual ambient music. The range is wide enough to be hard to pitch this in a single direction but even without a super tight focus, it is a satisfying stylistic collision that has me circling the block for yet another look.


Tel Aviv Aftermath Reviews

FluxEuropa
A showcase for new music from Israel, Tel Aviv Aftermath is a mixed bag of noise, industrial, electronic and avant-garde music which, although at times it wallows in self-indulgence, at others has the power to intrigue and to captivate. The minute’s silence “for the memory of all those who violently lost their lives in the Middle East conflict, except those who took other lives while losing theirs” would be the collection’s low point, were it not succeeded by an utterly dreadful seventeen minute live improvisation by an underground supergroup calling themselves The Crossfishes. This is a shame, as the nine preceding pieces are all pretty much OK – and none better than the New Jerusalem Defense Forces’ ‘Make Law’, a bitter slab of grinding power electronics that appears to be punctuated by the sound of a nearby firefight. Never mind that NJDF personnel Igor Krutogolov and Vadim Gusis also work out with the aforementioned Crossfishes (as well as both having good individual tracks on the compilation), they also find time to contribute to the wonderfully weird ”The Golden Skull’, as backing group to Vera Agnivolok, a singer capable of raising the hairs on the back of anybody’s neck. The other standout track is VectorScope’s ‘No Way To Deny The Dream’, which, with its pounding industrial rhythm through as swirling soup of synth sounds, had me in mind of the Aphex Twin, c.1993. New label, interesting material, worth a listen.

STEWART GOTT – 8 August 2002

All Music Guide
The first release from the Israeli label Topheth Prophet was, as is often the case for small independent labels, a compilation album of local talents. But behind the two handfuls of acts featured on Tel Aviv Aftermath hide only a few artists, namely Igor Krutogolov (aka Igor18), Vadim Gusis (aka Chaos as Shelter and HU), Maor Appelbaum (aka Screening and VectorScope), and Ant Weiss (aka Forma). All of them plus a couple more musicians get together as the Crossfishes for the final 17-minute live performance. The music ranges from pensive electronics (Grundik and Slava’s opening piece) to experimental electroacoustics (HU’s “The Helmet,” in which Gusis explores the spiritual energy of a helmet by playing it, dixit his liner notes), to harsh noise (New Jerusalem Defense Forces, a duo of Krutogolov and Gusis). Some tracks are unremarkable chunks of experimental drone/noise, but there are some stunning contributions. Igor18 and Chaos as Shelter’s solo tracks live up to the quality of their full-length collaborations (with Tidal and Bastard Noise, to name but two). Agnivolok’s song — yes, song, actually a litany — provides a moment of quiet beauty: gripping voice, simple accordion, very tasteful arrangements, a clear standout track. After a minute of silence (a cry for peace coupled to a political stance) comes the Crossfishes track. If anything, the first three quarters of the album announce that gathering all these musicians on the same stage could result in thundering chaos. On the contrary, the piece is rather quiet and very disciplined (I don’t think the six improvisers ever play all at once), dominated by repetitive motifs and Weiss’ disembodied wails. Tel Aviv Aftermath is not an essential album, but it offers a nice occasion to get acquainted with the Israeli experimental underground. ~ François Couture, All Music Guide

Funprox
To my surprise I received a cd out of Israel, a country of which you usually only hear news related to the tragic conflict with their Palestinian neighbours. My musical encounters with Israel are mostly confined to their contributions to the Eurovision Song Contest. So I was pleasantly suprised to find out that there is an interesting experimental/industrial scene in Israel. On “Tel Aviv Aftermath”, of which the artwork shows a militant and apocalyptic style, are ten different acts compiled. Of these I have only heard music of Chaos as Shelter in the past. The booklet of the compilation is quite nice and informative, with background info about all the performing artists.

Grundik-Slava, a long-time collaboration between two composers/sound artists, gives us a experimental electronic composition, which is rather strange and inacessible, reminding a little of old krautrock. The music of New Jerusalem Defence Forces sounds just as threatening as their name: a noisy powerful wall of sound, extreme frequencies and harsh distorted vocals. Igor18, a solo project of Igor Krotolov who is also involved in the previous act, brings us to experimental territories again, with distant voices, an unorthodox treated bass and strange effects as the main ingredients. Chaos as Shelter contribute an estranging soundscape, lead by ongoing drones and a sampled female voice. I quite like the track ‘Outlaw’ by Screening. According to the booklet the music of this act is solely created by (manipulated) bass guitars. the song has an ‘ethnic’, meditative feel.

The song of Forma is called ‘ma bella chaotique’ and indeed it sounds like a chaotic, randomly created composition. Another interesting soundscape is contributed by HU, with tools as sand, cellow bow, hands and a wood hammer. After this tranquil piece comes the beat-driven track by VectorScope as a surprise. A nice micture of monotonous industrial rhythms and floating, atmospheric electronic layers. Another highlight is ‘The Golden skull’ by Agnivolok, a wonderful traditional folk song, reminding me of street musicians from eastern Europe which I sometimes hear, with a melancholic and nostalgic feel. It also has something of the ritual aspect of Hagalaz Runedance. A variety of traditional instruments is used, and the female singer has a peculiar but not unpleasant voice. The last track is a very long and chaotic live improvisation by various underground musicians under the name of The Crossfishes, but in my opinion not one of the most memorable tracks on the album.

This compilation is certainly an interesting and varied showcase of the Israeli experimental music scene, which seems to be quite lively. Musically there a few quite nice contributions, overall “Tel Aviv aftermath” is quite hard to digest though. This is also the debut release of the label Topheth Prophet, it will be interesting to follow what they will be up to in the future. The mood on the album is dominantly quite grim, which is perhaps not so surprising in view of the political climate in the Middle-East. The most direct reference to the conflict is of course the ‘One Minute Silence’, ‘for the memory of all those who violently lost their lives in the Middle East conflict, except those who took other lives while losing theirs’.